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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why Catholic Schools Are Pernicious

This remarkable letter from a Catholic parent on her child's Catholic school pretty much sums up why Catholic schools don't work. After complaining about how her child's previous school closed and how she is paying through the nose and still being asked to contribute more, she remarks:
Why am I being asked to contribute to upgrading the cathedral and the seminary? Church attendance is down and few are entering the priesthood.

Like most Catholic parents, this Catholic parent sees no connection between her child's education and the mission of the Church!

Priests? Bah! Who needs 'em?

Just give me a decent school for my kid!
The Church itself can go to hell, and I don't care.

She completely ignores the fact that her reasoning towards the seminary also applies to the parochial school her son attends. Why are parishioners being asked to support the Catholic school? Enrollment is down and few are entering! Why should anyone give a dime to these institutions that so signally fail to pass on any understanding of or appreciation for the Faith, how it works, what it does?

Ah, but the delicious irony of her sentiment is lost upon this parent, herself a product of the institution!

And what, exactly, does the bishop mean when he says he isn't getting out of the education business anytime soon? Of course he is getting out of it! Catholic school enrollment is dropping steadily each year. When he can't entice anymore students into the schools, he'll have to shut them down! The economic downturn is merely accelerating a pre-existing downward spiral. He's getting out of the brick-and-mortar grade school business whether he wants out or not.

What do they teach them in school nowadays?


Dymphna said...

I went to a little Catholic school in the ghetto. It saved my life, and I became Catholic all due to the heroic efforts of the Oblate Sisters of Providence. In the midst of a horrible neighborhood that school was an oasis of calm, learning, and prayer. Catholic schools can be a powerhouse for the Faith.

As for the woman you mock, I don't blame her. She probably feels betrayed now and is worried about what's going to happen to her kids.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Hey, I'm all for mission schools. But that's what inner city schools are - mission schools. Why won't people call things by their proper names?

For the record, I went to Catholic school as well - all of my grade school, all of my high school. That's where I lost the Faith.

Different places, different people, different experiences.

But none of it matters now. The demographics are headed in one direction: down. Doesn't matter if you like that fact (as I do) or hate that fact (as you may) - the parochial school is done.

Bill Hoog said...

"Just give me a decent school for my kid!
"The Church itself can go to hell, and I don't care."

Spot on! The real reason many people send their kids to Catholic Schools is so they don't have to attend school with low life kids.

Patrick said...

Wait, aren't most parishes in the U.S. and Europe now considered mission churches? I see Catholic church attendance and parochial schools on the same skid path. I went to catholic schools with Catholics and non-Catholics, and mostly, I saw the least amount of understanding about their faith from the Catholic-born students. I think the issues with parochial education is less about the schools than a general fourty-year failure of the churches across the board.

Anonymous said...

Spot on! The real reason many people send their kids to Catholic Schools is so they don't have to attend school with low life kids.

This is quite true, and it is further compounded by school administrators who cater to the rich kids and their families, in effect showing less time and attention to the kids who don't come from money.

The Catholic schools are doing themselves in. And they've gotten way too political. Look at all the "special titles" the staff has compared to years ago. This type of structure feeds itself by requiring more and more funds.

And the cycle continues.

Until it breaks.

Brendan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.