Re: Integration of Non-Catholic Families
- I think it is very important to keep our Catholic identity especially in our Catholic Schools. As we have become more Ecumenical we have lost a lot of our identity and taken on so much of other denominations--we are Catholic--we are different!
In my city 20+ years ago we Unified our Catholic Schools, no more parish schools, just one system for all Catholic students to feed into. This was done for financial purposes. As time went on finances continued to plunge and they "opened the doors" to encourage all faiths to attend our Catholic schools. Money was needed! We also implemented a tax on each parish to help support the school system. Great idea when you have Catholic students populating the school.
Well today 40% and the number is rising, of the students are not Catholic. The parents of my Catholic school students say that their children are having to defend their own faith in school. The list of issues is endless, Young Life, totally supported and encouraged, students in our high school who feel uncomfortable with praying the Rosary are allowed to walk the halls when the Rosary is prayed. The #1 reason to attend the high school is for sports, not because your child will receive a wonderful Catholic education. Also there is not one priest or religious sister anywhere in the system.
The teachers that instruct religion classes have no background and are not required to. So many of the teachers in the system are not Catholic themselves.
We have witnessed a "Private Prep" school develop with "Catholic" still on the building but not embraced for what our church once considered a vital component of our faith development.
We ask our Catholic parishioners to support the schools which are now close to being just "half" Catholic.
I believe it is very important to address the issue of how non-Catholics engage in our schools. We are at a crossroad and if we do not stand up for our church who will? We need to be having this discussion with our Dioceses and our priests!
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