How bad is it for active Catholic teens in “#Catholic” schools. Very bad! #oecta #ocsb #catholicteachers #catholicedwk @archtoronto

 

https://ruor.uottawa.ca/bitstream/10393/34621/1/Gareau_Paul_2016_thesis.pdf

Basically almost all teens are “baptized pagans”

 

Excerpt:

““People  are ‘Catholic’ and going to Catholic schools, but they’re not really Catholic as in they  don’t believe in God or if they believe in God, they don’t believe in the Catholic faith. So you go to Catholic school and you’re forced to go to religion class, but then in religion class you’re not even told the truth about religion. So these people have misconceptions of what being Catholic is, but they’re in Catholic schools. So they’re  specifically Catholic, so I feel that they become bitter to being Catholic.

 

 

1.3.1. Religion in Catholic Schools

The most frequent comment about religion at school was that people are
largely non-religious, in various ways. Some noted that many Catholic youth
attending Catholic schools are not at all interested in Catholicism, in terms of either
practice or identification. Vanessa, an active volunteer in her community, spoke with
a twinge of disdain about her relationship with the religious structure of Catholic
school: “I’ve never been at a Public school but for me, you don’t really see that it’s Catholic other that you have monthly masses and prayer in the morning.”

 Ryan, who explained the dynamic with his non-practicing peers: “Well you could call them
Catholic; they’ve been baptized and have been to the Catholic schools and they’ve
received communion and confirmation and everything so […] they don’t go to mass,
like we have once a month we have mass at school where a priest comes to school to
do a mass um, and most of the people they will skip.”
Jocelyn, a Disciple Leader in her early 20s, expressed a same attitude: “People
are ‘Catholic’ and going to Catholic schools, but they’re not really Catholic as in they
don’t believe in God or if they believe in God, they don’t believe in the Catholic faith. So you go to Catholic school and you’re forced to go to religion class, but then in religion class you’re not even told the truth about religion. So these people have
misconceptions of what being Catholic is, but they’re in Catholic schools. So they’re
specifically Catholic, so I feel that they become bitter to being Catholic.” This
underscores an important point regarding a perceived ambivalence among the nonengaged
Catholic youth in Catholic schools. In Jocelyn’s view, this is due to a lack of
evangelical culture in schools—one that would support personal religious
engagement and take religion more seriously.
Interviewees talked about the struggles they faced within this environment
in trying to be openly religious. Jocelyn went on to explain how religiously engaged
students were negatively perceived and why: “When you’re in a Catholic school and
you are super, super Catholic, I feel like the people who aren’t Catholic or Catholic in
name only, look at you as the outsider. I almost feel like if you go to Catholic school…
you go to Catholic school and the thing you bond over is that you go to Catholic
school but you’re not really Catholic and you don’t really care.” Again, she
underlines the negative association with religion within school culture, i.e. being a
religiously engaged Catholic at a Catholic school is uncool. John, a small and
thoughtful youth participant of, spoke of his friend’s experience of falling out of
religion: “His parents went to church but they gave him a choice: ‘If you want to, you
can go to church on Sundays, but you don’t have to.’ And most of the time he didn’t
go to church.” John pointed out that the norm was not to engage in religion, even if
one had a deep desire otherwise. Sometimes academic and social pressures got in
the way of fulfilling religious goals. Carry, aged 18 and struggling over her active
religious identity, reflected on her internal conflict: “I’m supposed to be in the
chapel now and I’m supposed to pray, because a lot of the time, praying is pushed
aside, like I got all these assignments and tests to study for so praying kind of got left
in the way side. But having that reminder and having people being like, ‘Where were
you? You missed praying, we missed you. This was your idea!’” Though she had
trouble finding the time and putting in the effort to reach her goals, her friends
helped her stay on track, which made her feel better.
Many of the adults spoke of these same issues within Catholic schools. Father
Stéphane, in an outspoken manner, reiterated the problems of a “culture faith,” and
that high school was more inclined to a “culture of fear; there’s an awful lot of fear in
high schools, fear of not belonging, fear of not being accepted, fear of not fitting in.”
This has an effect not only on students, but also on teachers, in their attitudes
against fully engaging the pedagogy and practice of Catholicism. Father Stéphane
lamented the reality of a culture of accommodation rather than evangelization.
Marilyn presented similar views on the problems with Catholic schools. “Our
schools are not imbued with the Catholic faith because we have non-Catholic
teachers in our Catholic schools, we have teachers who are Catholic in name only
and don’t practice our Catholic faith. And the kids know that.” She felt that teachers,
course material, and parents were equally to blame for the lukewarm and lackluster
way that Catholicism was being perceived and taught. These interviewees viewed
schools as places of overwhelming ambivalence that posed a challenge for those
adults and students who wished to live their religious identities more actively.

1.3.2. Perceptions of Public Schools
In contrast to the polarizing experiences of Catholic school, many of the
participants viewed public schools as places where someone can more safely
express their religious identity within a pluralism of different identities. Marilyn
reflected, “In a public school, you can be Hindu, Muslim, Evangelical with a Bible
under your arm, you can be Catholic, nobody cares because everyone does their own
thing. In a Catholic school, you are either Catholic geek or you’re cool.” Jocelyn also
reflected this idea, based on her personal experience of going to public school with a
great number of different Christian denominations, where everyone got along
without conflict over religious identity. Tied to his negative experience in Catholic
school, Ryan expressed the desire to go to public schools or privately funded
Catholic school in order to more fully express his religious identity.
Not all perceptions of public school were positive, however. Some young
participants expressed that public schools could not accommodate their needs for
developing a more engaged religious identity. John spoke of his friend who wanted
to practice her faith in public school but could not. Bradley, aged 16, spoke of how
religion class in public school just wasn’t fun because it lacked in content and
enthusiasm, which left him disappointed. Amanda, aged 14 and also shy, spoke of
the awkward cultural divide between Catholic and public schools: “In the morning
we have prayers, which are like I don’t know I find it nice; one day there’s kids on
the bus who go to public school, and they don’t understand why we had prayers in
the morning.” Other interview participants shared this experience of being singled
out, but such experiences were not exclusively with public school students. They
problems these interviewees felt were related to their level of engagement in
religious activities and religious identity

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