An anonymous Catholic high school educator, Tim, offers his views on the state of Catholic high schools at the website Catholic Stand. His post, "Confessions of a Wanna-Be Orthodox Catholic High School Teacher" draws from his experience as a 16-year veteran.
Among the causes of a lukewarm faith among students, Tim first lists divorce and its impact on youth and their faith. Of his experiences he writes:
If Catholic schools were factories, the end product would be lukewarm Catholics. I could recount many nightmarish stories of how most of the Catholic school educators and administrators I have encountered have been men and women of little or no faith in Christ and Church. Even in the religion departments it is common to encounter ex-nuns who feel the Church is in sin because they can’t be priests, homosexual men who are more interested in defending the lifestyle than in teaching the straight Catholic faith, and a range of those who are in dissent on some or another important Catholic doctrine.
He says that administrators have told him that, "only one-third of the parents of Catholic school kids are there for the religious education, another one-third are there for sports, and the other one-third for the safety and academics.”
He offers some recommendations for strengthening Catholic identity at parochial schools. They include:
1. Hiring educators who take their faith seriously, live it out, and teach it across all disciplines.
2. Emphasizing worship and praise, and promoting Catholic-Christian music at school activities.
3. Making Eucharistic adoration available at Catholic schools and encouraging students to spend time before the Lord.
4. Combating the cultural messages and promoting healthy male-female relationships by teaching Theology of the Body, and returning to all-male and all-female classrooms/schools.
The Cardinal Newman Society's Catholic High School Honor Roll recognizes excellence in Catholic identity, academics and civic education, highlighting the nation's top 50 Catholic high schools.
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.