Catholic school because…
Heaven is more important than Harvard or a Hummer.
trying to develop a knowledgeable, faith-filled child being exposed on a daily basis to secular humanism and immorality is like trying to build a foundation and tearing it down at the same time. Don’t be fooled at the public schools; it is secular humanism being taught, displayed, and encouraged.
“Community is at the heart of all Catholic education.” Pope John Paul II
“…I am overwhelmed at the thought of the tremendous weight of moral responsibility that Catholic parents accumulate upon their shoulders by not sending their children to Catholic schools.” Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain
It has been my experience as both a mother of children in Catholic schools from K through 12 and a CCD teacher that Catholic schools reinforce the faith taught at home and at the same time teach valuable lessons and doctrine. The children actively learn and understand what a faith community is- everyday, not just once a week. They pray together, receive sacraments, worship, sin, reconcile, learn - as a faith community. This is beyond book-learning. Once a week CCD simply cannot compare - the faith community does not surround the child on a regular basis to make a difference.
Are the Catholic Schools perfect? No, because the community of the faithful is not perfect. Are there Catholic schools that are not faithful to the teachings of the magisterium? Probably.
The biggest difference is that in a Catholic school (assuming it is diligent and faithful) the students are enmeshed in Catholicism. Crucifix and statue of Mary in every room. Every action and lesson can be grounded in their faith.
Teacher: Susie, why did you hit Johnnie?
Susie: I don’t know.
Teacher: Did you show Johnnie the love you would show Jesus?
Teacher: How can you express your remorse?
Teacher: Anything else?
Susie: Go to Reconciliation?
You would never hear this conversation in a public school whether the teacher was Catholic or not.
I have come to believe that we are all responsible for making Catholic education the best it can be and that if all Catholic children attended a Catholic school it would not only be more affordable for all it would also influence the entire faith community. Studies reveal (see the USCCB website) that the majority of seminarians come from Catholic schools. It is also my experience that teaching the children properly about the faith has a rebound affect on poorly catechized and lukewarm adults. When your child comes home from school telling how they prayed the Rosary and asks, “Can we pray the Rosary as a family?” Only the most stubborn or hard-hearted would not respond with an enthusiastic “sure!”
Personally, we make great sacrifices to send our children to Catholic school.