Are they comfortable there? Do they feel left out? What percentage of the school is not Catholic? We are United Methodist considering Catholic school for our kids and the school only has about 2.5-3% non-Catholic. Any advice? Thoughts?
I suppose it depends on two things - How “Catholic” in practice the school is, and are you OK with that?
If your children attended my childrens’ school, they would: attend mass weekly, and probably be one of the only kids who didn’t receive communion (could go up for blessing though) Attend confession four times a year - ok to sit in the pew though. Pray part of the rosary daily. Learn about the Saints - have daily contact with the Priests etc. etc.
Our school is pretty much full boat Catholic.
They would also hear about how important it is to care for the poor, sick etc. Be kind to others because that’s what Jesus would want you to do … etc. etc.
This is probably 18 years ago, but my son went to a Catholic school for a semester because of turmoil in the public middle school he was supposed to attend. His only problems were related to that school specifically (a couple of the nuns were Filipino, and he had trouble understanding their English), and not Catholic schools in general, and had nothing to do with the kids, with whom he got along quite well.
I think you will find Catholic schools generally to be a godd choice academically, as well as the Christian nature of the schools. Generally, a good choice.
Now, if there’s an LCMS school, that’s even better.
But the UMC decend from the Anglican churches not the Lutheran. There are some differences.
At the time I was in school, I was also United Methodist. That was before busing and some of the segregating desegregation activities of the 80’s
From the reflections of a past student… I was public school raised but most of my friends were Catholic and went to a Catholic High School. That school was far better than the public one I attended. I feel even to this day that I missed out on a better education because I could not attend that school. The fees were within my parent’s reach, but without the ‘subsidy’ that Catholics received, it would have been difficult for them to manage it and also pay for the bulk of my college education.
Long story short. If I had children of school age today, I would home school them in the home school groups or they would be in private school which would primarily be Catholic schools. Why? they still have the right idea of what education is supposed to be vs the new-age teaching babysitting institutionalization indoctrination public schools have become.
In my kids school, there are a few non-catholics…and are not left out. They just don’t go to communion and confession.
Ask the school for references of parents of non-catholic students, and ask them how their kids are doing.
You will find that your kids will do well, they may have some questions later, but be prepared to answer them, as to why they cannot be with their classmates, during, let us say, practice for first communion, confession, confirmation, etc.
In my Catholic high school, there was at least one non-Catholic Christian in our class of about 120 kids, but he fit right in. The only thing that might make him feel uncomfortable are the times when they go to Mass, he wouldn’t be allowed to receive the Eucharist and may feel a little left out because of that, but other than that, I’ve found kids to be very accepting. Though, cliques, popular kids, and bullies exist in all schools, though I feel in a Catholic school bullying would be less tolerated than they are in public schools.
If it is between a Catholic School and public school, I think the Catholic school would be better regardless. Besides the fact that Catholic Schools offer better education most of the time, I think public school would be a much bigger challenge to their faith simply due to how society and the public education system sees religion these days.
I actualy had a muslem forgen exchange student livew with me and go to my catholic school, the same year we had a Korean as well, it realy depends on the school. at ours they still went to mass but were exempt from theology class. all the american non catholics had to take theology up to junior year but didnt have to do apologetics as seniors. again it just depends on the individual school.
While we are Catholic, during the elementary years, they did have a few kids that were non-Catholic in the classes. One was Muslim boy and the school did make sure he was not picked on. I also knew a Dr. who sent her daughter to the same school who were from India and were not Christian. She is a very nice lady and sometimes she shared that because the were not Catholic, they felt more out than in. When the school attended mass, those who are not Catholic just stayed back for communion. It depends how comfortable you are or your children might feel when participating in the mass and staying back. I have also seen Lutherans send their children to my boys HS because there the Lutheran HS is too far. You will probably pay more but since schools need students they will try to be accommodating to your family.
I have friends who are Orthodox Jews but sent their daughter to a Catholic high school because of it’s academic program. She had absolutely no problems at all. Didn’t partake
in the mass/communion/confession etc, but did study the Catholic faith while there.
She had a very positive experience and felt accepted.
As a side note, if our area had a Jewish high school, the parents would have sent her there.
But because we do not, they choose what they considered to be the best private
All three of our daughters attended Catholic schools and received good educations there. One thing that amused us was that they, having attended Sunday School in our Lutheran church from the age of three, often were ahead of their Catholic schoolmates in religion classes when it came to knowledge of biblical stories.
Years ago I baby sat for 3 kids - 2 twin girls and 1 boy.
The 3 children were Eastern Orthodox and although there was a public school near their house, their parents had all 3 kids in the Catholic school.
These kids attended this Catholic school from 1st grade all through 8th and they never once complained about.
Don’t you think being PK’s gave them a slight advantage?
Non-Catholic enrollment at Catholic schools as a percentage of the student population has risen pretty dramatically these past few decades. Primary level used to be around 2% in the 70s, but that rose to over 10 pretty quickly and is now approaching 15. Secondary schools are almost 20% non-Catholic, and Catholic colleges/universities (excluding seminaries) are almost 40% non-Catholic. Primary and secondary schools have seen a lot of contraction and a decrease in overall enrollment, while Catholic colleges are opening more than closing and are boosting enrollment. So it seems to be the case that where there is the most growth for Catholic schools, there is also the highest proportion of non-Catholic enrollment as well.
That being the case, it makes sense for Catholic schools to treat non-Catholics well. Non-Catholics are good for Catholic schools, in some significant ways at least. All the anecdotal things that I’ve seen appear to indicate that the infusion of non-Catholics into private Catholic schools has been going pretty smoothly, too- not in the sense that everyone is perfectly happy about absolutely everything, of course, but it looks like non-Catholics do about as well as anyone else in a Catholic school and are not mistreated simply because they’re not Catholic.
If PK stood for Priest’s Kid a little more often, those kids would have a nice advantage as well.
I was one of those kids, quite a few years ago. No problems and a good education. Out of 980 graduates, four of us were non-Catholic. I think the percentages are much higher now.
That was long before I was ordained. However, my wife was Director of Christian Education for the congregation we belonged to at the time.