Father Steve comments on a Archbishop Timothy Dolan's article in America magazine that addresses the steady decline of Catholic School enrollment over the past 40 years.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York presents a strong advocacy for Catholic schools in America Magazine. His piece is entitled “The Catholic Schools We Need,”
and the Archbishop’s insights are well worth reading. Early in his text Dolan presents the grim statistic that enrollment in Catholic schools in the United States has steadily declined since nearly 5.2 million in the mid 1960’s to a current stat of 2.2 million. He cites the usual suspects in all this- the failure of religious orders to sustain adequate numbers of vocations, shifts in demographics (the American family continues to shrink and the Catholic family in American is no exception), rise in the cost of living (which has meant that tuition for parochial schools is higher than what many can afford), the dissolution of a distinctive Catholic culture, and finally, what Dolan wants us to understand as the linchpin in the decline- what he describes as a “loss of nerve” on the part of Catholics. Catholics, Dolan, asserts, “have for some time disowned their school system.” The reason he gives for this is “because their own children are not enrolled there or their parish does not have a school.” In other words (my words) Catholics have opted out of Catholic education...
Father Barron sends another update to the Word on Fire Blog readers, recounting his recent experience at the Rector's Dinner at the North American College in Rome. There, he met up with New York Archbishop, Timothy Dolan, and esteemed actor from the movie
Bella, Eduardo Verastegui.
"Last Thursday night, I attended the
social event of the year for Americans in Rome: the Rector's dinner at the North American College. The evening is the major yearly fund-raiser for the NAC (as people affectionately call the college), and it attracts a whole bevy of people from different areas of the church's life. I ran into Fr. Hugh Cleary, the head of the Holy Cross Order, Joan Lewis, the inveterate Roman reporter, Fr. Tom Hurley, pastor of Old St. Patrick's church in Chicago, Archbishop Wuerl of Washington, Archbishop Burke of the Sacred Signatura, Cardinal Arinze (at whose table I sat), Cardinal Levada of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Kasper, whose books I avidly read in the seminary years ago, and many, many others. The honoree for the evening was the new Archbishop of New York and former rector of the NAC, Timothy Dolan..."