Father Curtis Seidel
President, Walla Walla Catholic Schools
Greetings in Our Lord, Jesus Christ,
The task of education is to help students engage in the totality of reality. Our modern world has often reduced this vision of reality to the material world. To this reduction, Catholic education, echoing Hamlet says, “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” I experienced this voice firsthand in my own move from a public junior-high to a Catholic high school. In public school, I received a decent education in the things of the world, but an education that was much reduced. When I journeyed into high school, reality itself was greatly expanded and I came to encounter He-Who-Is, is Love, is Truth, is Being and Goodness itself. This encounter forever changed my life guiding me to Gonzaga University and ultimately into the life of the Catholic priesthood.
In the spring of 2018, Bishop Daly asked me to share what I had received in Catholic Education by becoming a religion teacher and chaplain for the Walla Walla Catholic Schools, an assignment that quickly grew to also encompass being the President of the schools. While this is certainly not my first time working in education, it is a great blessing that I am able to devote myself to the task full time. To assist me in my current work, Bishop Daly asked that I earn a master’s degree in Educational Leadership through the University of Notre Dame’s Remick Leadership Program, a task I began in the summer of 2019 and will complete in the summer of 2021. Prior to my assignment in Walla Walla, I have worked as a parochial vicar, pastor, police chaplain, college instructor and formator at Bishop White Seminary. Each of these assignments has given me experiences such as time teaching, being in classrooms, and managing parish corporations which have helped prepare me for my current work.
I have a great love for Catholic Education, but the Walla Walla Catholic Schools are uniquely special. As a PreK-12 system, Assumption and DeSales are uniquely suited to propose a consistent hypothesis of the nature of reality from the first days of a child’s education through his or her high school graduation, this hypothesis is proposed through every class topic, through every extra-curricular activity, through every class retreat, and is present throughout the family environment of the whole community. In brief, this hypothesis states that God who is Truth, Goodness, Beauty, and Love itself created all that we come to know in our study of Science, History, Math, English, Art, Music, and every other topic. He is the God who created you and me and every child in His own image and likeness, thus every person has intrinsic worth beyond all measure and should be loved as we love ourselves. Finally, He is the God who so loved us that He took on human nature itself, thus revealing to us what it means to be human. At the Walla Walla Catholic Schools, we propose that to know Jesus Christ is to know what it means to be fully human and to be fully human is to be filled with Joy.