Catholic Education

By Gavin Lewis

I often have conversations with parents (Catholic and non-Catholic) surrounding why they choose to send or are considering sending their children to Catholic schools.

We discuss the true meaning of Catholic education, what it looks like in action and if the Catholic portion in Catholic education is really that important.

I will be the first to tell you that I do not have a clear answer to those questions, but, just listening to others, it seems as though parents are sending their children to New Orleans Catholic schools more as a safe-haven from the uncertainty of which “charter” or “low-performing” school a child will be randomly placed and less about children learning the word of God.

Those same parents see going to religion class and Mass during school hours as a bonus, not a determining factor on whether or not to send their child to a Catholic school.

I would venture to say that there are nearly as many non-Catholic’s attending Catholic school as there are “practicing Catholics.”

Why is this? Because parents are willing to make financial sacrifices to control their child’s educational destiny rather than leaving it to a game of chance. Most parents are willing to pay for what they deem is “peace of mind.”

In those same conversations, Catholic parents are wondering if Catholic schools are taking the time to fully profess and showcase Catholicism to every student who enters the building?

If it takes a village to raise a child, and if we truly believe what Proverbs 22:6 tells us, then can we agree that the Catholic school is the perfect time and place to showcase what we as followers of Christ believe?

If done properly, this should ultimately lead to a path of more people (specifically students) giving their lives to Christ.

As an educator and a parent of children in both Catholic and charter schools, I can tell you that just as it is with anything in life, educating your children is what you make it.

Professing your belief in Christ and setting examples of what living for him means is something that starts at home. Schools should be an additional resource and not the main source of your child’s educational and Christian values.

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