Catholic Schools

Irish Pro-lifers Campaign to Keep Abortion Illegal

Ireland may well become the first country to introduce abortion by popular vote. This would follow a thirty-five year campaign by abortion advocates to overcome a 1983 amendment protecting the life of the unborn. The Irish Constitution can be amended by the electorate in a referendum. A referendum put to the people is proposed by [...]

Secular Superficiality Versus the Rootedness of Culture

The other day we Americans were informed by National Public Radio that it was Easter Sunday, when Christians celebrate the fact that Jesus did not have to go to hell or purgatory, but rose straight into heaven. It is like saying that Christopher was named Columbus after the capital of Oklahoma, or that Joan of [...]

An Alternative to Common Core and College Board Testing

Regardless of whether you are a Catholic educator, a classical educator or both, standardized testing has an influence on what you do. Even if your school never mentions the SATs or ACTs in any classes, your students have to concern themselves with these tests for their collegiate aspirations. While some colleges have adopted test optional [...]

The Faithlessness of Public Education

In the wake of the dreadful massacre at the high school in Florida, I asked, via social media, what I thought was a question so obvious that everyone was bound to miss it, just as you do not notice the air you breathe. It was simply this. Why is no one surprised that a deranged [...]

Why Catholic Schools Should Scrap Scholastic Book Fairs

This fall, parents may notice something missing from the piles of paper their children bring home from school each day. Book fair flyers from the Scholastic company, the world’s largest publisher and distributer of children’s books as well as the leading operator of school-based book clubs and fairs in the United States, are no longer [...]

Are Our Schools Overdosing on Self-Esteem?

I was recently in a Catholic school assembly of about 6oo elementary students watching various children receive awards and recognition. After the various awards were given, a music video was shown on the screen and all the children began to sing the lyrics. It was here, watching this music video about how “I am great, [...]

A False Dichotomy

Should a Catholic School admit LGBTQ students or refuse the benefit of a Catholic education to this particularly vulnerable subset of children? Such is the choice with which those responsible for Catholic education seem to be presented, and, increasingly, they will opt for the former. Apparently, this is the path chosen by Bishop John Gaydos [...]

Islam—The View from Disney Country

The Diocese of Orlando recently reprimanded a sixth grade teacher at a Catholic school for an “unfortunate exhibit of disrespect.” What did he do? He provided printouts to students of St. John Bosco’s negative assessment of Islam. St. John Bosco called Islam a “monstrous mixture of Judaism, Paganism, and Christianity,” and explained that Muhammad “propagated [...]

Catholic Education at a Crossroads

My friend and former colleague Dr. Jared Staudt recently penned an article “How to Save the Soul of Our Catholic Schools” for Crisis Magazine. Dr. Staudt (as I’ll call him here) made a number of sober and valid points about the need to return to a truly Catholic education. Affirming his belief that “[t]he Catholic [...]

How to Save the Soul of Our Catholic Schools

“How can we make our school more Catholic?” This is a real question schools ask, some with perplexity. Is it a new curriculum? Better religion classes? Having the kids come to Mass? The answer is vital for the future of Catholic education. The sociologist Christian Smith notes, from his extensive research on the life of [...]

Clericalism and the Catholic Refugee

Among the many stories buried in the avalanche of political news in the weeks prior to Election Day was a minor brouhaha in Santa Fe, N.M., where a parish priest had the temerity to encourage his flock to vote pro-life. “We have to insist that any of our representatives (whether Democrat, Republican or Third Party) [...]

School Memories During the Turbulent Vatican II Years

Let me say at the outset that I am aware that people's recollections of Catholic high schools vary—but the following are some of the memories I have of the 1960s, at the cusp of the Conciliar era and my reflections may resonate with some readers. I attended Brigidine Convent school in Randwick in Sydney, Australia, [...]

A Suicide in Brooklyn Raises Questions about Parochial Education

The Wednesday before last, the liturgical Ordo exsequiarum (Order of Christian Funerals) was celebrated in Staten Island, New York for a Brooklyn Catholic school boy who took his own life last month. Thirteen-year-old Daniel Fitzpatrick was laid to his earthly rest just weeks shy of beginning what would have been this month the start of [...]

Transgender Teachers in Catholic Schools?

On May 11, the administration of Mercy High School in San Francisco announced that a Jewish woman who was finishing up her fourth year as an English teacher at the Catholic school would now be accepted as a man and could keep her job. The Mercy Sisters who run the school offered counselors to help [...]

Hedge Schools and Classical Education in Ireland

The first Tuesday of the first full week in May is National Teacher Day, so this seems an opportune occasion to recall a courageous, but little-known group of teachers and schoolmasters who sacrificed comfort and security for the sake of truth, goodness, and beauty in seventeenth-century Ireland. From very early days, classical education was highly [...]

The Misguided Compassion of Social Justice Catholics

There are many reasons for the downfall of our urban public schools, but beyond the undeniable corruption of those sucking the system dry for financial gain, the greatest destruction to our schools, and more importantly to the individual children in those schools, is the misguided and dishonest compassion of Social Justice. Before going further, a [...]

Friendship: A Pillar of Catholic Education

Editor’s note: The following address by Bishop James Conley was delivered to teachers of the Diocese of Lincoln, at a day of prayer and formation, on February 15, 2016. This morning, I’d like to talk with you about the virtue of friendship, as it relates to the mission of Catholic schools, and especially your work [...]

The Theological Foundation of Catholic Education

The annual Cardinal Winning Lecture on Catholic Education, sponsored by the St. Andrew’s Foundation, was delivered on February 6, 2016, at the University of Glasgow in Scotland by Tracey Rowland, the Australian theologian and Director of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne. Rowland is the author of two books on Benedict XVI and of [...]

Challenges and Ambiguities at the World Congress on Education

I write this on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic flying home from the Church’s World Congress on Catholic Education held November 18-21 at the Vatican and Castel Gandolfo. More than 2,000 educators from Catholic schools and universities gathered in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Vatican II’s Gravissimum Educationis and the 25th anniversary of Pope Saint [...]

A Parish School Turns Failure into Success

A thing of beauty is a joy forever: Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
      ∼  John Keats, the opening to Endymion In 1923 Polish immigrants, living in Grand Rapids and earning [...]

A Look at San Francisco’s New Teacher Contract

In an August 19 press release, the Archdiocese of San Francisco announced the details of a collective bargaining agreement with its teacher’s union. The original proposal gained national attention when over 75 percent of the high school teachers signed a petition against Archbishop Cordileone’s efforts to add language to employment documents that specifically identified “hot [...]

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