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peb
03-17-2015, 08:18 AM
You guys may not be interested, but I will post anyway.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/william-mcgurn-feliz-dia-de-san-patricio-1426547921


Some of you may know that my family goes to a parish which is predominantly (90%) latino, and all of my kids have gone to the parish school. Up until around 2 years ago, I have been very involved in the financial management to help the school stay solvent. Not simple to do, but in the process we implemented a tuition policy: if you were a parishioner and you wanted your kids in the school, they had a seat regardless of your ability to pay. We did this around 10 years ago and it was done on blind faith. We had no idea how the school was going to keep going, much less give so many kids deep tuition discounts.

Fortunately our diocese came up with its tuition assistance program which now funds have the cost of the program.

I have seen many cases first hand of exactly what the editorial above describes.

Peerie Maa
03-17-2015, 08:37 AM
Have to be a subscriber to read the link.
Can you c&p?

peb
03-17-2015, 08:51 AM
Feliz Día de San Patricio

What Catholic schools did for the Irish in the 19th century they can do for Latinos today.

By
William McGurn


March 16, 2015 7:18 p.m. ET

28 COMMENTS

This St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish prime minister will once again present the American president with a Waterford bowl filled with shamrocks in a tradition that dates to Harry Truman.

In the East Room reception, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of hod carriers and bricklayers will partake of corned beef sandwiches prepared by the White House chef. Amid tales of St. Patrick ridding Ireland of snakes and gentle jabs at the British, it will fundamentally be a celebration of upward mobility and the rise of the Irish in America.

St. Patrick will get his due. So will those hardworking ancestors. But for all the speechifying, what will likely go unheralded is the singular achievement of the Irish in their adopted homeland: the Catholic school system that stretches across the nation and ranges from kindergarten through college.

There’s the pity. Because just as they did in the days of the great Irish migrations, Catholic schools in our own time hold out perhaps the best hope for the assimilation and upward advancement of a new wave of immigrants: Latinos.

“What the Irish were to our country in the 19th century, Latinos are for our nation in the 21st century,” says the Rev. Timothy Scully, CSC, cofounder of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE).

“Former Mayor Ed Koch once famously remarked that ‘When masses of immigrants reached our shores in the 19th century, they were greeted by two women: Lady Liberty and Mother Church,’ ” says Father Scully. “What Mayor Koch was referring to, of course, were the parish schools. What the Catholic schools did for the Irish then, Catholic schools must and will do for Latinos today.”

Most of the political debate about Latinos and education has been consumed by the Dream Act. Aimed at helping those brought here illegally as children, part of its focus is on encouraging law-abiding Latinos who make it through high school and college.

The reality, however, is that Latinos have a larger problem, whatever their legal status. Begin with this: Only 16% of the Latino high-school students in America are college ready, according to Notre Dame’s Task Force on the Participation of Latino Children and Families in Catholic Schools. Barely half graduate from high school in four years.

So what kind of dream is it to design programs geared to college when most Latino kids are written off before they can even start?

Then again, we’ve been here before. Back when hundreds of thousands of unskilled Irish were pouring in, their relationship to America’s public schools was a tremendous source of conflict. Catholics didn’t like the Protestant Bible used in public schools or the Protestant reading of world history that was taught.

By contrast, some Protestants feared the Catholic schools would be an obstacle to assimilation, incubating anti-American colonies in the heart of the republic.

From today’s vantage we can see how misplaced these fears were. These schools lifted millions of Irish, Italians, Poles, Germans and other European immigrants into mainstream society. In these schools, children not only learned the skills that would propel them into the middle class, they were instilled with an appreciation for American virtues, American institutions and American exceptionalism.

The rise of a Catholic school system, in short, was an American achievement—the more stunning because it was pulled off by a poor, immigrant people.

Notre Dame was itself built by these Irish and became an icon for Irish and immigrant success. Today, through ACE’s Catholic Advantage program, the university is trying to ensure Latinos have the same opportunities.

Unlike the Irish, Latinos don’t come here with the advantage of English. Unlike the immigrant Irish of yesteryear, they haven’t embraced the Catholic schools: Overall Latinos count for only 3% of the Catholic-school enrollment in the U.S.

But if the challenges are daunting the benefits are clear: Latinos who attend Catholic schools are 42% more likely to graduate from high school. They are 2½ times more likely to graduate from college. And the Catholic nature of the schools means there is some natural overlap with the Latin American cultures from whence these new arrivals have come.

Put it this way: Is it really all that hard to believe that a Latino schoolgirl might be more comfortable mastering English and embracing American culture if she is learning in a school where she sees, say, a print of Our Lady of Guadalupe—patroness of all the Americas—hanging on the wall?

“On St. Patrick’s Day we celebrate the mutual blessings that America was for the Irish and the Irish were for America,” says Father Scully.

“We believe one day the same will be said of Latinos now arriving on our shores. At least if the Catholic schools have anything to do with it.”

peb
03-17-2015, 08:53 AM
I will also add that the ACE is a wonderful organization, supplying young, good teachers to schools at very low cost, targeting inner city poor schools.

Norman Bernstein
03-17-2015, 08:56 AM
It's admirable, and also encouraging, to see the Church accomplishing something concrete for the sake of the community, beyond the propagation of the faith.

While we can't always be so pleased with what we hear about the RC Church, it's well worth it to talk about, and hear about, the good stuff.

slug
03-17-2015, 09:01 AM
My father learned to speak english at a catholic church.

Peerie Maa
03-17-2015, 09:02 AM
^ +1 Norman

John Smith
03-17-2015, 09:07 AM
I congratulate the church for its work. I am angered, however, at the general way Latinos are treated and how so many are not college ready.

TomF
03-17-2015, 09:11 AM
Peb, it's problematic to be seen to support religious schools in North America. The modern agnostic or atheistic mind rushes immediately to stories of sexual abuse, cultural denigration (of first nations), and extremism. People get lathered about church and state, about the promotion of God in the classroom, about science vs. faith, and about their memories of nuns or brothers with rulers and horrible tempers.

Of course, I went to public schools, not religious ones. And I can tell as many stories about teachers who whipped pieces of chalk at students' heads (or to explode on the sides of their desks) to "wake kids up" or stop inattention ... as anyone can tell about Sister Malevolent and her ruler. Which illustrates that those kinds of bullying were contextual - they were part of the times, not simply part of "a horrible legacy of religion."

What that editorial says makes sense to me. What it says is what any historian of Education in the West will tell you - that the churches have always been deeply involved in education, because they've seen education as a key way of assisting the poor and dispossessed. Sunday Schools started, after all, not to teach the Bible ... but to teach working people (whose only day off was Sunday) how to read. They still are committed to those issues, because they're committed to the poor and disenfranchised.

Before you disagree, I invite you to investigate who's providing NGO social services in your community. And among the "secular" places doing this work (food banks, shelters etc.), investigate who is actually funding and volunteering. And what's motivating those volunteers and funders.

Thanks for the C&P peb.

Keith Wilson
03-17-2015, 09:14 AM
I should point out that the US public school system at the time the Irish arrived was rudimentary at best, nonexistent in many places, and that religious schools were often the only thing available to poor immigrants. While one can certainly make a case that Catholic schools do a good job in many cases, the need for a parallel religious school system is not what it was in 1860.

TomF
03-17-2015, 09:24 AM
I should point out that the US public school system at the time the Irish arrived was rudimentary at best, nonexistent in many places, and that religious schools were often the only thing available to poor immigrants. While one can certainly make a case that Catholic schools do a good job in many cases, the need for a parallel religious school system is not what it was in 1860.True. But sadly, it probably isn't a non-existent need.

A new shelter opened in the city of Saint John yesterday, for kids and teens. While "Safe Harbour" is a community-based and multi-partner organization, it wouldn't exist without the leadership and initiation of local churches. Of our Bishop and his predecessor, for instance. It's been vastly (amusingly, to me) eye-opening for the hired-in community organizers who worked on the project (atheists and agnostics) to discover who actually gives a damn, and re-visit some cherished opinions.

The lead such guy on this project has said publicly that in any future community development work he does ... his first contacts will now be with local churches. Because he's learned - to his immense agnostic's surprise - that far and away, church people are the folks he can rely on to care about the people who genuinely need services. And to follow up that caring with energy, a network, money, and volunteer commitment.

This isn't new; it's a big part of what Monasteries were for, centuries ago. This kind of community engagement literally dates back to biblical times. What non-religious folks don't understand, is that for church people, it is the ongoing grounding and renewal through participating in our faith life which creates the conditions the agnostic community developer guy found so valuable.

peb
03-17-2015, 12:36 PM
TomF, Very good points. I would add two other things which provide your correct view that the Church has always been deeply involved in education because of care for the poor and dispossessed.
The Church has always been deeply involved in education because the Christian philosophy so deeply values education and learning and understanding of all things. There is a reason why modern science evolved in Christendom.
And to tie your point together with mine, is that the Church has always been such a radically democratic institution. There is no knowledge that cannot benefit all.

Peerie Maa
03-17-2015, 12:44 PM
TomF, Very good points. I would add two other things which provide your correct view that the Church has always been deeply involved in education because of care for the poor and dispossessed.
The Church has always been deeply involved in education because the Christian philosophy so deeply values education and learning and understanding of all things. There is a reason why modern science evolved in Christendom.
And to tie your point together with mine, is that the Church has always been such a radically democratic institution. There is no knowledge that cannot benefit all.

"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."

http://en.geourdu.co/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Jantar-Mantar-Ancient-Astronomical-Observatories-of-India-19.jpg

Passionately interested in mathematics and astronomy, Jai Singh adapted and added to the designs of earlier sight-based observatories to create an architecture for astronomical measurement that is unsurpassed. Jai Singh was influenced primarily by the Islamic school of astronomy, and had studied the work of the great astronomers of this tradition. Early Greek and Persian observatories contained elements that Jai Singh incorporated into his designs,