Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Thoughts from the Supreme Knight of Columbus

I just finished listening to Carl A. Anderson's Annual Report of the Supreme Knight.

I want to pick up on a few things he said about the Culture of Life:

St. John Paul II taught us that only a civilization of love is worthy of human dignity and the truth about the human person. Building a civilization of love is the goal toward which our fraternal love of neighbor leads us.

At the center of the civilization of love is the culture of life. Each is inseparable from the other because each calls us to value and accept every human life.

Some in politics seem obsessed with publically opposing our Church’s teaching on human life. But we must differ with them. Our position is that every child should be loved, every child should be respected, and every child should be helped.

The cold child in need of a coat, the hungry child in need of food, the poor child in need of education, and the unborn child waiting to be born. All are on the margins of society, and all deserve to be supported and protected.

In good conscience we cannot abandon some and help others.

We will help all that we can. While some politicians try to divide the American people on social issues, we seek to overcome division, to bring people together and to help everyone. Even on abortion, an issue often considered the most divisive, our polling has found great unity among Americans. Our recent Knights of Columbus/Marist Poll revealed that more than four decades after the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, the vast majority of Americans do not accept abortion on demand. Eighty-four percent of Americans would limit abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy, and so would nearly 6 in 10 Americans who identify themselves as strongly pro-choice.

A majority of Americans believe life begins at conception, and more than 6 in 10 think abortion is morally wrong. And, perhaps most importantly, more than 8 in 10 Americans say that laws can protect both the well-being of a woman and the life of her unborn child.

What are we doing to protect all of our children? I hope we are finding ways to show them our love, and God's love for them, in all that we do. What are we doing to continue to build a Culture of Life in our society?

The Cost of Catholic Education

Having spent a number of years working with Catholic Schools, I am often surprised by number of people who do not understand the cost of sending their children to a Catholic school.

Many parents seem to think that the cost of education is the price charged for tuition. There is often a misunderstanding that families are being asked to pay the cost for the children to be educated.

In reality, parishes with parish schools, and other Catholic schools, are being supported by the local parish, possibly the diocese and the fundraising efforts of the school. Many times, the tuition that is being requested is less than 50% of the cost of education.

Families need to realize the benefit of the "scholarship" (while not listed as such) that is being offered though low tuition rates, in addition to other scholarships that are being offered. In the case of my current parish assignment, the cost of educating each child is a little over $9,000. This cost is high because of our low enrollment. We are charging $4,125 for tuition. This amounts to a $5,000 scholarship to every student enrolled in our school. When I was on the School Advisory Committee for Great Falls Central Catholic High School, the gap was even more.

I mention this so Catholic school families and benefactors realize the importance of continued support over and above the perceived cost of education indicated by our tuition rates.

Please remember to be generous in supporting Catholic Education in our Catholic Schools.