Friday, 9 March 2012

New competition! Spot the Catholic imprint!

It is not to unreasonable to expect that all Catholic Schools should portray an immediate and unmistakeable element of "Catholicity" for want of a better word ('ethos' tends to be a little over-used and distorted in meaning).

This is a sign of Catholicism!
That sign of Catholicism should be apparent on the school website, notice-board and within the walls of the school itself in the form of crucifixes and statues prominently displayed.

Who could possibly argue against that? Even the most liberal cafeteria Catholic could not possibly disagree - or could they?

So, to determine the extent that Catholic Schools show evidence of their faith I have commenced carrying out a market survey, websites only at this stage, just to see how "Catholic" our schools are, certainly in appearance.

Having outed Cardinal Newman School in Hove it seemed logical to focus on all schools bearing the great man's name.

After all, he lived comparatively recently (as opposed to the sixth century saints), he was propelled into the spotlight by the Holy Father beatifying him in Birmingham in 2010 and he was a convert from the Anglican faith which would seem to give him yet another topical facet.

So, my first port of call was Cardinal Newman School, in Luton.

Well, other than the Headteacher's message, which is the usual guff, there appears to be no sign that the school is Catholic. The Head mentions the word 'Catholic' some three times and then, that's it!
That rates as a zero in my view.

I think that Our Lady would be pleased
to be featured on every Catholic School

And  so to Cardinal Newman Primary School, Hersham, Surrey. This also is lacking in signs or symbols of the faith and only mentions that it is Catholic in passing. Another cabbage award!

Up to north of the border and we find the Cardinal Newman High School in Lanarkshire. Well, this one does have a picture of what appears to be a stainless steel representation of Christ on the Cross but very little else to tell parents that it is Catholic and not a sausage (or haggis) with regard to a biographical note on the Cardinal. Shame!

Back down to Wales and CN School in Pontypridd - at last! Amazing! Lots of buttons to click stating things such as "Retreat", "Charitable works", "Holy Week" and "CAFOD" (groan) but you click the buttons and get nowhere, nothing happens, "dim" use as they would say in Pontypridd.

And still there's not a word on their patron saint.

The mission statement (aaargh!) is the usal bland claptrap but carries the subtitle "Heart to Heart Speaks" - OK I know what they mean.

And, finally, (this is getting tedious), but please stay with me - to
Cardinal Newman High School in Warrington.

I could lay out a sum in folding money and challenge one and all to try and find a religious symbol on this site.
It does not have a mission statement but it does have a vision statement the meaning of which, is beyond all human comprehension.

This is how it begins...

"Jesus was a teacher, His Gospel message was concerned with the whole person and the whole of society.  In Cardinal Newman High school we believe that the Gospel is relived in daily life and God is experienced as a reality......"

All of these schools claim that their aim is to imbue their pupils with the Catholic faith (in a variety of words) - the thing is, dear reader......are they telling the truth....or are they telling porkies?

I leave you to be the judge.

1 comment:

  1. Look at St anselms college birkenhead