Did you go to a elementary catholic school? and


Did you go to a elementary catholic school?

what did you think of that education? And
Religious training?

I meet many former catholics elementary students.
It seems like it didn’t work out to be educated Catholic.
The bible understanding seemed to be
Pray to Mary
The real presence
Go to confession

What was your experience?


I went to Catholic schools my whole life.
Santa Marcellina (religious) for kindergarten to 2nd grade
The Heights School (a corporate work of the Opus Dei) from 3rd to 6th grade
Los Molinos (a corporate work of the Opus Dei) from 6th to 10th grade
Juan Diego Catholic High School (diocesan) for 10th - 12th
University of Dallas (diocesan)

I don’t recall much of Santa Marcellina, but I do remember being encouraged to make frequent confessions, having the opportunity to go to daily Mass (or at least communion), and praying the Rosary too. Every class started with a prayer.

At Juan Diego I had the opportunity to go to Daily Mass during lunch so I would usually have to rush my lunch after Mass. Confession was also available whenever i wanted. But there was no encouragement from the institution to take advantage of the sacraments, I credit my formation from The Heights and Los Molinos with my initiative to seek out the sacraments on my own. Often I was the only student at daily Mass with one or two teachers present. Ironically I got in a lot of trouble at Juan Diego even though I went to daily Mass! Just goes to show Christ came to call sinners!

UD gets a lot of criticism for having a less than beautiful liturgy, but Mass was available several times throughout the day. And you could always go to the Cistercian Abbey across the highway in the morning. That was usually where I went to Mass, and you can always count on Cistercians for a no frills simple and reverent liturgy.
I also went to the Dominican Priory on occasion.

All in all, i was very blessed to have the sacraments available to me throughout my education.


Too many people have a misconception of Catholic schools. More is lost of math, history, foreign language, etc. than is lost of the Cathloic school experience, of which permeates every part of the school.

If the parents are involved with the parish, then even more of the experience is retained.


I went through all of my ed all t he way to an advanced degree in Theology and in Music.
When little, there were many more Sisters teaching, That was invaluable.


For me, Catholic grade school (there was no kindergarden), Catholic High School, and “secular” university. The grade school training was pre Vatican 2, Baltimore Catechism. High school was during V2.

Both Catholic schools had either mandatory Mass (grade school) and visits by the priests periodically. High school had opportunity for Mass held in the auditorium once a week, but not mandatort.

That education was adequate but not superlative. It did not/does not replace home life living-the-gospel.

Most Catholics I personally know who more or less remained Catholic for life ALWAYS had good home training/example.

There were 2 religious out of our brood of 5. All 5 of us either remained/returned to the Church.


I went to a Catholic elementary/middle school, followed by a secular high school and university.

I think my elementary school did a good enough job preparing me for high school. I actually got better grades in High School than I did in elementary school, so I don’t know if that’s because the classes were more challenging in elementary school or if I was just more interested in doing the work.

As for the formation aspect of elem. school, we had mass on some holidays, but it wasn’t every day or every week. We had religion class and were taught the basics about the sacraments, and I think it did an ok job.

The major thing that stuck out in my mind was the presence of our Pastor when I was there. He was amazing. He was present on the school grounds, came to class, distributed our report cards to us personally, and that was a big event where he would sit down in each class room and call each kid up and then look at the card and say “oh good job on this, we need to work on this” etc, not out loud but whispered to us, it was very intimate and I think every kid thought they had a special relationship with him. That’s the way I felt anyway.

As for my classmates, I see a few of them in church still, but not many. I mean, a lot of them moved away, so I don’t want to judge them without knowing them, but the ones who I know personally, they’re more cultural Catholics…

I think the presence of a priest who is really interested in the children’s development is key to having a good Catholic Elementary School. Too many priests are administrators now, and that’s a shame.


I went to Catholic elementary and high school, 12 years total, all post Vatican II, and I look back with much gratitude on those caring sisters, priests and lay teachers. My mom recalls what she considers to have been a more “fear-based” way of teaching religion when she attended Catholic school back in the 1940s, whereas I would call my experience more “love-based.” We are both still practicing Catholics.


I went K through 12. I guess it worked!


Went to Catholic elementary & high school. Pubic college & now enrolled in St. Joseph’s Seminary for degree in Theology. I had the good Nuns in both elementary & high school. They prepared us well for reception of the Sacraments & understanding our Catholic faith. Their contribution to Catholic education goes beyond measure.


I went to Catholic elementary and high school.
I would have been thrilled to even get “pray to Mary, Real Presence, and Confession” on a regular basis. The older sisters did try to catechize us and imparted some good lessons, but there were very few older sisters at the time I went (70s and early 80s). There were some younger sisters who ranged from okay to hopeless at teaching religion, and a lot of lay teachers, who did not impress me as religion teachers. By contrast we had some very good science teachers and a couple good math, music and art teachers.

Most of the religion teaching not done by old sisters was just fluffy “love one another and think about Christian values” stuff. I would have enjoyed the Bible History course if it was taught decently, but the sister teaching it had gone new and modern, didn’t seem to like either me or teaching, and was very boring to listen to.

Everything I know about the Church, I learned from my mom, not the school. My mother often bemoaned this fact and talked about how she might as well just send me to public school, but I preferred my school for other reasons and Mom thought it was her duty to send me to Catholic school so I stayed there. 12 years was enough though and I turned down the opportunity to attend a Catholic college for free, causing a bunch of nuns to get mad at me and deny me graduation honors.

I do have a very positive memory of the Chapel and school services at my high school. We had a lot of nice Masses and prayer services, and I was part of the music group for many of them.


I went to Catholic elementary and high school in Canada. Teachers were nuns and lay persons. The convent was nearby where I also took piano and guitar lessons.

There was daily prayer: morning, before and after lunch and at the end of the day. I think formal religion classes were twice weekly, maybe more can’t remember. The Church was across the street. We went to confession and mass monthly and for special celebrations throughout the school year.

I am proud of the quality and scope of education I received. I admire the dedication of the school staff and the love and care they showed for each student. Teachers and principal expected a high level of work, honour and respect for others. One of my classmates joined a religious order and is presently a teacher at my old elementary school. Another from high school became a priest.

I continue to be a practising :running_woman:t4: Catholic … practise makes perfect. :innocent:


I did not go to Catholic elementary school or high school. Just public school. We had “CCD” classes as a supplement and they ummmm…ok, in a word, they sucked. I did not have any idea what was special or why it was the True Church and why I needed it until I turned 31 or so.

I think public school is not so bad, sometimes, but I’m pretty sure that a catholic education would have been invaluable. That said, our parish has a wonderful religious education program for elementary and high school kids. The curriculum is very sound and I think the learning experience and teachers are fun and competent.

If kids don’t go to catholic school, I think it could be an uphill battle very often for the young person. It depends on the parents who are the primary educators as well at the religious ed. program.

This is just my short 2 cents worth. Anything I learned of the faith was after college really. But better very late than never. :slight_smile:


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.


I was in public school, Catholic school, and homeschool. For Catholic school, it was for sixth grade, and some of junior high. The teachers were lay people; the religious ed teacher was our parish Deacon. In junior high, we paired up with the public school across the street, and the public school was in charge of gym, Spanish, and science.

The thing I noticed most about Catholic school was that the kids were well-disciplined in comparison to public school behavior. At public school, kids would carry on conversations during classwork, and the classrooms were rather noisy, even during lessons. In Catholic school, if you’re supposed to be working on your work-- you work quietly on your work, no conversation. It was very nice.

As far as the religious component of Catholic school, we had Mass on First Fridays. Elementary school and junior high were a bit blurred together as far as religion class went-- I remember our Good News Bibles, and reading Daniel, and having an idea of the books of the OT and the NT, and memorizing two verses of Psalms every week, and I remember the Deacon showing us his rosary that had turned gold at Medjugorje. But I also remember learning about other religions, and writing reports, and being able to better understand our beliefs by being able to contrast it with what other religions believed in.

Catholic School was definitely not a substitute for being catechized by your parents. Many of the kids who attended weren’t from a Catholic background-- their parents just wanted them to have a solid education.


This was actually a major reason I preferred my Catholic high school. The public high school in my town was huge, it was the late 70s and about half of the kids looked like getting drunk/stoned was their main life activity. I was frankly afraid to go there. My Catholic school had a small percentage of stoner, delinquent or bully types, but far fewer.


I went to catholic elementary school from kindergarten through eighth grade. I was taught by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. The education I received was excellent. The sisters would use the Bible but mostly the Catechism a book that contains the official teaching of the Catholic church. Yes we did learn about Mary and Her being asked to be the Mother of Jesus, we learned the rosary and other prayers to Her. Made my first confession in second grade, I was so afraid, but after I went into confessional I was not scared anymore. We would receive Holy Cards if we got an answer right, a test, etc. Had to write our name on the board if we talked when sister left the room ,also as Stephen said we had our pastor give out report cards, he would look at you, look at the report card, you kind of knew if it was good or not by that “look” I have good memories. One thing I was always proud of, I knew the Mass in Latin by the time I was in second grade. God Bless.


I went to a Catholic school K-8. the education was fine, except for math. I was a below average to poor math student until i got to high school and math was suddenly easy and i excelled getting all A’s even in the “honors” math classes sophomore through senior years. I attribute this to having actual math teachers in high school. In my Catholic school we had social studies and English teachers who tried to teach math.

As far as the religious training goes, i think it was just OK. I got the basics and knew the popular bible stories and memorized prayers but that was about the extent of if.


Interesting topic

I went to Catholic Elementary, High School and College. Elementary and High School were in VERY Italian/Irish Catholic neighborhoods. Looking back I would say Elementary was standard Baltimore Catechism 60/70’s. High School gave a dose of textual criticism (70’s) like, “well the Red Sea was at low tide when Moses crossed”.

I would agree Mary and the Saints were strong. I would almost stick my neck out and say what I took from it was pretty much works righteousness. No clue about the Bible other than the Mass readings.

BUT I will say, while my idea of salvation was off, I think we got a lot of the Gospels and the discipline to attend Mass. I have to say I never stopped going to Mass.

My current parish had an open house for the Elementary School and I was pleased to see that they introduce different aspects of the Bible to each grade. A welcome addition.


Same here. My older brother and sister went to the same Catholic elementary school as I did, but they couldn’t wait to go to our public high school, which they did. By the time high school came for me, our public high school was a shambles, with numerous fights, racial tension (busing had started in L.A. by then) and drugs, etc. Money was tight for my parents, and they would have preferred I go to the public school, so I paid part of my own tuition with odd jobs just to go the Catholic high school. I’m glad I did. My Catholic high school was racially mixed too, but that was never a problem for us since we all (for the most part) wanted to be there.


Yes I went catholic school thru high school and it was a very positive influence.

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