Catholic Activity: Responsibilities of Parents with Children in Public Schools
Because Catholics must build and maintain schools without state aid, and also because we constitute a very small minority in some sections of the country, parochial schooling may not be available in your community. Nevertheless you should see that your children obtain adequate religious instruction and training. What is not presented in this book is the choice of home schooling.
First, you should co-operate fully by sending your youngsters to catechism classes at your church. From their earliest days, teach them that these classes are of the utmost importance for both their earthly happiness and the salvation of their souls.
Secondly, try to compensate at home for their loss of religious training at school. Apply the suggestions offered in the chapter on "Religious Practices in Your Home," frequent the sacraments with your children, encourage discussions on religious subjects, and make certain that they faithfully fulfill the assignments given at catechism school.
Thirdly, remain alert for indications that they may be unduly influenced by non-Catholic thinking. In communities heavily populated by those outside the faith, Catholic children seem to be especially subject to the fallacy that "one religion is as good as another." Once this idea is accepted it is an easy step into a mixed marriage and the loss of faith. You can help counteract this influence by impressing upon your child that the Church's unbroken line of authority extends back to St. Peter, whom Our Lord designated as the founder of His true Church.
Since you may be obliged to answer many questions which your children are asked by non-Catholic schoolmates, or to refute misstatements which your children hear, you might do well to equip yourself with literature that rebuts objections that non-Catholics raise against Church teaching. An excellent and inexpensive aid is the three-volume set, Radio Replies, consisting of answers to more than 4,000 questions asked of Catholic preachers. The book is published in a paper-cover edition by Fathers Rumble and Carty of the Radio Replies Press Society, St. Paul, Minn.
Finally, if your child attends a non-Catholic high school or college, strongly urge him to join the Newman Club, if one is in operation, or even to help start one. A Newman Club is an organization of Catholic students in a non-Catholic school. Through courses of instructions and social activities, it helps to strengthen the Catholic student against influences which tend to draw him away from the faith, and also helps him to form friendships with other Catholic boys and girls. Membership in a Newman Club often makes the difference between a student's maintaining the faith and losing it.
Activity Source: Catholic Family Handbook, The by Rev. George A. Kelly, Random House, Inc., New York, 1959