Parents: The First Educators

Parents: The First Educators

You are the first educators of your children, and we thank you for entrusting your children to us as your partners in the total formation of your child for life on earth and eternity in heaven. As a parent, you have three critical responsibilities:

  • You have a responsibility to your children to set a good example as a Catholic steward, take them to Mass with you on Sundays and holy days, provide for their material needs, personal formation and learning readiness.
  • You have a responsibility to the parish to be an active steward and participate at Mass on all Sundays and holy days, be active in parish ministries, provide for your religious education and your children’s, participate in the sacramental life of the Church, and make and keep a good faith pledge of your treasure.
  • You have a responsibility to the school to make sure your child is ready for school every day, support the school’s academic, religious, and disciplinary standards, communicate your concerns in a proper forum, and be honest in all dealings with the school.

For children to be successful in school there must be a close relationship and frequent communication between you and your child’s teacher. For that reason, we have implemented a diocesan-wide Internet-based system called PowerSchool. Through PowerSchool you can access your child’s grades and attendance at anytime as well as receive important information from the school. However, nothing, even PowerSchool, can replace personal contact with the school. Your interest, your involvement as a volunteer, and your participation in school activities demonstrate to your children how important to you their education is.

In addition, our schools are parish schools supported by all the members of the parish through stewardship. The high quality Catholic education that your children enjoy is a gift from the people of your parish. In the past, many parishioners made enormous sacrifices to provide for Catholic schools. You are accountable to them and to the parish for your stewardship.


Catholic Schools


The Impact of Catholic Schools

What is the impact of Catholic schools on the Church in the United States? Answers to this question are entangled with generational changes. In CARA’s national surveys of the adult Catholic population (CARA Catholic Polls; CCPs) a majority of those of the Pre-Vatican II Generation (born before 1943) and the Vatican II Generation (born 1943 to 1960) say they attended a Catholic primary school (51 percent). However, in the generations that followed many fewer report enrollment. Only 37 percent of Post-Vatican II Generation (born 1961 to 1981) Catholics and 23 percent of adult Catholics of the Millennial Generation (born 1982 or later) have attended a Catholic primary school at some point.

CARA surveyed an oversample of teenagers, ages 14 to 17 in 2012. As shown in the figure below, 14 percent said they attended a Catholic school only. An additional 18 percent attended Catholic schools and parish-based religious education. Overall, one in four Catholic teens reported having no religious education.

Catholic Education

K through 12

Young people of the third millennium must be a source of energy and leadership in our Church and our nation. Therefore, we must provide young people with an academically rigorous and doctrinally sound program of education and faith formation designed to strengthen their union with Christ and his Church. Catholic schools collaborate with parents and guardians in raising and forming their children as families struggle with the changing and challenging cultural and moral contexts in which they find themselves. Catholic schools provide young people with sound Church teaching through a broad-based curriculum, where faith and culture are intertwined in all areas of a school's life. By equipping our young people with a sound education, rooted in the Gospel message, the Person of Jesus Christ, and rich in the cherished traditions and liturgical practices of our faith, we ensure that they have the foundation to live morally and uprightly in our complex modern world.  This unique Catholic identity makes our Catholic elementary and secondary schools "Schools for the human person" and allows them to fill a critical role in the future life of our Church, our country, and our world (Catholic Schools on the Threshold, no.9)