March 7, 2016

Why the surprise that a Catholic school board should be at odds with bishops of the Church?

There is a cancer that has been eating away at our Catholic schools for decades, and is on its way to being terminal.

Statistics claim only 25 per cent of Catholics are authentic, practising and living Catholicism. The other 75 per cent are paper Catholics (they have certificates claiming to have received certain sacraments) and the rest are cafeteria Catholics, picking what they choose to honour and discarding the rest.

Have our Catholic schools become paper/cafeteria as well? If we are what we eat or what we read, so it would seem our schools are what the boards and teachers and administrators are. What kind of Catholics are they?

When I worked at a cathedral and in a parish, every year newly-graduated Catholic teachers would show up expecting clergy to rubber stamp their forms attesting to their involvement in the Church.

Sometimes there was pressure from the parishioner's parents or grandparents on the pastor to sign the form. Sometimes the new teachers, unknown to anyone in the parish office, would register on the spot, get their box of envelopes, promise to start attending Mass and then disappear, never to be seen again.

We have an education system made up of paper/cafeteria school boards, trustees, administrators, teachers and parents and expect an authentic Catholic school system.

Speaking about evangelization in Catholic schools, Jean Vanier said: 'If students listen to teachers, it is not because they are teachers, but because they are witnesses."

B.R. McLaughlin
Sherwood Park