Thomas W. Burnford to Speak at Annual CAPP Breakfast

News Story: January 6, 2016

Thomas W. Burnford

Thomas W. Burnford will be the keynote speaker at Sacred Heart University’s Eighth Annual Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice (CAPP) Educators’ Communion Breakfast on Sunday, March 13. His talk is titled “Why I Send My Kids to Catholic School.”

Burnford, secretary for Education for the Archdiocese of Washington, currently serves as the interim president for the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA). Burnford has extensive knowledge and experience working with the NCEA, having served on its board for the 2014-15 academic school year and as a member for over a decade. His speech is expected to be enlightening and inspirational.

As secretary for Education for the Archdiocese of Washington, Burnford manages the superintendent of Catholic Schools, director for catechesis and 22 professional staff members. He is responsible for the oversight of Catholic education, including executive leadership of a system of 94 Catholic schools and 139 parish religious education programs serving over 50,000 students and 30,000 adults. 

His experience and expertise spans all levels of education and administration, from classroom to boardroom. Some of the highlights of Burnford’s two-decade career in the archdiocese include, developing and implementing new policies for Catholic schools that involve strengthening Catholic identity, establishing regional school agreements and designing protocols for school viability planning. He’s worked with Cardinal Donald Wuerl to increase tuition assistance to $5.8 million (from $800,000 in 2007) for students, lobbies and advocates for initiatives at the local, state and national levels and, most recently, was involved in planning and celebrating the visit of Pope Francis in Washington, D.C. 

Before the CAPP breakfast, which will take place in University Commons, a tour of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit will take place followed by Mass.

The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, appointed in 2013 by Pope Francis as bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, will be the celebrant for the 9 a.m. Mass. He has spoken of the need to build bridges to youth, to all those who are troubled, who are neglected and to Catholics who no longer participate in the life of the church.     

Tickets for the event are $35 each or $300 for a table of 10. To purchase tickets, please visit www.sacredheart.edu/CAPP2016 for more information or to register.

CAPP was founded in 1993 to encourage business people, academics and other professionals to study and promote Catholic social teaching. It is named for Pope John Paul’s encyclical of the same name that marked the 100th anniversary of the landmark papal document on social responsibility, Rerum Novarum. The Diocese of Bridgeport is one of three pioneering dioceses in the United States to establish a chapter.