Our History


Announced by Bishop Barber, SJ, in the fall of 2017, Lumen Christi Academies launch in the fall of 2018 and are expected to attract families and garner support from major foundations interested in a robust academic setting permeated with Catholic values. LCA was born out of the love of many educators, volunteers, alumni, and friends collaborating to strengthen and sustain Catholic education in Oakland. We have deep roots, and together with our students and families we are writing our own bright future. 

"By launching this new network, we are igniting a renaissance in East Bay Catholic education. Lumen Christi Academies is an intentional and daring refashioning of our beloved Catholic elementary schools to better serve our communities, families and students.

Every time we baptize a baby, part of the sacred rite reminds parents they are the first teachers of their children in our faith. And on that joyous baptismal day, the entire congregation smiles, applauds and agrees to help these parents. It is my happy duty as a bishop to make sure the parents and teachers who will share our faith with the next generation have the support they need. The most powerful and reliable resource I can offer is Catholic education, so central to developing the faith and morals of our children. There is no more effective way to form the whole person – intellectually, morally and communally – than to infuse a rigorous academic program with the timeless message of Jesus Christ, and deliver it in a safe, respectful atmosphere. Catholic education promotes lifelong commitment to faith, prayer and virtue, a high sense of social justice, greater numbers of religious vocations and an embrace of a way of life based on responsible stewardship.

If this vision resonates in your heart and soul, I ask you to seriously consider joining us in the Diocese of Oakland as we ignite the hearts, minds and souls of our young students and their families.”

-Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, SJ


"We are blending the best of our Catholic school traditions with a bold new commitment to preparing ethical scholars who will illuminate a more just and joyful future. We are not just keeping the lights on — we built a new grid and we are lighting the way together for our children, families and communities." 

Dr. Liz Guneratne, Diocesan Lead

"We are already engaged with our principals, pastors, professionals and interested supporters," said. "Teams are actively working on mission and Catholic identity, governance, curriculum, talent management, development and fundraising, marketing, and more. The enthusiasm and dedication toward ensuring the foundational success of our Lumen Christi Academies is inspiring as we work together to establish an enduring Catholic school education for our children and their families."

Kathleen Radecke, Superintendent  




The academies will be led by a board, approved by Bishop Barber, consisting of community leaders committed to Catholic education with diverse professional backgrounds. It will have its own dedicated management to guide its mission, collaborating with the existing Department of Catholic Schools.