21 April 2015

A Catholic Education


When it comes to our children's education, we get one chance at it. As I have said frequently, "This isn't a dress rehearsal." Not every family has access to a solid, truly Catholic school, but where there is one, the Church strongly encourages parents to enroll their children, so that the Church and the family can be cooperators in this most important endeavour.

Sometimes there is a temptation to entrust children to a charter school rather than a good Catholic school. The reasoning of some parents is, "Well, it's free, and they say they give a classical education." Actually, it's not free -- they're paid for by tax dollars. Why? Because charter schools are public schools, with all the baggage that entails. The advertisements give an optimistic picture, and in many ways they are often (not always) better than a regular public school down the street, but the bottom line is, they are public schools. Teachers cannot speak of God, or the saints, or our faith, or anything else that is barred from public schools, nor can the teachers and students ever pray together.

One of our teachers said it very effectively:
"I thought about the difference a true Catholic School can make in the life of a child...Parents might not know how much of the day is interwoven with theology. They might only think their child is missing one 30 minute religion class a day and Mass if they leave and go to a non-Catholic school. This is a great deal to miss out on from my view point, but perhaps not from theirs...in a school which can’t speak of Jesus Christ as Savior and Mary as Our Blessed Mother, there is a limit to what can be shared about Truth, Goodness, and Beauty…”

To talk about truth, goodness, and beauty is wonderful, but when those lofty and essential things are divorced from their Source they are diminished. We all want the best for our children, and a solid, truly Catholic education is exactly that - the best.