Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

St John Bosco Schools / Chesterton Academy: Open House Thursday 7PM

February 2nd, 2016, Promulgated by b a

From St. John Bosco Schools and the Chesterton Academy of Rochester:

On Thursday evening we will be holding an Open House for all SJBS and CAR families as well as guests who are interested in our schools.

Doors will open at 6:45. The program will begin at 7:00 in the gym and lights out at 8:30.

501 Garfield Street
East Rochester, NY 14445

Thank you for your support in making this event joyful and welcoming. We hope to see you on Thursday!


It’s Catholic Schools week in the Diocese of Rochester and as you consider how important Catholic schools are please don’t forget about the independent schools that you won’t find in the DOR’s list. SJBS and CAR are not officially recognized as Catholic schools by the Diocese which means they don’t get any financial support from the pews and aren’t able to advertise to Catholic parents in the same way the Diocesan schools are. My own parish’s “Total School Assessment” was 12% of their “Total Operating Expenses”. SJBS/CAR have a good relationship with the Diocese, but with New York State’s bureaucratic policies it’s unclear if there will ever be official recognition or not. I have no special insight into this – I’m just speculating to point out that I don’t think there is a religious reason why there isn’t an official affiliation. Neither is my intent to criticize the Diocesan schools. I just want to help promote the alternatives.

Besides a complete embracing of the Catholic Faith, SJBS/CAR’s distinction is a classical education. This stark contrast clearly demonstrates itself when you read about the Diocese following the public school system’s lead in an all out embrace of technology. I’ve posted about this before here. I am a software engineer by trade and I think it’s a great profession (especially for fathers), but it pains me when I see people on facebook quoting Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, or the secularly-canonized Steve Jobs about how important it is to get 5-year-olds in front of a screen. I tend to agree with Jeff Atwood’s line of thinking here – Please Don’t Learn to Code

Diane recently asked us here if we wished we could go back in time and do more for a certain cause. Too often we hear practicing Catholics lamenting the fact that their children have left the Church. Sometimes the parents did everything they could, but usually they wish they had done more than the status quo. Status quo Catholicism doesn’t cut it in today’s society (if it ever did). You can almost guarantee a child will leave the Church if that’s all they’re given. St. John Bosco Schools and Chesterton Academy are about doing everything we can to pass the faith onto the next generation. As homeschooling becomes more and more popular in the Catholic world, I would challenge those parents to consider the SJBS/CAR option. In my opinion, a good Catholic school is the ideal. Homeschooling may be the best option when a good school isn’t available or feasible, but it isn’t the ideal.

One final thing I’d like to point to:
Bishop Scharfenberger testimony on 2016-17 Education Budget

In the last five years, more than 75 Catholic schools across the state were forced to close. More than 300 have closed in the last 20 years. Most of the displaced students then enroll in the already over-burdened public school system at a far greater cost to taxpayers. The shift of enrollment from private to public schools over the last 20 years has increased the cost to taxpayers by more than $2 billion- each and every year!

While my brother bishops and I have been forced to make the extraordinarily difficult decision to close Catholic schools too many times in recent years, I must note that no Catholic school has closed due to academic failure. This is something that cannot be said about either traditional public or charter schools. Nor have our schools been closed due to lack of desire on the part of parents to enroll their children. The loss of Catholic schools in New York State comes down entirely to the rising costs and the inability of parents to pay the increasing tuition needed to meet those costs.

He continues on to not only request the passing of the “Education Tax Credit Bill”* but to also call for more assistance in services ranging from nursing to transportation. God bless Bishop Scharfenberger.

* I find this bill confusing and have not heard how it helps Catholic parents who aren’t in the lowest class. Perhaps it shows just how abhorrent Catholic schools are to NYS that we can only hope for such a small victories.


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