Sunday, March 4, 2007

Some thoughts before the storm..

Parents, alumni..students. All ready for today. I am more than certain though that the Allentown diocese is, as well..

An interesting thing happened this weekend. I saw a few folks that attended Cardinal Brennan, and in their old age they have become some of the biggest contributors to the school. Family name withheld.

I brought up the possibility that Cardinal Brennan may close. The husband of the family quickly got up and covered his mouth. I was confused, until his wife said that he has been having chest pains since the news started coming out.. Of course I felt terrible..

But that is exactly what it comes down to: A generation, and a history. The fact that Cardinal Brennan was a private school doesn't make it any less important. I even heard one argument that since CB was so expensive (at least in the last 4 or 5 years especially) the chances it closes won't hurt anyone but rich people... It may come down to a us vs them philosophy for some people, but 'the rich' are not 'the evil'. And the wealthty make sacrifices by sending children to private schools just as 'poor' do.

Furthermore, there have been more than wealthy people that went to CB in its history, granted the wealthy were included with alumni and students. However, percentage wise, since public school districts have more students in general, there will also be rich there, too.

Throughout generations, some principals made it easier for students of a lesser than wealthy background to attend school; years ago Father Frans Berkhout made a promise that any child of any background that wanted a Catholic education would get one.

There's something even bigger, though.

Kids don't go to Church like their parents and godparents.. Kids don't keep the same faith obligations as their ancestors. Things have changed.

And arguably, it's not just the kids. It is also a Church that handles church and school closings in less than respectable ways. It could be the last few years worth of news stories of priests gone bad. It could be the sneaking suspicion that money is a bigger issue than student involvement with Catholic education.

There are a lot of factors that go into this story.. A lot of back stories.. A lot of feelings and emotions. And a like of fears.

Fears for junior class persons that will not have the same chances if their school suddenly shuts down and their parents have to seek out a new school just for one more year.. and then what about colleges..?

A lot of questions. And judging from how Catholic schools have been closed in the Coal Region before, probably not as many answers.

But that won't stop people from fighting for something they believe deep in their hearts is important for their future.. And past.

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