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Archive for “Catholic Schools” news
Caroline Pla from Bucks County is the catalyst for what is quickly becoming a national cause celebre, and she's handling the spotlight impressively. Poised and eloquent, the 11-year-old Pla seems well aware of the stage and her role. The TV anchors and newspaper headlines claimed she was banned from playing football because she is a girl. Let me make an important clarification: Pla was banned from playing football because she is a girl and she is good.
Back in August, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced it was turning control of its 17 high schools and four special education facilities to an independent foundation. On Monday, the Faith in the Future Foundation is scheduled to introduce the first chief executive of Philly's Catholic high schools. Samuel Casey Carter—author of No Excuses: Lessons from 21 High-Performing, High-Poverty Schools and president of an education consulting firm near D.C.—will be introduced at SS. John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School in South Philly.Carter already had what he said was an inspiring meeting recently with Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. He plans
A trial has been re-scheduled for two men accused of raping the same boy at a Northeast Philadelphia parish in the late 1990s. The Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero, a former teacher at the parish school, were originally expected to face trial this week—but that fell through when a defense attorney reported two deaths in his immediate family. But their reprieve won't last long: Engelhardt and Shero are now expected to face a jury on Oct. 22. Former priest Edward Avery—already convicted in the same crime—is expected to take the stand as a prosecution witness. [AP]
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, today, announced that an independent foundation will take over management of its secondary and special education programs. Faith in the Future Foundation is the recently incorporated organization that will run the programs and look to grow a Catholic school system that has been hit hard by financial ailments and closings. The move makes the Philly schools the first independently-managed Catholic school system in America. [Inquirer]
I always try to check my emotions at the door when I begin a column. That’s why I rarely write in the first person. But, hey, I’m also human and a Philly Catholic, so I shed a few tears of joy when it was recently announced that four diocesan high schools and 18 elementary schools were reprieved from their death sentence and would remain open. I didn’t go to Bonner (mine was the other Augustinian school, Malvern), but a brother, an uncle and a bunch of my friends did. (In fact, my uncle was a member of Bonner’s first graduating class and has three Prendergast—yes, Prendergast—football letters. How’s that for trivia?). And I have an aunt who’s a grad of the school that has, perhaps, the greatest tradition of all—West Catholic.
"I don’t know Chief … this shark is either very smart, or very dumb … ” So was the famous line uttered by the legendary Quint in Jaws, as he was trying to figure out the intentions of the great white.After the recent roller-coaster ride regarding Philadelphia's Catholic School closings—and now the many reprieves—Catholics across the Philadelphia region are wondering the same thing: Is the Church hierarchy very smart (in a conniving way), or very dumb? Or are they, and the "blue-ribbon” school commission deciding the fate of so many, just downright incompetent?
I first met Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua when he walked into the NBC 10 studios as a guest on Live @ Issue, the Sunday morning news interview show I started. He was alone, no PR person, no entourage. The Cardinal was both physically and mentally fit. For a half hour he defended Catholicism, attacked then Mayor Rendell for his refusal to support school vouchers, and ended the show with a blessing for Philadelphia. He was charismatic, combative and impressive. I liked him.
Remember when you were a kid and your parents said no to the new puppy or the road trip or the new dress or whatever it was that you wanted and they didn’t? And you argued and argued and whined and begged and argued some more? Did they ever give in? In my home, I could count on my mother to say, “This discussion is over. Move on.” And my father would do that annoying thing where every time I started to speak he would make this “ch, ch, ch” sound so that I never got another word in on the subject. I hated their guts at the time but now, as an older and wiser parent myself, I see that tactic as good parenting. I’m the boss, and there’s no room for “appeal.”This brings me to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Catholic Education in Philadelphia and the closure/merger decisions that were recently made. I’m confused by the second phase of this debacle, the appeal process.
There is nothing Catholics like better than a good, old-fashioned miracle, and there is a million-dollar miracle in the making right now in Delaware County. In an attempt to save Archbishop Prendergast and Monsignor Bonner high schools in Drexel Hill from closing, the alumni associations and the surrounding community have come together in an inspirational and frantic fundraising drive.