Sat October 23 Austin St. Michael’s * Harlandale Stadium 7:00pm
Fri October 29 Antonian * Antonian 7:30pm
Fri November 5 Central Catholic * Central Catholic 7:30pm
Sat October 23 Austin St. Michael’s * Harlandale Stadium 7:00pm
Fri October 29 Antonian * Antonian 7:30pm
Fri November 5 Central Catholic * Central Catholic 7:30pm
By Brother Stanley Culotta, C.S.C., M.D., President of Holy Cross of San Antonio
As we approach the mid-term elections several issues are filling the headlines. Among the notable issues are the economy, jobs, health care and education. When education is brought up there is a general complaint: There are too many dropouts. Since “dropout” has several different interpretations it is natural that the exact number will vary with these interpretations. Some statistics are reported per year. Others are reported over a period of years such as the four years of high school.
Discussing dropouts is serious and the difficult questions must be asked. Solutions must be substantial and fully pursued. The lives of young people are on the line. A losing football team can say “wait ‘til next year!” Most often there is no next year for a dropout. Statistically, dropouts are more likely to serve prison time, to use more social services such as Medicaid and Food Stamps, to earn less and pay less in taxes.
Despite the method used for calculating dropouts the conclusions are generally very similar. Hispanics have the highest dropout rate followed by African Americans and then whites. Pending the method used for calculating the dropout rates, the numbers might approach 40%. Further categorization includes Hispanics and African Americans as minorities and then speaks of the gap between the minorities and whites. Is this categorization intended to make the problem less serious? Why are all not receiving the same educational opportunities? Regardless of the groups identified or how they are identified, they are still dropouts. This is unfortunate. Dropouts do not reach their personal, civic and financial potential. Both the dropouts and society lose.
Recently the media has been giving more coverage to the education dropout problem. Panels have included educators, superintendents, local and national government education directors, advocacy groups for Hispanics, advocacy groups for African Americans, and union officials. Why union officials? Keep this in mind. Most of these panel discussions or commentaries have been as superficial as discussing whether to paint a wall off white or oyster white! The severe consequences were ignored and disguised with flowery promises for the future.
Dropouts from school is not a new problem. For years the teachers have been the punching bag, taking the blows, the blame for school failings including dropouts. Let’s pursue this. If the teachers are the problem then it is the responsibility of the principals to correct the problem. But the problem continues. Then the superintendents must be the problem. Well, why weren’t the superintendents or the school boards correcting the problem? Since the problem has persisted through the years it must be some untouchable component of the system or it must be sanctioned by the top authorities. If a McDonald’s or Burger King franchise were failing or producing a defective product then top management would shut it down. Why are failing schools allowed to continue? Worse yet, why are students required to attend failing schools?
Most teachers are extremely dedicated, hard working and want students to be successful. Yes, most, but not all. But displacing poor or undesirable teachers seems to be a problem. Much blame for this fault seems to be pointing to the teachers’ union. Recent documentaries have hit this point quite hard. Extremes in dealing with poor teachers extends from the “rubber room” and “lifers” to doing nothing. Who is protecting them? What system is protecting them? Whatever the answer, the students are not being protected!
Have these panels given any insights to the dropout problem? Governmental participants have trumpeted the amount of money appropriated for education. Fancy slogans such as “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top” have accompanied the money. Another “hat in the ring” is charter schools. Will this help solve the dropout problem? Charter schools have been praised by some but negatively characterized by other members of some panels. Some charter schools are achieving outstanding graduation rates. But not all! Charter schools, especially the successful ones, are limited in number and space. The successful ones are employing a lottery system to fill the limited spaces. The unlucky children are forced to return to their former schools.
Some school reformers are proclaiming that charter schools demonstrate parental choice in education. Strange? Yes! True? Slightly! Parents should have the choice of which school they want their children to attend be it another public school, a private school or a religious school. Current choice is like a fisherman moving to the other side of the pond since he wasn’t catching any fish. School taxes belong to the students for their education. That is the priority. Somebody or some entity is responsible for the proper use of the tax money collected for educating all children. Even some schools spending $30,000 per student per year are unsuccessful.
Families have many considerations when deciding to purchase or move into a home. These reasons might be financial, location, accessibility, work or family relations, or school of choice. They might have to give on some of their wishes. But, they do their best. Wherever they settle, they have a postal address. Do you realize how astute that address is? It can determine the number of dogs or cats that may be kept at that residence. It also determines which animals such as monkeys or coyotes that may not be kept at that residence. And finally, it tells them which schools their children must attend. Yes, that address is amazing in its ability to replace the parents’ judgment regarding their children’s education.
The dropout problem is not a problem for the school or district. Society is affected detrimentally. Correction must come from the top or source that allows failing schools to continue. Who can put an end to these failing schools? Another way of phrasing that is, “Who is allowing students to fail?” Parents must be allowed to choose the school for their children to attend. When there are dropouts, the real failures are those authorities who are determining which schools students must attend.
It would be good if all parents could read: “The High Cost of Failing to Reform Public Education in Texas.” http://www.edchoice.org/CMSModules/EdChoice/FileLibrary/107/TEXAS_STUDY%200108.pdf
(c) Copyright 2010, Holy Cross of San Antonio, All Rights Reserved.
(San Antonio, Texas) Holy Cross of San Antonio students raise funds for cancer research during the month of October as part of Breast Cancer Awareness.
The National Honor Society (NHS) students took the initiative to bring about education and awareness on campus. Ms. Jennette Kralik is a science instructor and sponsor for the NHS group. On Oct. 7, all students on campus will wear pink on what has been designated as “Pink Day!” said Ms. Kralik. Pink shirts and pink ribbons have been created by the NHS students and the proceeds will be donated to the charity of choice for cancer research.
“Holy Cross of San Antonio encourages our students to participate in community and social concerns, ” said Mr. Henry Galindo, Principal.
“The Holy Cross student is encouraged to become involved in the well-being of the community,” said Galindo. “I’m proud to see our students setting an example of excellence.”
Holy Cross of San Antonio is an independent Catholic co-educational middle and high school. The Brothers of Holy Cross founded the school in 1957 steeped in tradition and education. Holy Cross serves as the only co-educational college preparatory school centrally located in San Antonio’s Westside. Based on the principals of the Brothers of Holy Cross, the school’s educational mission helps break the cycle of poverty and opens doors to higher education. For more information, visit www.holycross-sa.com or call 210.433.9395.
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HOLY CROSS OF SAN ANTONIO
SHINING FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD
News Release Issued 10-6-2010
Holy Cross of San Antonio will celebrate a mass on Thurs., Oct. 21 at 9:30 a.m. at the Holy Cross Convocation Center for the Canonization of Blessed Brother André Bessette, C.S.C., [1845-1937]. A reception will follow. Students will have early release at 11 a.m.
Statement from Congregation of Holy Cross
The Congregation of Holy Cross is happy and proud to report that the Canonization of Brother André Bessette, C.S.C., will take place in Rome on October 17, 2010. The welcomed announcement of his Canonization was proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI. Affectionately known as “The Miracle Man of Montreal,” there was much rejoicing by the faithful who longed in anxious anticipation for this announcement.
By the proclamation of Canonization the Catholic Church is publicly acknowledging that Brother André led a life characterized by heroic virtue and holiness. At the time of the announcement by Pope Benedict, the Canadian Provincial Superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Father Jean-Pierre Aumont, C.S.C., said that, “The announcement of the canonization is a wonderful gift which will be received with delight by his numerous friends who have benefited from his intercession and who have been his supporters for many decades. For the religious of Holy Cross, it represents more than ever a source of inspiration, a model of faith and trust in God and in the human condition. He shows us how to envision great things and how to look toward the future!”
Blessed Brother André’s Story
Alfred Bessette was born on August 9, 1845. He was frail at birth and experienced poor health throughout his life. Maintaining employment was difficulty. Even his eventual acceptance into the Congregation of Holy Cross was tentative. But from early life he had a deep loyalty to prayer, especially devotion to St. Joseph.
In 1870 at the age of 25 years Alfred Bessette was admitted into the Brothers of Holy Cross at St. Joseph’s Novitiate in Montreal. He was given the name André. Despite his poor health, Brother André faithfully fulfilled his duties as housekeeper, doorkeeper and infirmarian. These responsibilities provided opportunities for contact with the many visitors and students at the College of Notre Dame in Montreal. He led visitors in prayer, in visits to the Blessed Sacrament and in recitation of the rosary. Along with the growing crowds, word spread about cures and favors received through Brother André’s intercession. Whenever favors and cures were attributed to his intercession, Brother André refused the compliments and immediately directed the appreciation to St. Joseph. Such events characterized his life. All the while he was most faithful to his personal and common prayer with his Holy Cross Community.
During his lifetime Brother André faithfully strived to see the construction of an oratory dedicated to St. Joseph. He died on December 31, 1937. It was not until 1967, 30 years after his death, that St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal was completed.
St. Gregoire is a small community in the Canadian Province of Quebec. It is here that Alfred Bessette was born on August 9, 1845. It is a farming community and Isaac Bessette, his father worked his small farm to support the family. Alfred was the eighth of twelve children. Due to poor health, already two children had died. The family was devoutly Catholic and because of his frail health, Alfred was baptized shortly after birth. His mother Chlothilde raised the children in prayer with deep reliance on the rosary and on St. Joseph.
Alfred’s father suffered a fatal accident in 1855 and two years later his mother died from tuberculosis. By age twelve years Alfred Bessette was an orphan. The children were scattered and Alfred was sent to live with an aunt’s family. His poor health interfered with any consistent employment. Attempting to find suitable employment led him to jobs on both sides of the United States – Canada border. He tried farming, shoemaking, baking and many other jobs. All were short lived. He was sick. He was weak.
Alfred’s faithfulness to prayer and especially prayer to St. Joseph were intensifying despite his poor health. From early childhood he was guided in prayer by Father Provençal. Father Provençal’s parish in St. Cesaire was across from a recently built school conducted by the Brothers of Holy Cross. Alfred was very impressed by these Brothers but his health and his lack of education caused doubt that he would be accepted. It was the assurance by Father Provençal that there was a need for Brothers in roles other than teaching. With his assistance and that of Bishop Bourget of the Diocese of Montreal, in 1870 and at the age of 25 years, Alfred Bessette was admitted to the Congregation of Holy Cross as a novice. He was given the name of Brother André. This is the same year that Pope Pius IX proclaimed St. Joseph as the patron of the universal church.
As a novice Brother André was assigned various tasks such as barber, doorkeeper, housekeeper and other similar responsibilities. In addition to faithfully fulfilling all assignments and community prayers, he spent hours in private prayer. Even so, his full acceptance into the Congregation was uncertain due to his poor health. But, on August 22, 1872, he was allowed to profess first vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross. This was the beginning of his journey in the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Brother André’s first assignment was to serve as porter of the College of Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur. This assignment naturally allowed him to meet students, parents and visitors throughout the day. More than meet, it afforded him the opportunity to escort them to their destinations including the chapel to offer prayers with them. His compassion and exhortations to prayer were soon recognized as special. There was no hesitation to recommend prayers and petitions to St. Joseph. Brother André was adamant in attributing all favors or wishes received were through the intercession of St. Joseph. As crowds grew so did controversy. Some complained that severely sick visitors could spread their illnesses, especially contagious diseases. Some doubted claims of cures and even suspected superstition. But positive outcomes soon reached the upper hand.
Besides service to all who visited, Brother André deepened his personal spiritual life. He identified his suffering health with the sufferings of Christ. His daily prayers, his visits to the Blessed Sacrament, the Way of the Cross, devotions to Mary and to St. Joseph were essential to his spiritual life. It was this realization that personal holiness required more than the granting of or reception of favors. This realization was the inspiration that motivated him to promote the building of an oratory dedicated to St. Joseph.
During his life as a Brother of Holy Cross he did see the beginnings of an oratory. Growth was slow and intermittent. But he did not see the completed structure. He died on December 31, 1937. It was not until 1967, 30 years after his death, that St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal was completed.
Brother André was beatified in 1982 by Pope John Paul II. In February of 2010 Pope Benedict XVI announced that Brother André will be canonized on October 17, 2010.
Holy Cross of San Antonio is an independent Catholic co-educational middle and high school. The Brothers of Holy Cross founded the school in 1957 steeped in tradition and education. Holy Cross serves as the only co-educational college preparatory school centrally located in San Antonio’s Westside. Based on the principles of the Brothers of Holy Cross, the school’s educational mission helps break the cycle of poverty and opens doors to higher education.
Beginning in 1965, some students and faculty participated in the many SANYO activities. Bishop Yanta and succeeding directors are planning a reunion on Saturday afternoon, October 30, 2010. Even if you are unable to attend the organizers would like to update their archives. Therefore if you were involved in any way with SANYO, then please contact St. Paul Community Center (210-736-0055) or Romy Vela (210-240-0911)/firstname.lastname@example.org or Roy Kaiser (210-735-7476)/email@example.com.