Choosing a Catholic High School: Questions Parents Should Ask of Schools
- Does the school’s mission statement clearly refer to the formation of students in the Catholic faith, making students saints or the salvation of souls?
- Who are your board members? Are they practicing Catholics?
- Is the school president a practicing Catholic?
- Do school leaders make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?
- Is the school on the Cardinal Newman Society’s High School Honor Roll?
Sacraments and Religious Life
- Is the Holy Mass clearly at the center of student life? Is an all school Holy Mass offered at least once a week?
- Is the Sacrament of Reconciliation offered at the school at least once a month?
- Does the school have a formal chapel or does it merely have a multi-purpose room which also serves as a place for concerts and lectures? Is the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the chapel?
- What opportunities are there for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament?
- What other devotions are regularly scheduled for students, such as the Rosary and prayer groups?
- Are there programs to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life? How many graduates are ordained to the priesthood or have entered religious life?
- What percent of your faculty are practicing Catholics?
- Are faculty members required to make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?
- Are there any dissenters from the Faith among the faculty?
- What ongoing faith formation do you provide for your faculty members?
- Is there a school Chaplain on location at least one day per week? Does the Chaplain offer classroom instruction?
- Is every student required to take one or more courses in which they are taught authentic Catholic doctrine and practice? What are they?
- Has your school curriculum been formally reviewed and approved by the Archdiocese?
- Do you require that theology courses be faithful to Scripture, Tradition, and the Church’s Magisterium, and also to the principles and methods proper to Catholic theology?
- Does your curriculum include the study of classical Catholic philosophers such as Origen, St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas? If so, how?
- What kind of student retreat programs do you offer? Who leads these retreats? What are the goals of each retreat?
- How is the Catholic Faith integrated into subjects such as Math, History, Art, Humanities and Science?
- How is the Catholic Faith integrated in service programs and social outreach? Is the school doing more than developing “social do-gooders” or is it producing saints who see that their social actions should be an extension of an interior spiritual life? Does the school see that reaching out to the unborn and needy pregnant women have a part in the social service program?
- Do classes begin and end with prayer?
- Are there visible signs of the faith in the classroom (e.g., crucifix, icons, etc.)?
- Are there any signs that appear to conflict with the Catholic Faith (e.g., HRC, Equal Sign, Rainbows, Safe Spaces, etc.?
- Does the school have a student pro-life club?
- Does the school have any clubs that foster dissent from the Catholic Faith (e.g., LGBT club)?
- Does the school require all student clubs and activities to operate in accord with Catholic teaching?
Questions To Ask Faculty Members in Any Department:
- What is the role of the Pope and the Bishops in terms of teaching the truths of the Faith?
- Do Catholics have a serious responsibility to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation? Is it a mortal sin for a person to intentionally miss Mass on those days without a valid reason?
- What do you believe about people having pre-marital sex?
- What do you think about divorce and remarriage without an annulment?
- What do you think about abortion? How should the law protect the pre-born?
- What do you think about the ordination of women?
- What are your views on homosexuality?
- What do you believe about euthanasia and assisted suicide?
- What do you think about the use of contraceptives?