Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Catholic School Closing Caveat from Christine Flowers

Core Values is what it is all about.

This past Saturday, it was my privilege to welcome five young men from St. Gabriel Parish in Canaryville to Leo High School - Tommy, Mitch, Brian, Joe and Kevin. Asked them about their grades at St. Gabe's or Graham Elementary and four gents sparked up -"As & Bs" The biggest of the quintet, a red-headed freckled Bowery Boy escapee, was quiet. I asked, "How about you,pal?"

" I made the D Honor Roll!" remarked the future Leo Hall Fame inductee.

These guys will do fine. We had a nice crowd of test-taking Lions-to-be, mostly African American guys from the immediate neighborhoods, and several more Mexican American lads from Marquette Park and Scottsdale.

Last week it was reported that the Chicago Archdiocese Office of Catholic Schools reported the best enrollment in over forty years. That is news to celebrate, but briefly.

Other Catholic cities are not doing as well. My friend, lawyer and journalist, Christine Flowers posted a sobering report on the closings of Catholic Schools in Philadelphia, PA.

But, just as the secular fabric loosened, and families became less cohesive, so did the greater Catholic community. Sure, the vast majority of Philadelphia faithful continued to send their money and their kids to the Archdiocese, partly because they wanted to and partly because they had no other option. Private schools were too expensive or too far away (and too snotty), while public schools in the city started to get pretty dicey. I mean, we can talk all we want about Central and Masterman, but given the choice between a thwack on the fingers by a nun and a knife at the throat from a classmate, the choice was easy for most Catholic (and even non-Catholic) parents.

But a growing number of people decided that they'd prefer to spend their money elsewhere, even that relatively modest amount that the Archdiocese was asking for in tuition. And then you had the people who decided that the church didn't deserve their money because, as we all know, it was a haven for pedophiles, women-haters and homophobes. And there were always those who didn't want their kids brainwashed by the "religious kooks" and preferred to send their parents' grandchildren to nice secular places where they distribute condoms in the vending machines.

I hear you saying that it's not all a culture-war problem. That's true. It's a lack of common sense, from both God and Caesar. In making a complete and tragic mess of the abuse scandal, the church not only lost the moral high ground but made sure that the lawyers would start coming out with their claws unsheathed, ready to file lawsuits at the drop of a miter. You can't convince me that some of the schools targeted for closure couldn't have been saved if a million-dollar settlement hadn't already been paid out to Altar Boy Doe.

And the secular governments that are so obsessed with that wall between church and state, the one made of imaginary constitutional brick, heed the cries of the secularists and make sure to block vouchers at every possible turn. When you realize what the Catholic-school system saved the city in resources, you understand that the only reason it could have opposed vouchers was a suicidal fear of religious indoctrination.

It feels like a tidal wave has flooded Philadelphia, sweeping away generations of good things and cherished memories: my mom's alma mater, West Catholic; St. Hubert's, rock of the Northeast; Prendie and Bonner, in my own back yard.

I don't have any answers. Just tears.

When virtue disappears from the public, politicians can do exactly what they want. It is virtuous to give our children an education rooted in core values. Core values are important -even the government says so - this is from the National Park Service

What are Core Values?

The core values of an organization are those values we hold which form the foundation on which we perform work and conduct ourselves. We have an entire universe of values, but some of them are so primary, so important to us that through out the changes in society, government, politics, and technology they are STILL the core values we will abide by. In an ever-changing world, core values are constant. Core values are not descriptions of the work we do or the strategies we employ to accomplish our mission. The values underlie our work, how interact with each other, and which strategies we employ to fulfill our mission. The core values are the basic elements of how we go about our work. They are the practices we use (or should be using) every day in everything we do. ( emphasis my own)

CORE VALUES: Govern personal relationships
Guide business processes
Clarify who we are
Articulate what we stand for
Help explain why we do business the way we do
Guide us on how to teach
Inform us on how to reward
Guide us in making decisions
Underpin the whole organization
Require no external justification
Essential tenets

Operating practices
Business strategies
Cultural norms
Changed in response to market/ administration changes
Used individually

Catholic Schools have been successful because they stuck to core values -

To Know, Love, and Serve Jesus Christ
Perhaps it may be said that an even more foundational core value of the Catholic Church is to assist every one in the world - including we ourselves - to know, love, and serve Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, both in this life and in the next.

Great warning to Catholics, Christine.
Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_core_values_of_Catholicism#ixzz1jjWXqAGa

No comments: