Quick Links



News & Press Releases


In an effort to provide those who visit this site with up-to-date information regarding  events or stories of interest happening within the diocese, the Secretariat for Communications researches and prepares articles and news releases. 

Access to the most recent news is available under "News Headlines" on the home page.  Copies of old stories are available by accessing the Archives at the end of the News and Press Release section.

St. Francis Named One of Top 50 Catholic Schools in United States



During a special visit to St. Francis High School in Traverse City on October 25, Bishop Bernard A. Hebda announced to the faculty and students that St. Francis has again been named to the National Catholic School Honor Roll as one of the best 50 Catholic secondary schools in the United States. This is the second time St. Francis High School has received this recognition resulting in four consecutive years as part of the National Catholic School Honor Roll covering years 2008-2012. They were first honored with this award in November 2008.

Catholic_High_School_Honor_Roll.jpgSponsored by the Acton Institute, the primary goal of the Catholic High School Honor Roll is to acknowledge those schools that maintain high academic standards, uphold their Catholic identities, and prepare their students to actively engage the world. The Honor Roll encourages schools to improve the academic and spiritual formation of America’s youth. After analyzing and highlighting the particular strengths of Catholic secondary schools, the Honor Roll publishes a list of America’s Top 50 Catholic Schools that distinguish themselves through excellence in the areas of academic excellence, Catholic identity, and civic education.

Regarding the award, GTACS Superintendent Mike Buell said, “We constantly strive to assist our school families in forming their children’s hearts, minds, and souls in an effort to bring glory to God. The external recognition of our efforts by an organization as well-esteemed as the Acton Institute is humbling, yet very rewarding,” Buell continued. “This is truly an award delivered to the parents who make great personal sacrifice to provide their children with a Catholic education, and to each and every GTACS faculty member who works tirelessly to improve the formation and education of all of our students. All school accolades rest at the feet of our faculty, and I am so very proud of them and thankful for their dedication to our schools,” Buell concluded.

St. Francis High School Principal, Erick Chittle, commented, “What is most pleasing about Top Fifty recognition is that it aligns with the mission of Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools. Acton rewards schools that work very hard at infusing Catholicism through-out a rigorous curriculum. Top test scores are not enough for this award; the teachings of the Gospel and a vibrant prayer and Sacramental life must be evident in these schools. I am thankful to our staff – a staff committed to push each student to his or her fullest spiritual and academic potential. I am thankful to our parents who sacrifice to partner with us in this mission. Finally, I am thankful to our students whose dedication to their faith and academics brings me great hope.”

To see a list of the top 50 schools, as well as lists of the 10 honorable mention schools in each category, visit


Back to Top