Letter from President Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC, PhD

  To the Sacred Heart Cathedral Community: Inspired by our Catholic Lasallian Vincentian tradition and in cooperation with the San Francisco Archdiocese, SHC fulfills our mission by guiding our students as they become service-oriented leaders with a commitment to living the Gospel. All members of our community, especially our faculty and staff, are deeply committed to this mission. In his letter to the teachers of the Archdiocesan Catholic High Schools, Archbishop Cordileone indicated that, in order to clarify "what constitutes the true teachings of the Catholic Church" in the areas of "sexual morality and religious discipline," specific references and quotations from official Church documents will be added to the faculty handbooks. As you know well, SHC is an inclusive, Catholic community of faith. Our vibrant and wonderfully diverse community has always been a hallmark of our school in particular, and reflects the charisms of the De La Salle Christian Brothers and Daughters of Charity throughout the world and throughout history. We intentionally invite everyone to our table, meeting students and families where they are and working with them to build the kingdom of God. We recognize, as Archbishop Cordileone notes, that on some matters, "many people have opinions directly contrary to…the teaching of the Catholic Church," and that, "Many Catholics themselves have beliefs at variance with Church teaching. This is simply a reality." He, and we, intend that the “affirm and believe” statements are "made on behalf of the institution, not all individuals in the institutions." He writes, "Finally, it is important to note the careful use of language in the document. In front of many statements of Catholic teaching in the faculty handbook come the words ‘we affirm and believe.’ This is a statement made on behalf of the institution, not all individuals in the institutions. Our Catholic high schools try to hire people who do believe what the Church teaches, but in our schools we have good teachers who belong to other Christian faiths or to no faith at all. They are members of the school community. The language ’affirm and believe’ acknowledges the good activity of the entire corps of faculty and staff by making this claim on behalf of the institution. That is, in the first instance, ’we affirm and believe’ refers to the Catholic high school itself, and, secondly, to many faculty who identify with the Catholic teachings behind which the high school as a whole stands." Sacred Heart Cathedral has been and continues to be an outstanding Catholic college preparatory school inspired by the Lasallian and Vincentian charisms. One of our founders, John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of all teachers, tells us we must be the older brothers and sisters to our students. We continue to provide our students the finest education grounded in the rich intellectual tradition of Catholicism, and informed by innovative pedagogy. As a Catholic Lasallian Vincentian school we are called to be clear about the content of official Catholic teaching. SHC faculty and administration continue to teach curricula aligned with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops high school curriculum framework in a manner that meets people where they are and inspires a service-oriented approach to living the Gospel. Our students continue to pursue their dreams, achieve excellence, and grow spiritually and intellectually. This dynamic learning environment is made possible by the foundation built by our Founders, and our dedicated faculty and staff, administrators, coaches and mentors. With a history that spans more than 160 years, Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory has and will continue to embrace its vision of educating and supporting our students as they develop into resourceful, independent, compassionate leaders in an inclusive Catholic community of faith. We ask faculty and staff to listen carefully to the presentation made by Archbishop Cordileone at the meeting on February 6th. We hope there is a dialogue and mutual sharing that will result in the best possible education for all involved in SHC’s Catholic identity in the Vincentian and Lasallian traditions. Together we look forward to continue serving the Archdiocese of San Francisco, as we all work to educate today’s youth and create tomorrow’s leaders. Sincerely, Brother Ronald Gallagher, PhD, FSC President Letter to SHC Faculty & Staff from Visitatrix Sister Marjory Ann Baez, DC, and Visitor Brother Donald Johanson, FSC  Letter to Archdiocesan Catholic High School Faculty from Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone  

Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSCBrother Ronald Gallagher, FSC Interim President

Brother Ronald has served as president of St. Mary’s College of California, secretary general of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Rome, president of the International Association of Lasallian Universities, which is a global consortium of 60 Lasallian institutions that promotes excellence in Catholic higher education, and member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), a nationwide organization whose purpose is to promote and strengthen the mission and character of Catholic higher education in the United States and to serve as its collective voice.

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