Tuition at Catholic school tied to parents' attendance at mass


My husband and I just read a very interesting article on Catholic school tuitions being directly tied to the parents’ attendance at mass. Here is the link to the article:

While my husband and I don’t have our children enrolled in Catholic schools, we were wondering how some parents that do might feel about the article…your responses are much appreciated. :slight_smile: .


bout time!
I can count on one hand the number of my middle school (catholic) classmates who regularly attended mass with their parents.


That’s what the article quotes as some people responding! Interestingly enough, to me anyway, is that the idea was borrowed from a neighboring Lutheran school.


My husband went to Grove City College in PA (which by the Dr. Hahn used to teach there before he was Catholic) but they required chapel attendance and students have to turn cards that show they attend chapel. If you miss too many and don’t write papers to makeup the chapel attendance then you get kicked out.


Tuition proportional to attendance would feel bad, but removing the option to register as parishioners just for the discount sounds like a good idea. I don’t like the fact people are able to avoid the practice of a religion but still reap the benefits of membership.


At the Catholic school I went to, tuition was cheaper for Catholics than non-Catholics, I think because they assumed that they also gave other money to the Church. Also the tuition lowered for each child a family had enrolled in the school. I think that some of the non-Catholic parents were cut a little slack if they had multiple children in the school, and if they were active in volunteering with school functions. In my particular town, there were not enough Catholic kids to fill the school so it was really about (just a guess) 65-70% non-Catholic. I am Southern Baptist, but am greatful to my Catholic school education, it was quality education and I think that it may have been early preparation for converting to Catholicism now that I am older.:slight_smile:


Our parish school has had a “defacto” policy like that in place for years now. The pastor keeps an “eye” on the weekly offerings, and those families who don’t contribute and send their children to the parish school, are strongly encouraged to register as non-parishoners. The parish simply can not afford giving the subsistance to families that claim that they are parishoners, yet after baptism, first communion and confirmation, rarely set foot inside the church. I think that we will see more of that in years to come, as it is too expensive to maintain a parish school in many areas nowadays.


[FONT=“Century Gothic”]I live in the Milwaukee area where this school is, and at my daughter’s school the situation is similar. While we aren’t ‘tallied’ coming to mass, we are required to give $15 weekly (in our envelopes so the parish can keep track) in order to get the parishioner tuition rate which is about $2000 less than the non-parishioner rate.

When I moved here and enrolled my daughter, the school year had already begun, and they went ahead and let me register as a parishioner right away and allowed me to get the parishioner rate (it would have been a no-go for her to attend there otherwise). They did tell me that if I began to fall behind in my contributions, I would loose the parishioner rate. All parents who get parishioner rates are also required to help out at school a certain number of hours every year to help with fundraisers, events, in classrooms, etc. [/FONT]


I was just wondering, aren’t there Catholic Public schools in the USA? ( I am assuming all the posters who talk about affording Catholic school are from the US ).

I would say that about 40% of the “public” schools in my city in Canada are Catholic. They are still publicly funded like the public school system, there is just one called “the School board” and one called " The separate system".

Not that the Catholic schools here are that devout but that is another issue I guess…


I was just wondering, aren’t there Catholic Public schools in the USA?

Sina nope.

There a public schools that are state and federally funded, and all other schools are private,(including any religion based school and others that are private but not religious) tuition based schools and don’t receive any government funding.



Actually, this is an old idea being used. Many old time private Catholic schools used to have the students bring a hole punched or stamped card by the priest each Sunday.

**I don’t like the idea of
**The pastor keeps an “eye” on the weekly offerings, and those families who don’t contribute and send their children to the parish school, are strongly encouraged to register as non-parishoners
What about those who tithe in other ways or can’t afford to put in collections or simply refuse to use those stupid little envelopes or that go to another parish? (Keeping in mind not every parish has a school and not every catholic school is the same. We have parents who send their kids to different parishes for school, for example children with music abilities might choose the one that actually can afford a music dept or a child with special needs can only go to one school in the county.)

Personally, I think a Catholic education should be free to anyone. It’s a point of evangelization for non believers. That is, if you can find a Catholic school that actually has Catholic teachers and a catholic curriculum. Good luck with that. At the least, I do think it should be free to Catholics. Yes, even cafe-catholics. If for no other reason than their kids may need it the most.


This idea doesn’t sit well with me. I believe any catholic child would benefit from a catholic school education, regardless of if the parents are regular church goers. If the parents don’t go to Mass, how would the children get there. Catholic school would be the only opportunity for those kids to receive religious education.
I did not go to catholic school. It was out of the question financially. I can say without a doubt I would not have made most of the mistakes I made in my life had I had the influence of the Sisters who taught in the school. The CCD class just did not compare.


Sometimes it is about the allocation of scarce resources. Most Catholic Schools and school systems don’t have unlimited resources. As the parish subsidizes the cost of the education, many have determined that in order to recieve the subsidy, they need to at least require that the family endeavors to live a Catholic Life, of which Mass attendence is critical. Sometimes, it can be seen as scandalous that families not living a Catholic life but claim to be Catholic and gain benefit from the subsidy of the parish of the cost of hteir kids education.

Your point though about evangelizing is good though- The idea that maybe it is those kids who live in homes where Mass attendence is not the norm are the ones most in need of a CAtholic education.

In short, there are good points on both sides and we should respect those Catholic leaders who are trying to make the choice between too alternatives that aren’t perfect.


I didn’t realise that. No wonder you see the Catholic school girls uniform stereotype. Hardly any Catholic schools in Canada have uniforms because it is basically akin to public school anyways.

I think in Québec, the default school is Catholic school and you have to prove you are a protestant or another religion to go to a protestant school. I think it even went as far as the private schools were protestant hah! Imagine that.


Although we don’t have a parish school, our parish does this for Confirmation.

Each child must have his/her bulletin signed by the Priest or Deacon each Sunday. Or if they are away, they must bring a bulletin from the Church that they attended. I don’t know what the mandatory percentage is for attendance, but I will find out soon, as my son will be in the class in September.


I tend to disagree with this. We went to a different parish that offered no CCD/Confirmation classes nor regular parochial school. We did not attend the church that offered these for a number of reasons. It was cliquey, the children who attended mass were completely unruly( and not babies or toddlers, but 7-8 year olds who are perfectly capable of sitting still for an hour), the music was bad and went on for never ending amounts of time, and once the priest actual said “***** happens” during his homily.

I went to another parish, that was quiet, more reflective, and skewed to an older crowd.

At one of my confirmation classes, the priest calls me out in front of the entire class and said that I shouldn’t expect to be confirmed if I can’t be bothered to show up to mass once a week. I told him quite loudly all of the above reasons as to why we so seriously loathed his parish, and that the only reason I was there for classes is because it was closest to our home, and that if he had any doubts about my attendance he could feel free to pick up the phone and confirm with the priest that my rear end was planted firmly in a pew every Saturday evening alongside my parents and grandparents.

I don’t feel like my parents should be penalized financially because their church did not offer schooling/ or religious ed classes. And I don’t think it’s fair to hunt/stalk/ or monitor people’s giving habits.

My parents don’t give money weekly. They write a big check at Christmas and Easter. If that wouldn’t be good enough then I’m sure they would have given a piece of their mind to the gossipy church secretary and an even bigger piece to the priest.


I tend to agree. For a child to attend Catholic school the family should be monitored for TIME TALENT and TREASURE. Granted we are in a diocese that doesn’t have tuition for parishners who tithe but I know a few families who can’t afford a tithe so they work at the school. There are jobs like lunch room, janitorial etc.

Private school is expensive and if we want to send our kids to a good Catholic school than I would think we should be attenting mass and at the least putting a $20 in the collecion every week(which to be blunt I think is ridiculously low) But I guess I don’t have the same perspective since we don’t have to tithe on top of tuition.


Many of the public schools, especially those in the inner-city, have adopted uniforms to eliminate wearing of “gang colours”.


The Catholic school on my block has uniforms too because it is inner city and the kids generally come from very diverse backgrounds and they don’t want to put the focus on brand name clothing but it certainly isn’t the norm around here.


Most Catholic Parishes invest in their school. Parishioners who regularly attend Mass are called active parishioners. They pay active parishioner rates. Parishioners who are not active (do not attend Mass and engage the community) pay a non-active rate which is higher.

This makes sense as the community invests in parents and their children. The community should get a return on this investment through participation.

 **          [     The Teaching Role of Sacred Liturgy]("")**
        ***No Christian community is built up which does not grow from and hinge on the celebration of the most Holy Eucharist. From this all education for community spirit must begin.*** (Vatican II, The Ministry and Life of      Priests, 6.)

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