In an interview with MassLive, the new bishop of the Diocese of Springfield, Mass., Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, shared his thoughts on a number of diocesan issues, including Catholic education. His comments revealed a deep commitment to maintaining this important ministry in his new diocese.
“Catholic schools are crucial in transmitting the faith, and in supporting parents in their roles as teachers of the faith, and in helping to educate our children—life long—in being able to live in the faith,” Bishop Rozanski reflected in the interview.
On the topic of how to support Catholic schools at a time when demographic shifts and other changes have them closing down in large numbers, Bishop Rozanski said, “We need to really work on the affordability of Catholic education for middle class parents and their children. We need to look at what it means to build up an endowment for tuition scholarships.”
His predecessor, Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell, had reportedly begun to make efforts in this direction. The Cathedral Endowment Fund for Tuition Assistance, which was established under Bishop McDonnell last December, has grown to $4.5 million out of an attempted $10 million in pledges and commitments.
"Addressing the cost of Catholic education is imperative, if we are to keep our Catholic schools open,” said Bishop Rozanski.
Bishop Rozanzki furthermore granted pride of place to faith instruction in diocesan and parish schools. “The role of Catholic education is to have teachers who are imbued with Catholicism, and who are able to clearly teach our Catholic faith to our children,” he said.
Due to their new bishop’s efforts at creatively and resolutely carrying out the legwork of supporting Catholic schools, in addition to his commitment to maintaining their Catholic character, Catholics in the Diocese of Springfield are reportedly optimistic that Bishop Rozanski has good things in store for the schools of their diocese.
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