To the editor:
Why are Catholic schools closing? I believe diocesan leaders see Catholic schools as a drain on financial resources. They look at Parochial schools as a business model. This does, in fact, have to be considered when evaluating keeping a school open, but there are other equally important factors to consider before closing a school.
We live in an increasingly secular and materialistic world. The Catholic school is a refuge from the trials and temptations children face in a fallen world.
Attendance at a Catholic school does not guarantee that each student will continue to practice his faith. Faith is first taught in the home, lived and woven through daily life. The family is the child’s primary faith community. But as a valuable part of the mission of the Church, Catholic schools reinforce, enrich and build on faith-based values and morals. The Good News is proclaimed in and through classroom instruction. It is also witnessed in the lives of the principal, secretary, teachers, aides, fellow students, parents and generous volunteers who share time, talent and resources in this Christian Community in Action.
We are called to be “light to the world.” With the same confidence Jesus gave Peter and his companions, members of the school community provide a visible witness of living faith to the larger community. In this respect, they carry out the call to evangelize. They call the community to celebrate Eucharist with them at school Masses, serve the parish as altar-servers, cantors, ushers at regular Sunday worship, proudly share proceeds from Mission Days and Food Drives with foreign and local charities, honor veterans, send notes and drawings to shut-ins, draw parents back, or into, the life of the Church. Catholic schools are a blessing in the lives of students, the parish and the larger community.
God’s people know in their hearts that Catholic schools are valuable agents, making the Church visible in the modern world.
Sharan Flynn Tette
Keuka Village Road, Dundee