Bishop Farrell:The true value of a Catholic education

September 20, 2010

From Bishop Kevin Farrell’s Blog:

Once again the importance of a Catholic education to parents is evident in the enrollment of 15,052 students in Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Dallas. The enrollment data released by Sister Gloria Cain, Superintendent of Schools, on September 17 shows 11,981 students enrolled in 31 diocesan and parochial Catholic schools and 3,071 in private Catholic schools.

Catholic parents are to be admired and commended for making the sacrifices required to provide their children with a Catholic education. In the words of Pope Benedict: “In …Catholic schools, there is always a bigger picture over and above the individual subjects you study, the different skills you learn. All the work you do is placed in the context of growing in friendship with God, and all that flows from that friendship.”

Catholic education not only provides young men and women with a Faith strong enough to endure in an increasingly secularized society, but one that equips them to confront and change that society in light of the gospel message of Jesus Christ.

“The quest for the sacred”, in the Pope’s words, “does not devalue other fields of human enquiry. On the contrary, it places them in a context which magnifies their importance, as ways of responsibly exercising our stewardship over creation”.

A Catholic school must be more than a school that offers religion as a subject, it must be a functioning Christian community that natures and enhances the seeds of Faith planted by parents in a loving Christian family.


July 9, 2010

VATICAN CITY, 9 JUL 2010 (VIS) - On the afternoon of Monday 28 June at the apostolic nunciature in Berlin, Germany, Archbishop Jean-Claude Perisset, apostolic nuncio to Germany, and Christian Wulff, then minister-president of Lower Saxony now president of Germany, exchanged the instruments of ratification of an Agreement signed on 6 April this year.

According to a communique published today the new Agreement modifies article 6 of the addendum to the 1965 Accord between the Holy See and Lower Saxony, and regulates the juridical position of certain Catholic schools administered by the dioceses of Hildesheim, Osnabruck, and Munster in that Land.

A number of deputies from the Diet of Lower Saxony were present at the ceremony, along with a delegation of teachers and pupils from the schools involved in the agreement. Also present, apart from the staff of the nunciature, was Msgr. Felix Bernard, head of the Catholic office for Lower Saxony.

Students Who Attend Catholic High Schools More Likely To Graduate, Go To College, Report Finds

April 29, 2010

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - Students who attend Catholic high schools are more likely to graduate and attend college than students attending other schools, according to The Annual Statistical Report on Schools, Enrollment and Staffing , United States Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools 2009-2010, a report recently released by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).
Catholic secondary schools report a graduation rate of 99.1 percent, higher than rates reported by other religious schools (97.9 percent), non-sectarian schools (95.7 percent) and public schools (73.2 percent). Students graduating from Catholic high schools are also more likely to attend four year colleges (84.7 percent) than students graduating from other religious (63.7 percent) and non-sectarian (56.2 percent) schools. Catholic school graduates are twice as likely to attend four year colleges as graduates of public schools (44.1 percent).
Data for this analysis was collected from several publications of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), as well as information collected by the NCEA.
“This report illustrates the ongoing excellence of Catholic schools,” said Marie A. Powell, Executive Director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “Catholic high schools have a remarkable record of graduating their students and preparing them well for post-secondary education.  Their effectiveness in educating students, even from disadvantaged backgrounds, has been cited consistently in research published over the last 25 years.  The Catholic community can be very proud of their support for such schools.”

Cardinal Newman Institute Partners With Catholic Schools K12 Virtual

August 4, 2009

CORAL SPRINGS, FL (MetroCatholic) - One week after the launch of the national Catholic virtual school for students in kindergarten through grade 12, Catholic Schools K12 Virtual is pleased to announce details of an exciting new opportunity offered for faith formation of adults through their partnership with the Cardinal Newman Institute and The College of St. Thomas More located in Fort Worth, TX. Catholic educators and community members, utilizing the technology resources available within the CSK12 network, have the opportunity to take online classes through this partnership. The College of Saint Thomas More is a fully accredited four-year Catholic classical Liberal Arts College.

“We are able to provide undergraduate credit at a deep discount to those who wish to study online through the Cardinal Newman Institute,” Director of e-learning for Catholic Schools K12 Virtual, Trina Trimm, announced.

“These new online classes will help us to bring ‘Christ to the coffee shop or into your living room’, so to speak. We are going to be able to reach our Catholic adults on their time and at any place where there is internet access. Through this partnership with the Cardinal Newman Institute and The College of St. Thomas More, we are now able to offer adult faith formation classes for college credit or simply for enjoyment and group study. Anyone wishing to participate in the classes, the discussions and the training simply for their personal faith formation may do so for a nominal fee, without having to complete all of the assignments which will be required to earn the college credits. Considering the current economic crunch, and the lack of funds for expensive courses or travel to school, the cardinal Newman Institute is providing a truly phenomenal opportunity for all of us.”

Mr. Stephen Matuszak, S.T.L. is a graduate of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and served as the Dean of the College from 2001 to 2005. With a Board of Directors he founded the Cardinal Newman Institute to provide quality opportunities for the ongoing education and formation of adult Catholics. He now serves as the Director of Catechesis of the Diocese of Sacramento and will be offering the first class for adult online faith formation beginning in September.

Appropriately, the Cardinal Newman Institute has chosen to begin online classes with an in depth study of The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Future offerings include “Catholic Theological Tradition” as well as courses in Scripture, Catholic Theology and Principles of Catechesis.

“The success of the new evangelization of our culture depends greatly upon a well informed laity who know the faith so well that they can defend it and give constant witness to the dignity of the human person and the vocation of humanity to live as God’s children by fostering a civilization of love and a culture of life,” Matuszak said.

In his sermons and writing on the position of Catholic in Protestant England, one sees that the vision of the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman is precisely to form the lay faithful as apostles for truth and equip them for their mission in an increasingly secular society. Newman understood this in the context of 19th century industrialized society as the Catholic hierarchy was reestablished in his country and Catholics re-emerged after centuries of oppression and persecution. This vision is the same as that recorded by Pope John Paul II in the 1988 apostolic exhortation “The Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful” (Christifidelis Laici). The Vatican has recently announced that a miracle attributed to the intercession of Cardinal Newman has been verified and he will soon be beatified. The Cardinal Newman Institute is very pleased to be able to partner with Catholic Schools K12 Virtual in order to reach a larger audience.

Rev. George Puthusseril, founding Pastor for Catholic Schools K12 Virtual said, “We are honored to have this opportunity to partner with such a highly prestigious Catholic Educational Institution. This partnership allows our entire Catholic adult community, our teachers, our families, and our students to have access to a high quality level of instruction and to dialogue with experts about our Catholic faith. This opens the doors for our parish missions, our home study groups, and our faithful to experience and to share their faith in a new way. We are especially grateful to the leadership team at the Cardinal Newman Institute for joining us to bring this gift of online education to our Catholic community.”

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