Skip to comments.Catholic Schools Are Saving New Orleans' Children (Dominicans Sisters)
Posted on 07/26/2009 7:23:24 PM PDT by bronxville
Catholics Teach the Children of New Orleans
Since the Katrina disaster, the schools of the Archdiocese of New Orleans have swelled to double the enrollment of the local public schools -- 40,000 to 20,000. Rev. Neal McDermott, O.P., superintendent of the Catholic schools, told me yesterday that the archdiocese is facing a financial crunch when the $10 million in Catholic Charities money, allocated in 2006 to help the schools following the hurricane, runs out.
"Beginning in June 2010, we will have to find $700,000 a year to replace those funds," he said. (Gov. Bobby Jindal eased some of the financial burden by getting a voucher bill passed for kindergarten through fourth grade.)
Since all the public schools in New Orleans have been officially pronounced "failing," parents have been moving their children to charter schools and private schools, but above all to Catholic schools, where 60 percent of the 40,000 students are non-Catholic.
This past spring the Catholic high schools graduated 2,785 seniors, with an amazing 96 percent being admitted into college and another 2 percent into the military. That compares with a 40 percent graduation rate in the public schools. "We teach students from the same neighborhood as the public schools, but we act in loco parentis, because many of these children get little supervision or food at home," Father McDermott explains. The Catholic schools provide their students breakfast, lunch, a snack, and afternoon supervision so that homework is completed before the students go home.
Father McDermott had to consolidate a number of "central schools" in the inner city to accommodate the demand for Catholic education. One of the archdiocesan schools is the Cathedral Academy in the French Quarter, where five Nashville Dominicans are teaching. These five sisters walked through the streets of the Quarter recruiting students, including some from a cruise ship docked in the harbor, where the families of firemen and other service personnel were living after the floods.
"The sisters are applauded wherever they go," Father McDermott told me.
Speaking of the Nashville Dominicans . . .
The sisters praised by Father McDermott are the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville. These Sisters of St. Dominic are among a relative handful of women religious who are revitalizing Catholic schools with teaching sisters. The Nashville order is almost 150 years old but has undergone a remarkable burst of growth in the past 20 years. As reported by the Catholic News Agency, there are 230 Nashville Dominicans serving in 34 schools around the country, as well as some in Australia, at the invitation of George Cardinal Pell. Their remarkable growth continues, with 45 sisters in their initial formation program and even more expected in the fall. On Friday, a Mass will be celebrated to "witness the Religious Profession of Perpetual Vows" of sisters at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville. Last year, in 2008, eleven sisters made final vows.
**The Nashville order is almost 150 years old but has undergone a remarkable burst of growth in the past 20 years. As reported by the Catholic News Agency, there are 230 Nashville Dominicans serving in 34 schools around the country,**
They are growing — and notice that they all wear habits. This is the new trend!
God bless them.
I am not Catholic - but God bless these sisters and these Christian schools!
“This past spring the Catholic high schools graduated 2,785 seniors, with an amazing 96 percent being admitted into college and another 2 percent into the military. That compares with a 40 percent graduation rate in the public schools.”
Yes, and they’re doing such a great job.
They’re providing invaluable service toward the rebuilding of New Orleans.
Don’t tell me Looter guy teaching those sweet kids LOL!
Same here. May they continue to grow! Finally some good news.
Yes and thank God for that!
Yes, good to read!
I was taught by Dominicans. They are wonderful teachers.
Meanwhile, here in CA, the parochial elementary school I went to was just closed, as was the one my children attended. Of course, by this time their staff was all lay teachers and no nuns were in sight.
They are growing and notice that they all wear habits. This is the new trend!
This gives me hope.
God bless them.
I second that, FRiend.
Bump for later reading
This is heartening to see the improvements.
Pelican State ping
Based on the occasional mailings I receive from them, the Nashville Dominicans are unreservedly loyal to the Pope and the Magisterium. Therefore, it is not surprising that they are blessed with many vocations.
Compare that to the other orders that have given in to an ill-conceived “spirit of Vatican II” and embraced heterodox opinions.
Thank you for posting this. New Orleans have always held our religious in high esteme especially the Dominican and Ursuline Orders. We have some very old Catholic schools that have produced some wonderful young woman. For so long the public has had only our crooked politicians to focus on when we have other grand things going on with us - the Dominicans being one. It feels good to know these devoted women are growing. Sometimes the old ways are far better, and “change” is not necessarily a good thing:).
Particularly in both the seventh and eighth grades at my Dominican grade school in Miami, I was lucky enough to be taught by a wonderful little Irish nun with a remarkable sense of humor. She had all manner of tricks to keep us interested and to help us enjoy and excel at our school work. I remember that after prayers, we began each day with singing class, there was a small Wurlitzer organ in the classroom that Sister played. Some songs were in Latin, some in French, and, although this was the 1960s, some were popular tunes from the turn of the century. I loved her class and still think of her often. Thank you Sister Daniel Maureen OP!