Diocese of Joliet to Reopen Schools in the Fall; Hires New Superintendent

Diocese of Joliet
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The Diocese of Joliet announced a plan to reopen all 52 Catholic schools in the diocese this coming fall.

Bishop Richard Pates, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Joliet, also appointed a task force to be led by Father Burke Masters. The task force will ensure schools meet guidelines to best protect students and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The stakeholders of our schools – parents and children, administrators and teachers, priests and parishioners – very much desire to see our schools fully functioning this Fall,” stated Bishop Pates in a press release.

Diocese of Joliet School System

The Diocese of Joliet school system consists of 17,000 students in 42 elementary schools, eight high schools and two preschools in five counties including DuPage.

According to Bishop Pates, the reopening of the diocese’s parishes has gone well, with many returning to regular mass celebrations after passing a certification process.

Similar certification requirements will be implemented for schools in the coming months.

New Superintendent

Bishop Pates also announced the appointment of Dr. Michael J. Boyle as the new Superintendent of Schools for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet.

Boyle previously served as the Director of the Andrew M. Greeley Center for Catholic Education at Loyola University Chicago and as the Assistant Director of the University’s Center for Catholic School Effectiveness.

“We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Boyle join our staff here in the Diocese of Joliet,” said Bishop Pates. “He believes strongly in the importance of Catholic education and identity and has an inspiring vision for making our schools stronger than ever. As a longtime leader in Catholic education in this region, Dr. Boyle is uniquely qualified to lead our Catholic Schools Office through these times of challenge and opportunity.”

Boyle is a member of the governing boards of both the Journal of Catholic Education and the National Catholic Partnership on Disability, and a member of the Professional Development Advisory Board for the National Catholic Education Association.

“I am thrilled to come home again to the Diocese of Joliet and to work with the schools of the diocese,” said Dr. Boyle. “I can personally attest to the transformative power of Catholic education and I look forward to supporting the good work of the educators of the diocese.”

Kevin Jackman reporting for Naperville News 17.