The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Catholic Schools: Catholic High School Liturgy: A “Faithful Presence Within”

Authored by Fr. Stephen Reilly in Issue #9.1 of Catechetical Review

As another Holy Day of obligation rolls by, the question arises once again about the wisdom and sustainability of current Mass provision in our Catholic schools in Scotland. In our Cathedral parish here in Motherwell, we have three Sunday Masses, but between us as clergy we normally celebrate eight Masses on Holy Days, mainly in school settings, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and participation on the part of pupils. What is the point? Are we (as is often argued) sacramentalizing pupils who have never been evangelized, never mind catechized? In addition, as Catholic schools worldwide also become increasingly multi-faith—with, for example, 20 percent of non-Catholic pupils in Catholic schools today in the U.S. compared with 5 percent in 1972—is compulsory Mass attendance responding to the spiritual needs of all pupils?[1] And how can we strike a balance between the school’s responsibility to celebrate liturgically and the freedom of individual members to either embrace or opt out of such celebrations?

[1] National Catholic Educational Association (2022) Data Brief: 2021-22 Catholic School Enrollment, 1. https://images.magnetmail.net/images/clients/NCEA1/attach/Data_Brief_22_Catholic_School_Enrollment_v4.pdf

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This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting [email protected]

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