Bush mentions Catholic schools, Catholic Charities in New Orleans

Bush mentions Catholic schools, Catholic Charities in New Orleans

President Bush, in New Orleans yesterday for the Katrina anniversary, spoke about the recovery, clean-up, and the importance of several institutions, including the Catholic Church. The president praised both Catholic Charities and the Catholic school system.

The New Orleans school system is enriched by the religious schools here. And the Cathedral Academy has been educating in New Orleans for nearly three decades. There’s an interesting story I’m about to tell you. Last October, Cathedral Academy became the first school to re-open. That was last October. Sister Mary Rose is the principal, and she believes this: No child would be turned away from her school’s front door.

For 10-year-old Aalilyah Carr, who is with us today here, the return to school was a day she will never forget. I love what she said—she said, “I was so happy I could hear the choir singing in my head. It was a long time before I thought I’d see a school again, and I’m so glad to be walking these halls.” Aalilyah says it better than I can. Education is the gateway to a brighter future. Education provides the light of hope for a young generation of children.

It’s really important—I look forward to working with the federal government to provide opportunity scholarships for the poorest of our families so they have a choice as to whether they go to a religious school or a public school. It’s good for New Orleans to have competing school systems. It’s good for our country to have a vibrant parochial school system. And I applaud those who are very much involved with the Catholic school system here in the great city of New Orleans.

Sounds great, but you know that the ACLU and the NEA are right now trying to find a way to counteract the influence of the Catholic system. Yes, parochial systems provide vital competition and what’s amazing is that they are competitive despite the fact that the alternative is free. Think of that. Imagine that you were a butcher, say, and the meat you sold was of a superior quality, but that your competition was taxpayer-funded and gave his inferior meat away for free. How long do you think you would stay in business? How bad would the competitor’s product have to be for people to still come to you?

Catholic Charities

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