Tag Archives: David G Bonaguara JR

Catholic Schools….the tumble continues.

George Dunlap, January 31, 2021. As we relinquish control to the central and away from the local. We will always be confused about what is truth. God Bless.

David’s article below is a well written expose on the downward spiral …..our Catholic Schools are continuing. May God help us see the truth. Let us try to reverse the tumble as we begin “Catholic Schools Week” tomorrow.

Saving Catholic Schools

David G Bonagura, Jr. Saturday, January 30, 2021

The plight of American Catholic schools over the last half-century is well known. The nuns fled, tuitions rose, Catholicity retreated. A precipitous decline in enrollment followed. In 1960, there were 5.2 million students in 13,000 Catholic schools; these numbers have tumbled to 1.7 million students in 6,200 schools in 2020. Over these decades, declining school enrollment and closures ominously preceded declining church attendance and church closures.

Multiple efforts have been made to save Catholic education, including the establishment of “Catholic Schools Week,” which begins tomorrow, to celebrate Catholic education and market it to prospective students. For years, the marketing angle typically proclaimed the benefits of including faith as part of the educational enterprise. This year’s theme, for example, is “Faith. Excellence. Service.” This is why, the sales pitch says, parents should choose Catholic education over the free public education available down the block.

Judgment about this marketing campaign lies in the numbers: enrollment has still been dropping, schools have still been closing. Selling a faith-centered education to Catholics whose faith is nominal has not worked. Let’s face it: parents will not be attracted to – or pay for – what they only marginally believe in themselves.

We know, however, that parents will pay enormous sums to help their children advance in the secular world – athletic and music lessons, SAT prep tutors, and, yes, private schools – so long as these schools promise an edge in college admissions and getting ahead in the rat race.

Catholic schools’ primary purpose is to lead their students to Heaven, not to Harvard. But so long as a vast majority of Catholics prefer the latter for their children, Catholic school marketing should meet that reality. That is, Catholic schools must unabashedly offer an academic education that is more rigorous in content than in public schools, and one that is free of the bogus pedagogical theories and secular dogmas that have destroyed American schooling.

Once students are enrolled, Catholic schools can begin to catechize the children – and, through them, their parents – through a robust religion curriculum and a pervasive Catholic identity. If schools do their job well, students and their parents will graduate with their hearts set on Heaven, and with the goal of converting Harvard. *

Image: The Class of 1960 at St. Wenceslaus School in New Prague, MN

Catholic school curricula, then, have to differ from public schools in content and in delivery. Catholic school’s widespread adoption of the Common Core education standards removed the last vestiges of Catholicism’s distinctive academic program that flourished for centuries: a deep grounding in traditional mathematics and language arts study. As a result, academically speaking, there is nothing that distinguishes tuition-charging Catholic schools from their free, state-sponsored counterparts. Given this fact, it is no mystery why Catholic schools are closing.

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PALM SUNDAY WITHOUT PALMS

George “Thomas” Dunlap, 4/5/2020. Last week I turned 65, since I was a child, my family would return from Church on Palm Sunday, I would always have a palm in my hand, always, and now nothing. I believe in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. I now understand, having full and complete acceptance in our Lord without having to feel his wounds. I am learning how to accept without doubt, learning daily now, full belief in our God. AMEN. David G Bonaguar, JR, explains it best see below.

By David G Bonagura, Jr. Sunday, April 5, 2020

Today, in countless Catholic churches the world over, palms will not be given to the faithful. Many of us will watch piously on our TV screens as priests begin by blessing the palm branches in an action that makes this Mass so distinct, so memorable, and, normally, so tactile.

But not this year. We will not be present to receive our palms, to hold them as the Gospel of Jesus’ triumphal ascent into Jerusalem is read, to make crosses out of them, to thread them through our crucifixes upon returning home. It is a Palm Sunday without palms.

The annual commemoration of our Lord’s passion is not meant to be melancholic. Catholics rightly celebrate the events of Holy Week, knowing that the sorrowful passion is the means of our more glorious redemption. And so we begin Mass on this day with a note of triumph: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel. Hosanna in the highest!”

This year, however, our joy is tempered, with the Coronavirus keeping us from reliving these mysteries, as we ought. Ours is an historical religion, and it is through the Holy Week liturgies, above all, that we are mystically transported to the very moments that changed the world – and each of our lives – forever. Now we have to relive our history with our senses and souls deprived of the accessories: smells, sights, and even physical presence at the liturgical celebrations themselves.

Instead, we will find our historical anchor in something that transcends the senses: the deprivation the disciples felt between the passion and the resurrection.

Normally, receiving palm branches is the first act of our paschal celebration, and it points ahead to the end of the story a week hence. Christ enters Jerusalem today hailed by all as the king of the Jews. The palms, explains the liturgist Fr. Pius Parsch, are “symbols of our loyalty to Him and of our willingness to do Him homage.”

Entry of Christ into Jerusalem by Pietro Di Giovanni D’Ambrogio, c. 1440 [Pinacoteca Stuard, Parma, Italy]

* This procession was one of the few times in His life that our Lord accepted public honors. He only did so on His own terms, upsetting all our expectations of what we think a king should be. He received gold, the symbol of kingly power, only as a helpless infant. Now, as a man who has manifested unimaginable power, He chooses the meekness prophesized by Zechariah, repeated in today’s Mass: “Tell the daughter of Zion: Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass.” (Matthew 21:5)

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