God, Wall Street and the New Push to Save Catholic Schools

God, Wall Street and the New Push to Save Catholic Schools

“The trend could end disastrously, says Jack Connors, co-founder of the Boston ad agency Hill Holliday and head of the city’s Campaign for Catholic Schools, which has raised $79 million. There are 90 parish schools left in the Boston Archdiocese, he says, down from 250 in 1965. At the average rate of three closings a year, the number will zero out in 30 years.

“If that happens, it’s the end of our faith,” Connors says.”

That’s a startling comment. Are Catholic schools vital to the continuation of the Church in our dioceses? Can we raise up disciples without them in our current environment? Are they doing so even now?

I keep coming back to the statistic in Forming Intentional Disciples that we’re losing most of the kids as they enter adulthood anyway, so they can’t be doing that great of a job now. Apart from the value of Catholic education to individual children and society, from a discipleship and evangelization perspective are they required?

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • Not “required” but recommended. Read this short document from Vatican II about parental rights and choices and the importance of Catholic institutions. http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_gravissimum-educationis_en.html
    It mentions religious education of public school kids only briefly. The clear preference was then, and remains, Catholic schools – more so today, because we have a generation of poorly catechized parents. When I see the results of one-hour-a-week religious education vs. a Catholic atmosphere and 5-days a week of religious education, it’s significant. Stats say that Catholic school kids are something like 5 times more likely to attend Mass as young adults than REP kids.

    • But as Sherry points out in our discussion on Facebook, the context has changed so much since Vatican II when more than 50% of kids were educated in Catholic schools in the US. And let’s be clear that the fathers of Vatican II were addressing the whole world and in most places in the world, it is still true as it was then that Catholic institutions were the only options available apart from doing nothing. That’s not the case in the US.