Christine Healey, second from right, an advocate for Catholic schools in Camden and other places, and Camden school children welcome representatives of Notre Dame University’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) at St. Francis de Sales School, Philadelphia, on Nov. 12. ACE is currently on a Fighting for Our Children’s Future National Bus Tour, visiting 50 cities to highlight the importance of Catholic schools. During the visit, ACE honored Healey for her work on behalf of Catholic education.
Photo by James A. McBride
Christine Healey, an influential promoter of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Camden, especially in Camden City, was honored by the University of Notre Dame.
Students from Catholic schools in Camden were on hand Nov. 12 when Healey was presented with the Notre Dame Sorin Award at St. Francis de Sales School, Philadelphia.
Named for the founder of Notre Dame, Father Edward Sorin, CSC, the Sorin Award for Service to Catholic Schools, honors those “whose tireless commitment to support, sustain, and transform Catholic schools has shaped the lives of countless children, their families, and communities,” said Father Timothy R. Scully, CSC, who made the presentation.
“These awardees inspire others through their dedicated service to the Gospel through apostolate of Catholic Education,” he said.
Healey is the executive director at the Healey Foundation which invests in the growth of Catholic schools. The Foundation has been expanded to serve numerous elementary and high schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She also chairs the board of the Catholic Partnership Schools and is co-founder of the “We Can Do Better New Jersey” advocate group for school choice throughout Philadelphia.
The Catholic Partnership Schools model – a separate, 501 (c)(3) organization – serves as a model of K-8 urban education. Under the CPS umbrella, Holy Name, Sacred Heart, St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral and St. Anthony of Padua schools in Camden and St. Cecilia in Pennsauken are directed by Sister of St. Joseph Karen Dietrich, through supported leadership, shared programming, centralized financing, and fundraising.
Sister Dietrich said, “Christine’s work with Catholic Partnership Schools and the more than 1,000 children we serve, is testament to her strong faith and belief that an early foundation of education is critical in breaking the cycle of violence and poverty in Camden.”
The organization noted in a statement, “Catholic Partnership Schools is well into its fifth year and has stabilized enrollment, expanded quality programming and services and celebrated 43 percent of its 2013 graduates being accepted at excellent area Catholic college preparatory secondary schools.”
The presentation at the Philadelphia Catholic school was part of the university’s Alliance for Catholic Education’s national bus tour.
The Our Children’s Future National Bus Tour is a cross country effort to raise awareness for the impact that K-12 schools have “as agents of human formation and social transformation, and to celebrate the unique role that Catholic schools play in nurturing the soul of our nation,” ACE stated in press materials.