Friday, December 4, 2009

Save Our Schools

Father Z found a great article from The Catholic Spirit on How to save a Catholic School.

I wonder how long the Diocese will continue down this road of closing school after school as they systematically jettison the school system and our children along with it. Let's pray our next Bishop sees the value of a truly Catholic education and is able to halt the gangrenous growth that has infected our schools for so long.

Here is one place to start: read this article to see how they saved St. Matthew's school in St. Paul.

While most inner-city schools continue to struggle in a difficult economy, one school — St. Matthew’s in St. Paul — has been experiencing unprecedented growth.

Last year, enrollment at the school increased 30 percent. This year, despite the worst recession since World War II, enrollment continues to grow.

What’s the secret? It depends on whom you ask.

Like other urban schools, St. Matthew’s had been losing students at an average of 10 to 15 per year. When the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school’s enrollment dipped down below 140 students, principal Doug Lieser realized he needed to find a way to increase enrollment and financial support if the school was to survive.

The first thing Lieser did was conduct a survey asking parents why they chose St. Matthew’s for their children. Their answers surprised him.

Continue here


Anonymous said...

Traddy, I read this story with some amusement. All of these goals at St. Matthews were ours at St. Mary's in Avoca. They were working; until, at least, 2003, when we received the news that the ne2w bishop decided to close the school. Maybe this bishop decided to give things a chance for the better. Oh, well---------

Anonymous said...


Yes, he did. Bishop Martino really thought he did the right thing, and he really thought things would get better.

Sir Rockin One:

I will say this: During election time, I heard at one school the teachers had Obama buttons on. I was also not amused with the whole Mike Miltz debacle in 2007-2008. Why should parishes go bankrupt to pay for stuff like this? Our parishes are going bankrupt to pay for this?

No way- I will not and cannot support that. If teachers want to support pro-abortion candidates fine. If Mike Miltz and pals want to protest- fine. They will do so without parish funding, and the schools can fund themselves and stand on their own two feet and be independant of the Diocese of Catholic Church as a whole.

The only way our schools will survive is if they are CATHOLIC- and I do not mean like Notre Dame, or Misericordia- but Catholic in TRUTH.

Father Dave Bechtel

Anonymous said...

Hi Sir Rockin One:

Most likely you will disagree with me here, and I welcome your thoughts or anyone's thoughts for that matter on my thoughts in critique.

The burden of keeping these schools open and functioning can no longer fall to the Diocese and parish churches. Basically what I see in the article- is same old same old- "Don't worry about cost, the Church will somehow find a way to make it work." This attitude is EXACTELY THE PROBLEM!

Modern realities are such that indeed we CANNOT TELL PEOPLE THAT, we cannot simply nievely tell people "Don't worry about your inability to pay, we will somehow find the money." That was what we were telling people for YEARS, and what has happened? The Diocese, and at least 1/3 of it's parishes are in financial ruin. This in part is exactely what has lead the former Bishop to merge and consolodate.

We didn't worry about it either. We kept telling people they didn't have to worry, we would make it work- and now it has all caught up with us. We can't do it anymore. In essence, if parents want the schools, and they feel they are valuable, then it is the parents which must shoulder the burden if the schools are to survive. The Diocese can't do it anymore- we have reached a point where we have done all we can do. It is now up to the parents and alumni.

Father Dave Bechtel