To the editor:
It was with interest that I read about the (Middle States) accreditation process for the Catholic Schools. I wonder what a "faith based" accreditation process would show for these same schools.
One study done on our Diocesan Catholic Schools showed just 10 percent of parents listed Faith Formation as the top priority; in other words 90 percent of the parents did not list Faith Formation as their top priority for sending their children to our Catholic Schools.
The paper that pastors/pastoral administrators and parents are asked to sign states: "The completion of this form for these families serves as an affirmation of that commitment and participation in parish life. Parents, as primary educators, commit to: Regular attendance at Mass and spiritual, personal & financial support of the parish or church."
If we did a faith based accreditation, how many of those Catholic School students and their parents celebrate Mass each weekend with their parish? How many offer "personal support" — serving as a liturgical minister, being a member of a parish committee, attending a parish adult education program, helping serve at a parish social event, etc.? How many Catholic School parents financially support their parish (via) weekly collection, CMA, etc.?
Bishop Matano has stated that "the chief goal of Catholic Schools should be to develop a natural progression in children from the desk to the pew." If this isn’t happening then the Catholic parishioners of our Diocese are spending millions of dollars to support a private education NOT a Catholic Education for these children.
Father. Jim Hewes