November 25, 2013

In response to trustee Cindy Olsen’s letter on the Catholic authenticity of the separate school system (WCR, Nov. 11), I am concerned with what Olsen describes as “Catholic authenticity.”

I would like to know how Olsen is “measuring Catholicity in our schools.” When we look at social justice accomplishments in our schools that Olsen mentions, one could ask about all the social justice projects in the public schools and the good works done by schools of other faiths. Social justice of itself does not make our schools Catholic.

Our chaplains may do wonderful work, but there is not a chaplain in every Catholic school. As for the “inclusion of all students regardless of ability,” I do believe this is the case in other schools. Inclusion of all students does not make us Catholic.

As far as staff are concerned, a number of teachers in our system do not practise their Catholic faith and perhaps are not comfortable in teaching it to others. It is very difficult to pass on to others what you yourself do not possess.

In applying for a position as a teacher in the separate school system, one must get a pastoral letter from the local parish priest. This is not difficult, whether you are a practising Catholic or not.

Perhaps we could come together as Catholics, and perhaps you could come together as a board and focus on making us, as Catholics, stand out.

Let’s focus on the meaningfulness of prayer, increasing the participation in the sacraments and encouraging attendance at Mass.

Patricia Morris