Providing Catechetical Leadership Today Based on Key Ecclesial Catechetical Documents
Diocesan Catechetical Leaders in Offices of Catholic Education and Catechesis face many challenges in service to the Church's mission of evangelization. To help them address these challenges, this session will propose priorities and practical strategies for administrative leadership based on key ecclesial documents.
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Marie A. Powell, MA
Marie A. Powell became the Executive Director of the Office of Catholic Education at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on July 1, 2007. In the reorganized USCCB structure, this office provides support to the bishops of the United States in the areas of elementary, secondary and higher education. Prior to this appointment, she served for five years as Assistant Secretary for Parental Advocacy in the USCCB Department of Education. In this position she worked primarily with Catholic school parent groups and administrators on legislative issues that affect students, parents, and educators involved with Catholic schools.
Mrs. Powell's past experience with Catholic schools includes the roles of parent, teacher, administrator and board member. She served on the Commission on Christian Education in the Diocese of Richmond and chaired the Diocesan School Board in the Diocese of Arlington. Also in the Arlington Diocese, she was Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Government and Community Relations for four years and, subsequently, Superintendent of Schools for nine years. She has taught in both Catholic elementary and secondary schools and served for six years as Academic Dean of a large diocesan high school with many programs for students with special needs. She is the author of "Catholic High Schools: Can Inclusion Work Without Significant Publicly-Funded Resources?" published in the September 2004 issue of Catholic Education: a Journal of Inquiry and Practice
Mrs. Powell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of St. Mary in Omaha, Nebraska and a Master of Arts degree from Georgetown University.
Michael E. Steier, DMin.
Michael Steier currently serves as Associate Director of the Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has served at the USCCB since December 2003. Prior to that, he served from 1975-1995 as Parish Director of Religious Education in 4 mid-western parishes, and then as Diocesan Director of Religious Education (1995-2000) and as Secretary for Evangelization and Catechetical Formation (2000-2003) in Camden, NJ. From 1998-2003, Michael developed and coordinated the Camden Diocesan Lay Ministry Formation Program which was offered in collaboration with Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, Seton Hall University. He taught for three years in that program as well.
From 1996-2002, Dr. Steier served as Chariman of the Diocesan Directors of Religious Education/Catechesis (Province of Newark) and concurrently as Province Representative on the Representative Council, National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL). Since 2003, he has served as staff to the Bishops Committee on Catechesis. He also serves as an ex officio member on the NCCL Board of Directors.
Dr. Steier's academic background includes graduate studies at the Angelicum, Rome, Italy, a Master of Arts in Theology degree and a Master of Divinity degree from St. John Provincial Seminary, Plymouth, Michigan, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore, MD.