How lay presidents in Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools implement the charism of the Xaverian Brothers

Salvatore Ferrera, Fordham University


This study examined one set of Presidents in Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Secondary Schools (XBSS). This study describes and illustrates how lay presidents in Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools implemented the charism of the Xaverian Brothers. The purpose of this study was to identify the practice policies and leadership styles that allow a head of school to promulgate a charism that has been handed down from a religious order that owns a Catholic secondary school. Documenting the stories and survey responses of lay heads of XBSS schools and stakeholders resulted in guidelines, strategies, and scenarios that can be studied, discussed, and developed that will help in the transition from religious to lay leadership. The researcher maintains that the recommendations that evolved from this study in relation to the President-Principal Model of governance are valuable for all practitioners of XBSS schools and other Catholic school leaders. The design of the study is a naturalistic inquiry utilizing qualitative methods of observation, informal as well as formal interviews, and field notes in a multi-site and multi-case research design. The three sites are Catholic secondary schools sponsored by Xaverian Brothers that have implemented the President-Principal Model and have appointed lay presidents. The study concludes that the institutional identity of the schools is predicated on the charism of the Xaverian Brothers which is interwoven into its Catholic nature. The president as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for setting the stage so that all efforts of the school community begin. All three sets of presidents/principals shared a collaborative relationship, in particular in the area of spiritual leadership. The responsibilities of spiritual leader were so complex that they were shared with the presidents taking responsibility for the adult community and the principal focusing on the student body.

Subject Area

Religious education|School administration

Recommended Citation

Ferrera, Salvatore, "How lay presidents in Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools implement the charism of the Xaverian Brothers" (2000). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9975347.