National Catholic Register Article on Rating Schools' Catholic Identity

Prominently featured in the article is The Anglo-Catholic's own Fr. Christopher Phillips. An excerpt:

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The Catholic Identity Assessment, originally developed for Catholic high schools, is now available for elementary schools.

The process starts with a questionnaire. “It’s designed as a self-assessment instrument, so that every member of the staff, from the principal to the custodial staff, participates in this survey,” said Father Stravinskas. The questions deal with such issues as how frequently the sacrament of reconciliation is offered, whether there are theology classes and the qualifications of those who teach these classes. There are also questions about how justice and charity are promoted.

There are three tiers: self-assessment, collated by the Catholic Education Foundation; self-assessment plus an on-site visit by a CEF team; and a second visit by the team.

One satisfied customer is Father Christopher Phillips, pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio. Father Phillips helped establish The Atonement Academy in 1994. The academy offers classes from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and promotes, according to its website, “spiritual virtues through a challenging course of classical and Catholic education.”

“As a Catholic school, those of us in the administration found this project to be intriguing,” said Father Phillips. “The idea of describing our program, and then letting it be assessed for its catholicity and effectiveness by a neutral third party — experts in the field — was a challenge we were eager to accept.”

Father Phillips said he would recommend the program.

“There were things we were doing very well, and the assessment helped us see how we could strengthen what we do,” said Father Phillips. “When it comes to assessing a Catholic school, it’s always a good thing to look at every aspect of it, and that’s what the Catholic Identity Assessment did. Our original vision was affirmed, and we received suggestions which have given us guidance in making aspects of our program even better.”

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Read more.

Author: Deborah Gyapong

Deborah Gyapong is a member of the Sodality of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( in Ottawa, a former parish of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Traditional Anglican Communion) whose members were received individually and corporately into the Roman Catholic Church on April 15, 2012 by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast at St. Patrick’s Basilica. Under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, the community will celebrate an approved Anglican Use liturgy and hopes to soon join with other sodalities across Canada to form the Canadian Deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter under Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary. As we wait for our priest(s) to be ordained as Catholic priests, God willing, Archbishop Prendergast will provide priests to celebrate our Sunday Eucharist according to the Anglican Use. Deborah is a journalist who covers religion and politics in Canada’s national capital, writing primarily for Roman Catholic newspapers since 2004. Her novel The Defilers, published in 2006, was not a best seller, alas. She spent 17 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in news and current affairs, including 12 years as a television producer.

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