About Rest for the Weary

I hope you will find this little spot a place of rest and refreshment for your soul. My intention is to build up women in the trenches of homeschooling. This includes veterans who are burned out and former homeschooling moms who have decided for one reason or another to put some or all of their children in school. Thanks for stopping by. Take a deep breath of refreshment for your weary soul.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Catholic schools

Many traditionalist are wary of Catholic schools.  I know I was.  Even before I was involved in Traditionalism, I viewed Catholic schools in a negative light because surely that must be the reason for the lack of faith following Vatican II. Homeschooling was the only viable option that any practicing Catholic could choose.  To put your children into public school was akin to throwing them into Hades, and  well, those Catholic schools are run by feminist lay people.  What other choice is there for a parent to choose who loves their child and their faith?   One thing I forgot, and many others who are seeking to keep their children Catholic and pass on the faith, is that homeschooling (or any other schooling for that matter) isn't going to save them.  There are no guarantees.  God is bigger than homeschooling, Catholic schooling, and public schooling.  He can work through any situation.  I am getting a bit off track, but that needed to be said....
We know that after Vatican II, the number of religious vocations dropped dramatically, especially for women.  Slowly, the teaching sisters left the schools, and they for the most part have been taken over by the lay people.  Problem is that you have to pay those people so Catholic school  is prohibitive for many.  But now days you hear that none of the schools are good any more because the sisters aren't teaching and feminist women have taken over.  Many are even bold enough to say that only SSPX and the few FSSP schools are good.  I am sure there are many bad ones around, but now that my eyes have been opened, I haven't seen them.  I have only heard hearsay, but the few that I have come in close contact lately (that would be 6 because we are considering sending our to Catholic school ) only one had something questionable going on and that was quite a number of years ago under a different principal. All of these schools had Mass once a week, taught the children the Rosary, celebrated All Saints, the month of Mary (with May crownings), most had adoration times, prayed the stations of the cross during Lent and quite a few of them used traditional religion texts.  Both high schools I looked at use the Didache series which quite a lot of homeschoolers are using.  One high school had the priest teaching religion (and  he celebrates the EF Mass) and the other had a deacon teaching religion.  Manners, respect, and modesty are  expected.  Of course, I am sure the children learn many of the bad things that we parents wish to shelter them from, but at some point we have to let them learn to distinguish right from wrong. That is where our part as parents comes in.  We have to be involved in their education and talk to them along with listening.  Our example is key and if we have their hearts, I think that goes a long way.
Ok, on to some technical lingo supporting Catholic schools.  From:

Declaration on Christian Education

Second Vatican Council (again, please don't freak; it's legit;))
Catholic Schools

The influence of the Church in the field of education is shown in a special manner by the Catholic school. No less than other schools does the Catholic school pursue cultural goals and the human formation of youth. But its proper function is to create for the school community a special atmosphere animated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and charity, to help youth grow according to the new creatures they were made through baptism as they develop their own personalities, and finally to order the whole of human culture to the news of salvation so that the knowledge the students gradually acquire of the world, life and man is illumined by faith.(25) So indeed the Catholic school, while it is open, as it must be, to the situation of the contemporary world, leads its students to promote efficaciously the good of the earthly city and also prepares them for service in the spread of the Kingdom of God, so that by leading an exemplary apostolic life they become, as it were, a saving leaven in the human community.

Since, therefore, the Catholic school can be such an aid to the fulfillment of the mission of the People of God and to the fostering of the dialogue between the Church and mankind, to the benefit of both, it retains even in our present circumstances the utmost importance. Consequently this sacred synod proclaims anew what has already been taught in several documents of the magisterium,(26) namely: the right of the Church freely to establish and to conduct schools of every type and level. And the council calls to mind that the exercise of a right of this kind contributes in the highest degree to the protection of freedom of conscience, the rights of parents, as well as to the betterment of culture itself.

But let teachers recognize that the Catholic school depends upon them almost entirely for the accomplishment of its goals and programs.(27) They should therefore be very carefully prepared so that both in secular and religious knowledge they are equipped with suitable qualifications and also with a pedagogical skill that is in keeping with the findings of the contemporary world. Intimately linked in charity to one another and to their students and endowed with an apostolic spirit, may teachers by their life as much as by their instruction bear witness to Christ, the unique Teacher. Let them work as partners with parents and together with them in every phase of education give due consideration to the difference of sex and the proper ends Divine Providence assigns to each sex in the family and in society. Let them do all they can to stimulate their students to act for themselves and even after graduation to continue to assist them with advice, friendship and by establishing special associations imbued with the true spirit of the Church. The work of these teachers, this sacred synod declares, is in the real sense of the word an apostolate most suited to and necessary for our times and at once a true service offered to society. The Council also reminds Catholic parents of the duty of entrusting their children to Catholic schools wherever and whenever it is possible and of supporting these schools to the best of their ability and of cooperating with them for the education of their children.(28)

9. Different Types of Catholic Schools

To this concept of a Catholic school all schools that are in any way dependent on the Church must conform as far as possible, though the Catholic school is to take on different forms in keeping with local circumstances.(29) Thus the Church considers very dear to her heart those Catholic schools, found especially in the areas of the new churches, which are attended also by students who are not Catholics.

Attention should be paid to the needs of today in establishing and directing Catholic schools. Therefore, though primary and secondary schools, the foundation of education, must still be fostered, great importance is to be attached to those which are required in a particular way by contemporary conditions, such as: professional(30) and technical schools, centers for educating adults and promoting social welfare, or for the retarded in need of special care, and also schools for preparing teachers for religious instruction and other types of education.

This Sacred Council of the Church earnestly entreats pastors and all the faithful to spare no sacrifice in helping Catholic schools fulfill their function in a continually more perfect way, and especially in caring for the needs of those who are poor in the goods of this world or who are deprived of the assistance and affection of a family or who are strangers to the gift of Faith.

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