Loading
Nearly 300 attend historic Illinois Catholic School’s summit

.- Illinois held its first Summit for Catholic School Education last week, drawing nearly 300 educators and five bishops.

The one-day event, held Feb. 26 in Bloomington, celebrated the strengths of local Catholic education and addressed the challenges facing Catholic schools.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago called on Catholics to keep pressure on the government to do more to support parents who choose Catholic education. He and others outlined steps that can be taken within the Church to ensure a bright future for the Catholic school system, which he called unique and vital to the Church’s future, reported the Catholic Post.

“What we share is a concern for how we will finance private education, a concern for meeting the new demands of the digital age, and a concern for the passing on of our faith to our young people,” said Fr. Michael Garanzini, SJ, president of Loyola University Chicago, in a keynote presentation.

The summit zeroed in on three issues in the U.S. bishops’ 2005 pastoral letter on Catholic schools: availability, accessibility and affordability. Fr. Garanzini proposed two more issues: academic credibility and accountability.

Part of the academic credibility, he said, is reporting how Catholic schools are preparing young people to engage the diversity and materialism seen in today’s culture, and to challenge the “tendency toward isolation” spawned by the digital age.

The bishops took part in a panel discussion in response to concerns that surfaced at the assembly, most notably financing, accessibility, marketing, and preserving schools’ Catholic identity.

Catholic schools must be “places of prayer and hope” that inspire “martyrs” for the truths of the faith, said Cardinal George.

In the last decade, the number of Catholic elementary schools in the state has dropped from 513 to 437, and the total number of students has fallen from 215,346 to 170,165. There are six fewer Catholic high schools than in 1997.  

“What we need to do is truly convince people through results our schools are worth supporting on a wide basis,” said Bishop Peter Sartain of Joliet. Alumni of Catholic schools have a special role in that task, he said.

“Inspired by the mission of Christ, Catholic schools are an irreplaceable good,” said Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria during his homily at the summit’s Mass. Not only do the schools educate and change minds, he said, but “they can and they should change the world.”

He urged schools not to abandon their Catholic identity for “all the simplifications of our radically degraded culture.”

“Parochial schools that are no longer intentionally Catholic, clear in their mission, Christ-centered, morally and academically challenging, doctrinally sound, socially generous and spiritually sacral—such schools are really merely private schools, with no compelling reason to continue to exist,” he said in his homily.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Aug
20

Liturgical Calendar

August 20, 2014

Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 19:23-30

Gospel
Date
08/19/14
08/18/14
08/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ezek 34: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 20: 1-16

Saint of the Day

St. Bernard de Clairvaux »

Saint
Date
08/18/14
08/17/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 19:23-30

Homily
Date
08/19/14
08/18/14
08/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: