A good education? – a reflection from Ireland

September is the time when many parents are sending their children off to college or university for the first time.  Your son or daughter has achieved enough points in the Leaving Certificate to get a place in one of the many third level institutions across the country.  It can be a proud but daunting moment for you and them.

If you do not qualify for a grant, you will have to pay out several thousands of euros to secure their course fees, as well as their accommodation.  Over the next three or four years, you will be collecting them from bus or train stations to bring them home for the weekend if you are lucky.

Over that period of time too, you will notice a change in them.  Unless they have a strong faith and come from a strong Catholic background, they will be radicalised into the secular agenda, i.e. they will be champions for homosexual ‘marriage’, abortion, transgenderism and any other nonsense that the university they attend is pushing.

Is that money well spent?  I don’t think so.  And yet thousands of parents across the country fool themselves into thinking their children are getting an adequate third level education.

But there is no point in blaming the young students.  For years now their parents have abandoned the faith.  They no longer see the importance of attending Sunday Mass as a family.  They remain indifferent to the fact that in both primary and secondary Catholic schools, the level of interest in anything Catholic is at an all-time low.  And they jump on any idea that the established media and government are pushing.

For the most part too, our priests and bishops remain silent.  They are either afraid to speak up for Church teaching or have lost the ability to communicate the faith.  Some of the ways they could counteract the loss of faith could be:

  1.  Put their resources behind an authentic Catholic University.  Such places have proven successful in America and could be used as a role model here.
  2. To refuse to have material on primary and secondary school curriculums that is contrary to Catholic teaching and to have on-going training for Religion teachers.
  3. In dioceses they could communicate better to their flock by publishing diocesan newsletters.  These could be a great way to pass on the faith.
  4. Encouraging priests to fearlessly preach the Good News.  Too many times, the sermons are like What It Says In The Papers – all politically correct but religiously wrong.

These are only suggestions of course but to quote Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Author – Tom English

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