Summer 1965

Page 62

Parnh

173

The educational level of the neighborhood changed. In that 1 r~m ...... Adn""'"...... ..... t,"onal le.,el 'n decad ..... ... .......... modi v .............. u .. .. • .... rh'c"go ........ • ..... ..'"c~oa•od •• •'-' .,..... 9.5 years to 10 years. In census tract 899 it dropped from 10.9 to 9.4 and in tract 900 from 11.7 to 10.6. Perhaps the most significant change took place in the age groups in the area. The percentage of the population under ten years of age increased from 16.5% to 25.7%. This increase causes some of the problem now felt in the school systems. There was an increase of teen· agers and a significant decrease in the number of people over 60. These changes in the age ·composition of the neighborhood were even more striking in the parish. While 41'/n of the people in the area were under 20 years of age, 51% of the parish were in that age group. In fact, 23.5% of the baptized population were between the ages of 5 and 14. In the parish 41.3% were between the ages of 20 and 49, and only 7.8% were 50 or older. These facts help one to see the need for great stress upon the school in a changing parish. With this change the school must assume a different role. First of all, it must· cooperate very closely with the missionary efforts of the parish, and secondly, it has a new function. In a parish which is traditionally Catholic the school is the protector of the Catholic tradition. It rein· forces what is taught in the home and helps perpetuate Catholic teaching, customs, and practices. In a parish such as this, the school must inculcate Catholic ideas, traditions, and practices because the parents are often converts who have had no more than twenty-eight instructions. Therefore, judging children on the level of their religious practices, i.e., the number of times they receive Communion or attend Mass during the week ·or even on .Sunday, and especially during the vacation, is a bit unrealistic. And we shall see, the Church appeals to the Negro who shows signs of becoming ambitious and getting established. Therefore, the school must help the family in establishing stable norms and babi Is. It must foster a budding desire for education and for sound human values before it can do much about the child's religious values. These ligures also indicate the need for a solid and worthwhile parish youth program, aimed at developing the young people as human beings, good citizens, and Q

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