- Not Catholic enough. There is a distinct impression that the schools are watering down the Catholicism so they are palatable to non-Catholics who are needed to keep the enrollment numbers up. The schools are not much more than generic private schools with crucifixes on the walls
- Too expensive
- A drain on parish resources without giving anything back to the parish.
The third item is one of my biggest complaints. I have often mentioned that the parish school makes the CCD program feel like unwanted tenants when we use the classrooms after school hours. In fact, this year the school had “smart boards” installed in two classrooms and would not allow the CCD program to use those classrooms.
Our parish is in the middle of a big capital improvement campaign. When the additions to the school building were explained I was told all about the new auditorium with state-of-the-art multimedia capabilities. I specifically asked if this facility would be available for the whole parish to use or just for school events. I was assured that the improvements to the school were for the whole parish. The next week CCD classrooms were shuffled to keep the program out of the schoolrooms with smart boards. That does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling about the whole parish benefiting from the multimedia auditorium. I have not yet opened my pocketbook for this building campaign.
I wrote yesterday about my efforts to bring a culture of adult education to my current parish. There is a parish nearby that does not have an attached school. It seems to have a growing continuing faith formation program complete with a parish library and several adult program offerings. I am wondering if the lack of a parish school allows greater emphasis on catechesis for the general parish population. I would be interested in hearing from you if you think having a parish school affects the parish catechetical program, either positively or negatively.
UPDATE: see more reflections on this in the above post.