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September 27, 1991     The Message
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September 27, 1991
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana September 27, 1991 Continuing the story of Catholic education Dr. Robert Kealey, execu- tive director of the Depart- ineni ;of Elementary Schoo)s, National Catholic Education- al Association, delivered the keynote address at the Indi- ana Congress on Catholic Schools for the Twenty-first Century, at Indianapolis, Sept. 16. Following is the second portion of his address. Let us continue our story of Catholic education by travel- ing north and stopping at Boston. The year is 1859. This story took place not in a Catholic school, but in a public school. The students were reciting their religion lesson for the day. Yes, that is correct in the public schools of the mid-Nineteenth Centu- ry the students daily recited religion. In a Boston public school, Thomas Wall, a Catholic, was called upon to recite the 10 Commandments. He recited, "First, I am the Lord thy God thou shall not have strange gods before me. Second, Thou shall not take the name of the Lord in vain. Third, Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day." He con- tinued much as you and 'I know the commandments. However, when he finished the teacher said that his re- sponse was incorrect. But the teacher gave Thomas a sec- ond chance and sMd, "Thomas, recite the com- mandments as they are con- tained in the King James Bible." Thomas stated that he would recite them only as they are contained in the Catholic Bible. The teacher became frustrated and brought Thomas to the head master who commanded Thomas to recite the com- mandments according to the Protestant formula. Thomas refused. Thomas was then suspended from school for his insubordination. The mat- ter was finally resolve whe Thomas returned to school and was caned by the head master until he recited the commandments using the Protestant formula. Why is ,thi ,event signifi- cant for cathoilc :schools? During a good bit of the Nine- teenth Century a great debate raged among the American hierarchy. The question con- cerned whether or not a sepa- rate Catholic school system should be established. Many bishops were on either side of the issue. John Ireland be- lieved that Catholics should work with the public schools to allow the teaching of the Catholic religion and the reading of the Catholic Bible in them. Bishops Hughes of New York told his new pas- tors that they were to build the school before they built the church. Bishop Purcell of Cincin- nati illustrated the two points of view. When he was ap- pointed Bishop in 1833, he sought to have the teaching of the Catholic religion and the reading of the Catholic Bible in public schools. After sever- al years of great effort, he re- alized that this did not suc- ceed. This practice did not enable Catholic youth to truly integrate their Catholic be- liefs into their daily lives. He, therefore, ordered the con- struction of Catholic schools in his diocese. By the time he died in 1883, over 80% of the parishes in Ohio had schools. The issue of separate Catholic schools was finally resolved in 1884 at the Third Council of Baltimore. The American bishops decreed that within two years near every church in the United States a school was to be built. Unfortunately this dream of every Catholic child in a Catholic school was never realized. During the time that John Neumann was Bishop of Philadelphia, the number of students in Catholic schools increased al- most twentyfold. By 1900 only about 37 percent of the parishes in the United States had schools. During the mid- 1960s, when the largest num- ber of parish elementary schools existed only 59 per- Thinking of SELLING? Free Home Appraisals 78 Years Experience Residential Specialists REALTORS 464-5991 Cathy Helfrich 425-8029 $1,000,000 PRODUCER  ] TOTAL COMMUNICATION MASS S UNDA00S 9:30 a.m .......... Coffee & Donuts 9:50 a.m .......... Sunday School for children & ADULTS R.C.I.A. for persons interested in Catholic Faith Companions for alienated, wandering Catholics 11:00 a.m ........ Total Communication Catholic Mass for Deaf and Hearing persons, using voice, interpreters and A.S.L. Social hour and lunch after Mass. (First weekend of each month - Mass on Saturday at 5:00 p.m) NATIVITY - 3635 Pollack Avenue Voice 476-7186 - T.T.Y.:.476-4646  Handicap Accessible:, cent of the parishes in the United States had schools. 'Today abbut 39 percent of the parishes have schools. The American Catholic bishops realize the impor- tance of Catholic schools for forming the next generation of Catholics. In 1972 they wrote their pastoral on Catholic education, To Teach As Jesus Did. In it they said, (section 101) Of the educational pro- grams available to the Catholic community, Catholic schools afford the fullest and best opportunity to realize the threefold purpose of Chris- tian education among chil- dren and young people. In November 1990, the American Catholic bishops reaffirmed this statement and said that they "will not waver from that conviction" (In Support of Catholic Elemen- tary and Secondary Schools). The bishops then proposed for themselves four goals and set a timeline of 1997 to achieve these goals. The goals seek 1) to insure the academic quality of the schools, 2) to make more available to par- ents Catholic schools, 3) to establish programs to acquire additional funding, and 4) to provide educators with ade- quate salaries and benefits. Thomas Wall lived in an age when anti-Catholic feel- ings were very high. Today Catholics make up about 25% of the American population. Prejudice against Catholics still exists. One only has, to listen to the arguments used when tuition tax credits or vouchers are mentioned to discover this prejudice. While we may not be caned as Thomas Wall was, we need his conviction and his courage. Professionalism Our story of Catholic edu- cation continues and our journey takes us to St. Louis, Missouri; the pages of the cal- endar turn to 1904. This is the year in which the National Catholic Educa- tional Association is founded. This event signals a new era in Catholic schools, an era of professionalism. The National Catholic Edu- cational Association is a pro- fessional association for all those involved in all aspects of Catholic education. NCEA has been in the fore- front of encouraging, con- ducting and disseminating re- search on Catholic schools. Over the last 25 years Catholic schools have been thoroughly researched. The research has consistently shown the effectiveness of these schools. Father Andrew Greeley was a pioneer in this research. His first studies dat- ing back to the early 1960s showed that adult Catholics who graduated Catholic schools were more committed Cathelics than Catholics w ::attdnded- public :schbols? IS ongoing research has contim ued to substantiate this point, The Notre Dame study of parish life discovered that the most active people in parish" es are graduates of Catholic schools or adults with chil dren currently in Catholic schools. Others have researched Catholic schools. Dr. James Coleman, a non-Catholic, eX" amined data supplied by the U.S. Department of Educatio on public, private and Catholic secondary school students. He discovered that Catholic secondary school students scored higher o standardized tests, that a larg" er percentage of them went t0 college and graduated fror college, that fewer students dropped out of Catholic schools, and that Catholic schools retained students "at" risk" longer than both public secondary schools and pry vate secondary schools. He found that the primary reasO for these succe'sses was due to the close relationship that existed between the home and the school. Both had same set of goals, and worked together to achieve them. For the last several years NCEA has commissioned a independent researcher to iw See CONTINUING Page  PUT IT ON THE LINE FOR EW300 t's "Signature Sunday" in Evansville and we need you to put your name on the line for EWTN. Now is the time to thank United Artists Cable for reinstating EWTN and show the cable system Evansville's strong support and desire for the Network. Please complete the form below, clip and mail to: EWTN 5817 Old leeds Rd. Birmingham, AL 35210 Thank you for your continued support. Dear United Artists Cable, Thank you for keeping EWTN on the air in Vanderburgh County. We believe that Christian television programming is important for our community and we suptxrt your decision to keep EWTN on ot cable system. (Please print clearly and complete ,rely one form per household) Nallle Address Parish Signature Ntanber of pcxple in your hottsehold YES NO Are you currently a subscriber to United Artists Cable? If not, would you like to receive (t. w mail) tnore infonnation on UA Cabbie's discounted installation special if you sign up for cable service? YES NO Are you cuwently receiving a monthly EWTN Program Schedule? If not, would you like u, receive one? YES NO If you can ,)'fc'r mn'e time, wozM you Ix" wing to... Help With the activitiesof Ewmsvflk's hcal EWTN, Fafilily All ance Chapter? , EWTN00 CATHOLIC CABLE NETWORK I