All College

Alumnus educator Michael Van Hecke (’86) recently appeared as a guest on EWTN Live to discuss his work as the president and founder of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education (ICLE), which is at the forefront of the movement to renew Catholic education in the United States.

“The Institute is there,” Mr. Van Hecke tells host Rev. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., “to inspire teachers; to remind Catholic schools, dioceses, and teachers themselves what their heritage is — the incredible, rich tradition and beauty of education as the Catholic Church has done it for millennia.” Over the course of the hourlong interview, he recounts in detail some of the motives that led to the ICLE’s founding. Among these is the tendency of American Catholic schools to adopt secular pedagogical models, which, he argues, have contributed to the growing phenomenon of religious disaffiliation.

“We’re not reaching back and understanding what the Church’s vision for education is,” Mr. Van Hecke laments. “When we look back at the Catholic intellectual tradition, it’s all about liberty; it’s about heaven. … We get to educate children for that — what a great gift for us as Catholic educators!”

Mr. Van Hecke’s full conversation with Fr. Pacwa — available in the player above — is replete with these and other insights he has gained from his almost 30 years of experience as Catholic teacher, headmaster, and school president.