Don't Wait for the Teachers

Aug 18, 2022

Don’t Wait for the Teachers by Casey Chalk at Crisis Magazine. We as parents need to view ourselves not only as those bearing primary responsibility for catechizing our children in the truths of the Catholic Faith but for providing our children a robust moral and intellectual vision of the good life. We need to make a good-faith effort to communicate to our kids the wonder and splendor of the West’s intellectual and cultural inheritance, one that will provide them not only a thoroughly Catholic upbringing but a thoroughly human one that shapes how they view themselves and the world…. Ultimately, the two catechesis, of our Faith and our civilization, should go hand-in-hand…. And we shouldn’t wait for someone else, be it a teacher or CCD instructor, to do it for us. Otherwise, that time may never come. So, drop Disney and introduce Da Vinci and Dickens. You won’t regret it. Read Walking with Generation Z: Understanding the Loneliest Generation by Benjamin Eriksen at Catholic World Report. Generation Z is approaching adulthood. Those born between 1997 and 2012 now fill our middle schools, high schools, and colleges. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z was raised with the internet at their fingertips and iPads in their hands. They do not remember September 11, 2001, but grew up under its shadow. Their childhood has been marred by increasing political and social turmoil, as well as a global pandemic. They are taught to question everything, including religion and their sexuality, which has led over 20% of Gen Z to identify as LGBTQ+ and more than 50% of Gen Z to say that they doubt God’s existence more than they believe He exists. Read Forming ‘Warriors and Adventurers’ in Christ’s Army by David G. Bonagura, Jr. at The Catholic Thing. When children reach the appropriate age, parents have to do what they dread: teach the birds and bees. The world has actually helped us by concocting a self-centered and indulgent vision of human sexuality that contrasts sharply with the self-giving and sacrificial vision of the Church. It’s not hard to show how the Church’s deeper vision is more attractive, and there is no shortage of resources available to help us if we are not sure where to start…. If teaching these topics sounds daunting, consider that many teenagers drift from the faith because they learn through media and in school—in middle school and earlier—that abortion is a women’s right, that gender is a choice, that “love is love.” As they buy into these lies, they will come to see the Church as not only wrong, but as an enemy for opposing a person’s desires. And who wants to follow the enemy’s religion? The choice is ours: we can teach our children the correct view, or let the world teach them. Read Catholic Schools, Invigorated by ‘the Gift of Time,’ Trying to Make Gains While the Sun Shines by Matthew McDonald at National Catholic Register. Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver has encouraged school officials there to ask why Catholic schools exist and to try to make sure they’re fulfilling the Church’s mission, said Superintendent Elias Moo. One result is a 15-month teacher credential program for educators… [to learn] both teaching tools and ways to impart the faith. The program, run by the Institute of Catholic Liberal Education, includes philosophy and theology and is influenced by St. John Paul II’s 1998 papal encyclical Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason). It is beginning its second year this month. The school system in Denver is also implementing a new history curriculum that includes Catholic ideas…. The point of the new history curriculum, Moo said, is “being really intentional with how we look at the Church’s contributions in the context of the development of societies and civilizations…. [W]hat we’re trying to do is God-centric. We’re leading students out of themselves to come to an encounter with Jesus Christ.” Read Principal Calls Vandalism at Catholic School in Washington ‘a Hate Crime’ by Richard Szcepanowski at Our Sunday Visitor. On Aug. 11, school officials discovered that overnight vandals destroyed property outside of the church, toppling and decapitating the school’s statue of St. Anthony, pulling up benches from the school playground and damaging a concrete windowsill…. The damage at St. Anthony School, which was reported to the police, is the latest in a rash of vandalism at Catholic religious properties. In July multiple fires were set inside St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Maryland. The Stations of the Cross also were taken down from the walls and the tabernacle was broken open. During the week of Aug. 8, vandals broke a window pane at another local Catholic church and put a running hose through it, covering the vestibule with water. At the end of last year, a marble statue of Our Lady of Fátima on the grounds of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington was vandalized, with Mary’s hands and nose cut off, her face scratched and the cross on her crown broken off…. Last October, a swastika was found painted on a pillar at the parking lot of Annunciation Catholic Church in Northwest Washington. Read Yes, You Need the Liberal Arts by John Agresto at Washington Examiner. [C]onsider James Madison. Without his study of the troubled history of all prior democracies or his inquiries into all confederacies, both classical and modern, coupled with his deep reflection on what we were once bold to call “human nature,” Madison could not have become the father of the Constitution. Without their philosophical, political, and historical studies of the preconditions of popular governments and the nature of tyrannical rule, Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay could not have written The Federalist Papers, nor could the populace have read and understood them…. But let us remember things more ordinary: Few of us are called to be great leaders in this or that aspect of high public life. We are called to be parents, friends, neighbors, and citizens. Read Who Will Raise Children? Their Parents or the Bureaucratic Experts? by Jay P. Greene at Washington Examiner. The fight over school choice is really a battle over a basic question: Who will raise our children? If parents can choose how and where their children are educated, they are effectively determining how their children will be raised. Education not only affects economically useful skills, such as literacy and numeracy, but also shapes the character of young people by emphasizing certain values and role models. Parents have long recognized the importance of education in character formation, which is why historically, they had large control over who taught their children—and over what they were being taught. But in recent decades, the role of parents in determining the education of children has increasingly been displaced by a professional class of experts…. The experts don’t just want to dictate how to teach dry academic content, though; they also seek to impose their preferred values on children regardless of parental concerns…. The best way to ensure that parents are in charge of raising their own children is to expand school choice. Read Conservatives Praise Arizona's 'Gold Standard' School Choice Program on Heritage Panel by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. A group of conservative education experts praised Arizona's recently enacted universal school choice program during a panel discussion on school choice and education policy at the Heritage Foundation…. "Arizona just went all in ... and said, 'You know what? We're going to expand educational freedom to every single student, every single family, regardless of income.' They're going to be able to take their kids' state-funded education dollars to the education providers of their choosing," said the American Federation for Children's DeAngelis, noting Arizona is the "gold standard" for education choice programs. Read Families Need Educational Choice to Help Their Children to Succeed by Sen. Tim Scott at Washington Examiner. I believe in empowering parents to advocate the future of their children and, by extension, the future of America. Education is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It is the result of a partnership between parents and educators working together in the best interest of the children. The more choices parents have, the better chance their children have to succeed…. Low- and middle-income families deserve every avenue to access the American dream for their children, and education is the first step on that road. And no one knows better than parents what their children need to succeed, especially when it comes to their education…. The polling data on this are clear: Parents want choices. A recent poll shows that school choice is overwhelmingly popular with white, black, Hispanic, and Asian parents. And these parents aren’t just voicing their opinions in polls—they are showing us with their feet. Since 2020, more than 1 million students have left public schools. Read Throwback Thursday Grounding Your Children in Good Books Will Change Their Lives by Susanna Spencer at National Catholic Register on October 1, 2021. Knowing the truth, about God and ourselves, is the ultimate reason for reading literature. Through reading good books, we come to understand the human condition in all of its fallenness and the potential for redemption. The stories and characters we encounter in books stay with us throughout our lives. Some we relate to on a personal level; others help us understand our differences; still others make mistakes so that we don’t have to. What our children learn in the good books will help them be better people for the rest of their lives. Read