My Catholic grade school in rural Ontario (80’s/90’s); was terrible.
My Catholic high school rural Ontario (90’s); also terrible.
I came to love Christ and the Sacraments through a youth conference in Steubinville, which was organized by the parish my mom and I were attending. Schools had nothing to do with it.
The Catholic school board in Ontario is publicly funded, you can choose a Public school or Catholic school for your child. Been that way for some time. For fourteen years when I volunteered at youth ministry at my current parish, I noticed:
- The school thinks the parents and the parish will deal with spiritual matters.
- The parents thinks the school and the parish will deal with spiritual matters.
- The parish wants to help, but is being shut out by parents and the school.
(In other places, it’s possible the parish things that the parents and the school will deal with spiritual matters)…
Seen point #3 firsthand. Local high school, our youth coordinator wanted to run Alpha there, the Chaplin at the school “no”. A Society of priests once wanted to visit the school a few years ago, same Chaplin said “no”. NET Ministries? “No”. I don’t like labeling people “liberal”, but in the case of the Chaplin, the shoe fits - from not allowing orthodox people/organizations into the school regularly, to teaching things contrary to the Church. Makes it difficult for the parish to be actively involved, and makes me worried if my son attends there.
Speaking of which, my son is six, turning seven. Getting his first Eucharist this year. The parish attached to the school is not the one we attend, so I had concerned. It turns out it is staffed by a couple of Franciscan Friars, one of whom was at meet the teacher night. In addition to saying a prayer for staff and students, he also reminded parents that Sunday Mass attendance was an obligation and not optional, and that we as parents owed it to our kids to be involved/invested in Mass, and get them involved/invested as well. The parish sends the materials to the schools, his teacher then teaches it. I’m inherently more trusting in the whole thing because I know his teacher (knew her before she was a teacher, and she attends our parish), and thanks to the words spoken by the Friar.
(A Franciscan Friar! Once again, it appears that my Patron Saint is looking out for me and my family).
So right now I’m currently hopeful for the near future, but also fearing the not-so-distant future.