Some Helpful Thoughts on Spiritual Progress BY REV. EDWARD F. GARESCHE, SJ.
Indeed we all, but especially all Catholic teachers, should be solicitous for the graduates of Catholic schools until they are confirmed in right ways and settled in a worthy life.
A SINGULAR WAY
IT IS A most momentous thing to mould the character of a child. This is, when all is said, the object of Catholic education. The ultimate purpose of Catholic schools is to train Christian character and help the child to bring out the best in him. While those of other professions and pursuits are busy, some of them with material things, others with health, others with literature, the teacher is moulding a life. In so far as a life well lived is more important than metal or fabric, or even health or letters, in so far is the profession of teaching important beyond manufacture or medicine or literature.
But here one finds a singular inconsistency in so many teachers. They are interested in their pupils so long as they have had them in hand in the classes—are working, so to speak, on the raw material. But so soon as the child leaves their hands they practically forget him.
Manufacturers of machines show endless solicitude in following up their finished products. They install them properly and employ experts to keep them in repair so that they may justify all the trouble spent in their construction. Should we not manifest at least as much solicitude for the after life of the Catholic graduate *?
Thousands of thousands of Catholic children come out of our parish schools. Hundreds of boys and girls graduate from our colleges. We spend great sums of money, years of effort, patience, and pains on their forming and instruction. They are the finished products of our parish schools. In them we have invested much treasure and precious time. What happens to them when they leave school? What do we do for them then? How do we follow them up, keep them faithful, guard and guide them through the dangerous years ?