Column: A future without Catholic schools is dim prospect indeed

Michael Morrisey is the executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation. You can reach him at (913) 647-0383 or send an email to him at: mmorrisey@archkck.org.
Michael Morrisey is the executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation. You can reach him at (913) 647-0383 or send an email to him at: mmorrisey@archkck.org.

by Michael Morrisey

The new school year has started and many are dropping their kids off at our Catholic schools’ front doors.

Most of our students are excited about the new year, while others may have a tad bit of trepidation. Our Catholic schools this time of the year are infused with Catholic energy. They are a safe haven for our children to learn and become better people. Do we take our Catholic schools for granted?

Have you ever thought about what our world would be like today if we did not have Catholic schools?

It is a sobering thought.

But, for a minute humor me and just imagine:

  • Pope Francis might not be in the position he is in today.
  • Many of our cardinals may not be sporting their scarlet red cassocks.
  • Some of our bishops and archbishops probably would be living in their hometowns or a location different than their current diocese or archdiocese (maybe even playing baseball for the Cardinals — different Cardinals than above).
  • Our current pastors and their fellow priests might be without collars.
  • I believe it is safe to say that the number of Sisters would be reduced dramatically.
  • Not as many first Communions and confirmations.
  • There would not be a need for all the confessionals (or maybe we would need more).
  • We would be wondering, “Where did all the altar boys and altar girls go?”
  • The number of rosaries sold would be reduced.
  • The number of prayers said would have dwindled.
  • There definitely would be fewer Knights of Columbus fish fries.

I could go on and on. I just can’t handle these thoughts. Some say that, in addition to the family, Catholic schools are the cornerstone of the Catholic Church.

While your imaginations are out of control, think about the sustainability of our CEF schools.

Our schools need students. Many of our CEF families currently living in poverty are struggling to put food on the table. There is no way they can afford all the tuition to attend our schools. Providing scholarships for children in need (1,345 this past year, to be exact) not only helps these kids eradicate the cycle of poverty they are currently experiencing, but also assists in helping to sustain our CEF schools.

If we don’t have students, we don’t have schools. Brilliant, you might say. And I would agree.

So, as the school year moves forward, please understand that your support of CEF helps us sustain our schools.

Further, I would suggest to you that the sustainability of our schools helps strengthen the Catholic Church.

And lastly, our Catholic schools help make the world a better place to live. It is imperative that we not take our Catholic schools for granted!

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