Thursday, August 4, 2011

So many schools!

My stepdaughter’s volleyball camp was at a Catholic school this summer.  Then we went to visit a Catholic college; next came

“Why are there so many Catholic schools everywhere?” their brother asked.

I wish I had given a shorter answer; I fear I lost them! But here it is: God wants us to love and understand Him. In order to understand Him, we have to understand how He works in the world. In order to understand how He works, we have to be educated.

My husband is especially interested in the historical roots of the educational system: the middle ages, monasteries and parishes where common people could come to learn from the priests. Only the wealthiest nobility could afford a private tutor, which was the method of education at the time.

The definition of “school” prior to the monasteries meant a loose group of people who subscribe to a certain belief and perhaps have a common tutor. They were similar to today’s political parties or interest groups. Catholic priests and nuns changed all of that—“school” emerged as a central place for education, and so it is today.

On my part, I believe that true education in any subject is only possible if you can discuss God. Religion puts a purpose and a necessary moral structure beneath all of the sciences, literature, math, and especially the subjects that focus on people (social studies, psychology, anthropology, etc.).

Without God, we all just die away...there's no solid answer to the rebellious question "why bother?"  With God, we put what we learn to use forever.

-  Michelle Gracia

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