Hello, my name is Rebecca.
I am graduate of 7 years of public catholic education in Ontario, Canada.
And I don’t think that Catholic schools should be publicly funded.
- I mused a little bit about the Devil in a previous post. I didn’t learn about him while I was in Catholic school. I learned feel good religion.
- I learned that volunteering is important because it makes us feel good. Look how blessed we are that we can help others because we have so much!
- I learned that Jesus wants us to happy and as long as we aren’t hurting anyone, we’re okay.
- I learned that if you are going to have sex (it was more of a “when” than an “if”) to do it safely. And by safely they meant with contraception.
- In science I learned that faith and science weren’t incompatible, but we didn’t learn about any of the number of Catholic contributions to science.
- I learned that religious education had everything to do with “feel-good” movies and the Beatitudes.
In short, I learned nothing of Catholicism.
I am not saying that public schooling is bad. All I am saying is that schools can be Catholic or they can be public. It is impossible for them to be both.
Catholics, and every offshoot of Catholic education has a requirement to be faithful to the Pope, and the Magisterium. Public education is accountable to the government and the public. Whose whims are fickle and whose cries of tolerance are inherently intolerant to most things Catholic.
If you want your children to be raised Catholic, you can’t rely on the school system. In fact, you mustn’t.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) dictates:
2224 The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading influences which threaten human societies.
2225 Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the “first heralds” for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church.34 A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one’s life.
2226 Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.35 The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents. – Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church
Even if homeschooling isn’t an option it is still the parents duty to educate children in matters of faith.
But you have to do so with joy and sound knowledge. From experience I can tell you that if you sound bland or say “we do this because it is what Catholics do”, you will lose the audience. I spend the better part of 7 years try to answer the whys of the world and of myself not knowing the answers with in the Catholic Church already. I was just never taught where to find them.
Once I learned that relativism and just being a good person doesn’t bear good fruits (as my Catholic education had taught me). I realized how profoundly my Catholic education had failed me.
Things I believe all Catholics should be taught:
The importance of the Holy Spirit and the Sacraments. How to have the Church at the centre of your life and why it is important in regards to social issues like abortion, contraception, euthanasia and gay marriage.
Catholics need to learn why the Eucharist is considered the Source and Summit of the Catholic Faith. They need to learn why the Sacrament of Reconciliation is so important. They need to learn that the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit* can, in fact, make the world a better place.
And government is swayed by popular opinion. The Catholic Church isn’t and it mustn’t be treated as such. Catholics need to learn that first and foremost their duty is to their faith in the Church. This is why public Catholic education will never succeed, public schools teach us that self comes first.
*The gifts of the Holy Spirit are: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity. Think of how much better the world would be if these things were emphasized in public school.
Also, I will say not all my teachers were bad. I did have one teacher who taught briefly the Aquinas Proofs for God’s existence, on his own throwing out that year’s textbook. My understanding of the these proofs isn’t the best, but his teaching them kept me searching for God when I was away from the Church.