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More on Catholic Education

  /   Thursday February 26, 2004  

Apparently, Steve Kellmeyer has attracted so much attention that one of the Catholic Exchange editors has entered the fray. Students are receiving poor formation from people who themselves received poor formation. When classes are available to assist, then they are either of poor quality, poorly attended, or both.

I can’t blame people for not wanting to go to what often passes for Catholic formation. I’ve been to my share of missions led by somebody who was flakier than a bowl of Raisin Bran. I’ve seen an “evangelization” program that was devoid of any meaningful content. In the Diocese of Memphis, they were offering “spirituality” classes in their Liturgical Ministry Institute that gave me the impression that they were spooky new age by their title and content listings. Also, rather than St. Frances de Sales, St. Teresa of Avila, or other well-known spiritual writers, we were offered Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.

When this stuff is what we are given to start from, it’s no wonder we can’t pass on the faith to children. We don’t know it ourselves. However, who is ultimately to blame for this . . . . .

We are. We put up with this because we really don’t care. If we did, we’d be demanding proper formation. We wouldn’t have people saying “That’s so wonderful.” to mediocre presentations of the Faith with the intellectual content of the brain of an earthworm.

Besides that, we wouldn’t dare go to or send our children to universities that claim to be Catholic but are undermining the Faith. We would take the time to find out about the issues in the Church, and therefore, we would know about the problems with “Catholic” schools. We would investigate the schools we were considering, and an answer of “uh, well” or “academic freedom” to questions about a mandatum wouldn’t be acceptable to us. Those schools would either have no enrollment or would have the enrollment that matches the secular institution it has become.

On another note, I’d love to see some pastor have the guts to say “If you all don’t start learning the faith, then the Catholic school won’t be able to do its job. Get some formation or we’re closing the school.” There would be an uproar and a half. However, it may be a necessary move in some areas.

The sad part of it is that this problem, which took decades to create, will take decades more to solve. The reason for this is that those problems have been allowed to fester. The longer we let them continue, the harder they are to stop. Then again, there is one part of the solution that is easy. Get some good, solid materials, and start learning.

Don’t depend on your parish priest, religious education program, or your diocese to do it. In 1997, a committee of bishops reported on the poor quality of religion textbooks. In 2003, another committee reported the same thing. What’s between the lines here? After six years, nothing has been done by our leadership about a known, serious problem. The only way we will get needed reforms in the Church is for the laity to learn and live the faith.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized

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