Catholic Identity Formation Team
Dear SJRS and OLMA families, faculty and staff,
We are very encouraged and excited to share a new initiative that began in 2021 at Saint Joseph Regional School and Our Lady of Mercy Academy. This has been a collaborative effort that we have undertaken to help nurture the full mission and vision of our schools.
As a Catholic school, not only do we hope to provide a rich educational experience for our students, but one that is authentically Catholic and infuses the beauty and truths of our faith and the messages of Jesus Christ into everything we do and teach. This is especially important in today’s world where we are all surrounded by moral relativism, secular ideologies and materialism. The Catholic faith is awesome and life-giving and it is a blessing to be able to teach it and live it within our schools! By doing this, not only do we teach our students about their true dignity and worth as beloved children of God, but we also inspire and form them to be witnesses and true disciples of Christ in their own families and communities.
Inspired by a desire to reveal our faith, we assembled a Catholic Identity Formation Team. The mission of the Catholic Identity Formation Team (CIFT) is to form, foster, and preserve the authentic Catholic identity of our schools, St. Joseph Regional School and Our Lady of Mercy Academy.
The team is composed of a group of Catholic educators, administrators, pastors and parents whose particular focus is to look at the areas of teacher recruitment, faith formation, curriculum, and school culture. The group will also provide support and guidance to the administration regarding issues that the school faces surrounding Catholic identity.
Finally, we ask that you continue to pray for our students, our school and this work - that it always be Christ - centered and fruitful. We are so grateful to have this opportunity to work together and serve our students and families in this way.
May Your Spirit Be Lifted,
Christopher Smith Very Rev Alan C. Tremblay
Principal Pastor- Parish of the Holy Spirit
Our Mission Statement
The mission of the Catholic Identity Formation Team (CIFT) is to form, foster, and preserve the authentic Catholic identity of our schools, St. Joseph Regional School (SJRS) and Our Lady of Mercy Academy (OLMA).
Our Vision Statement
That our schools inspire and form our students to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.
Scope of the Team's Work
The scope of CIFT is no more and no less than all things regarding the Catholic identity of our schools. This scope is both broad and narrow at the same time. The focus of CIFT is not so much on the academic element of our schools, but rather the moral and spiritual dimensions that make our schools Catholic.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, create and form an authentic Catholic vision for our schools.
Provide formation to both students and staff regarding the “what,” “why,” and “how” behind various Catholic beliefs, practices, and traditions.
Support the personal, spiritual growth of both students and faculty/staff by offering regular prayer experiences, retreat days, inspirational talks, etc.
Cultivate a culture of service where students and staff are encouraged to put their faith into action both at school and in the surrounding community.
Promote an environment that celebrates authentic Catholic culture and values (sacred art, feast days of saints, virtuous living, etc.).
Aid in the hiring process in pursuit of employees who share the desire to form, foster, and preserve the Catholic identity of our schools.
Review curriculum as needed to ensure it is conducive to deepening and enlivening the faith life of our students (i.e., ordered to the true, the good, and the beautiful).
Provide counsel and clarity to assist our schools when questions or issues arise regarding Catholic teaching (e.g., guiding students through controversial societal issues with truth and love, assessing whether a new club or class is congruent with our Catholic identity, etc.).
CIFT meets monthly to discuss ways in which we can better form, foster, and preserve the authentic Catholic identity of our schools. We welcome any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the Catholic activities or curriculum of our schools–it’s why we’re here! For all inquiries, please feel free to reach out to OLMA Campus Minister, Chelsea Herman, at CIFT@stjosephkeene.org or at 603-352-2720.