US Bishops Laud Plan for 1M Latino Students by 2020

Seen as a Challenge for the Church

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WASHINGTON, D.C., DEC. 15, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ commission on education is welcoming an initiative to double the percentage of Hispanic students enrolled in Catholic schools, bringing their number to one million by 2020.

Bishop Thomas Curry expressed praise for the goal set by a Notre Dame Task Force on the Participation of Latino Children and Families in Catholic Schools.

The task force released their report “To Nurture the Soul of a Nation: Latino Families, Catholic Schools, and Educational Opportunity” on Dec. 12.

“The study highlights two items in particular: Hispanic students who attend Catholic schools do better than their counterparts who do not; and Catholic schools are not attracting enough Hispanic students,” said Bishop Curry. “The study is a challenge to the Church to get the word out and spread the good news in the Hispanic community.”

The task force has proposed bringing the percentage of Hispanic children in Catholic schools to 6%, doubling their current 3% enrollment.

The campaign proposes to thereby aid Catholic schools facing low enrollment and simultaneously close the achievement gap plaguing the Hispanic community.

“The message of Our Lady of Guadalupe, that culture is enlivened by faith, challenges us to open for Latino children the rich opportunity of a Catholic school education,” said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and a member of the task force.

Bishop Curry agreed: “As in the past, Catholic schools are a gift to the Catholic immigrants to America. We rejoice in and celebrate that fact.”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Analysis of the Notre Dame report: www.zenit.org/article-27843?l=english

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