Last week Sarah Karp published a good summary of the state of Catholic education in this country. Ms. Karp also did a good job both in identifying the problems facing Catholic schools and in pointing out the successes out there, few as they might be.
Her article, Final Exam: Can we reinvent Catholic schools?, can be found here.
One of those success stories mentioned by Ms. Karp was the Diocese of Wichita. In summarizing the Wichita story she wrote,
The Wichita difference? Its ability to persuade Catholic families to actively tithe in support of local schools.
That statement elicited the following response from a Wichita parent:
Thanks to Ms. Karp for examining trends in Catholic education in the United States.
As a parent in the Diocese of Wichita, one where 4 of our 5 children have benefited from "tuition-free" Catholic education, I would like to respectfully submit that "Wichita difference" goes deeper than the ability to persuade Catholic families to tithe in support of Catholic schools. This "ability to persuade" is rooted in a spiritual renewal--living as a grateful steward of God's gifts. Spiritual conversion comes FIRST, the time, talent and treasure follows.
So--our Liturgies are, for the most part, orthodox and invigorating, Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in parishes is among the highest found anywhere--even our moderately-sized parish of 550 families manages this round-the-clock devotion, and our priestly vocations are also among the highest in the country--44 are currently on the path to the priesthood.
The "Wichita difference" can be captured anywhere!
Isn't it amazing what orthodoxy can do?