2.6.22 Message from Fr. Tony
This week is Catholic Schools Week in our Diocese and throughout our country.
The importance of Catholic education cannot be overstated. Since the nation was mostly Protestant in the 19th century, there was anti-Catholic sentiment related to heavy immigration from Catholic Ireland after the 1840s, and a feeling that Catholic children should be educated in public schools to become “American.” In the 1880s most states passed a constitutional amendment, called The Blaine Amendments, forbidding tax money to be used to fund parochial schools.
In response, by 1890 the Irish and other groups had built an extensive network of parishes and parish schools across the urban Northeast and Midwest. The Irish and other Catholic ethnic groups looked to parochial schools not only to
protect their religion, but to enhance their culture and language.
The main reason was fear that exposure to Protestant teachers in the public schools and Protestant fellow students, would lead to a loss of faith. Catholics established schools, parish by parish, using religious sisters as teachers in many cases.
This week will see a great number of activities and programs promoting Catholic schools locally and nationally. Some of our Immaculate Conception school students will share what Catholic education means to them at weekend Masses.
Whether or not you have children or grandchildren in our school, please remember the schools in your prayers. Feel free to stop in and visit as well. As pastor, I am very proud of our students, the teachers and staff, and all who support Catholic education in our great country. Jesus said it best: “Let the children come to Me.” Fr. Tony