Fees for religious education?


#1

I recently learned that our parish church charges registration fees for the religious education of the children and also special fees for preparation for Penance and Eucharist. I was so surprised about this. Granted it is well over 50years since our children began religious education. In those days the cost involved was for material only, which we provided. Is this the way it is today throughout the Church?
Peace, Carlan


#2

[quote="Carlan, post:1, topic:209633"]
I recently learned that our parish church charges registration fees for the religious education of the children and also special fees for preparation for Penance and Eucharist. I was so surprised about this. Granted it is well over 50years since our children began religious education. In those days the cost involved was for material only, which we provided. Is this the way it is today throughout the Church?
Peace, Carlan

[/quote]

Yes, its typical. Many of the parishes surrounding me are stuggling financially. People just aren't tithing like they use to, and the parish programs including religious education are some of the casualties.


#3

It is not universal though. There are plenty of parishes that don’t charge anything except for the required Confirmation retreat and even then if you can’t afford it they help with the cost.


#4

[quote="Carlan, post:1, topic:209633"]
I recently learned that our parish church charges registration fees for the religious education of the children and also special fees for preparation for Penance and Eucharist. I was so surprised about this. Granted it is well over 50years since our children began religious education. In those days the cost involved was for material only, which we provided. Is this the way it is today throughout the Church?
Peace, Carlan

[/quote]

Our CCE program charges a registration fee that covers about 1/2 the cost of the books. All other materials are donated or covered by other parish organizations (the Catholic Daughters are very generous). Training is a whole other issue. Teachers pay for most of that ourselves.

How did you expect these items to be paid for?


#5

[quote="Carlan, post:1, topic:209633"]
I recently learned that our parish church charges registration fees for the religious education of the children and also special fees for preparation for Penance and Eucharist. I was so surprised about this. Granted it is well over 50years since our children began religious education. In those days the cost involved was for material only, which we provided. Is this the way it is today throughout the Church?
Peace, Carlan

[/quote]

it's that time of year again, yes we charge for religious education books and classroom supplies, and in some parishes, to cover some of the overhead as well. Do you have a better suggestion on how to pay for it?

IMO it should be covered out of the regular collection, since the fundamental mission of the parish is to sanctify (Mass and sacraments) and evangelize (preaching, RE and all else that comes under that heading) but unless the pastors ask point blank for parishioners to remember that when they make their regular donation, the Sunday collection won't cut it.

[quote="Brenda_V, post:3, topic:209633"]
It is not universal though. There are plenty of parishes that don't charge anything except for the required Confirmation retreat and even then if you can't afford it they help with the cost.

[/quote]

quite
and what is the level of commitment to sacrificial giving and stewardship spirituality in such parishes? what is that commitment in your parish?


#6

I’m A scottish Canadian and have only ever heard of a Confirmation retreat in the US ,what is it exactly ?why do kids have to go through this to be confirmed.what if they can.t afford it? why is it required and what do they learn from it they can,t learn in school


#7

That seems weird to me too that they would charge for religious education. I did not have to pay for any of my religious education, but then again I wasn’t raised Catholic. Maybe it’s a Catholic thing? What Catholic kids go through is much more in depth than what I did - we definitely didn’t have books or tests in my confirmation class!
It’s such an important thing that I wish they didn’t have to put a financial barrier on it. Although I am sure parishes help people who struggle to pay, I can’t help but wonder whether some parents just don’t bother when they see the price tag. There was a poster here recently who didn’t enroll his son for RE classes last year so it’s obviously not something every parent feels strongly compelled to do. A $50 price tag is definitely enough to turn some people away.
Of course, the root problem of all of this is people not donating much in these hard times. I hope donations pick up when (or if…) things gets better again. I know my parish is such bad financial shape that our diocese did an investigation and hired a business manager to run things.


#8

Our parish publishes a request for a stated amount for the monthly collection goal, and publishes the given amount every month and it comes pretty close to what is requested , The past year if has fallen of the mark but prior to the economic slow down we always went over.
So I did not feel it unreasonable to expect families to only pay for the actual cost of their own supplies. In my own day I taught when needed, as part of the volunteer ministry:shrug:
Peace, Carlan


#9

[quote="Carlan, post:1, topic:209633"]
I recently learned that our parish church charges registration fees for the religious education of the children and also special fees for preparation for Penance and Eucharist. I was so surprised about this. Granted it is well over 50years since our children began religious education. In those days the cost involved was for material only, which we provided. Is this the way it is today throughout the Church?
Peace, Carlan

[/quote]

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the situation so I have to ask:

In the States is there absolutely NO PUBLIC FUNDING for Catholic schools? Or are these fees over and above state funding?

Here in Ontario the Catholic schools have received full public funding since the early 1980s.
All fees for religious education are included (where I live at least) with the possible exception of special trips. (But, then, ski trips also require extra fees.)

The obvious downside of this is that the government gets too much say about Catholic education, such as whether or not one must be Catholic to teach Catholic children.


#10

[quote="The_Reginator, post:9, topic:209633"]
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the situation so I have to ask:

In the States is there absolutely NO PUBLIC FUNDING for Catholic schools? Or are these fees over and above state funding?

Here in Ontario the Catholic schools have received full public funding since the early 1980s.
All fees for religious education are included (where I live at least) with the possible exception of special trips. (But, then, ski trips also require extra fees.)

The obvious downside of this is that the government gets too much say about Catholic education, such as whether or not one must be Catholic to teach Catholic children.

[/quote]

Reginator, there is absolutely no public funding for Catholic schools in America,
what is being discussed here is religious instruction for Catholic Children attending public schools.:)Peace, Carlan


#11

[quote="The_Reginator, post:9, topic:209633"]
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the situation so I have to ask:

In the States is there absolutely NO PUBLIC FUNDING for Catholic schools? Or are these fees over and above state funding?

[/quote]

no public funding for any religious schools in the US. period. the closest we come is the handful of states that have a voucher system

religious education for children attending public schools (as opposed to parochial or regional Catholic schools) is mandated by the bishops to be offered by each parish, but most dioceses don't specify how those costs are to be met. This diocese has the issue under study, the range is from 0 to about $75 per student (for non-parishioners) top for one parishioners is about $50 per student, some parishes, like ours discount additional children in the same family. All parishes waive fees for need but have different ways of assessing need, and some waive for volunteers who serve the program. The fees in this parish have not changed in 20 years, what else do you spend on for your kids that has not increased in that time?

particular law in this diocese specifies parishes may not charge for sacraments (that is canon law) nor for sacramental preparation programs, but they may ask reimbursement for books and supplies (a distinction without a difference IMO)

repeat: for those who feel the programs should be free, what is your suggestion to pay for it?


#12

The sad fact is - when parish collections fail to cover the costs to operate a parish - incuding the costs of catholic formation [CCD, RE Catechism classs, RCIA, RCIC - however you want to name it] the costs have to be covered in some manner - fees being one ... No parishioner, acitive an participating in the life of the parish woud ever be denied any sacrament for lack of funds - ever ...

What is even more sad s that many parishes are not economically viable in "good times" - many parishioners fail to support their church ...

Do a search of the forums here .. from the boom time years you will see posts with comments like this:

"I don't need to make a plegde or use the envelopes [write a check, etc] - what I give is between me and God - Father has no right to know" ... Gee - I would think there are many reasons for Father to know .. accountability being one .. If I don't know how much I gave, and Father does not know how much I gave - then who can tell if the funds are lost or stolen? .. How can Father [and the parish finance council plan the year - buy the RE books, purchase the toilet paper for the bathrooms and pay the utility bills ... Perhaps the "hand of God" writes the parish checks instead of writing on the walls like He did in ancient times :shrug: and Father is just off fishing ....

Or this priceless comment [COLOR=blue]"I don't wrtie contributions off my taxes - I give because I want to - not to get the tax deduction" .. Well - I don't make a donation just to get the tax write off either [why give away a dollar only to save twnety cents :rolleyes:] But I do declare the vast majority of my contributions ..and I would rather give that extra twenty cents to the charity too then to the government - stretching the donation:thumbsup:..

And I am pretty sure that a person who would not take a legitiment dedcution from their taxes probably does not give enough for them to cognitively recognize .... [And I always wonder if they feel the sme way about writing off their mortgage interest - or is the only reason they bought house was solely to get the deduction??]

Don't worry though - if typical - this thread is practically dead - the ones that begin to call us to account for our lack of charity - never last long .... we don't like reality to get between our hearts and our wallets :rolleyes:


#13

[quote="YADA, post:12, topic:209633"]
The sad fact is - when parish collections fail to cover the costs to operate a parish - incuding the costs of catholic formation [CCD, RE Catechism classs, RCIA, RCIC - however you want to name it] the costs have to be covered in some manner - fees being one ... No parishioner, acitive an participating in the life of the parish woud ever be denied any sacrament for lack of funds - ever ...

What is even more sad s that many parishes are not economically viable in "good times" - many parishioners fail to support their church ...

[/quote]

"Yup."
"Mm-hmm."
"Yup."

I'm fortunate to live in a parish that has a fairly steady 'income'.
I know that there are many parishes suffering. Not too far from where I live one or two have even closed.

:(


#14

repeat: for those who feel the programs should be free, what is your suggestion to pay for it?

Agreed, puzzleannie--and the other thing, many of the parents don't give to the collection, nor attend Mass on any regular basis. We ask that all families of children in the Rel. Ed. program volunteer 2 HOURS at our annual Harvest Fest (biggest moneymaker) and only 1/2 to 2/3 of them do so.

We don't spend much in our program, either. We reuse textbooks from year to year, and try to keep other costs down. But again, if you feel it should be free, how will it get paid?


#15

Yeah this is a sore subject for me. My parish charges $350. per kid plus a $40.00 reg fee per kid…I have four kids:eek: I am a convert so I did not realize most parishes paid less… Any way the teachers are volunteers and there is no consistancy. When I ask my kids what they learned sometimes they just watched vegietales and colored pictures. Some teachers take it more seriously than others…I havent put my kids in this year and plan on doing this on my own.


#16

I still don,t understand why does it have to be a two day retreat?what about parents who don.t approve of their children being left alone with strangers on overnight trips I certainly wouldn,t allow it I have hear d of one family who were denied Confirmation because the parents refused to have their kids attend the retreat .The parents had info that the amenity providers were overcharging because they knew the parents were being coerced for fear of their children being left out of the Sacrament, something sounds fishy to me


#17

What does that fee cover? Is that just for regular weekly classes, or is other retreats or instruction included?


#18

Confirmation retreats are a bit of a sore subject (and a little OT) . When we instituted VIRTUS, we were told that overnight retreats without parents would no longer be permitted. But some parishes continue to require them.

Our parish’s retreat was a single day (9-4) - no overnight, lots of parent volunteers.

I agree with you. I would refuse if an overnight retreat with strangers was a requirement. Our diocese makes the kids wait so long for Confirmation anyway, it would just delay my sons by a year. Then they could go to the adult Confirmation - no retreat required. :slight_smile:


#19

In my day the kids were prepared for confirmation by the Parish Priests.

Today with the shortage of Priests, I can see where they are over burdened.I have lived in this parish for 10 years and have never had more than one Priest we considered ourselves fortunate to have a deacon and we now, just recently, have the help of another deacon.
I live in the middle of the bible belt and so our clergy is spread thin.
Peace, Carlan


#20

There is no retreat involved this is just the cost for all ages preschool on up. In order to sign your kids up you have to attend a meeting about paying this kind of money…it goes toward matierals electricity custodians ect…


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