The Catholic School

2 Responses

  1. P.R.Margeot says:

    Thank you, Mr Shackleton, most interesting. Your letters are among the very best in the “Southern Cross”. It is a fact that the overwhelming majority in our Catholic schools are not Catholics, and that, since the 80’s. Notwithstanding the fact that thousands of non-Catholics have benefitted from the ethos and culture of these schools, and the fact that non-Catholics still prefer to send their children to these schools, one cannot deny that it is with some sadness that one sees that these schools are less and less Catholic. Frankly, I am ignorant of the religious instruction given, and by whom. But I can imagine the schools being extremely careful not to offend the non-Catholic children by teaching the Faith, the Catechism, the sacraments, the New Testament, etc.
    I do not know what formula they have adopted and what is the modus operandi. Can any one with teenage children enlighten us on what is taught in Religious Instruction at the Catholic schools?
    I often think of Muslim or Jewish schools which have retained their specific character and identity. I admire them for that.

  2. Mark Nel says:

    Mr Shackleton writes: “The concept of the Catholic school has altered over time.”

    That is certainly true.

    I sent my son to a Catholic school and in the five years that he was there the only thing that distinguished it as a Catholic School was the fact that it was named after a saint and that it “charged (fees) like a wounded buffalo”.

    There may be rare exceptions, but I think we are fooling ourselves if we believe that there are many truly Catholic Schools left in South Africa. I also think Mr Shackleton is sadly naive about the realities of our Catholic Schools.

    I certainly do not believe that they are teaching “young people the art of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect, dialogue and understanding”. At least not in anyway that differentiates them from any other school in South Africa.

    Mr Shackleton fails to mention that these same Catholic Schools also teach young Catholics that it is okay to compromise on their Catholic Faith in order to conform with the majority opinion in the school, which just so happens, as Mr Shackleton rightly says, to not be Catholic.

    Even Mass is reserved for only the very special occasions, to avoid offending the non-Catholics. Better to offend our Lord, than the majority in the school who are a source of huge sums of money for the school!

    There is no Catholic ethos in most of these schools and quite frankly all this talk about the continued value of Catholic Schools is a load of drivel. We sold out the Catholic Schools a long time ago and now we are seeking to justifying there continued identity as Catholic, when they are not.