Thursday, July 17, 2008

WSJ: Roman Catholic Schools Have Contributed a Lot

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a story on the ongoing efforts of a group of Catholic school teachers and their thus far unsuccessful efforts to secure recognition of their union by the Diocese of Scranton.

Today the WSJ printed two Letters to the Editor received in response to their story:

Roman Catholic Schools Have Contributed a Lot
July 17, 2008; Page A14

I was quite touched emotionally and personally by the article "Crisis of Faith Between Church, Union?" (Currents, July 10). The 12 years of superb Catholic education I was blessed with prepared me quite well for my professional adult life. As a result, and with deep gratitude, I still offer my financial support and personal assistance to those schools despite having graduated decades prior.

The Newark Diocese tried to shut down my high school, Hudson Catholic in Jersey City, N.J., this past year. That school has been spared closure due to the strong and fast action taken by the alumni. We worked to ensure that neither our past nor the future of other youngsters would be lost. As a result, the place is still operating and may well do so for many years to come, unless those with little foresight try again to close its doors.

Without teaching youngsters the ideas, the ideals, the goals and concepts inherent to Catholic education, the future of the Church is quite limited. Yes, the money saved will be quite a bit, but the loss in more than just mere dollars will be immense.

Joseph P. Fanning
Glen Ridge, N.J.

You correctly point out that Catholic schools have defined the lives of American Catholics and nurtured believers from cradle to grave. However, the academic benefits are just as abundant. All of our four children attended, or are attending, Catholic elementary and secondary schools. As a direct result of their education, they received impressive college scholarships, were consistent dean's list students and graduated with academic honors. We have received more in college scholarships than we have spent for Catholic school tuition in the past 20 years.

If more parents realized the value of a Catholic school education, the schools would be filled and there would be no financial deficit or problem with paying the teachers a fair salary. Our Diocese of Scranton Catholic school teachers are intelligent, caring and dedicated. We would gladly pay for an increase in tuition so that these teachers could earn the respectable salary they so rightly deserve.

John M. Nonnemacher
Sandra R. Nonnemacher

Hazleton, Pa.

There's not much more for me to add.

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