Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Catholic Schools Week: The Perfect Storm of the 70's and 80's


So what happen to those golden years of Catholic Education of the 1960’s?  Actually a number of events took place that quickly eroded the once successful model.
·         While Vatican II did an immeasurable amount of good for the Church, it did lead to many disheartened religious leaving the Church – including those who were teaching in the schools.
·         The population was on the move.  Armed with more resources than previous generations, families were able to leave the cities and head to the growing suburbs. With the minority of Catholic schools in the suburban areas there was no way for them to take this sudden influx from the urban schools.  Parents having less of an imperative to use Catholic schools and little options at their disposal, placed their in the public school system.  
·         A continued movement away from the Church began to drain the pews and thus the weekly collections. Yet thousands of schools, constructed at the turn of the 20th century were in need of repairs.
·         Artificial birth control, while banned by the Church, began to be used widely which was a contributing factor reducing the size of families.
·         Inflation was on the rise – four times the rate of the previous decades.  Therefore costs were rising, collections were down, enrollment was on the decline and there was no Internet to allow the dissemination of information in a quick and organized way as to the disaster taking place.
This is what is referred to as: The Perfect Storm
How much damage did this 'storm' create?
More tomorrow.

4 comments:

jw said...

So people had more resources, but less children, during a time when costs where rising AND were pissed at the church? The people who filled the church origanally had less resources, more children, and a love/need for their church? I'm thinking " he who has little will be given much..."???????

Meredith Gould said...

I'm appreciating this series on Catholic schools. These days, precious few people remember or know the history of Catholic education in the United States -- especially how, in urban areas, religious sisters made it excellent and possible for many without means to get an education. God bless them now and forever.

Bernard Long said...

You don't think rampant child rape by Catholics in that time period had any effect?

Kate Barnes said...

Thanks for sharing what you know about online education. Those who are still doubting on the said field will be educated by this.

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