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A Look at Our Battle to Keep Catholic Education Free
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Most do not associate the words "Catholic" and "battle" but rest assured, the two are closely connected. Check out Matthew 10:34, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword." That's Jesus warning us.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola was a soldier before he founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). He approached the challenge of Catholic reformation and evangelization with a soldier's mindset. He knew that the true battleground was in the heart and mind, and best won though education.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - I have a challenge for you. Ask any Catholic school graduate to list the Ten Commandments. Ask them if they can list the canonical 12 Apostles. Chances are they won't be able to answer the first question entirely. And they will confess they don't know what the "canonical 12 Apostles" are. Follow up with questions you can put to any graduate, Catholic or not.
- What is 3 x 3 x 3 = ?
- In what year did the United States gain its independence from England?
- Who fought in the Civil War?
- What two countries border the United States?
Even though the questions get easier, you may be surprised that many youths cannot answer all of them. The answers, by the way are, 27, 1783 (Treaty of Paris), the North (Union) and South (Confederacy), and Canada and Mexico.
The fact is, education in America follows an outdated model in which kids are divided by age, and only occasionally segregated by ability, and marched through a system that allows most to pass with all but the bare minimum proficiencies. They understand almost nothing of history, civics, or economics, few can read and write, or do math at an adult level, and even fewer possess critical thinking skills. The trend of canceling arts in favor of more "core curriculum" hasn't produced better results either.
Sadly, the Church isn't blameless. The state of catechesis is so poor, most people can't even explain the Paschal Mystery, or what Purgatory is, or even the conditions that make a sin mortal.
Meanwhile, many Catholic schools are failing not just to educate, but they're failing at existence. The numbers prove it.
- Catholic schools are closing at the rate of over 100 per year, with 209 closing in 2020.
- Enrollment in urban Catholic schools is down. In the past year alone, the Archdiocese of New York lost 11% of its students, Los Angeles, 12%.
- Tuition continues to rise through the roof. It now costs $4,800 for one year of elementary school and more than $10,000 for a year of high school.
- In the 1960s, there were close to 13,000 Catholic schools and 5.2 million students across our nation. Today, there are 1.6 million students attending less than 6,000 Catholic schools.
- Only 80% of the students are Catholic, very few teachers are Priests and Nuns. Many teachers aren't even Catholic.
- The percentage of Americans who identify as Catholic is just 20%, down from 24% in 2007. That's a MASSIVE decline in just 14 years!
So in addition to the above, we have a full-scale collapse of Catholic education in America. Our schools are so expensive, they are luxuries, status symbols for the rich, and the poor can no longer access Catholic education. The result is fewer candidates for the priesthood and other religious vocations. Desperate for clergy to keep parishes open, there is temptation to compromise on candidates and even a softening stance on doctrine.
Let us be absolutely clear. There is a war going on. The deceitful agent of evil and lies is hard at work to undermine the Church, and entire nations. And it all begins with education. Once you collapse education, the people become intellectually weak and helpless.
But there's good news! We are fighting back!
Catholic Online School is online, and it's FREE. That allows us to serve nearly one million student enrollments, with faithful, magisterial content that doesn't shy away from the truth. The mind and heart are the battleground, and we are fighting.
In addition to our efforts to provide a FREE, world-class Catholic education for anyone, anywhere, we are also doing a lot of other work to serve you. Here's a peek at some of what we are doing:
- Catholic Online School, with 1,000,000 student enrollments.
- Catholic.org, with thousands of pages of free magisterial content.
- Daily Readings, viewed over 100 million times worldwide.
- Catholic Online Saints with thousands of saints' biographies.
- Catholic Online Prayers, with access to thousands of prayers.
- Learning Resources, with FREE printable resources for teachers and more.
- Catholic Online Prayer Candles, where the faithful can light virtual candles and pray together.
- Catholic Online YouTube with more than 4,800 Catholic videos.
This is a lot of content, and frankly, it's a lot of work. We don't mind, this is our mission! In fact, it is a privilege to be invited to fight on the front lines against secularism, evil, and the devil himself. All faithful Catholics should love the sting of such battle! For we know our victory is assured.
However, while the fruit of all this work is free to use, it isn't free to produce. We have to pay for:
- Video pre-production
- Video production
- Video post-production
- Video editors
- Graphic artists
- Magisterial Editorial Review
- Research Team
- Marketing Team
- Internet Infrastructure
- Customer Service
- Our Faithful Employees
- And much, much more...
All these good souls have families of their own to support, and we need to grant them consideration for their knowledge and faithful efforts to provide you with the content you deserve.
Sadly, less than 2% of people give. Most enjoy the content, and we are grateful for that. But it would be a very kind gesture if more gave thanks to God by supporting this critical Apostolate.
We want to continue serving you. We do not want to move valuable content behind a paywall. However, like anyone fighting a battle, we need support and reinforcements. That's why I am asking you to support our efforts by giving now.
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It is a privilege to serve Christ on the front lines of this struggle. Your gift keeps us in the fight! Please do what you can now. Your donations are tax-deductible where allowed by law.
Thank you so much for helping us. We are excited for another year of making a difference with you.
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