SOME parents claim that their children do not learn anything in the

Catholic school. It is good policy always to accept this statement as

true in all its parts; it may be true, and it is never good to deny the

truth. All are not equally endowed with brains in this world. If a

child has it dinned into his ears that the school he attends is

inferior, he will come to be convinced of the fact; and being

convinced, he will
et to work verifying it, in his case, at least.

Heredity may have something to do with it; children are sometimes

"chips of the old block,"--a great misfortune in many cases,

handicapping them in the race of life. It is well, therefore, not to

claim too much for our schools. We concede the point.

Another parent thinks that because he went through the public schools

and kept the faith in his day, his children may be trusted to do the

same. This objection has a serious front to it. It does seem strange

that children should not walk in the footsteps of their worthy parents;

but the fact is, and facts are stubborn things, the fact is that they

do not always act thus. And they might tell you, to justify their

unseemly conduct, that the conditions that obtained in life in olden

days are not the same as at present; that there were no parochial

schools then to offer a choice in matters of education and that kind

Providence might have taken this into consideration: that it was the

custom in those days for children to imitate the rugged virtues of

their parents struggling against necessity on one hand and bigotry on

the other; but that through the powerful influence of money, the

progeny of the persecuted may now hobnob with the progeny of the bigot,

and the association is not always the best thing in the world for the

faith and religious convictions of the former, unless these convictions

are well grounded in youth. The parent therefore who kept the faith

with less had a very considerable advantage over his child who

apparently has more privileges, but also more temptations and dangers.

The objection does not look so serious now.

Of course there is the question of social standing--a very important

matter with some parents of the "nouveau riche" type. A fop will gauge

a man's worth by the size of his purse or the style and cut of the coat

he wears. There are parents who would not mind their children's sitting

beside a little darkey, but who do object most strenuously to their

occupying the same bench with a dirty little Irish child. A calico

dress or a coat frayed at the edges are certainly not badges of high

social standing, but they are not incompatible with honesty, purity,

industry and respect for God, which things create a wholesome

atmosphere to live in and make the world better in every sense of the

word. There is no refinement in these little ones, to speak of, not

even the refinement of vice. There is something in the air they breathe

that kills the germ of vice. The discipline considers sin a worse evil

than ignorance of social amenities, and virtue and goodness as far

superior to etiquette and distinction of manners. If a different

appreciation of things is entertained, we grant the inferiority of our


"But then, it is so very un-American, you know, to maintain separate

schools in opposition to an institution so intensely American as our

public school system. This state of affairs fosters creed prejudices

that it is the duty of every true American to help destroy. The age of

religious differences is past, and the parochial school is a perpetual

reminder of things of the past that were best forgotten."

We deny that the system that stands for no religious or moral training

is intensely American. This is a Christian land. If our denial cannot

be sustained, we consider such a system radically wrong and detrimental

to the best interests of the country; and we protest against it, just

as some of us protest against imperialism, high tariff and

monometalism. It is wrong, bad, therefore un-American.

We also claim that the Protestant propaganda that is being carried on

under the guise of non-sectarian education is unspeakably unjust and

outrageous. Protestantism is not a State institution in this country. A

stranger might think so by the way public shekels are made to serve the

purposes of proselytism; but to make the claim, in theory, or in

practise, is to go counter to the laws of this land, and is un-American

to a degree. That is another un-Americanism we protest against.

We teach truth, not creed prejudices; we train our children to have and

always maintain a strong prejudice for religious truth, and that kind

of prejudice is the rock-bed of all that is good and holy and worth

living for. We teach dogma. We do not believe in religion without

dogma, any more than religion without truth. "That kind of religion has

not been invented, but it will come in when we have good men without

convictions, parties without principles and geometry without theories."

If there is anything un-American in all this, it is because the term is

misunderstood and misapplied. We are sorry if others find us at odds on

religious grounds. The fact of our existence will always be a reminder

of our differences with them in the past. But we are not willing to

cease to exist on that account.