I’ve just read an interesting reflection on the future of Catholic education in Ontario by Jim Mulligan, CSC.( Reflections on the Paradigm Shift Affecting Catholic Education in Ontario )
Bro. Mulligan describes the context in which this discussion is taking place and the “paradigm shift” (a term that’s getting a little tired) in society. The author’s goal is to kick-start some thinking about our future… and that of our children.
From a parish perspective this is a critical discussion. Our schools are (or should/could be) the source for new parishioners both children and their parents. The link between parish/school should be strong and effective. If we don’t invest in our Catholic education system as we have it now, we will be forced to start again from scratch with an internal school system such as exist in the United States. As a member of an international religious order, I know too many parishes that really struggle to keep their schools going. Do we really want to go that route? Not me.
As a Catholic community we have helped forge the society we now have in Ontario. We have helped create a society which welcomes everyone, based on our Christian and Catholic social teaching. Now that same society is turning its back its own foundations. We need to reclaim our place at the communal table. Faith and Religion are not only to be tolerated in Ontario, they are part of the heart of what makes us strong.