Nuns in Schools


#1

Hello, ive heard many "baby boomers" claim that they were abused by the Nuns at Catholic schools. People talk about many people that left the church did it ever dawn on anyone that it might be because of how abusive the nuns were to them as kids. I know lots of schools back then used the strap however not every school was representing our faith. If kids back then associated our religion with pain and hurt its no wonder so many left. People wanting Catholics to come back to the faith should focus on this issue more and I also think a formal appology should be made either by the pope or heads of various diocese. We cant begin to heal as a church if we dont admit our mistakes, this being one. Dont get me wrong I didnt live through it but I know many of those that did and they all left the faith , and this was one of their reasons for doing so. I dont mean to offend anyone who might have a different view this is their words not mine. Please comment


#2

Speaking as one baby-boomer, I went through school and college with nuns as teachers, and never had any problems. Some may have but I never saw any evidence of mistreatment in all my years at school. There may be valid instances, no doubt, but I also think that some children exaggerated things in their own minds and never grew past the resentment....anyhow may God help and bless anyone who is or feels scarred.

Thank you for your compassionate concern for others,
and your desire for genuine charity and healing amongst Catholics.
God bless you.


#3

I experienced a couple of nuns during schooling who had extreme and unpredictable behaviours with anger. At 11 years old I heard a nun swear at the top of her lungs - back then I didn't know that nuns could swear. This particular nun ended up eventually moving to a different vocation where I believe she was more suited and happier.

In my mid-teenage years I attended a Catholic girls school and soon began to realise that the nuns within my school where anti-males. I realised that this was wrong, discussed my concerns with my parents and moved to another school.

These experiences haven't marred me in anyway other than realising at an early age that nuns where as human as you and I.


#4

I went to a primary Catholic school with about 5 or 6 nuns.
They were the best teaches I ever had.
Society in general and Catholic eduction in particular is the poorer for the lack of nuns in schools at present.
The vast, vast majority of nuns gave up their lives to help others and serve God. Completely.
They are heroines, if not Saints

To try to portray them, in general, as otherwise is a fabrication of the truth, and seems a poor attempt to fall into the current trap of secular society by labelling our religious workers as some sort of deviant.

Priests and Nuns are, 99.9 percent of the time, our role models and a gift from God.


#5

It seems we two Aussies are in agreement, Chris!


#6

[quote="Trishie, post:5, topic:252212"]
It seems we two Aussies are in agreement, Chris!

[/quote]

You just wrote it more nicely.:)


#7

The incidents of abusive teachers are far more frequent in public education. The incidents of abusive Teaching Sisters and Brothers are indeed Very Few, and Exagerrated. [LIST] The Pedophelia hype by Media (Cardinal Ratzinger) was at most 5% of All Priests and Brothers in the USA over 50 Years; they were not known as a Mental Health Problem until the 1980's, and Bishops/Order Provincials sent them to reeducation/Attitude change facilities prior. I remember reading in my Diocesan Paper in the the 1960's-70's of such transfers, with no explanations.

[/LIST] By far the most Abuse cases followed Vatican II media caused confusion. The Sisters who taught me and Brothers who taught High School, then the Jesuit Priests 1952 through 1963 were 100% Ideal, every way, Teaching also!. It is in the nature of Religious Orders to have ideal attitudes; not to earn paychecks or promotions. [LIST] About 55% of the allegations were independatly proven false or exaggerated in the 2001 on Hype. Law school non-Catholic studies of the Abuses.

[/LIST] Luckily, Teaching Nuns are on a rapid rise in vocations, highly inspired, including a few begining with Doctorates. They began a first class New Catholic High School 3 years ago in Northern Virginia. Vivat Jesu, Tony


#8

[quote="AntalKalnoky, post:7, topic:252212"]
The Sisters who taught me and Brothers who taught High School, then the Jesuit Priests 1952 through 1963 were 100% Ideal, every way, Teaching also!. It is in the nature of Religious Orders to have ideal attitudes; not to earn paychecks or promotions.
[LIST]
*]About 55% of the allegations were independatly proven false or exaggerated in the 2001 on Hype. Law school non-Catholic studies of the Abuses.
[/LIST]
Luckily, Teaching Nuns are on a rapid rise in vocations, highly inspired, including a few begining with Doctorates. They began a first class New Catholic High School 3 years ago in Northern Virginia. Vivat Jesu, Tony

[/quote]

Tony, you highlighted a point that people may not have considered.
The nuns didn't receive salaries. If there wasn't enough coming in from the school fees, they did without meals, went in to teach without breakfast sometimes, especially in poorer areas.
It was also the case that some who entered were very young and had no previous life experience. It was a challenging vocation.


#9

One of the reasons my father left the Church was because a brother (gym teacher) kept trying to get him naked, my father kept refusing him, but one of his classmates cracked for another brother. This was at Justin Siena a very good high school in Napa (California). Everyone kept this kind of stuff very quiet.


#10

I never knew of any "abusive" nuns or even heard of any in the schools I attended in several states and two countries. The nuns did use corporal punishment in school but that was common in the public schools at the time as well. Anyone who wants to blame the Church for that is being illogical.


#11

[quote="Corki, post:10, topic:252212"]
I never knew of any "abusive" nuns or even heard of any in the schools I attended in several states and two countries. The nuns did use corporal punishment in school but that was common in the public schools at the time as well. Anyone who wants to blame the Church for that is being illogical.

[/quote]

I agree.

From what I have read corporal punishment was common in ALL schools years and years ago, public and Catholic schools. Certainly not a good idea looking back, and if someone's faith was harmed that is a serious problem for sure. As I wouldn't know who exactly should apologize I will pray for those concerned for healing and peace.


#12

My grandmother once told my mother amd me about how when
growing up there was this sister in her school that was particularly mean. One of her punishments was that she would make you kneel on the gravel driveway for an entire afternoon (about three hours) Not to mention the hits and swats with the ruler. "That's the way it was done back then" she told us.


#13

Had nuns - from 3 different religious orders - from 1952 to 1964, which in the minds of many would be the Dark Ages. Leaving aside the one time Sr. Mechtilde in the 5th grade threw her bell at a boy who even then was already taller than she was, I never saw any of the supposedly common knuckle-rapping, corporal punishment, or other "horrors" of parochial school. Get kind of tired at the oft-repeated "professional survivors" of parochial schools who relish in the stories they love to tell. The sisters were the backbone of the Church when I was growing up, and I feel the American Catholic Church owes them an incalculable debt. I'm only sorry that so few get to experience that level of academic challenge and self-discipline today. The Catholic high school I attended in the early 60's charged annual tuition of $125.00. Now, it's $8,000.


#14

I went to public school, so I saw the nuns only in religious educations classes once a week.

I remember one Sister who was the principal of the parish school. She didn't brook any nonsense from anyone. There was one time when all the kids who were going to the religious ed classes converged on the inside doors of the school, which for some reason weren't yet open. A lot of pushing and shoving took place, and I was afraid that the smaller kids would get crushed. Sister finally came out and gave us the 'what for', and we all had to go outside in the yard in front of the school. One older boy got a bit mouthy, and she grabbed him by the ear (the teachers could do that in the 'old days') to shut him up. Then she told all of us, whether we were guilty or innocent, that we were to walk inside and go to our classes with our heads down and chins touching our chests. And we couldn't make a sound! I have never forgotten this!

I saw this same Sister many years later, when she came into the Catholic book store where I worked at the time. She was so small, I couldn't believe it was the very one who was the principal! I even remembered her name, too-and I told her that!

My late mother spent part of her schooling with the nuns. She didn't like them at all-I think she went to the school because her mother 'said so' and it was within walking distance of their home. I don't think she cared much for nuns, period. And they did use the ruler to smack the students, that's for sure!


#15

I had a male teacher (secular) who was very unfair with me as a 4th grader and punished me for things I didn't do. Somehow I grew up without hating men or education...... ;)

If you want an excuse, you'll find one.


#16

In all the time my family attended any of 4 parochial schools taught by 5 different orders of nuns I recall only one instance of a teacher using corporal punishment in any way other than commonly accepted in public and private schools at that time (1943-1974) and on that occasion the 6th grade teacher apparently snapped and threw something at a child. The principal heard the commotion, came in the classroom, listened to the children describe what happened, the nun was taken away for a cup of tea and removed from the convent that night, placed in treatment and then to an assignment in a library where she was not in contact with children. In other words, these so-called stories are isolated instances, not approved patterns of institutional abuse. I was the child in question and I had been extremely insolent and disobedient, btw.


#17

[quote="puzzleannie, post:16, topic:252212"]
... I was the child in question and I had been extremely insolent and disobedient, btw....

[/quote]

Oh no! Puzzleannie I really enjoy your posts and your perspective...but now I can see that you were really a naughty child...say it isn't so! hahahahahaha


#18

[quote="barb_finnegan, post:14, topic:252212"]
I went to public school, so I saw the nuns only in religious educations classes once a week.

I remember one Sister who was the principal of the parish school. She didn't brook any nonsense from anyone. There was one time when all the kids who were going to the religious ed classes converged on the inside doors of the school, which for some reason weren't yet open. A lot of pushing and shoving took place, and I was afraid that the smaller kids would get crushed. Sister finally came out and gave us the 'what for', and we all had to go outside in the yard in front of the school. One older boy got a bit mouthy, and she grabbed him by the ear (the teachers could do that in the 'old days') to shut him up. Then she told all of us, whether we were guilty or innocent, that we were to walk inside and go to our classes with our heads down and chins touching our chests. And we couldn't make a sound! I have never forgotten this!

I saw this same Sister many years later, when she came into the Catholic book store where I worked at the time. She was so small, I couldn't believe it was the very one who was the principal! I even remembered her name, too-and I told her that!

My late mother spent part of her schooling with the nuns. She didn't like them at all-I think she went to the school because her mother 'said so' and it was within walking distance of their home. I don't think she cared much for nuns, period. And they did use the ruler to smack the students, that's for sure!

[/quote]

I and my 3 siblings had or saw None of those experiences; quite opposite: Ideal, all 4. Each to our own experiences and histories. God Bless.


#19

[quote="Monicad, post:17, topic:252212"]

Oh no! Puzzleannie I really enjoy your posts and your perspective...but now I can see that you were really a naughty child...say it isn't so! hahahahahaha
[/quote]

:rotfl: Awesomeness!

I think one of the biggest problems is that all religious... nuns, brothers, priests... are human beings... just like everyone else.
There are some incredible Saints among them.
There are some terrible sinners among them as well.
And, just like in any slice of human community - the sinners will be dealt with by human beings... some of whom address the wrongs properly, others who will hide and justify the errors. So one person's sin becomes another's... and the blame rolls on.

For the great majority - nuns in schools were a very holy bunch, who gave their entire lives to the service of others. We should all pray that this trend returns...


#20

[quote="Em_in_FL, post:19, topic:252212"]
:rotfl: Awesomeness!

I think one of the biggest problems is that all religious... nuns, brothers, priests... are human beings... just like everyone else.
There are some incredible Saints among them.
There are some terrible sinners among them as well.
And, just like in any slice of human community - the sinners will be dealt with by human beings... some of whom address the wrongs properly, others who will hide and justify the errors. So one person's sin becomes another's... and the blame rolls on.

For the great majority - nuns in schools were a very holy bunch, who gave their entire lives to the service of others. We should all pray that this trend returns...

[/quote]

Almost no 'terrible sinners' are tolerated in Catholic Clergy now, imo. Media and Courts have dealt with the Very small percent in the past decades: 5% of all Clergy at most. The Boy Scouts of America had higher opercent, apparently, as well as many other faiths. :whistle::nerd:


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