Wednesday morning here in Beirut. Lebanon is an example to the whole world of how when different ethnic groups and different religions work together, there can be peace and stability. I would love for you to be able to see what we are seeing here… the freshness, the vigor, the youth, the vitality of the Christian faith that gives the refugees here hope, what the Church is doing to help, and the longing of these people.
It’s been another great day everybody! Thanks for checking in. We started the day at the Melkite Catholic Cathedral, then visited the magnificent School of Saint Rita. From there were went to a soup kitchen and a refugee camp. Once again I leave so grateful for the work that the Church does, and thank you for your support of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, so visible here in Lebanon.
Today I’m coming to you from the USCCB headquarters in Washington, D.C., where I’m with Father Joseph Corpora, C.S.C. of the Alliance for Catholic Education to talk about Catholic schools. Thanks for tuning in!
Last week we observed “Catholic Schools” Week, a chance to trumpet the acclaimed work of our schools – – which, as one of our elected officials in Albany remarked, “Does twice the good work at half the price” in educating our children – – and to thank our leaders and benefactors for helping us keep them strong.
If last week was a high, this week we’re down, as we’ve had to announce the closing of five schools. Another will transition to an early childhood center in September.
Yes, the somberness is softened some as we recall that these are the first…
I’m just back from the Philippines where I was privileged to take part in the International Eucharistic Congress. What an uplifting and inspiring week it was! The people were filled with a love of their faith, and a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. One striking feature was how well catechized the people were – a result of a vibrant Catholic school system there, that has the respect of all of Filipino society.
What good timing that I have returned home as we begin Catholic Schools Week. Anytime is a good time to celebrate our splendid Catholic schools. We thank God…
On Friday the New York Post published an op-ed I wrote on the Education Investment Tax Credit:
The concept of the tax credit is simple, and similar plans have already been passed in 21 other states and the District of Columbia.
Donors would be encouraged to contribute to scholarship funds for private schools, or to donate to support public schools, for which they would receive a credit on their tax returns…
Gov. Cuomo told us he supported the bill, as did Senate leader Dean Skelos. Eighty-eight members of the Assembly had signed on as co-sponsors. It had overwhelming support in the state…
Support continues to grow for the Education Investment Tax Credit. Here is an excerpt from an editorial in the Daily News:
Timothy Cardinal Dolan and his fellow bishops are keeping up the good fight for a tax credit to boost scholarships for kids in Catholic schools and similar institutions.
For the sake of hundreds of thousands of New York families who deserve a break, Albany must heed the bishops’ call.
The concept is to create a special tax break for donations to education — $150 million for public schools and $150 million for contributions to private-school scholarship funds.
Read the entire editorial…
Why does this matter to others? It matters because a child who attends a Catholic school is much likelier to finish high school and attend college than his or her public-school counterpart.
In Buffalo, for example, 99 percent of Catholic high school students graduate — more than twice the 47 percent rate for public-school students. Ninety-eight percent of the Catholic-school students go on to college.
Meanwhile, fewer than 10 percent of Buffalo public-school students leave high…