The buzzword in the Church these days is “evangelization.” It would seem imperative to begin with our children in our schools and determine whether or not they are being evangelized by people leading authentically Christian lives who can be witnesses to them.
Obviously, it is necessary for teachers in any situation, Catholic schools, colleges, parishes, etc., to practise their Catholic faith. It would be unimaginable for an RCIA catechist not to be a practising Catholic.
Our schools are where the foundation is laid, where most vocations begin. The material and those who teach it must be authentic.
So often you hear parents puzzling about why their children do not practise their faith. Was the foundation ever laid properly? The example and practice must be in the home but the theory is supposed to be taught in our schools. That is why we have Catholic schools.
School districts hire teachers after parish priests sign letters stating that a teacher is a practising Catholic and a participating member of their parish. Who monitors the teachers after that?
Statistics like 50 per cent of Catholics do not believe the Eucharist is the Body and Blood of our Lord and 54 per cent do not believe in the Trinity show that something is seriously wrong with how we are teaching our faith.
Remember what Jesus said about a house built on sand without a proper foundation. When the storms come, it washes away. That about describes the crises in our Church the past few decades. Eighty-five to 90 per cent of the Irish no longer practise their faith, according to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.
Our children need witnesses and it is the responsibility of all the clergy and laity to see that they get them.