The Catholic University of America

 Kristin Witte Defense

Final Examination of Kristin Wickersty Witte

For the Degree of Doctor of Ministry

April 13, 2011 at 3:30p.m., Caldwell Room 125

 

Abstract:

Training Catholic Elementary Administrators to Respond to the Death of a Student

Director:

Rev. Romuald Meogrossi, OFM Conv., Ph.D.

The administrators of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore are expected to lead their communities through the difficult hours, weeks and months following the death of a student. They are expected to have within their skill base an ability to coordinate the logistics, the pastoral concerns, as well an ability to navigate the theological components of a faith-based school setting. Catholic School elementary principals often do not have the tools or training to fall back on when this type of tragedy strikes.

This project in ministry designed, implemented, and evaluated a workshop that provided Catholic elementary school administrators with 1) a basic understanding of grief and bereavement in regards to the traumatic death of a child attending their school, 2) Roman Catholic theological foundations surrounding death and dying especially in regards to the death of a child, and 3) practical skills to lead a school through the first few days following the traumatic death.