Illinois diocese to ask Catholic-school parents to make commitment to support Church, follow moral teachings [CC]

The Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, is weighing a policy that would require parents of parochial-school students to agree that they will attend Mass every Sunday and contribute to the …


It is an interesting concept. It would not work here, as Catholic education is so hard to fund. Parents have to pay taxes for the public school, and then pay full price of tuition after taxes without even the benefit of a deduction.

I can see if schools were funded more by a parish where such a measure would make sense. Here, only about half the students are Catholic and such a measure would close the school.

I think that parochial schools ought to be funded by the parish, or even by the diocese in the cases of schools with poorer congregations. But the parents of all students ought to be tithing to the parish to support the schools. And contributions to a parish are tax deductible.

Could you please clarify for me? Are you saying that all parents within a parish should give ten per cent of their income to the church for the running of the school? Is this in addition to one’s pledge of money for the running of the parish? What about non-parents?

Normally, where does the school funding come from?

For many, perhaps most, parishes, the parish school is one of its primary functions. I believe that the parish school is a responsibility of the whole parish, not just those families who happen to have a student or students in the school at any given time.

The purpose of a Catholic school is to form Catholic children both intellectually and spiritually. New generations of virtuous Catholics benefit the entire society, not just their parents. That is why I believe that Catholic schools are the responsibility of everyone, not just current parents. And that’s why parish tithing is for everyone, not just parents.

In my parish, parishioners are asked to give a percent of income for the support of the parish, which includes the parish school. Giving on a percentage basis is called tithing, whether one gives 10% or 8%. Families who tithe at least 8% to the parish may send all their children to the parish school tuition free. Parents are not asked to tithe to the parish and then again to the school—it’s one tithe to support the parish and its school. (The parish asks for an 8% tithe assuming that parishioners will contribute 2% to other charitable causes.) I have never had children in the parish school but am happy to support it; those Catholic school children are an inspiration to me.

As this thread is about the Diocese of Springfield I can tell you as a former parishioner of the Cathedral of this diocese our former pastor has told us that 50% of the money donated to this parish goes to fund the Cathedral’s K-8 school.

I don’t know how things may operate in other parishes and schools but in my diocese every Catholic school associated with a parish is funded primary by donations made to the parish.

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