• William Horan

    “FAW: Tuition at St. Stephen averages $6500 a year. Parents are more than willing to pay.”
    The parents of today’s poor students cannot afford to pay for tuition.
    When my grandparents immigrated from Ireland in the early 1900s, the Church here in New Hampshire already had in place a parochial school system designed primarily for immigrants. However. these schools are now too expensive for todays immigrants. The following is a brief history of how we accommodated immigrants in my diocese and how we should accommodate the new immigrants today:
    The Parochial Schools of the diocese of Portland, Maine, which included the states of Maine and New Hampshire, began here in Manchester, N. H. during the 1850s. The site was St. Anne Church. The founders were Fr. William McDonald, pastor; Thomas Corcoran, teacher; and The Sisters of Mercy whose superior was Mother Frances Warde. The students were primarily Irish immigrants. Today, St. Anne Parish unified with St. Augustin Parish, serves the descendants of the Irish from St. Anne and the French Canadian from St. Augustin plus new immigrants including Hispanics, Vietnamese and Africans mostly from Sudan.
    However, the Parochial Schools, now called Regional Catholic Schools, can no longer give first place to immigrants: they are too expensive. Can anything be done for today’s immigrants? Here is my suggestion: A “preferential option for the poor” should be maintained in our Catholic Schools. If we find that we cannot afford to keep our schools open to the poor, the schools should be closed and the resources used for something else which can be kept open to the poor. We cannot allow our Church to become a church primarily for the middle-class and rich while throwing a bone to the poor. The priority should be given to the poor even if we have to let the middle-class and rich fend for themselves. Practically speaking, the Catholic Schools must close and the resources used for “Confraternity of Christian Doctrine” and other programs which can be kept open to the poor. Remember, the Church managed without Catholic Schools for centuries. We can get along without them today. The essential factor is to cultivate enough Faith to act in the Gospel Tradition, namely, THE POOR GET PRIORITY. The rich and middle-class are welcome too. But the poor come first. [ William Horan – Manchester, NH ]

  • Miranda

    CEC Forever !!!

  • Aimee Grego

    There are many programs for the poor within the Church, but the objective of the Catholic Schools should not be to just educate the poor. Middle class and rich, those who pay for the programs in the Catholic Schools and also in the public schools, shouldn’t be shut out at the expense of the poor and immigrants. Middle class and rich parents want the atmosphere that Catholic schools provide for their children, too. We want God to be the focus of their education, and this isn’t found in public or nonreligious private schools. Sorry Mr Horan, your reasoning is off, to say the least.

  • Stephen Bitting

    CEC…..Bishop Egan did a ton of great things for my family…..CEC is a great school. If ever I am asked to help….I will….

  • Barbara Paruch Janeczek

    I think it is wonderful that they are trying to save these schools in need. A close family friend of mine sends his children to Catholic school and they love it. You hear of Catholic schools being strict and judging, but the role of the catholic school is to provide support for the students in not only an academic way, but also through religion and teaching about God.

  • Geraldine Sta

    This is a wonderful idea – to save the schools. I had been lucky enough to have a Catholic education and also attended an extra high school class at a public school. This class was easy, as the concepts had already been taught in the Catholic school. This made me a believer in the quality of a parochial school. My step – grandson, Lutheran, now attends a Catholic grammar school. The only issue so far is still missing his friends from the public schools. Otherwise he has adjusted well, and is more interested in his homework. Religion has not been an issue as yet. I do not know, but hope that a religion class will be taught in the school which will also provide education about other religions and respecting others faiths and their nuances.