25 March 2011

Local Press Coverage of the Schools Plan

Weird blogging availability today, and this still isn't my take on things, but I wanted to get these two stories out for your perusal, one from the St. Louis Beacon and one from STLToday.

Just one pull quote from the Beacon story hit me:

"Our biggest challenge,” [Archbishop Carlson] said, “is having parents realize that the best way to hand on the Catholic faith is the Catholic school.”


I agree that making that proposition true would indeed be the biggest challenge the campaign faces. Because it might be a tough sell at present.

15 comments:

ABC said...

From the St. Louis Beacon:

"We cannot permit half of our children and youth to ‘fall through the cracks’ and remain untouched by the teaching and practice of our church.”

Parents that homeschool do not want their children "touched" by the teaching and practice that occurs in Catholic schools. Perhaps if the schools were CATHOLIC they would. But then, if they were truly Catholic, only homeschoolers would send their children. And there is the problem.

The schools are dying because the Faith is dying. Does the good Archbishop agree?

Anonymous said...

As I said on the other post from yesterday, I am sorry many of you have had bad experiences with parish schools. While we are out of the St. Louis area but still in the Archdiocese, I carefully researched ours and took a whole year before I decided to approach the priest to make the tuition possible for our 2 children, since we are one income and growing (I'm pregnant again :-))I went to the classroom, looked over the curriculum and spoke with teachers. I attended a few sessions also. I went to Catholic schools 25 years ago, and I was blown away at our parish school at least how "Catholic" it remains, just as I went to in the 1980's. Everything I can remember learning and I can see the faith is being preserved. I dunno what to think, but many of the comments yesterday and today make me think the parish schools in the St Louis city area must just be terrible and perhaps a plan like the one proposed is long overdue.

Jack said...

Q. Why was Cardinal Burke despised in St. Louis and by so many other Bishops in this country?

A. Because he simply did the job of a Bishop: teach, govern, sanctify.

Q. Do people in St. Louis want "vibrant Catholic identity?"

A. No. They had it. They rejected it.

Q. Does Archbishop Carlson agree with the previous answer?

A. ?

Q. Will this program to "reinvigorate" the Catholic schools fail?

A. Consult previous answers.

Long-Skirts said...

ABC said,

"The schools are dying because the Faith is dying"

...and with many a bad Bishop's nod, but not in the SSPX's schools and even right here in St. Louis, Queen of the Holy Rosary Academy...whatever you do don't go there...the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is said in their school chapel where only BOYS are allowed to serve the Holy Mass and they teach Latin classes and, now hold on to your seat, the BALTIMORE CATECHISM in their RELIGION classes taught by Priests in, now thi is really bad, CASSOCKS, plus these mysoginist Priest force the girls to wear Chapel Veils when making quick little visits to Our Lord in the Tabernacle and there are religious pictures all over the school and crucifixes and wait until you hear this....weekly Confessions!! God help us all!!!

VATICAN II PLUS TWO =

And where are the schools?
The daily Mass,
Lines to confess,
A uniformed lass?

And where are the schools?
The Latin class,
Cassocked priest,
Candles in brass?

And where are the schools?
To strengthen souls,
Shape their wills,
Set the goals?

And where are the schools?
The altar boy,
Assisting priest,
Like Christ, their joy?

And where are the schools?
Oh, time you lied,
Two generations
Have gone and died.

And where are the schools?
Which don’t derive,
That two plus two
Are sometimes five?

S – S – P – X,
They’re found in large,
Where struggling families
Let priest take charge.

For the good of the whole,
Priests’ lives are laid,
So many may come,
Not be afraid.

And win the Faith,
From Christ-like hand…
St. Pie the Tenth
Two and two are grand!!

ABC said...

Anonymous 16:12

"I went to Catholic schools 25 years ago, and I was blown away at our parish school at least how "Catholic" it remains, just as I went to in the 1980's."

Omne quod recipitur, ad modum recipientis recipitur.

Undoubtedly, such a statement need not be explained to a beneficiary of a 1980's Catholic education. Ah, the "salad days" of Catholicism in America.

Mary said...

I really hope these efforts to turn things around in the schools work. The question that must be answered in order for this hope to be rational and more than just wild, wishful thinking is the following: why are things so bad right now? Does anyone know how those placed in charge of the current efforts would answer this question? If you don't know why something is broken, how can you fix it? Better yet, how can you fix something if you don't even know what it is and what it is supposed to do? My take, for what it is worth, is that Catholic schools are failing because people are failing to be Catholic--they no longer even know what being Catholic means. If there isn't serious conversion by individuals to the integrity of the Faith, and if this isn't the goal of reforming the schools, then there is simply no point in trying to fix the schools.

What would this conversion look like? Well, first of all, Catholics would have to start acting like Catholics (e.g., stop using contraception and start having large families; start praying the Rosary; stop fornicating; start dressing like Catholics--at Mass especially; stop eating meat on Fridays; start believing that homosexual sodomy is a sin that crys to Heaven for vengeance; start making reparations for the unspeakable sins of the world; start believing that the Pope is really the Vicar of Christ; start believing that the Magisterium is infallible on Faith and Morals; start believing in Original Sin; start believing in Hell and the very real possibility that many of us are going there unless we reform our lives right now; start believing in Grace; start going to Confession; start Baptizing babies within weeks, not months, of their birth; stop voting for Obama; start veiling your head in Church if you are a woman; stop believing that one religion is as good as another; start believing that outside the Roman Catholic Church there is no salvation; start going to Mass in order offer to God the worship He deserves for having created and redeemed us; start beleiving that the Mass is a true sacrifice and not just a community meal; stop going to Mass in order to feel good and find community; start beleiving in Transubstantiation--your local Catholic school will teach you what that means; stop liking non-Cathlic music at Mass and start enjoying Latin and Gregorian Chant; start believing in Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls; start beleiving that the Blessed Virgin Mary is truely the Mother of God, perpetually a Virgin, and the Mediatrix of all Grace, etc.).

Will ALL of this be transmitted by the Catholic schools? Honestly, I don't think many regularly practicing Catholics believe most of this or would want this taught to their children in the schools. I'll send all my children to the local Catholic school if these are the kinds things they are going to teach and practice. But I won't if even SOME of these things are ignored. The Faith is something integral. I want it all and I want it all for my children. Anything less is unacceptable.

Does the current chaotic state of the Church make it impossible to transmit the Faith in its integrity? Catholics who believe these things are mocked and marginalized within the Church for being too extreme and out of touch with the modern world. Where can you find priests and teachers who will convey these things? The Church has all but stopped producing them. Where are the laity who will embrace them?

Anonymous said...

@ABC & Long Skirts and everyone else...
Well sorry for being born so late.;-) My mom went through the switchover of Vatican II and frankly she was glad to see a change. I myself have never attended an EF mass, but I did have the option of learning Latin at school (mine was K-12) and we had weekly confessions, sang hymns in Latin, had option of answering in mass in either Latin or English and wore chapel veils. Yes in the 1980's yet. It may had to do with the fact our community was 100% Catholic and German (another state to MO) so they didn't get the memo about Vatican II or took a really long time to convert over..We were stubborn Germans after all. LOL I dunno. My school growing up and the school my children will attend this fall, are still very well-seated in Catholism, even if it is Vatican II. They have tried to preserve the traditionalism. You won't find some of the absurdities you read about on this blog of very strange indeed Catholic post Vatican II parishes...like flash mobs, guitars at mass, and recently yoga stations of the cross. And if it starts to show up at my parish, I will be one of the first to complain.

ABC said...

Dear Anonymous,

Your story is interesting. Perhaps it is the exception that proves the rule. One reads about such enclaves on the internet but I have yet to see such a thing. I wonder if they really exist. Or perhaps our understandings of Catholic Tradition differ? How exactly has the school preserved traditional Catholicism? What traditions exactly has it preserved? Could you provide a list of criteria that qualify a Catholic school as having preserved tradition?

And where do you get your priests? And your teachers?

Anonymous said...

I realize there are problems in Catholic schools and that will probably never change. However, some of the attitudes here are a bit discouraging. It took a long time for the situation to get to this point, but things can turn around. Look at our wonderful Seminary here in St. Louis.

Why not support the Archbishop and work to make things better? We are supposed to be salt and light right? Honestly, many of these comments do nothing but repulse people. Yes, you may have some points, but if how you express them drives people away from Christ, then you will have to answer for that.

Our little Parish school is growing. Our kids attend daily Mass, say Perpetual Help devotions, Stations, and truly learn their faith throughout their day. And I know there are other great schools out there.

As cliche as it is, you can be part of the solution or part of the problem. And frankly, ragging on the schools, the Abp and Catholics in general via anonymous blog identities doesn't seem to be too Catholic to me.

And finally, off subject, but I am SO tired of comments like this:
Well, first of all, Catholics would have to start acting like Catholics (e.g., stop using contraception and start having large families;

I'm sorry to shock you, but having a large family is not a sign of holiness or a guarantee of being a good Catholic. I know a lot of faithful families who have never contracepted but were only blessed with one or two children. And, I know a few very large families in the midst of ugly divorces, shocking everyone they know because all outward signs showed a holy, Catholic family. Seriously, would you make a comment like that to Mary if she was standing there next to you at Church?

Signed,
Not perfect, never will be, but happy with my Parish school and supporting the Archbishop.

thetimman said...

Not perfect,

I admire the sentiments. I think that the somewhat disappointed comments are understandable from the perspective of wishing that things would be better. Because they sure could be. But, I agree that if all you took from the story was these comments alone, it could get discouraging.

I think it is the job of Catholics to try to not be overly dour when things are tough, but also to give the benefit of the doubt if others seem so. I think most everyone who reads and comments here supports the Archbishop, and prays he leads us in the way that Christ wants. Schools are a mess, and being discouraged about them is sometimes the most natural thing in the world. Yes, they can get better. But they can also get worse.

The sense I get is that the "negative" commenters simply want good Catholic education, just like you. If we all cared with the same intensity, it would get better.

Anonymous said...

Mary's comment above referenced the real reason Catholic schools are dying - there are fewer and fewer Catholic children, because they are being contracepted and aborted at the same rate as the general population. According to the CARA statistics, in 1975 there were 2.557 million students in Catholic elementary schools. In 2010 there were 1.508 million, and the trend downward continues. There can't be more children in the schools if there are no more children.

Clearly, the decline of the Catholic schools is not essentially an educational problem at all - it's a moral problem.

That's what Abp. Carlson should be addressing.

Anonymous said...

@ABC
I can't answer all of your questions because we could talk for weeks about what traditional Catholicism is and isn't. I grew up, and my children will grow up with basic fundamentals I expect... daily mass, devotions, prayers, confession, sacraments, rosary, hymns, modesty, and all the saints..and of course, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, etc etc.
As for your answer to where did our priests and teachers come from? For myself, they were people right from our area/community. In my own family, there has been at least one priest and one nun from every generation for over a century; and we hold a great amount pride in that as well. The priests I knew were in one or another related to someone in the community. Our teachers were the same, some were nuns, who were related to people in the community; or married or single women, who were respected members of the community. We were a close knit group. Everyone knew everyone.
My children's teachers whom I have gotten to know well over the past year of research, most of them have been involved with the school for upwards of 25+ years or more. And their families are active practicing Catholics of the parish and all their children attended the same school prior, and their relatives before them etc etc. Our current parish priest also is from a town just 25 miles away from our parish; his family is often also involved at our parish as well.

This is strictly my opinion, but maybe for some of you, its time to move out of the city. I have never lived in a place with more than 15,000 people, and I find the smaller the parish, the more traditional and stronger Catholic it is (my hometown was 4,000!!). In the city, I find its all "anything goes" and its infiltrated every aspect of life, including our religion.

Sincerely
Anonymous @ 26 March 12:17

Anonymous said...

First, let me say that I am not a traddy (traddie?), but I respect the beliefs and convictions that many of you hold. The Latin Mass is beautiful, and your commitment to large families is beautiful. Comments like the ones below, however, too often let the perfect (and to be clear, the Traddie prudential view of perfect) become the enemy of the good.

Italicized portions of the cut-and-pasted text indicate those things that are prudential matters about which Catholics may disagree, and are certainly not Holy Writ. I believe that it is danger to present them as if they were Holy Writ.

"What would this conversion look like? Well, first of all, Catholics would have to start acting like Catholics (e.g., stop using contraception and start having large families; start praying the Rosary; stop fornicating; start dressing like Catholics--at Mass especially; stop eating meat on Fridays italicized except as as required by the catechism during Lent; start believing that homosexual sodomy is a sin that crys to Heaven for vengeance; start making reparations for the unspeakable sins of the world; start believing that the Pope is really the Vicar of Christ; start believing that the Magisterium is infallible on Faith and Morals; start believing in Original Sin; start believing in Hell and the very real possibility that many of us are going there unless we reform our lives right now; start believing in Grace; start going to Confession; start Baptizing babies within weeks, not months, of their birth; stop voting for Obama; start veiling your head in Church if you are a woman OK, I'll nod to the Timman and not italicize this one, out of respect for his lawyerly parsing of canon law, although I am still not convinced; stop believing that one religion is as good as another; start believing that outside the Roman Catholic Church there is no salvation; start going to Mass in order offer to God the worship He deserves for having created and redeemed us; start beleiving that the Mass is a true sacrifice and not just a community meal; stop going to Mass in order to feel good and find community; start beleiving in Transubstantiation--your local Catholic school will teach you what that means; stop liking non-Cathlic music at Mass and start enjoying Latin and Gregorian Chant; start believing in Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls; start beleiving that the Blessed Virgin Mary is truely the Mother of God, perpetually a Virgin, and the Mediatrix of all Grace, etc.)"

"and with many a bad Bishop's nod, but not in the SSPX's schools and even right here in St. Louis, Queen of the Holy Rosary Academy...whatever you do don't go there...the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is said in their school chapel where only BOYS are allowed to serve the Holy Mass and they teach Latin classes and, now hold on to your seat, the BALTIMORE CATECHISM in their RELIGION classes taught by Priests in, now thi is really bad, CASSOCKS, plus these mysoginist Priest force the girls to wear Chapel Veils when making quick little visits to Our Lord in the Tabernacle and there are religious pictures all over the school and crucifixes and wait until you hear this....weekly Confessions!! God help us all!!!

thetimman said...

Anonymous, Mutual charity is called for, as I tried to express in my most recent comment, above. Of course we all fail often.

Your points are well-taken in most cases, I think. As an aside, thanks for the veiling/canon law nod, but I want you to know that although I am as sure as I can be that it is legally required, I am NOT of the opinion that women should be confronted on this. There is nearly universal ignorance on this, and for the near future a good example is the best way to inculcate the tradition and to introduce the beauty of the practice.

I will also not that the italicization of the altar girls issue is likely misplaced, at least with regard to the EF. I think it is a scandal in either form, but you could easily mak an argument that the EF is not subject to the indult for altar girls due to the restoration of the Missal of a particular date (1962) that precedes it.

thetimman said...

Sorry about the lack of proofreading, above!