Catholic Schools Week (Part 5)


Photos by Flickr users Lee Jordan, loozrboy, David Armano, ipostcodes.com.au, and Nick sarebi

In my four previous blogs, I described the exciting time we had for Catholic Schools Week in our parish and school. Ironically, during that same week there was a full-page joint advertisement in The Wichita Eagle promoting about seven to nine Christian schools in our area.

Our Catholic school system here is very strong. When I was growing up, there may have been one non-Catholic Christian school around and a couple of private schools. The number of Christian schools has grown significantly.

I have to say this is a good thing. In my day non-Catholic families who could not afford the private schools would pay tuition to send their kids to Catholic schools. Quite frankly, a consequence of this was that the Catholic Schools lost some of their Catholicity. The high school seemed more like a college prep school than a Catholic school.

Let me interject to say that I have a deep admiration for non-Catholic Christians who are serious about their faith. Quite frankly, their stewardship, passion, generosity, hospitality, and dedication put many Catholics to shame. And they are behaving that way without the benefit of receiving the Eucharist.

However, the advertisement with the list of schools was advocating parents send their children so they could get a Christian “education”. I looked at the variety of schools: the Lutheran school, the Methodist school, the Presbyterian school, the non-denominational Christian school. They might have written, “we are the anything-but- a-Catholic school”.

So they will be educating the children on what? With many of these denominations voting to approve the ordination of openly gay men as bishops, standing by wishy- washy teachings on abortion, living an ‘anything goes’ approach regarding divorce and loosening criteria when it comes to sexual activity—what message do they actually plan on teaching the children?

Teaching that God is love will take you so far. We are living in a very complex world and need sophisticated, well-formed individuals who have the moral foundations based on truth to make good decisions. We need leaders.

Children need clarity and they need boundaries. Many parents are willing to ignore the major chaos going on with the leadership of many of these denominations just to get their kids out of the public schools and away from Catholic schools.

This made it even more valid to celebrate Catholic Schools Week. We can celebrate how we are unified in what we teach our children and that our doctrine is solid and coherent and respects the dignity of every person from conception to natural death.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Always support our non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters and their efforts to build the kingdom when we can find common ground, while at the same time understanding our Catholic faith and why we say that we have the fullness of truth.