By Michael Gresham
The Texas Catholic
Each year, Catholic Schools Week offers the Diocese of Dallas an opportunity to highlight how its Catholic schools impact their communities, serving as beacons of light, faith, and hope.
This year, the weeklong celebration takes on extra meaning as the diocese enters a new chapter in its educational story — a new Catholic school.
Dr. Rebecca Hammel, superintendent of Dallas Catholic schools, said the development of a new school, St. Mother Teresa Catholic School, in the vibrant Frisco area looms on the horizon and reflects Bishop Edward J. Burns’ commitment to expanding the reach and impact of diocesan Catholic schools.
“This newest Dallas Catholic school offers yet another opportunity for our community to rally together in support of our collective obligation to form our children in the faith,” Hammel said.
As part of a video message for the celebration of Catholic Schools Week, Bishop Burns called it “very fitting” that the diocese would use the national celebration as an opportunity to announce its newest school.
“It’s exciting because Catholic Schools Week is filled with a lot of excitement of all that we have done in the past. Now, we look with excitement at what we’re going to do for the future,” Bishop Burns said. “This is just a beautiful moment to make the announcement.”
St. Mother Teresa Catholic School will be located on 28 acres at the northwest corner of Independence Parkway and Main Street in Frisco. Construction of the new school is expected to get underway in fall 2024 with a tentative opening date of fall 2026. Unlike many other diocesan schools, St. Mother Teresa Catholic School will not follow the parish/school model. Instead, it will make use of a regional school model with five nearby parishes — St. Gabriel the Archangel in McKinney, St. Michael the Archangel in McKinney, St. Jude in Allen, St. Francis of Assisi in Frisco, and Our Lady of Angels in Allen — working in collaboration.
As the diocese navigates the conversations and planning for St. Mother Teresa Catholic School, Hammel said the diocese also will seek the communities’ perspectives and desires for the school through a survey to be distributed through parishes in the northern region and online at www.dallascatholic/schools.
While five parishes will jointly support this campus, the diocesan schools office invites parishioners of other parishes in the northern part of the diocese to offer their ideas, too.
In addition to preparations for the new school in Collin County, Hammel said a second survey will focus on Catholic schools throughout the diocese.
“We have begun a second strategic study designed to reveal new opportunities for our Catholic schools in the southern and western portion of the diocese,” she explained. “Building upon a comprehensive study conducted almost a decade ago, we seek new and unique strategies that will make our schools accessible and affordable for all families who desire a Catholic education for their children.”
“Current parents and parishioners of these schools and parishes are asked to share their perspectives and ideas via a survey, too,” Hammel said. “Together, we can ensure our schools thrive well into the future, providing a true gift to the children and families we serve.”
As he has done on numerous occasions, Bishop Burns reiterated the importance of having quality and accessible Catholic schools throughout the diocese.
“It’s so very important that when people walk onto the campus of a Catholic school, they know that something’s different. And that difference is a faithfulness, a dedication, and a commitment as we integrate a faithfulness of spirituality, and especially for our Catholic students, the celebration of the sacraments; therein lies the cultivation of a future disciple,” Bishop Burns said. “It’s important that we take the blessings that we have and use them for the greater good and in particular, as Christians and as Catholics, we do it all for the glory of God.”
For more information and updates, visit www.dallascatholic.org/schools.
Find more stories celebrating Catholic schools in the Diocese of Dallas in the Jan. 26 print edition of The Texas Catholic.