Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Sobering Statistics

March 28th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

From Peace of Christ parish:

35 Catholic schools in the city of Rochester… and now we’re down to two. This figure does not even include all the suburban and rural Catholic schools to have closed over the past few decades (i.e. St. Thomas the Apostle, St. John in Spencerport, Mother of Sorrows, St. John in Greece, etc.).

Talk about “Keeping the Spirit Alive”

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12 Responses to “Sobering Statistics”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    Bishop Clark has 474 days to complete his mission of closing ALL the remaining Catholic Elementary Schools.

  2. avatar Charles says:

    You are correct. This is his hope that all Catholic Schools (and Churches) will be closed. His desire to abolish Catholicism has been his mission since day 1 of his assignment.

  3. avatar Matt says:

    If it weren’t for those pesky old ladies with their rosaries, and those irksome good and holy priests offering Mass for their intentions, and those deranged traditional folks who insist upon making the diocesan agenda public, he just might have succeeded.

  4. avatar Anonymous says:

    Matt, I agree with you. Absolutely correct.

  5. avatar JLo says:

    I had this posted at the news article about Bishop Carlson’s drive to educate Catholic children. Perhaps it belongs here as well, so I offer.

    I recently heard a very good idea regarding Catholic education for today, though it harkens back to the reasons parishes were formed in America in the first place… because Catholic families formed an area community and needed the sacraments and needed the Faith passed onto their children. Period. There is no reason to even have a parish in a particular location if there are no growing families.

    Given an honest assessment by that measure (enough family needs and support), a viable parish then would be one where every child in the parish is educated in a parish-run school from pre-K through third grade at no cost to families other than their church tithe. If there is not enough parish support for such, that means there are not enough families and that particular parish should close and the people join up with another in the area.

    Catholic parishes were never formed for social justice and to serve the poor, but to serve the Faith community and propagate the Faith in our children. Catholics know that social justice and serving our brethren are outgrowths of a living faith community, not the reason for parish origination. Catholic parishes were formed for Catholic family needs and Faith propagation, and that’s still the only reason for such.

    Would like to hear more discussion of this concept.


  6. avatar Sam says:

    Long ago I heard Bishop Clark say he did not understand the need for Catholic schools in modern American society, since they were originally formed in this country to combat real and actual discrimination encountered by Catholics in the public school system, and that there continued presence only serves to segregate Catholics into their ghetto-like communities, contrary to the call of Vatican II to Catholics to get out into and evangelize the world. Accordingly, the Bishop has pursued a systematic policy of destroying the Catholic school system, first by weakening the bonds between parish and school by creating the planning boards, then increasing the tuition costs in order to drive out families, then by assessing each parish for school costs even if they did not have a school, thus creating a degree of resentment at having to maintain the schools, and finally, by lending absolutely none of his personal moral and charismatic support to the cause of Catholic schools. Compare that with , say, the Diocese of Wichita, where the Bishop personally spearheads a fund drive each year that raises enough money to fund the entire system.

    While I support Catholic schools and feel Bishop Clark is wrong in his historical analysis and in his perception that Catholic schools are no longer needed, I do assert that many of the Catholic schools in the Diocese offer a very shallow and thin Catholicism, and in many cases, impact the faith of their students negatively, by teaching distorted and even untrue versions of Catholic doctrine, by teaching very little doctrine at all, and by presenting the faith and the liturgy as something supercilious and even silly (picture passing out fruit roll-ups at children’s Masses, or conducting the school play in the Church on the altar).It would not be bad thing if many of the Catholic schools shut down, and the demand for a Catholic school shifted parents to those private grammar schools that are increasing their enrollment every year, like John Bosco and Archangel, where orthodox Catholic truths are taught side by side with a rigorous traditional curriculum.

  7. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    you raise some good points. I’ve heard “traditional curriculum” spoken of quite highly by several people in the orthodox circle. A friend of mine, who is a public elementary school teacher (and a good one at that), looked into the “traditional curriculum” and found it to be contrary to her educational philosophy. I’m wondering if you or someone you know could give a good defense of “traditional curriculum” and why it’s better than modern learning techniques?

  8. avatar Sam says:

    Ben, I am afraid the answer to that question, in any fashion approaching thoroughness and accuracy, is above my pay grade, without spending time I don’t have researching the issue. But I suggest you can 1) review the John Bosco website, or 2) call the school and speak with any of the teachers, 3) type “educational philosophy of John Dewey” into a Google search,read what it says, and then assume that traditional curriculum accomplishes the opposite, 4) review the website of any of the “orthodox” Catholic colleges.

    What I know is this: the aim of a traditional Catholic curriculum is to present those eternal and fixed truths as found in the classics from Plato to Chesterton to Pope Benedict, rather than focusing, as I understand the modern school does, on self-exploration and self adulation.

    Also, the traditional school believes in a certain rigor that is lacking in modern schools, attention to grammar and sentence structure, composition over creative writing, a necessary place for rote learning, and an approach to the sciences and math that emphasizes how those disciplines reveal God and His plan for the world.

    As I understand Dewey, his aim in a nutshell was to see the student as an endlessly malleable being who could be educated to become a sort of new man, free of old prejudices and beliefs. He was greatly admired by educators in the Soviet Union in the 1920s, and visited there often. He eventually rejected aspects of the Russian Soviet system because of its suppression of human rights, but he remained an admirer of small c communism.

  9. avatar Abaccio says:

    I can tell you the number one problem with “Catholic” schools today. Look at the way they advertise. Instead of focusing on discipleship, they focus on “academic excellence,” often at the expense of true Catholicism. Often, they fear alienating non-Catholic students, rather than seeing an opportunity for evangelization and catechesis. The same thing happens if you check out local “Catholic” youth groups. Instead of having the slightest focus on the Church, most of them practice Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    St. John Bosco Schools offers students a classical, Catholic curriculum. Two key principles of our curriculum were articulated by St. Thomas Aquinas:

    1. “Grace builds upon nature.”

    2. “Nothing is in the intellect that is not first in the senses.”

    Holiness is often mistakenly identified exclusively with frequent participation in the Sacraments and other devotions consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. While such norms of piety are an essential component of a holy life, it is also true that our whole person is a gift from God, and that the full development of our human potential is pleasing to Him. St. John Bosco Schools seeks to aid students in their path to holiness by guiding the development of their learning faculties to maturity.

    The essence of a classical curriculum is not found in the age of the texts used, but rather in the timelessness of the education attained. Our curriculum is classical in the sense that it is ordered to a spiritual, moral, intellectual, social and physical development of children that will enable them to grow into independent, lifelong learners. It provides formation, not merely information.

    The Lower School

    The top priorities in the elementary education of children are the proper development of their core sensory and intellectual faculties of fine and gross motor skills, imagination, and memory. Equally as important is fostering of a “learning atmosphere such that the child is“emotionally engaged and motivated in learning, to exercise intellect, imagination and memory in an emotionally satisfying way.” Lastly, the student must possess and grow the moral virtues which enable receptivity to learning and taking direction by right reason (normally exercised by the teacher).

    Thus the lower school curriculum is structured so as to accomplish four primary objectives by teaching proper habits:

    1. Helping students develop a healthy emotional connection with the classroom experience (wonder);

    2. Helping students develop their sense faculties to appropriately engage the physical world (motor skills);

    3. Helping students develop precision in their imaginative faculties so as to appropriately represent reality (healthy imaginations).

    4. Providing students with the learning tools they need to further engage reality (e.g., listening and speaking, reading, writing, measuring, etc.).

    Proficiency in reading is emphasized in all of our courses, as it is essential to all other studies.

    The Middle School

    The middle school experience utilizes the student’s natural capacity for “wonder” to engage the faculties developed throughout the Lower School experience and further develop the moral and intellectual faculties that enable proper judgment and reason. Here again, such development primarily takes the form of an intellectually elevating conversation between the teacher, the students and the texts themselves. Through such conversation, the student is challenged to reason properly (i.e., support conclusions with evidence) and learn to make right-ordered judgments (i.e., identify distinctions between real things).

    Proficiency in reading is emphasized in all of our courses, as it is essential to all other studies.

  11. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Thanks for that info, Sam and anon.

  12. avatar Sam says:

    Dear Anon,

    That of course is his point.

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