Catholic Education

John Francis Maguire

Catholic Education—The Catholic Church in Advance of the Age—Catholic Teaching favourable to Parental Authority—Protestant confidence in true Catholics—The Liberal American Protestant—Catholic Schools—The Sister in the School and the Asylum—Protestant Confidence in Convent Schools—The Christian Brothers—Other Teaching Orders—From the Camp to the School

FROM the earliest moment that a Catholic community was gathered together in the United States, it sought to train its youth in the principles of religion. The history of Catholic education in America would form a story of the deepest interest to those who reverence steadfastness and courage. It would record privations cheerfully endured, poverty and want heroically disregarded. But the grand object—the moral training of the young—successfully advanced. The efforts of the clergy to promote this essential object have been almost marvellous, considering the difficulties of their position and the smallness of their means, as well as the influences which opposed them; but the result would have been scanty and partial, were there not the devotedness and self-sacrifice of holy women to appeal to. The same spirit that impelled the Sister to brave the perils of the fever shed and cholera ward gave her fortitude to endure the drudgery of teaching in the crowded school; and, thanks alike to the energy of the religious communities throughout the United States, and the respect in which they and their work are held, female education for Catholic youth is now provided for to a very large extent. There is much more to be done, but vast things have been already accomplished.