Yes, the Catholic Church Does Good Things

Christine Whelan | Posted on 05/20/10

Great piece by Dan Henninger in today's Wall Street Journal

Here's something you don't read every day: a positive story about the Catholic Church. Amid the media brimstone and penitential outpourings, much of organized Catholicism proceeds with its mission. This is one corner of that mission that is helping young men and women.

On June 10, Cristo Rey High School in East Harlem will graduate all of its 50 seniors. All come from families near or below the poverty level. All will attend college. Most were accepted into seven colleges.

Jesuit education has helped millions of kids wordwide, and this school--and other unsung schools run by good priests and nuns who are feeling pretty rotten about what's happened in their Church--has kept on its mission of academic excellence.

Cristo Rey explicitly does not take the highest-scoring students. Father Joe Parkes, the energetic Jesuit who serves as president of Cristo Rey New York High School, noted that the first time this year's graduates took the Iowa Test of Educational Development, their average score fell in the 48th percentile. Cristo Rey pulls its student body from the middle of the pack, at best. Four years later, they go to college.

This is not the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. It is a system that works, literally. The system's financial support model, which pays students to work, is surely one of the most innovative ideas seen in awhile in American education.

Check out the piece. It'll make you smile.

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