Murray Institute Funded Projects

During the 2000-2001 academic year, the Murray Institute began funding a small number of projects that use alternative-delivery systems to provide educators in schools and parishes of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis with advanced professional development and adult faith formation experiences. These projects often take the form of short-term or one-time events, non-credit workshops, lectures, or working retreats.

A proposal that is eligible for funding through the Murray Institute will closely conform to the mission of the Murray Institute. In particular, it should demonstrate the project’s potential to seed effective leadership for the educational ministries of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and foster systemic change that will sustain and enhance these ministries for the future.

Proposals must have clear and measurable objectives, a well-articulated plan to accomplish those objectives, and a mechanism for assessing the effectiveness of the project. If the project is ongoing, it should have a plan for sustainability beyond the length of the Murray grant. Preference is given to proposals that can demonstrate wide support through partner funding or in-kind contributions and proposals that can generate the greatest positive benefit relative to cost. The Murray Institute does not fund projects that should be part of the regular operations of a school, parish, or administrative office.

The Murray Institute accepts proposals on a rolling basis throughout the academic year (September-May). If you wish to submit a proposal, you may download the proposal form ‌here. To facilitate the review process and ensure the best result for your proposal, please consult with the Director, Dr. Catherine Cory (cacory@stthomas.edu or 651-962-5306) or the Coordinator, Ms. Jane Fennell (jgfennell@stthomas.edu or 651-962-4883), as you prepare your proposal.

Examples of current projects being fully or partially funded by the Murray Institute:

RELIGION TEACHERS' FORUMS have enabled interested high school religion teachers throughout the Archdiocese to come together for a presentation by one of the religion teachers. This presentation has been followed up by a discussion of related ideas and teaching techniques.

The PASTORAL SPANISH Cohortis an intensive, non-degree program focused on learning conversational Spanish and developing the cultural competencies to work with Hispanics/Latinos in the Archdiocese. It is intended for educational ministers (teachers, principals, and religious educators) who have a passion for Hispanic ministry but who have limited or no Spanish language skills. Preference is given to schools and parishes that either already serve a significant population of Hispanics/Latinos or anticipate expanding their ministry in the near future. The first Pastoral Spanish cohort began in summer 2010 and concluded in fall 2011. The second cohort is scheduled to begin in August 2012. This program includes five components: a local immersion experience, Spanish language instruction, theological reflection, mentoring and an international immersion experience.

THE MURRAY RESEARCH FELLOWS program shares in a nationwide effort to support scholarship that advances Catholic educational ministries. The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) and several of its affiliated organizations are calling for Catholic educators and institutions of higher learning to commit time and resources to producing excellent educational research for the long-term success and sustainability of our Catholic schools and religious education programs. Catholic educational ministries depend on dedicated and well-trained teachers and administrators to address the varied and complex spiritual and educational needs of their students. These educators, in turn, need scholars who are willing to invest time and talent in researching and writing about topics that will advance the mission and goals of our educational ministries on the local, regional and national levels. The Murray Institute financially supports qualified individuals with a stipend and research expenses for a maximum of 36 months.

Examples of projects that have been fully or partially funded in the past by the Murray Institute:

A four-phase RCIA Leadership Development Project that engages Archdiocesan Catholic educators in dialogue about parishes as apprenticing communities for lifelong Christian discipleship and provides teams of experienced parish Catholic educators with intensive training in the philosophy, dynamics, and processes of the RCIA catechumenal model so that they will be equipped to become trainers and mentors for other parish ministers in the Archdiocese. Begun in Spring 2009, this project will be completed in Fall 2010.

Expanding Scholarly Partnerships, which provides funding for Archdiocesan Catholic high school educators and youth ministers to participate in a series of biannual public forums that are part of the International Leadership Program and for two Archdiocesan educational ministers per year to participate in EDLD 869, a 3-credit cultural immersion experience in Africa and other Third World countries. Begun in Fall 2009, this project will be funded through Spring 2011, with an option to renew for three more years.

Start-up money for Phase I of a Professional Development Program for preschool directors and teachers to provide them with an opportunity to develop a common belief and philosophy of developmentally appropriate practice, create a professional learning community that can be accessed electronically or in “face to face” network opportunities, and train mentors who can provide ongoing support for directors and teachers of Archdiocesan preschool programs. The professional development training will be provided through TEACHSCAPE ONLINE STUDIES: Early Childhood Series. Begun in February 2009, Phase I will be completed in January 2011.

Seed and Harvest, a three-session intercultural ministry workshop for Archdiocesan teachers, religious educators, and parish and school volunteers held during the 2009-2010 academic year. Keynote speakers included Rev. James Notebaart, Rev. Kevin McDonough, and Dr. Deborah Organ, each of whom have been engaged in ministry to the diverse communities of the Archdiocese for many years, and Mr. Alejandro Aguilera-Titus, Assistant Director of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. A special thank you to the representatives of the many cultural communities of the Archdiocese who came to share their stories and insights about how to foster inclusive communities of faith.
The Institute for Catholic Social Teaching, which was proposed and delivered under the direction of Ron Krietemeyer, then director of the Office of Social Justice for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The week-long workshop offered during the summer of 2000 and again in the summer of 2001 was intended to inspire teachers to integrate the principles of Catholic Social Teaching into their classes. It also addressed the need for more in-depth faculty education and faith formation on the subject of Catholic Social Teaching.

Brick by Brick: Building the Kingdom of God, which brought 700 secondary administrators, educators and board members together in February 2001 to share and learn about how to integrate the Catholic Social Teachings into the curriculum. Rev. Fred Kammer, President of Catholic Charities USA was the keynote speaker. This event was repeated in February 2002 with Thomas Groome as the keynote speaker.

An Hour of Zen, proposed and directed by Vic Klimoski, director of the Benedictine Retreat and Conference Center in St. Paul, MN. Held monthly, it was an evening of reflection and conversation for Murray Institute alumni, which was designed to cultivate peer networks, encourage sharing of professional expertise, and foster prayer and fellowship. Included in the event was liturgy and dinner with the monastic community.

The Aquinas Project, which included Archdiocesan Catholic school principals and faculty of the University of St. Thomas. Participants met three different weekends during 8/1998 - 5/1999 at the University’s Gainey Center in Owatonna MN to consider the development of a professional orientation program for teachers entering the Catholic school system. The primary goal of the program was to enhance personal identity with Catholicism and sharpen teachers' appreciation for the culture that defines Catholic education.

A secondary education curriculum enhancement workshop entitled, "Nurturing Catholic Identity in a Media Culture." This was a one-week summer institute taught by Dr. Mary Hess in 2001, which considered constructive responses to the challenges of living in a media culture.

A comprehensive three-year grant for the Archdiocesan Hispanic Ministry Office to provide English classes for Hispanic leaders in archdiocesan parishes and Spanish classes and cultural immersion experiences for English-speaking church personnel from parishes with growing Hispanic populations as well as theological education for all participants.

Seed & Harvest Intercultural Workshops

Morning prayer at Seed and Harvest.

Participants are addressed by Mr. Alejandro Aguilera-Titus, Assistant Director of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Click here to see the Nine Steps for "Weaving Together a Culturally Diverse Church."

Participants are addressed by Mr. Alejandro Aguilera-Titus, Assistant Director of the Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Click here to see the Nine Steps for "Weaving Together a Culturally Diverse Church." - See more at: http://www/murrayinstitute/projects/default.html#sthash.BNQUxEWV.dpuf