Archive of January 26, 2008

Enrollment in Florida Catholic schools at 90,000 plus

Tallahassee, Fla., Jan 26, 2008 (CNA) - Amid an unstable housing market that is changing demographics, Florida Catholic Schools are still enrolling nearly 91,000 students.

Total enrollment in the 221 Florida Catholic schools is 90,739, which is a 2,439 decline from a year ago. Click here for current statistics.

 “What our figures suggest is stability of our collective student bodies despite economic factors relating to projections that there might be a precipitous decline in enrollment,” said Larry Keough, associate director of education at the Florida Catholic Conference.  

"Although enrollment has declined for the second consecutive year," Keough said, "the actual net loss of 5,336 students indicates a core base of families who are unwavering in their support of Florida Catholic schools in hard-economic times."

Enrollment in Catholic high schools has been particularly stable at the secondary level, from 25,904 two years ago, to 25,705 a year ago and 25,560 this year.

The 2007-2008 Catholic school statistics are released in preparation for Catholic Schools Week, a national celebration from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2. This year's theme for the celebration is “Catholic Schools Light the Way.” National Appreciation Day for Catholic schools will be Wednesday, Jan. 30.

In this era of soaring educational costs, the average diocesan per-pupil expenditure – which exceeds tuition as the total cost to educate a student – is $5,094 for K-8 schools and $8,333 for secondary schools. Approximately 38 percent of Florida Catholic school students are minorities, many of whom are enrolled through the Corporate Tax Scholarship Program and the McKay Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities. According to scholarship program statistics, 151 Catholic schools are participating in the two statewide scholarship programs, enrolling a total of 3,502 students.

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Indianapolis archbishop diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease

Indianapolis, Ind., Jan 26, 2008 (CNA) - Archbishop of Indianapolis, Daniel Buechlein, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer affecting the lymph nodes, more commonly referred to as Hodgkin’s disease.

Buechlein has served as archbishop since 1992.  In a letter addressed to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, he stated that he had undergone medical tests due to experiencing fatigue and had noticed swelling under his right arm.

He plans on meeting with his oncologist to determine “a course of treatment.”

“I already know that chemotherapy is required and I will be undergoing a complete body CT scan to determine more precisely the extent of the problem. Chemotherapy has proven to be a highly effective method for treating this disease,” wrote Buechlein.
“I’ve been told that the side effects of the chemotherapy will be further fatigue. I regret the interruption this may cause in my normal obligations.

Archdiocesan spokesman Greg Otolski told the AP that so far, Archbishop Buechlein has been able to maintain his normal work schedule, except for tests and doctor appointments, however it will likely be reduced once chemotherapy begins.

The archbishop continued in his letter, “I do not expect the day-to-day operations of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to be greatly affected. We are blessed to have so many dedicated and hardworking clergy, religious and parish life coordinators as well as an excellent administrative staff. Our many ministries will continue as usual.”

In closing, the archbishop asked for the prayers of the archdiocese.  “I would appreciate your prayers, and please know that I will continue to pray for all of you.”

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Use and distribution of abortion pill cause for excommunication, warns Brazilian bishop

, Jan 26, 2008 (CNA) - Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda e Recife, Brazil strongly criticized a plan by local officials to widely distribute the morning-after pill during the upcoming Carnival festival and warned that those who use the pill are subject to excommunication.

The archbishop took note that because of widespread “casual sex” that occurs during Carnival—the festival that precedes Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent—the morning-after pill will be widely distributed, in addition to thousands of condoms.

On Thursday Archbishop Cardoso said the distribution of the pill which is an abortifacient “is aberrant and illegal,” since in Brazil abortion is illegal.

He said the archdiocese intends to ask the courts to block the plan and warned that those who use the pill are subject to excommunication.  “This policy is wicked and immoral, and in this case, both those who use it and those who incite its use are committing a crime punishable by excommunication,” Archbishop Cardoso said.

He also said he would provide guidance to priests in the archdiocese regarding how to address the issue from the pulpit.

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