SJU Honors Leaders in Catholic Education

Lecture and Awards Ceremony Highlight Catholic Schools Week

Monday, January 14, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (January 14, 2013) — As part of Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 27-Feb. 2), Saint Joseph’s University’s Center for Catholic and Urban Education (CCEU) will host a lecture and inaugural awards ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 30 in the Wolfington Teletorium of Mandeville Hall, beginning at 6:15 p.m. Two prominent visionaries in the field of education will be honored: Christine L. Healey '01 (M.S.), board chair of the Catholic Partnership Schools, executive director of the International Education Foundation, and co-founder of We Can Do Better New Jersey; and Sister Ellen T. Convey, I.H.M., principal of The Gesu School.

Christine L. Healey

Healey will receive the Ratio Studiorum Award, which takes its name from the Jesuit plan establishing a global educational system begun in 1542. Given the spirit and intent of the Ratio Studiorum, this honor will be given each year by SJU to an educator who has offered exceptional leadership to collaborative efforts to improve educational systems and make a contribution to the future of high-quality, competitive Catholic education.

Healey, an expert in school sustainability and governance, is considered one of the nation’s most committed and strategic visionaries in Catholic education. Beginning in 2001, Christine and her father, Robert Healey ’51 developed and now administer four foundations: the International Education Foundation, the Children’s Resource Center, Living Bridges International and the Healey Family Foundation. She is founder of the Catholic School Development Program and co-founded We Can Do Better New Jersey to advocate for school choice for under-served families in some of the neediest communities. She is the founder of The Catholic Partnership Schools of Camden, N.J. creating an acclaimed model for academic achievement and school sustainability.

Sister Ellen T. Convey, I.H.M.

Sister Ellen will be honored with the Robert Molyneux, S.J., Award, named for the Jesuit priest who established the first parochial school in the United States in Philadelphia in 1782. The award will be given each year to a Philadelphia educator who has made exceptional advances in innovation and efficacy for Catholic schools — capturing the essence of the magis — to do something of deeper worth, in the current moment, for the greater need.

Sister Ellen is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and has been the principal of Gesu School since 1991. She is noted for creating a nationally recognized model for an independent Catholic school that meets the specific needs of urban students.

Following the awards ceremony at 7 p.m., Sister Patricia McCann, R.S.M., director of archives of the Convent of Mercy in Pittsburgh, Pa., and former professor of church history at St. Vincent’s Seminary and College, will present "Pioneers and Prophets: Women Religious and the Transference of Tradition in Catholic Institutions."

"Both Christine and Sister Ellen represent the rich tradition of educational innovation inherent in our Catholic schools,” says Anne Marie Borneman, Ed.D., senior fellow in the CCEU. “The efforts of these women on behalf of Catholic education ensures that children and families will have the opportunity to experience and benefit from a quality faith-based education into the future."

About the Center for Catholic and Urban Education: The CCUE is a division of the Educational Leadership Institute of Saint Joseph’s University and is dedicated to the ongoing existence and sustainability of Catholic schools in urban areas. The Center champions Catholic education as an essential option for families committed to a values-based, quality schooling for their children. The CCUE is committed to continuing to provide a regular forum for communication, best practices and resource development for Catholic schools.

Media Contact

Kelly Welsh, Director of Communications/College of Arts and Sciences, University Communications, 610-660-1385, 


Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide-array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni – over 60,000 strong - provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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