Catholic School Education for non Catholics


I was recently asked to give an optional recommendation to a Catholic school for a prosepective 9th grade student who is non-Catholic. The family explored the school at my encouragement and I have no problem in writing a recommendation

The family is going through some tough times right now - and for whatever reason the youngster really does NOT want to return to public school.

Comments have come up that indicate the family may be very very much anti-Catholic; Such as calling Mass and prayer to the saints, a worship ritual that they are very much against. Words that I have heard from another source say the parents may actually demand that the student not be allowed to attend weekly Mass

I believe that a small school environment with a good academic program, that places prayer back inschool, teaches/encourages morality including chastity would be a big help for both the rising 9th grader and family.

So what to I do? Not fill out the optional recommendation.? Write an encouraging recommendation and not mention the anti-Catholic aspect? Or do I write a completely honest recommendation and mention the concerns that I have?

Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated



Can you check out the school first? That might give you a better idea of how a non-Catholic might integrate into the school.

I have kids in Catholic High School and elementary school. In both schools, all students are required to go to and participate at Mass (non-Catholics get a blessing instead of Communion at Mass), participate in the daily prayers and take part in other school functions such as the living Rosary, the May Crowning, etc.

Even if the parents are anti-Catholic, this doesn’t mean the student is or that a strong Catholic education won’t be good for her. You are writing a recommendation for the student; not the parents so just state truthfully what you know about him/her in terms of academics, service, whatever else they ask about.

Unlike the public schools, Catholic schools don’t have to put up with parents who try to tear down the faith. If their actions are anti-Catholic, they will be asked to leave. And there is a strong likelihood that, in spite of what you may have heard, that the family isn’t all that anti-Catholic or they probably wouldn’t have applied there.


I had a roomate just last semester who went to a Catholic high school. Not because she is Catholic or even really a Christian for that matter, but rather because her parents thought it would give her the best possible education. We talked about her experience there a few times and she didn’t seem to have any real complaints about it.

Just like any other school, religious or not, it’s important to give it a thorough review first and see if it suits the childs needs. The school you speak of might be more accomodationg to Non-Catholics than you might think. I would look into it further, or rather suggest that the parents do so before they decide they want to send their kid there.


None of the above.

You should talk to the parents about their religious views, their reasons for wanting their child to go to the Catholic school, and why they asked you to write a recommendation. Find out first hand what their views are and what their plans are for their child when he goes there.

A Catholic school is not a private school with some Catholicism on the side. The Catholic school teaches a Catholic worldview which permeates the entire school experience, the entire curriculum. The Mass is the central point around which everything else revovles. If they don’t want that for their child, they should not send him to the Catholic school.

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