My children are the fourth generation in our family to attend Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. I’m a big fan of Catholic education, but when choosing the best school for our children all things must be considered. Based on my own experience and advice I’ve received from other parents, here are some good and some not so good things about giving your children an education through Catholic schools.
1. Your children will be educated in an environment that does not negate what you are teaching them at home.
We are living in troubled times. Issues that used to be clear are blurry and secular society is preaching a version of truth that is decidedly not true from a Catholic perspective. Being a devoted Catholic family, actively pursuing the Faith and passing it along to our children is weirdly considered counter-cultural. [Public schools embrace gender fluid ideology and those who agree with the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality are labeled bigots. There is limited respect for the unborn and the aged.] Public schools teach our society’s cultural values. Catholic schools teach Christ’s truth.
2. Everyday faith
This was one of my arguments when I laid down the “my children will attend Catholic school” ultimatum prior to getting married. I wanted my children to understand that God is not just something we do on Sunday. I wanted them in an environment where faith is interwoven throughout the subjects—including, and most especially, science. In Catholic schools, teachers are free to teach that life begins at conception, and abortion is wrong. Morality and virtue are woven into social studies so children don’t just learn that slavery is bad, but also that—as Catholic Christians—we believe in the inherent value of all people because they are children of God.
3. Weekly Mass
While I often heard on Sunday morning “Why do I have to go to church when I just went on Friday?” from my children, it was an argument I was happy to have, because it gave me the opportunity to discuss the Sunday obligation and the importance of prioritizing our Creator. Weekly school Mass, however, is more than just attending Mass. The kids plan the Mass. They practice proclaiming the readings. They help select the songs. They write the petitions, and they get the experience of worshipping in community with their friends, which leads us to the fourth good thing …