A forum of Catholic Thought

Culture



Please help more children afford a Catholic education

Help us expand our reach! Please share this article on social media

To provide quality Catholic education, it is imperative that we collaborate and work together as members of the Universal Church. Therefore, on the week-end of January 16-17, we are asking the help of the faithful.

 
Kathy
Mears

Speaking to Catholic educators from around the world in November, 2015, Pope Francis said, "There are three languages: the language of the head, the language of the heart, and the language of the hands; education must go forward by these three ways; instructing in how to think, helping students to feel well; accompanying students as they do [what they have learned or are learning to do]." In the Archdiocese of Boston, we are working to do what the Holy Father has asked. We are working to educate the whole child: mind, body and soul.

It is not an easy task to educate our children in this manner, but it is one that is a passion for many. From our generous benefactors, to our pastors and the religious who have dedicated years of their lives to our students, to our parents, faculties and staffs, we desire to be a community of learners, dedicated to assisting our students on their paths to becoming saints and scholars.

Sometimes we are unable to enroll all of the students who desire a Catholic education. We receive phone calls, letters and emails from many parents who want their child to be enrolled in a Catholic school. Unfortunately, there are not enough funds to enroll all of these students. Through the Catholic Schools Foundation, the Campaign for Catholic Schools, the assistance that our schools are able to offer and the generosity of many donors, we are able to meet some of the need, but there remains a large unfunded gap that negatively impacts our ability to enroll students.

The families that need assistance vary greatly, as do the reasons why they cannot pay the tuition. In the Archdiocese, it can take a larger percentage of household income to pay for housing, leaving little money for tuition. Some make a pretty good salary and they might be able to afford tuition for one or even two of their children, but they have three or more children so they don't choose Catholic education. Sometimes families have on going medical expenses and again, they must make the choice not to enroll their children in a Catholic school. And, sometimes, families have limited income and means, yet their wish for a Catholic education for their children is strong.

Our schools make every effort to use their limited funds in good ways. Our budgets are lean and there are few "extras", yet our teachers and school leaders work to provide the education that Pope Francis speaks of, making sure that all students receive an education that involves their hearts, heads and hands. Our results are impressive. Research shows that children who attend Catholic schools are more likely to go to college, to vote, and to do service work as adults. According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, those who attended a Catholic school attend Mass more frequently than those who did not attend a Catholic school. CARA research also indicates that among never-married male Catholics who have attended a Catholic school, more than one in four indicate that they have considered becoming a priest or brother, while only about one in ten of those who did not attend a Catholic educational institution indicate that they have considered a religious vocation. Catholic schools do make a difference for society and our church.

To provide quality Catholic education, it is imperative that we collaborate and work together as members of the Universal Church. Therefore, on the week-end of January 16-17, we are asking the help of the faithful.

First of all, we are asking for your prayers. We are asking that you pray for our students, our teachers and school leaders. We need your prayers.

We are also asking for you to assist us so that our schools can provide more scholarships for more families. We are asking parishes to hold a second collection that will be utilized to assist families who desire a Catholic education, but who cannot afford the tuition. We want the funds from these collections to be used for financial assistance, to enroll more students in our schools.

Please consider praying for us and please consider donating to the second collection. Many of the people who are reading this article learned to read in a Catholic school. We are asking that you give back to the system that helped you to learn to read and write, and how to pray and live. We are asking that you help us to teach the next generation of saints and scholars. In addition to the collection basket, you may also donate online at www.catholicschoolsboston.org.

Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for donating. You are helping us to make a difference.

Help us expand our reach! Please share this article on social media

Recent articles in the Culture & Events section