…by virtue of her Divine charter, “Going, teach ye all nations”, is essentially a teaching organization. Teaching is included in her task of saving souls. Primarily she was instituted to dispense the means of salvation, and to teach the truths: which are necessary to salvation. These truths are spiritual and moral, and her catechumenal schools (See Catechumen) were instituted for the purpose of teaching them. Truths which are not of their nature spiritual, truths of science, of history, matters of culture, in a word, profane learning—these do not belong intrinsically to the program of the Church‘s teaching. Nevertheless, they enter into her work by force of circumstance, when, namely, the Christian youth cannot attain a knowledge of them without incurring grave danger to faith or morals. They enter also into the Church‘s task by reason of a pedagogical principle which she has always recognized in practice. Religion being the supreme coordinating principle in education, as it is in life, if the so-called secular branches of knowledge are taught without reference to religion, the Church feels that an educational mistake is being made, that the “one thing necessary” is being excluded, to the detriment of education itself. Therefore she assumes the task of teaching the secular branches in such a way that religion is the centralizing, unifying, and vitalizing force in the educational process. Whenever there is positive and immediate danger of loss of faith, the Church cannot allow her children to run the risk of perversion; whenever religion is left out of the curriculum, she tries to supply the defect. In both cases she establishes under her own control schools which are called Catholic and which, in the vicissitudes of historical development or from the particular circumstances of their foundation, scope, or maintenance, are specifically known as catechetical schools, monastic schools, cathedral schools, chantry schools, guild schools, parochial schools, etc.
II. Catechetical Schools
These flourished about the middle of the second century of the Christian era. They were brought into existence by the conflict of Christianity with pagan philosophy. They were, consequently, academies of higher learning. Out of them grew the first great schools of theological controversy and also the schools for the special training of the clergy, although there were, almost from the beginning, schools attached to the household of the bishops (episcopal schools) where clerics were trained. We have reason to believe that in some instances, as in the catechetical school of Protogenes at Edessa (about 180), not only the higher branches but also the elementary branches were taught in the catechetical schools. Schools of this type became more numerous as time went on. In the Council of Vaison (529) the priests of Gaul are commanded to take boys into their household and teach them to read “the Psalms, and the Holy Scriptures and to instruct them in the Law of God“. From these sprang the parochial schools of medieval and modern times.
As the conflict between Christianity and pagan philosophy gave rise to the catechetical schools, so the more general struggle between Christian and pagan standards of life gave rise to other provisions on the part of the Church for safeguarding the faith of Christian children. In the first centuries great stress was laid on the importance of home education, and this task was committed in a special manner to Christian mothers. It is sufficient to mention the Christian matrons Macrina, Emmelia, Nonna, Anthusa, Monica, and Paula, mothers of saints and scholars, to show how successfully the home under the direction of the Christian mother was made to counteract the influence of pagan schools. There were also private schools for Christian youth, taught by Christians, for instance the school at Imola, taught by Cassian.
III. Monastic Schools
Monasticism as an institution was a protest against the corrupt pagan standards of living which had begun to influence not only the public life of Christians but also their private and domestic life. Even in the fourth century, St. John Chrysostom testifies to the decline of fervor in the Christian family, and contends that it is no longer possible for children to obtain proper religious and moral training in their own homes. It was part of the purpose of monasticism to meet this need and to supply not only to the members of the religious orders but also to children committed to the care of the cloister the moral, religious, and intellectual culture which could not be obtained elsewhere without lowering the Christian standard of life. At the same time episcopal schools, though instituted primarily for the education of clerical candidates, did not decline to admit secular scholars, especially after the State schools of the empire had fallen into decay. There were parochial schools also, which, while they aimed at fostering vocations to the priesthood, were expressly commanded not to deny their pupils the right to enter the married state as soon as they reached the age of maturity (cum ad cetatem perfectam pervenerint). The explicit enactment of the Council of Vaison (529) in this matter is important because it refers to a similar custom already prevailing in Italy. It remains true, however, that although the episcopal and presbyteral (parochial) schools thus contributed to the education of the laity, the chief portion of the burden of lay education in the early Middle Ages was borne by the monasteries. The earliest monastic legislation does not clearly define the organization of the “internal” and “external” schools. Nevertheless, it recognizes the existence in the monastery of children who were to be educated, not for the cloister, but for the world. In Ireland, as Archbishop Healy says, the monks, “taught the children of the rich and poor alike” (“Ireland‘s Ancient Schools and Scholars”, 102), and to Ireland went not only clerics but laymen from England and the Continent, to receive an education. On the Continent also the education of the laity, “gentle and simple”, fell to the lot of the monks. It is difficult to say when the distinction between the “internal” school (schola claustri) and the “external” (schola canonica, s. extern) was first introduced. We find it in St. Gall, Fulda, and Reichenau in the ninth and tenth centuries. In the internal school the pupils were novices, future members of the order, some of whom were offered up (oblati) by their parents at a tender age. In the external school were the children of the neighboring villagers and the sons of the nobility; many of the references to this class of pupils in the monastic code lay stress on the obligation to treat all with equal justice, not taking account of their rank in life. There was a similar custom in regard to the reception of young girls in the convents, as appears from several enactments of Bishop St. Caesarius of Arles and his successors. At Arles, moreover, according to Muteau (see bibliography) open schools (ecoles ouvertes) were held by the nuns for the benefit of the entire neighborhood. The curriculum of studies in the monastic schools comprised the trivium and quadrivium, that is to say, grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and the theory of music. Besides, the monks cultivated the science and art of healing; they devoted attention to agriculture, building, and the decorative arts. They took pains to transcribe the Classics as well as the distinctly ecclesiastical works that had come down to them; and in doing this they developed the art of penmanship and that of illumination to a high degree of perfection. They were annalists also, noting down year by year the important events not only in the life of their own community but also in the Church at large and in the political world. Finally, by example and precept they dignified manual labor, which in pagan Rome was despised as fit only for slaves.
The head of the monastic school was called magister scholce, capiscola, proscholus, etc. By the end of the ninth century, however, the usual name for the head of the school was scholasticus. His assistants were called senores. The method of teaching was influenced largely by the scarcity of books and the need of handing down without diminution the heritage of the past. The master dictated (legere was the word used to signify the act of teaching), and the pupils wrote not only the text but also the master’s explanation or commentary. Of the many textbooks in use the most popular was the work by Marcianus Capella (about 420) entitled “Satyricon, seu de Nuptiis Mercurii et Philologiin”. That the instruction given to the laity in the monastic schools was entirely gratuitous is evident from the decree of Bishop Theodulf of Orleans in the eighth century, and from other documents. When, at Tours, the external school was frequented by a number of wealthy pupils, whose voluntary gifts to the monastery put the poorer students in a position of apparent inferiority, the bishop of that see, Amalric, gave a generous donation to the monks to be used in the maintenance of poor students. The Carlovingian revival of education affected not only the internal schools of the monasteries but also the external schools, and, during the reign of Charles’s successors, bishops and popes by a number of decrees showed their interest in the maintenance not only of schools of sacred science, but also in schools “for the study of letters”. The external school had by this time become a recognized institution, which the sons of the farmers in the neighborhood of the monasteries frequented not by privilege but by a right freely acknowledged. We know that before the end of the ninth century both boys and girls attended the schools attached to the parish churches in the Diocese of Soissons. As time went on the establishment and maintenance of schools by the Church was made a matter of express canonical enactment. No document could be more explicit than the Decree of the Third Council of Lateran (1179): “That every cathedral church have a teacher (magistrum) who is to teach poor scholars and others, and that no one receive a fee for permission to teach” (Mansi, XXII, 234).
IV. Cathedral Schools
The cathedral schools sprang from the episcopal schools which, as has been said, existed from a very early time for the training of clerics. Chrodegang, Bishop of Metz, 742-66, is said to be the founder of medieval cathedral schools, but only in the sense that he organized the clergy of his cathedral church into a community, and ordained that they undertake the conduct and management of the school attached to their church. The bishop himself was to have control of the school and under him was to be the immediate superior of the school (magister scholce). In the cities and towns where there was no cathedral, the canons of the local church were organized after the manner of the cathedral clergy, and conducted a “canonicate” school. In both institutions there came to be distinguished (I) the elementary school (schola minor) where reading, writing, psalmody, etc. were taught; and (2) the higher school (schola major) in which the curriculum consisted either of the trivium alone (grammar, rhetoric, and dialectic), or of the full program, namely the seven liberal arts, Scripture, and what we now call pastoral theology. The method employed in the cathedral schools was identical with that of the monastic schools.
The chantry schools were similar in character to the cathedral and canonicate schools. Indeed, they may be said to be a specific kind of canonicate schools. The chantry was a foundation with endowment, the proceeds of which went to one or more priests carrying the obligation of singing or saying Mass at stated times, or daily, for the soul of the endower, or for the souls of persons named by him. It was part of the duty of the incumbents of a chantry foundation to “teach gratis the poor who asked it humbly for the love of God“. (See “Catholic University Bulletin,” IX, 3 sq.).
VI. Guild Schools, Hospital Schools, and City Schools
…the last beginning with the thirteenth century, shared the work of education with the cloister, cathedral, and chantry schools. The guilds and hospitals were ecclesiastical foundations, were guided by clerics, and engaged in the work of education under the direction of the Church. The city schools at first met with opposition from the teachers in the monastic and cathedral foundations, although they also were under the control of ecclesiastics. Kehrein in his “History of Education” (see bibliography) mentions a Decree of Alexander III which prohibits any abbot from preventing any magister or scholasticus from taking charge of a school in the city or suburb “since knowledge is a gift of God and talent is free”. Towards the end of the Middle Ages the task of the ecclesiastical teacher became so important that communities of clerics were founded for the express purpose of devoting their lives to the duties of elementary education. The best known of these communities is that of “The Brothers of the Common Life” founded by Gerard Groot (1340-84) at Deventer. It soon extended to Windedheim, Agnetenberg, and other towns in Holland and North Germany. To this community belonged Thomas a Kempis, the author of “The Imitation of Christ“. That these various provisions for the education not only of the clergy but also of the laity—monastic schools, cathedral schools, canonicate schools, chantry schools, guild schools, hospital schools, city schools, and special educational institutions—met the educational needs of the times, and were adequate as far as the circumstances of the times would allow, is the verdict of all historians who view without prejudice the educational career of the Catholic Church. Allain (see bibliography) has told the story of primary education in France; Ravelet (see bibliography) has gone over the whole question of primary education in medieval times; Leach has told part of the story (see bibliography) as far as pre-Reformation England is concerned. It is impossible to give more than a summary statement of the facts which these writers have accumulated. Those facts, however, justify the assertion that, far from opposing or neglecting the education of the masses, the Catholic Church in medieval times provided generously for their instruction in the elementary branches, as well as in the department of higher studies, whenever and wherever the political, social, and economic conditions were not so adverse as to thwart her educational efforts.
Both the particular and the general councils of the Church, imperial capitularies, and episcopal and papal decrees show that bishops and popes, while concerned primarily for the education of future members of the clerical body in the sacred sciences, were also at pains to encourage and promote the education of the laity. For instance, the Council of Cloveshoe, held by Cuthbert, Archbishop of Canterbury in 749, prescribes that abbesses as well as abbots provide for the education of all their households (familiae). A Carlovingian capitulary of 802 enjoins “that everyone should send his son to study letters, and that the child should remain at school with all diligence until he became well instructed in learning”. Theodulf of Orleans in 797 decrees that gratuitous instruction be given by the priests in every town and village of his diocese, and there cannot be the least doubt that education of the laity is meant. The Council of Chalon-sur-Saone in 813 legislates in a similar spirit that not only “schools of Sacred Scripture” but also “schools of letters” be established. The Council of Rome, held in 853, directs the bishops of the Universal Church to establish “in every episcopal residence [in universis episcopiis] among the populations subject to them, and in all places where there is such need” masters and teachers to teach “literary studies and the seven liberal arts”. These and similar documents lay stress on the obligation which rests on the parents and godparents to see to the education of children committed to their care. By the middle of the ninth century the distinction between external and internal monastic schools being clearly recognized, and parish schools having become a regular diocesan institution, the testimonies in favor of popular education under the auspices of the Church become clearer. In the tenth century, in spite of the disturbed conditions in the political world, learning flourished in the great monasteries, such as that of St. Gall (Switzerland). St. Maximin (Trier), and in the cathedral schools, such as those of Reims and Lyons. The greatest teachers of that time, Bruno of Cologne and Gerbert of Aurillac (Pope Sylvester II), taught not only the sacred but also the profane sciences. In the eleventh century the school of Chartres, that of Ste-Genevieve at Paris, and the numerous schools of rhetoric and dialectic show that even in the higher branches of learning, in spite of the fact that the teachers were invariably clerics, the laymen were welcomed and were not denied education of the secondary kind. That, as historians have pointed out, the references to popular and elementary education in the local councils of the Church have not always been preserved, is explained by the fact that elementary Church schools were now an established fact. Ecclesiastical authority intervened only whenever some abuse called for remedial legislation. Thus, the decree of the Third Council of Lateran already referred to (n. III) aimed at abolishing the custom of exacting fees for instruction in the cathedral schools. There were, naturally, details of arrangement to be determined, such as salary of teachers and supervision or personal instruction on the part of the pastor. These were provided in decrees, such as that of the Diocesan Synod of St. Omer in 1183 and that of Engelbert II, Archbishop of Cologne, in 1270.
The history of education in England before the Reformation is the story of the efforts made in monastic, cathedral, chantry, and parish schools for the education of the laity as well as of the clergy. In the narrative of the suppression and confiscation of these foundations Leach (see bibliography) gives abundant documentary evidence to justify his assertion that “Grammar schools, instead of being comparatively modern, post-Reformation inventions, are among our most ancient institutions, some of them far older than the Lord Mayor of London or the House of Commons” (p. 5). He estimates the number of grammar schools before the reign of Edward VI to have been “close on two hundred”, and these he considers to be merely “the survivors of a much larger host which have been lost in the storms of the past, and drowned in the seas of destruction” (ibid.). There were, he maintains, not only schools connected with the cathedral churches, monasteries, collegiate churches, hospitals, guilds, and chantries, but also independent schools, in one of which “an old man was paid thirteen shillings and fourpence by the Mayor, to teach young children their A B C” (p. 7). Lincoln, Chichester, and Wells were the principal cathedral schools. Beverley, Chester, Crediton, Ripon, Wimborne, Warwick, Stafford, and Tamworth had important collegiate schools. At Evesham, Cirencester, and Lewes were the principal monastery schools at the eve of the Reformation, while at Oxford, Cambridge, Eton, and elsewhere were thirty-one college schools of grammar before the reign of Edward VI. The number of schools in proportion to the population of the country was relatively very great, and as far as it is possible for us now to judge the attendance, that, too, must have been relatively large. The history of education in Scotland before the reformation is told in the first part of Grant’s “History of the Burgh Schools of Scotland“. “Our earliest records”, says that writer, “prove not only that schools existed, but that they were then invariably found in connection with the Church” (p. 2). He quotes documents for the foundation of schools in 1100, 1120, 1180, 1195, and cites in many instances papal approval and confirmation of educational establishments in the twelfth century. He is convinced that these institutions were intended not merely for clerics but also for young laymen (ibid., p. 12), and he concludes his summary by admitting that “The scattered jottings collected in this chapter show our obligation to the ancient Church for having so diligently promoted our national education—an education placed within the reach of all classes” (ibid., p. 72).
The educational institutions founded and supported by the Church in France, Germany, Italy, and other parts of Europe before the ‘Reformation have, in part, been mentioned in the general account of monastic and cathedral schools. Specht (see bibliography) has produced documentary evidence to show the extent to which laywomen were educated in the convent schools of the ninth and the following centuries; he has also shown that daughters of noble families were, as a rule, educated by private teachers who, for the most part, were clergymen. The assertion so frequently made that, during the Middle Ages, learning was considered out of place in a layman, that even elementary knowledge of letters was a prerogative of the clergy, is not sustained by a careful examination of historical records. It is true that there are passages in the popular literature of the Middle Ages in which the ignorant layman, who is well versed in the art of warfare and in the usages of polite society, affects to despise learning and to regard it as a monkish or ecclesiastical accomplishment. But, as Leon Maitre (see bibliography) asserts, “such ignorance was by no means systematic; it arose from the conditions of the times”. “Knowledge“, says a twelfth-century writer, “is not an exclusive privilege of the clergy, for many laymen are instructed in literature. A prince, whenever he can succeed in escaping from the tumult of public affairs and from [the confusion of] constant warfare, ought to devote himself to the study of books” (P.L., CCIII, col. 149). The number of distinguished laymen and laywomen, emperors, kings, nobles, queens and princesses who, during the medieval era, attained prominence as scholars shows that the advice was not disregarded. The calumny recently reaffirmed that “the Church was not the mother, but rather the stepmother, of learning” is easily asserted, but is not so easily proved
The destruction of this vast and varied system of ecclesiastical legislation is a fact of general history. The schools, as a rule, disappeared with the institutions to which they were attached. The confiscation of the monasteries, the suppression of the benefices on which the chantries were founded, the removal of the guilds from the control of ecclesiastical authority, the suppression of cathedral and canonical chapters and the sequestration of their possessions by the State, were the immediate cause of the cessation of this kind of educational activity on the part of the Church at the time of the Reformation and afterwards. In Protestant countries these events took place in the course of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In Germany, a compromise was reached in some States by the recognition of both Protestant and Catholic “confessional” schools and the division of school funds, an arrangement which lasted until the beginning of the nineteenth century; in France the work of confiscation began with the French Revolution; in Italy, Spain, and Portugal the suppression and spoliation have taken place within the last half-century and are still going on. Apart from the question of elementary justice-the question of violation of a strict right to their own lands and funds, which the ecclesiastical corporations possessed at the time their property was seized and their schools suppressed—there arises now the question of the right to teach, the right of the Church to found and maintain private schools, and the alleged exclusive right of the State to educate.
VII. The fundamental principles of canon law ‘bearing on these questions’
…may be stated as follows:
(1) the Church, being a perfect society, has the right to establish schools, which, although they may be permitted by the civil law merely as private institutions, are, of their nature, public; (2) by natural law, the obligation lies primarily with the parents of a child to provide for his education, as well as for his physical support. This is part of the purpose and aim of the family as an institution. If no provision is made by any other institution, the parents must provide education either by their own effort or that of others whom they employ; (3) when the parents neglect their duty in the matter of education, the State, in the interests of public welfare, takes up the obligation of teaching. It has, therefore, the right to establish schools, and, consequently, the right to compel attendance, in so far as the principle holds good that public welfare demands a knowledge, at least, of the elementary branches of education.
From the interaction and conflict of these fundamental rights arise the following more particular principles: (I) the Church has the exclusive right to teach religion to Catholic children. Neither the parents nor the State can exercise this right except they do so with the consent (as parents do) and under the supervision and control of the ecclesiastical authorities. (2) The Church cannot approve schools which exclude religion from the curriculum, both because religion is the most important subject in education, and because she contends that even secular education is not possible in its best form unless religion be made the central, vitalizing, and coordinating factor in the life of the child. The Church, sometimes, tolerates schools in which religion is not taught, and permits Catholic children to attend them, when the circumstances are such as to leave no alternative, and when due precautions are taken to supply by other means the religious training which such schools do not give. She reserves the right to judge whether this be the case, and, if her judgment is unfavorable, claims the right to forbid attendance (see Letter of Gregory XVI to Irish Bishops, January 16, 1831). (3) In all schools, whether established by the Church or the State, or even by a group of families (so long as there are pupils received from different families) the State has the right to see that the laws of public health, public order, and public morality are observed, and if in any school doctrines were taught subversive of public peace or otherwise opposed to the interests of the general public, the State would have the right to intervene “in the name of the good of the general public”. (4) State monopoly of education has been considered by the Church to be nothing short of a tyrannical usurpation. In principle it overrides the fundamental right of the parents, denies the right of the Church even to open and maintain schools for the teaching of religion alone, and in its natural effect on public opinion tends to place religion below considerations of mere worldly welfare. (5) The Church does not deny the right of the State to levy taxes for the support of the State schools, although, as we shall see, this leads to injustice in the manner of its application in some countries. The principle is distinct always from the abuse of the principle. Similarly, the Church does not deny the right of the State to decree compulsory education so long as such decrees do not abrogate other and more fundamental rights. It should always be remembered, however, that compulsion on the part of the State is not the exercise of a primary and predominant right, but must be justified by considerations of public good. (6) Finally, the rights of the Church in the matter of religious teaching extend not only to the subject of religion itself but to such matters as the character of the teacher, the spirit and tone of the teaching in such subjects as history and science, and the contents of the textbooks used. She recognizes that de-Christianized teaching and de-Christianized textbooks have inevitably the effect of lessening in the minds of pupils the esteem which she teaches them to have for religion. In a word her rights are bounded, not by the subject of religion, but by the spiritual interests of the children committed to her care.
VIII. The present status of the Church and State in regard to education:
After the Reformation in Germany the primary schools in Protestant provinces passed over to the control of the local civil authorities. In Catholic communities the ecclesiastical authorities did not yield so readily to the aggression of the State. All through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries councils (Cologne, 1536 and 1560; Salzburg, 1569; Breslau, 1592; Augsburg, 1610) withstood the encroachments of civil authority on the parochial schools and, as a rule, a modus vivendi was reached satisfactory to the bishops. By the end of the eighteenth century, however, the notion of State jurisdiction in educational matters was firmly established. For the most part the foundation of private schools was the solution. These were recognized by German law as belonging to the jurisdiction of the Church. Early in the nineteenth century the so-called “simultaneous schools” began to be the ordinary solution of the problem. In these there were children of various denominations, each denomination having, in theory, the right to care for the religious instruction of its members. On several occasions the bishops of Germany or of some German state protested (e.g. at Würzburg, 1848; the Bavarian bishops, 1850) against the restrictions of the rights of the Church. At the present time the simultaneous schools are obligatory in a few provinces and optional (facultativ) in others, while in Bavaria, the Rhine Provinces and elsewhere, “confessional”, i.e. denominational, schools are the rule, and simultaneous, or mixed, schools, the exception. Throughout the empire the supreme control of all elementary schools is vested in the government, the local ecclesiastical authorities being granted a greater or less amount of supervision and control according to the different circumstances in different localities. The teacher of religion for Catholics is of course always a Catholic, almost always a priest, and is a regularly qualified and salaried teacher, like the instructor in other branches. The attitude of the bishops towards the contemporary educational system in Germany is set forth in the decrees of the Council of Cologne (1860).
Until the beginning of the nineteenth century the conditions were similar to those existing in Germany. The legislation of Joseph II had been distinctly hostile to religious influence in the schools. However, the enactments of 1808, 1868, 1885, etc. give a measure of authority and control to the local clergy which make the conditions in Austria to be as a rule more favorable than in the German Empire. The question of language has of course complicated matters in many provinces of Austria, and local conditions, the personality of the government official, etc. have much to do with the actual status of religious teaching in the public schools. The decrees of the Council of Vienna (1858) contain the views of the hierarchy of Austria in regard to the present condition of religious education in that country. The Letter of the Archbishop of Vienna to the Papal Nuncio (October 22, 1868) is also an important declaration. See also articles 5-8 of the Concordat of 1855 (AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN MONARCHY, p. 130).
C. In France
The Napoleonic decree of 1808 established in principle and in fact the most rigorous State monopoly in education. It met at once with a vigorous protest on the part of the Catholic bishops, who demanded freedom of instruction in the name of the parents in whom, they contended, the right to educate is primarily vested. In 1833 and 1850 (La loi Falloux) “free schools” were recognized. No special concession was made to the Church, but permission was granted to individuals to open schools. From 1833 to 1850 members of religious orders or priests could teach only in the State schools. After 1850 they were free, as citizens, to open schools of their own, both primary and secondary. In 1886 a blow was struck at free primary education by authorization given to mayors and school inspectors to oppose the opening of any private school on hygienic or moral grounds. In 1888 came another attack in the form of an order of the Council of State, depriving communes and departments of the right to grant appropriations for private schools. Finally in 1904 it was declared that “teaching of every grade and every kind” is forbidden in France to the members of the congregations. This resulted in the closing of 14,404 out of 16,904 “Congregational” schools. Since that time the bishops have tried to reorganize Catholic education by establishing private schools in which the teachers are either laymen and laywomen or secularized members of the congregations. Instruction in religion in the State schools was optional with the parents of the children by a decree of 1881. In 1882 religious instruction in the primary schools of the State was absolutely forbidden, and in 1886 religious and clerics were forbidden to teach in those schools. In place of denominational religion there was introduced first a species of “denominational neutrality” and later, a “scientific religion” (enseignement critique). Within the present decade the tendency of this teaching has been plainly seen in the introduction of textbooks which are both anti-clerical and anti-religious, with the result that bishops are at present under indictment in France for daring to warn the people of their dioceses against the use of such books in the schools supported by the people.
E. In England
Until the beginning of the nineteenth century there was no government system of primary schools in England, nor were any primary schools in receipt of State aid. It was not until 1833 that government grants were made, and then the schools that benefited by the grants were either schools of the National and British Foreign Society, or, in any case, schools in which the Bible was to be read as part of the regular instruction. The civil disabilities under which Catholics suffered, and the restriction of grants in practice to Bible-reading schools excluded Catholic private schools from State aid until 1848. In 1856 and 1858 the conditions under which grants were given were made more favorable to Catholics. From 1871 to 1903 the basic law of primary education in England was Forster’s Elementary Education Act of 1870. This Act, while it did not abolish the voluntary or denominational schools, established the Board-schools. These were to be supported from the rates or taxes, and governed by school boards elected by the people. The Government helped to build the school and, in places where the boards were judged culpably negligent, compelled them to build. In 1876 and 1880 supplementary enactments were passed, called School Attendance Acts, which compel the attendance at either voluntary or Board-schools of all children under ten. The religious difficulty was met at first by leaving the matter of religious instruction to the discretion of the local board. Later the “Conscience” clause and the “Cowper-Temple” clause were added, in order to satisfy the Anglicans and the Nonconformists. These clauses set aside a special hour for religious instruction, attendance at which was to be entirely voluntary, and forbade the use of “any catechism or religious formulary distinctive of any particular denomination”. Catholics were able to accept these conditions in some localities. Meantime various enactments, for example in 1891 and 1897, were passed, which lessened the burden of the voluntary schools. The Bill of 1902, which became law in 1903, took the power out of the hands of the school boards, vested it in the town and county councils, and compelled these to take over and maintain the voluntary schools. This brought England in line with Scotland, where a similar law was in force since 1872. The Nonconformists, however, objected because in localities where they were in the minority the religious instruction given in the schools would be denominational, that is Anglican. To meet this objection Mr. Birrell’s Bill of 1906 was framed. But, after various vicissitudes, the Bill was finally defeated, and never became law. It would have had the effect of wiping the voluntary schools out of existence and abolishing all denominational instruction, a result which, apparently, would be acceptable to the Nonconformists, but is bitterly opposed by both Catholics and Anglicans. In 1870 the number of Catholic schools in England and Wales was 354, providing for the education of 101,933 children; while in 1906 the number of schools had increased to 1062 and the attendance had reached 284,746. This increase is largely due to the zeal of the Catholic School Committee, now known as the Catholic Education Council.
F. In Ireland
The primary education of Catholics in Ireland is provided for by (I) schools under the management of the Irish Christian Brothers and other religious communities, which receive no part of the annual grant for primary education, and are free from government supervision and inspection. In 1901 there were 97 of these schools. (2) Private schools, which are also free, and do not share the annual grant. In 1901 there were 85 of these, but the report does not state how many of these are Catholic. (3) National Schools, endowed by the State, of which in 1901 there were 8569, with an attendance of 602,209. These were established by the Act of 1831 and are governed by that Act and subsequent statutes, authority being vested in the National Commissioners of Education. The majority of the National Schools are taught by lay teachers. Many of the girls’ schools are, however, taught by nuns, and boys’ schools by Christian Brothers (of the Congregation of St. John Baptist de La Salle), Presentation, Marist, Patrician, and Franciscan Brothers. The Act of 1831 aimed at separate instruction in religion. In places where it is at all practicable there is a National School for Catholics and one for Protestants in the same locality. Where the attendance is “mixed” there is a separate hour for religious instruction, attendance at which is voluntary. In Catholic sections, or when the majority of children are Catholic, the manager is almost invariably the parish priest. The manager is the local school authority: he appoints the teachers (subject to the approval of the commissioners), removes them, and conducts all the necessary correspondence with the commissioners. His powers and his duties are those of a school board. He is, if a priest, responsible to his bishop. By enactment of the Maynooth Synod of 1900 he may not dismiss a teacher without submitting the case to the bishop of the diocese in which the school is situated. Of the seven training colleges for primary teachers, five are under the management of the Catholic bishops. The number of teachers trained in these colleges is now more than double the number of untrained teachers. Religious instruction in the primary schools is given at a stated hour by the regular teachers of the school: this is supplemented by the local clergy, who have access, within reasonable limits, to the classroom for the purpose of religious instruction. That these conditions are, on the whole, acceptable to the bishops is clear from the pastoral address issued in 1900 from the National Synod of Maynooth. It should be added, however, that it is due to the vigilance and devotedness of the Irish clergy that they have gradually evolved from the original National system which was “thoroughly dangerous”, a system which at the present time is “a help rather than a hindrance to the Church“.
G. In the United States
“The greatest religious fact in the United States today”, writes Archbishop Spalding, “is the Catholic School system, maintained without any aid by the people who love it”. The vastness of the system may be gauged by the fact that it comprises over 20,000 teachers, over 1,000,000 pupils, represents $100,000,000 worth of property; and costs over $15,000,000 annually. This system grew up from humble beginnings, Its growth has kept pace with the growth of the Church. The oldest schools in the present territory of the United States are the Catholic schools founded about 1600 in the Spanish colonies. The French colonies, too, had their schools as a regular part of the civil and religious scheme of colonization and civilization. Catholic educational work in the Thirteen Colonies dates from the arrival of the Catholic colony in Maryland. The first regularly established school in Maryland dates from 1640. As the condition changed from that of a missionary country to that of a country regularly provided with a fixed ecclesiastical organization, the schools came to be recognized as a function of organized parish work. In the Spanish and French colonies the school, like the Church, looked to the State for support. In the English colonies there was also State support of denominational education, but whether the Catholics could or could not secure a share of the public funds depended on local conditions. When the States adopted their constitutions, they did not introduce any change in this respect. It was “the gradual rise of dissentient religious bodies in the colonies and States due to the influx of emigrants and other causes, that brought about important changes which led to the establishment of a `non-sectarian’ system of schools” (Burns, “The Catholic School Sys-tern in the United States”, p. 359). We know that in many instances Catholics in the West and even in Massachusetts and New York obtained funds from the State for the support of their schools, as the Episcopalians and Presbyterians did for theirs.
The unsuccessful attempt of Father Richard of Detroit in 1808 to obtain for the Catholic schools of that city a share of the public funds, was followed in 1830 by a more successful plan at Lowell, Mass. At that time the population of Lowell included many Irish Catholic immigrants. In 1830 at the annual town meeting a committee was appointed to consider the expediency of “establishing a separate school for the benefit of the Irish population”, and the following year the sum of fifty dollars annually was appropriated for that purpose. In 1855 there were two Catholic schools at Lowell; both were recognized as part of the school system of the town, and both were supported out of the public funds. After sixteen years of successful trial the arrangement was discontinued in 1852, owing to the wave of bigotry known as the Know nothing Movement that swept over New England. In New York, as early as 1806, St. Peter’s School applied for and received State aid. A similar arrangement was made for St. Patrick’s School in 1816. In 1824 this support was withdrawn by the State, owing to the activity of the Public School Society. To this society was committed the entire school fund for distribution, and, as we learn from the protests of New York Catholics, the activity of the society was directed towards making the public schools not strictly non-sectarian but offensively Protestant. In 1840 the School Controversy in New York was precipitated by the petition of the Catholics to be allowed a share of the public funds for their schools. The petition was rejected by the Common Council; but the fight was not, on that account, discontinued. With remarkable zeal, eloquence, and erudition, Bishop Hughes, supported not only by all his Catholic people, but also by some of the non-Catholic congregations of the city, urged the claims of religious education. He laid stress on the contention that Catholics have a right to “a fair and just proportion of the funds appropriated for the common schools, provided the Catholics will do with it the same thing that is done in the common schools”. He claimed no special privilege, but contended for the “constitutional rights” of his people. He was opposed, not only by the Public School Society, but also by representatives of the Methodist, Episcopal, and Presbyterian Churches. The claims of the Catholics went before the legislature; but there also sectarian hatred was injected into the discussion and bigotry gained the day. The controversy, however, had one good result. It showed the imminent danger to faith and morals existing in the public school system as influenced by the so-called non-sectarians of that day, and as a consequence Catholics set to work to build up, at a tremendous cost, a system of parochial schools unsupported by the State.
In theory it is still maintained that injustice is being done to Catholics. If the “secular branches” are taught in the parochial schools to the satisfaction of the State authorities, the schools should be compensated for doing that portion of the task which the State has assumed. On the other hand, there are many Catholics who are convinced that if State aid were accepted it could be done only at the cost of independence, that State aid would be the price of admitting State supervision to the extent of partial de-Catholicization. There have, nevertheless, been individual instances in which a compromise has been reached, e.g. Savannah, Georgia; St. Augustine, Florida; Poughkeepsie, New York; and Faribault and Still-water, Minnesota. The last-mentioned instance gave rise to the celebrated School Controversy of 1891-92. The Faribault plan consisted in setting aside a certain time for religious instruction, to be given gratis by the Catholic teachers, and a time for secular instruction, to be given also by Catholic teachers. The secular instruction was to be paid for by the State, and in respect to that portion of its work the school was to be under State supervision; it was, in fact, to be recognized as a “public school”. The question was finally carried to the Congregation of the Propaganda, which rendered its decision on April 21, 1892, to the effect that “considering the peculiar circumstances and character of the arrangement, and the agreement by which the plan was inaugurated, it may be tolerated”. In the discussion of the Faribault plan certain fundamental questions were touched, as for instance in Dr. Bouquillon’s “Education, to whom does it belong?” (Baltimore, 1891), “A Rejoinder to the Civiltii Cattolica” (Baltimore, 1892), “A Rejoinder to Critics” (Baltimore, 1892), Hollaind, S.J., “The Parents First” (New York, 1891), Conway, S.J., “The State Last” (New York, 1892), Brandi, S.J., in “Civilta, Cattolica”, January 2, 1892, tr. as a pamphlet (New York, 1892). It should be added that, owing to some local difficulty the agreement at Faribault and Stillwater was later discontinued, but a similar agreement is in force today in not a few places in Minnesota.
The attitude of the hierarchy of the United States towards the problem of elementary education has been consistent from the beginning. At first Bishop Carroll, in the days immediately following the Revolution, entertained the hope that Catholics might unite with their non-Catholic fellow-citizens in building up a system of education that would be mutually satisfactory from the religious point of view. Soon, however, he realized that that hope was futile. After the First Catholic Synod he addressed (1792) a pastoral letter to the Catholics of the country, in which he emphasized the necessity of a “pious and Catholic education of the young to insure their growing up in the faith”, and expressed the hope that the graduates of the newly-founded College of Georgetown would, on returning to their homes, be able “to instruct and guide others in local schools”. Thus the plan of organizing separate Catholic schools was inaugurated. The First Plenary Council of Baltimore (1829) declares: “We judge it absolutely necessary that schools should be established, in which the young may be taught the principles of faith and morality, while being instructed in letters” (“Decreta”, n. 33). The Second Council (1832) renewed this enactment and entered into the details of organization (see “Decreta”, n. 38). The Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884) devoted very careful consideration to the subject of elementary schools and decreed in explicit terms the obligation of establishing a parochial school in every parish within two years of the promulgation of the decree, except where the bishop, on account of serious difficulties in the way (ob graviores diffcultates) judges that a delay may be granted (“Acta. et Decreta”, 199, no. 1).
IX. Parochial Schools and Public Schools
The establishment and maintenance of parochial schools does not imply the condemnation of public schools, or opposition of any kind to the purpose for which these are established. At a meeting of the National Educational Association at Nashville, Tennessee in July, 1889, both Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, and Archbishop Keane, then rector of the Catholic University of America, stated the case in favor of denominational schools, and made it clear that, so far as citizenship and patriotism are concerned, the Catholic schools are aiming successfully at the same ideals as the public schools. Since that time the calumny has been repeated that parochial schools lead to sectionalism, and are opposed to national patriotism. Catholics can only answer that this is not true, and point to facts to justify their reply. Our schools teach everything that is taught in the public schools, and, in addition, teach religion and religious morality. The exclusion of religion from the public schools is, we think, historically, the result of sectarian division and sectarian prejudice. In recent times theorists have sought to justify the omission on pedagogical grounds, and have suggested various substitutes for religion as a basis of morality. We criticize the theories, and point to the educational results in justification of our contention. If the exclusion of religion and the substitution for it of inadequate and futile moral education lead to disastrous results, the Catholics who call attention to those conditions, far from opposing the public school system, are really doing it a service. Meantime they feel that the tendency in the educational policy of the public school system is more and more towards secularization. In the matter of morality they feel that experiments more and more dangerous are being tried in the public schools, and if they protest, they are doing what, after all, they have a right, as taxpayers, to do. Meantime also they are developing their own system of education without giving up the contention that, in justice, they have a right to compensation for the secular education and the education in citizenship which they give in their schools.
Conflicts between the educational authority of the State and the Catholic clergy have arisen in a few instances. The clergy have always recognized the right of officials of the Department of Health, etc., to interfere in the matters in which they have competence. Where they have retained full autonomy, and have not yielded for the sake of affiliation or some other form of recognition, they have naturally avoided all friction with State educational authority. By way of exception, we have the celebrated Ohio Compulsory Education case, in which Father Patrick F. Quigley, of Toledo, Ohio, resisted unsuccessfully the enactment of the State of Ohio (1890) compelling all principals and teachers in all schools to make quarterly reports to State officers. The still more famous Wisconsin Bible Case involved the question of the right of the District Board of Edgerton, Wisconsin, to have the King James Version of the Bible read in the public schools which were attended by Catholic pupils. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin decided in favor of the Catholics.
X. Principles embodied in the Parochial Schools
The sacrifice which Catholics are making in maintaining their system of primary schools is justified, in their estimation, by the following principles: (I) The spiritual interests of the child, while not exclusive of others, such as learning, health, skill, ability to make a living, etc., are supreme. Where there is danger of wrecking the soul of a Catholic child no consideration of economy has weight. (2) Next to religion, morality is the most important matter in the life of a child. Catholics maintain that morality is best taught when based on religion. Catholic educational theorists, especially, are convinced that the immature mind of the child cannot grasp principles of morality except they be presented by way of religious authority and religious feeling. (3) Considering the nature of the child-mind, the whole curriculum of the school is best presented when it is organized and unified, not fragmented and disconnected. Religion, appealing as it does to the heart as well as to the head, offers the best principle of mental and spiritual unification and organization. The exclusion of religion from the schools is a pedagogical mistake. (4) Although condemned by secularizing educationalists and sectarian enthusiasts as un-American and opposed to our national institutions, our schools seem to us to be second to none in national usefulness and effectiveness. They teach patriotism, and the results show that they teach it successfully. They teach morality, and the lives of the Catholic people of the country show the result. They teach religion, thus constituting, in an age that questions everything, a great institutional force on the side of belief in God, in religious obligation, and in definite moral responsibility. Besides, they strive, with great personal sacrifice on the part of people, teachers, and pupils, to keep up with the public school system in teaching the secular branches. They are as a rule the equals, and often the superiors, of the public schools in the quality of the secular instruction which they give. They have the advantage of discipline, uniformity of ideals, harmony of methods, and, above all, of disinterested devotedness on the part of their teachers. Finally, the fact should not be overlooked that the parochial schools save many millions of dollars annually to the non-Catholic public, who, if the Catholic children were not provided for in parochial schools, would be obliged to increase very considerably the annual cost of education.
XI. Organization and Statistics
The parochial school system is diocesan in its organization. The supreme educational authority is the bishop, who governs and administers the schools of his diocese through the assistance of a school board and, very often, a diocesan (clerical) inspector of schools. The immediate authority is vested in the pastor, whose task it is to provide building, salaries, etc. The teachers are almost universally religious. The principal of the school is appointed usually by the religious community to which he or she belongs. The great majority of the schools are mixed, that is, schools for boys and girls. The only exceptions, apparently, are those in which the boys are taught by brothers and the girls by sisters. There is no recognized national central authority in Catholic educational matters. However, the parochial school section of the Catholic Educational Association has already done much towards unifying and systematizing our parochial schools. The training of teachers is, as a rule, provided for by the different religious communities engaged in the work of teaching. There are no diocesan institutions for the training of the teachers for the whole diocese. During the summer of 1911 a regular session of the Catholic University of America was held for the benefit of the teaching sisterhoods. Of the three hundred who attended, a large percentage took up professional pedagogical subjects. Similar institutes were held at Chicago, Milwaukee, and elsewhere. In the autumn of the same year the Sisters’ College was formally opened at Brookland, D.C., under the auspices of the Catholic University of America, and of the twenty-nine students who attended the first session all took professional courses in education. The number of parochial schools in the United States in 1911 was, according to the “Catholic Directory”, 4972, and the number of pupils 1,270,131. These figures do not include orphan asylums, which numbered 285 and took care of 51,938 orphans. Neither do they include the non-parochial academies, convent boarding schools, and day schools, nor the colleges for boys, many of which have a number of primary pupils in attendance.
A. In Australia
In Australia as in the other parts of the British Empire, the struggle in defense of Catholic education has been a hard, uphill fight. Even in the present age the Catholics of Australia, who have by the most generous and devoted sacrifices created a fine system of education, both primary and secondary, have not the right, which the Catholics of England, Ireland, and Scotland enjoy, to have any share whatever in the large sums of public money expended on the schools, whilst they are compelled to contribute this money in the form of taxes and rates.
History.—From 1788, when Governor Philip first established a colonial settlement at Port Jackson, until 1826, the only schools available for Catholic children in the colony were the officially controlled Anglican schools, on which large grants of money and land were lavished. The devoted Catholic chaplain Father Therry started a small school in 1826, for which he managed to obtain a little Government aid. By 1836 there were thirteen Catholic schools, Through the influence of Governor Bourke, a liberal Irish Protestant, a system of State aid recognizing the various denominations was developed, a Denominational Board for distributing the funds was set up, and a modest allowance was secured by Catholics. But in 1848 a National Secular System was introduced with a Central Board of Education somewhat similar to that existing in Ireland, yet running concomitantly with the existing Denominational Board. Hostility between the two was inevitable, and there were many inconveniences. By the Public School Act of 1866 a Central Council of Education was established and sundry changes were introduced, some being to the detriment of the denominational schools; for the defense of Catholic rights a Catholic Association was formed. But the secular movement supported by anti-Catholic prejudice grew in strength and, by the Public Instruction Act of 1880, a centralized secular system, withdrawing all State aid from the denominational schools, was completely established in New South Wales; this had been done already in some of the other States, and as time went on was done also in the remaining. The effect of the measure was the speedy extinction of the great majority of the other denominational schools, whilst the Catholics, thrown again entirely on their own resources, started to build and support their schools (both primary and secondary), the numbers of which they have since then largely increased. The secular system has thus been in force in the State schools for thirty years, but the situation is not acquiesced in by the Catholics; they continue to demand the right as free citizens to have the money which they pay in taxes for the support of education, expended on the only education which they can conscientiously accept.
Present Status of Catholic Education.—The Catholic primary schools are under the authority of the bishop of the diocese. There are no school boards; inspectors appointed by diocesan authority examine and report on the schools. Competitive yearly inter-primary school examinations for Catholic secondary school scholarships give an extra stimulus to individual work. In some states Government inspectors are invited to visit the schools, but only in three states does the law enforce Government inspection. These schools are taxed like ordinary institutions; where they come into competition with the State schools, e.g. for civil service appointments, they win more than their share of successes. The Catholic secondary schools and high schools for boys and girls are numerous, and are in charge of the religious congregations. The Jesuit Fathers have four colleges, and the Vincentian and Marist Fathers (N. Z.) one each. The remainder are divided among the Christian, Marist, Patrician, and De La Salle Brothers. Secondary education is largely guided by the university examinations, and here again the Catholic schools amply prove their efficiency. Victoria (Tasmania lately passed a similar law) by Act of Parliament (1906) exacts the registration of all private schools both primary and secondary, and of all teachers. An Educational Council, on which Catholics are represented, has charge of the register, determines the conditions of registration, and adjudicates on individual claims. Vested interests are respected, but evidence of competency is to be required of all future teachers. Catholics are endeavoring to meet the new conditions by the establishment of training colleges, especially for women. In New South Wales, where similar legislation is probable, Cardinal Moran (d. August 6, 1911) in 1911. established a Catholic Council of Education to safeguard Catholic interests.
In Australasia, including New Guinea, there are: Catholic primary schools, 1004; superior day schools, 196; boarding schools for girls, 194; colleges for boys, 27; ecclesiastical seminaries, 5; and one college for foreign missions. The estimated total Catholic population is 982,578; scholars, 123,905. The great majority of the Catholic teachers are from among the 6000 nuns and 549 brothers who devote their lives to the service of the Church in the country. Lay teachers are chiefly employed in the country districts. The per capita cost of education in the Catholic primary schools averages between £3 and £4; in the State schools, between £5 and £6. The amount saved to the State by the self-sacrifice of the Catholic body totals annually about three-quarters of a million pounds. The Catholic schools are maintained by the voluntary contributions of the faithful—church collections, concerts, bazaars etc.—and the gratuitous labors of the religious. The classes in the Catholic primary schools are graded in a system somewhat similar to that in the Government schools. In some of the states, notably in New South Wales, the Catholic school authorities have been able to issue special Catholic school readers and periodical school papers. As an offset to the Government scholarships, which unlike those in England are tenable only at the Government high schools, the Catholics have founded scholarships in Catholic secondary schools for their primary school children. Technical instruction is usually included in the curriculum of the larger schools, but is more systematically organized in Catholic institutions for orphans and industrial work.
B. In Canada
Canada is a self-governing dominion of the British Empire consisting of nine provinces and some territories not yet erected in provinces. Its population is partly French in origin and language, partly British. It will be necessary, in order to be accurate, to speak of each province separately.
A. Province of Ontario.—The beginnings of Catholic education in Ontario may be said to date back to the year 1615, in which the Recollect Joseph Le Caron, making a journey of exploration in the countries of the Algonquin and Huron tribes, decided on the foundation of missions in their midst. Writing to the Court of France, he said: “We must first make men of these Indians, then Christians.” During the years 1622-26, his first efforts were assisted by the arrival of Fathers Guillaume Poulin, Nicholas Viel, and de La Roche d’Aillon, of his order, and the Jesuit Fathers Brebeuf and de La Noue. Their work was facilitated by the aid of interpreters who were good Christians and valiant auxiliaries. By 1638 the Jesuit Fathers, now ten in number, had established two residences on the banks of Georgian Bay. These outposts speedily became centers of Christian and Catholic civilization. Until 1650 the missionaries, with their devoted lay brothers and coadjutors from France, were the only Catholic teachers of Ontario. Their first lessons of catechism, of book-knowledge, and of agriculture, given amidst the greatest privations, and often at the peril of their lives, owed much more to their unlimited zeal than to any generosity on the part of their pupils. In 1649 the Huron and Algonquin neophytes were exterminated by the ferocious Iroquois, who burnt or destroyed seven flourishing missions, which had been directed by no fewer than sixty missionaries and helpers, many of whom perished with their flocks. The surviving heroes of the Gospel found a new field of action among the Outaouais, who inhabited the present County of Bruce, the islands of Georgian Bay, and Great Manitoulin Island. The work that had been done for the Hurons and Algonquins of Eastern Ontario was now renewed on behalf of the Western tribes. Nothing that human zeal could accomplish was spared to make of them civilized people and fervent Catholics. When Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac founded the important post of Detroit (1701), he was accompanied by missionaries, among whom was the Rev. Father Lhalle, who became rector of the pioneers of Essex. The Iroquet tribe, belonging to the large family of the Algonquins, settled in the farthest eastern end of the province in the present Counties of Stormont, Glengarry, and Prescott, received at an early date the joyful tidings of Catholic doctrine and the benefit of Catholic education.
After the War of American Independence, a great number of settlers, faithful to the British flag, took refuge in the Province of Ontario. The first immigrants established themselves at Indian Point, in the vicinity of Kingston, in 1784. Later on, other loyalists took up homesteads at Toronto and Niagara. The few French families who had followed de La Mothe Cadillac to Detroit survived to constitute the colony of Essex, and their descendants rapidly invaded both the Counties of Essex and Kent, where the French population now almost forms a majority. In 1786 and 1802 Scotch emigrants settled in large numbers in the Counties of Glengarry and Prescott. From 1816 to 1825 British officers and furloughed soldiers, mostly Irish, colonized the districts of Carleton, Lanark, and Peterborough. The construction of the Rideau Canal caused a large number of workmen to take up their residence in Ontario. An entire colony of Scotch Catholics, expelled from the United States after the War of Independence on account of their attachment to the British Crown, settled in Canada near Niagara, in the Counties of Lincoln and Welland. A vigorous stream of immigration from Germany in 1835 overflowed the western end of the province, in the present Counties of Bruce, Huron, and Perth. Meanwhile French Canadians poured into the Counties of Russell, Prescott, and Glengarry. Raftsmen and French Canadians of various occupations ascended the Ottawa River, exploring the regions now known as New Ontario, Algoma, Nipissing, and Thunder Bay. They are now in a majority in these three counties, and have churches, priests, and schools of their own.
This Catholic immigration, so abundant and sudden, incited the ardent zeal of Msgr. Plessis, Bishop of Quebec, to send missionaries to Upper Canada. Priests from the seminary of Quebec, others from the foreign missionary organization of Paris, and a small number of priests who had immigrated with their Scotch or Irish countrymen ministered to the spiritual wants of these courageous colonists. They joyfully accepted their share of the great poverty of these pioneers. They thought more of preserving the Faith, of administering the sacraments, and of reforming abuses than of founding schools. Not that they considered schools as of little importance, but because, from lack of resources and teachers, the establishment of schools was an impossibility. From 1830, however, Toronto had its Catholic school; then Kingston, in 1837, and Picton, in 1840, were likewise provided for. The hierarchy of the Catholic Church, ever anxious to foster the education of the people confided to its care, was soon established in the province. This was the signal for the opening of educational establishments at diverse points. Ottawa had its Catholic schools in 1844; Brantford in 1850; Goderich and Peterborough in 1852; Hamilton, Oshawa, and Barrie in 1855; Perth and Alexandria in 1856; Orillia in 1857; Berlin, Dundas, and St. Thomas in 1858; Belleville in 1860, and so on. The venerable Bishops A. McDonell, R. Gaulin, Power, Guiges, O.M.I., de Charbonel, Pinsonnault, Jamot, Farrell, and Phelan; Fathers J. Ryan, Proulx, Grand, Maloney, Carayon, Grattan, Bissey, Jeffrey, Bilroy, Lawler, Faure, the Jesuit Fathers du Ranquet, Hanipaux, Chone, Fremiol, the Oblate Fathers Tilmon, Dandurand, Tabaret, Soulerin, Manroit, and the Basilian Fathers—these were the pioneers and defenders of Catholic education in Ontario. They found very able helpers in the various religious communities of women, and in the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Many sincerely Christian persons among the laity also devoted themselves to the cause of Catholic education in the province. Among the earliest and most remarkable may be mentioned, at Toronto, J. Harvey and J. heyers; at Ottawa, Dr. Riel, Friolle, and Goode; at Dundas, Miss Sweeney; at Brantford, J. d’Astroph; at Oakland, Capt. Fitzgerald.
The Catholic schools have become numerous and powerful. Their organization, from the points of view of studies, discipline, and regular attendance of pupils, is better than that of all other institutions of the same class in the province. Many years have already elapsed since in the cities, villages, and other parts of the country, long opened up to colonization, the old square-timber school-houses were replaced by splendid buildings of brick or stone. The architecture of these schools is simple and beautiful; the systems of ventilation, lighting, and heating are excellent; the installation of suitable school furniture and accessories is almost complete. This progress is very evident, even in centers of colonization. The school trustees make it a point of honor to put up school buildings which are beautiful and spacious, and which leave nothing to be desired in ventilation, lighting, and heating. The Catholic schools of Ontario are called separate schools. They do separate, in fact, for school purposes, the Catholic minority from the Protestant majority. They make it possible for Catholics to withdraw their children from the public or common schools, which are by law Protestant. Nevertheless, there are some public schools which are really Catholic; these exist in localities exclusively or almost exclusively Catholic. Such schools are found especially in the Counties of Russell, Prescott, Algoma, Nipissing, Kent, and Essex. Separate schools were granted in 1841, when the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada were united. Wishing to secure for their co-religionists in Lower Canada exemption from the obligation of sending their children to the Catholic schools (common schools in that province), and of paying taxes for the support of said schools, the Protestants of Ontario and Quebec proposed to establish a system of dissident or separate schools. What they claimed for the Protestants of Lower Canada they had to bind themselves in strict justice to grant to the Catholics of Upper Canada.
The principle of separate schools, Catholic in Ontario and Protestant in Quebec, received the royal sanction on September 18, 1841. This fundamental law had been discussed by a committee of the Legislative Assembly in which Lower Canada was represented by fifteen members and Upper Canada by eight. This law authorized dissidents from the common schools, on giving notice to the clerk of the district council, to pay their school taxes for the support of separate schools, and to receive a share of the government grants for education in proportion to their number. The same law authorized the election by the people of trustees for the administration of separate schools. The governor was authorized to nominate in each city a board of examiners composed of an equal number of Catholics and Protestants. The Catholics of Ontario obtained the privilege of establishing a separate board for the examination of candidates wishing to teach in their schools; a clause in this fundamental law exempted the Brothers of the Christian Schools from submitting to examination by this board. From 1841 to 1863, at almost every session of the Legislature, the Ontario Protestants proposed amendments to the act establishing separate schools. These amendments tended, for the most part, to render the existence of separate schools in Ontario so precarious that they would die out of themselves. The desired privileges for the Protestants of Lower Canada had been obtained; it was well known that these privileges would always be respected by the Catholic majority of Quebec; now, they thought, it would be safe to deliver the attacks of unenlightened fanaticism against the separate schools of Upper Canada. Cost what it might, the cry was raised for a single school system for the whole of Upper Canada—a common, public, or national school system. While constantly professing motives of the purest justice and common interest, the Protestant Province of Upper Canada has continually sullied its reputation for fairness by setting an example of fanaticism, narrow-mindedness, and intolerance towards Catholic schools, whilst Lower Canada, a Catholic province, has been a model of perfect justice and toleration.
On February 27, 1863, a Catholic deputy, R. W. Scott, presented for the fourth time a new law to govern the separate schools. This law was adopted, thanks to the generous aid given by the French Canadian deputies, mostly from Lower Canada. The Upper Canadian majority voted against the bill, but all the members from Quebec and twenty-one members from Upper Canada, among them several Protestants, were in its favor and carried the measure.
If Ontario now possesses a system of Catholic separate schools, it is largely due to the French Canadians of Lower Canada, whose wishes in the matter were enforced by their representatives, Catholic and Protestant. This law, enacted in 1863, was maintained at the time of the confederation of the provinces in 1867; it still governs today the Catholic separate schools of Ontario. Yet it is far from giving to the Catholics of that province liberties equal to those enjoyed by the Protestant minority of Quebec. It recognizes the Catholic separate schools for primary education only. Secondary or superior education in Ontario is Protestant. The Catholics have their academies, convents, colleges, and universities, but these are independent schools, supported by the voluntary contributions of Catholics who have also to contribute, on the same footing as Protestants, to the support of the government high schools, collegiate institutes, and universities. It refuses to separate schools the right to a share of the taxes paid by public-utility companies, such as railway, tramway and telephone companies, banks, etc. It withholds from the trustees of separate schools the right of expropriation in order to secure more fitting localities for their schools. It refuses to the Protestant father of a Catholic family the right to pay his taxes towards the support of Catholic schools. It allows Catholics the option of paying their taxes to support the public schools. As the rate of taxation for separate schools is generally higher than that for public schools, owing to the large number of children in families of the Catholic minority, and to the abstention of large business concerns from contributing the least support to the separate schools, it follows that many Catholics, more or less sincere, avoid the higher rate and pay their taxes towards the support of the public, or Protestant, schools. The separate schools are administered, as by a court of final jurisdiction, by the Education Department at Toronto, in which Catholics are not represented.
The law governing the separate schools nevertheless gives to Catholics the following rights: (I) to pay their taxes for primary schools in which religious instruction is given, and of which the teachers, inspectors and textbooks are Catholic; (2) to administer these schools by a board of trustees elected by the Catholic proprietors and residents of the different school sections; (3) to fix the rate of school-taxation; (4) to have these school-taxes collected by the tax-collector of the city or township; (5) to negotiate loans for the election of school buildings; (6) to engage teachers. The board of trustees has likewise the right to impose the teaching in French or German of reading, spelling and literature, as provided for by the regulations of the Education Department, page 9, article 15, year 1907. The French Canadians, availing themselves of this right, have the French language taught in 250 schools, frequented almost entirely by their children. The government has named three French Canadian inspectors for these schools, called bilingual. The teachers of these schools are trained in two public bilingual training-schools, one at Sturgeon Falls and the other at Ottawa, founded and supported by the Government, and directed by Catholic principals. The certificates issued by these schools give the right to teach in the bilingual schools for five years only. The Government makes a yearly grant to both Catholic and public schools, the amount being calculated upon the value of the schoolhouse, the excellence of its furnishings, the certificates and salaries of the teachers, and the attendance of the children. The statistics for 1909, taken from the Report of the Minister of Education, are as follows:
Number of Catholic separate schools-467
Number of pupils in attendance-55,034
Average daily attendance-34,553
Percentage of attendance Percentage of attendance in the public schools-59.81
Number of teachers-1,089
Amount spent for schoolhouses-$161,317
Amount spent for teachers’ salaries- 404,890
Average cost per pupil-14.90
Total expenditures for 1909 for elementary public and separate schools- 8,141,423
The Catholic colleges for boys are: in the Diocese of Toronto, that of the Basilian Fathers, founded in 1852, 15 professors, 280 students; in the Diocese of London, Basilian Fathers, founded 1857, 37 professors, 149 students; Diocese of Hamilton, Fathers of the Resurrection, founded 1857, 11 professors, 100 students; Diocese of Kingston, secular clergy, founded 1837, 4 professors, 85 students. The Brothers of the Christian Schools conduct an academy with 14 teachers and 297 pupils. The Ursuline Sisters, 1 college for girls, 202 pupils; Sisters of Mary, 1 academy f. r girls; Sisters of St. Joseph, 1, 140 pupils; Sisters of Loretto, 4, 78 teachers, 490 pupils; Grey Nuns of the Cross, 2, 35 teachers, 555 pupils; Christian Brothers, 1, 14 teachers, 297 pupils. Other convent schools are those of the Sisters of St. Joseph (seven schools, 74 teachers, 975 pupils); Sisters of Loretto (two schools, 30 teachers, 280 pupils); Grey Nuns of the Cross (one school, 6 teachers, 239 pupils); Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (one school, founded in 1864); Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame (one school, 29 teachers, 380 pupils). There are three industrial schools under the care of religious institutes: the Brothers of the Christian Schools (8 teachers, 95 pupils); Daughters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (10 teachers, 110 pupils); Sisters of St. Joseph (10 teachers, 65 pupils). The nine orphanages under the care of religious are: 2 under the Grey Nuns of the Cross, with 385 orphans; 5 under the Sisters of St. Joseph, with 582 orphans; 1 under the School Sisters of Notre Dame, with 54 orphans; 1 under the Sisters of Providence, with 85 orphans.
The appended table of religious institutes engaged in teaching in Ontario at the present time (1911) is necessarily incomplete, reliable figures being unobtainable in many cases. In such cases the figures have been omitted altogether, as approximate figures are liable to be misleading.
B. Province of Quebec.—(1) French Rule (1635-1763).—(a) Primary Schools.—With the introduction of Christianity, schools sprang up in the French colony even among the remotest tribes. The Recollects were the first schoolmasters of Canada. In 1616, one of them, Brother Pacifique Duplessis, opened, at Three Rivers, the first school of New France. Shortly afterwards the Jesuit Fathers followed them, teaching the children reading, writing, arithmetic, and catechism. In 1634, a year after the arrival of the pioneer families in Canada, an elementary school was founded in Quebec. As colonists increased, primary schools sprang up. The boys’ schools were at St. Foy, the Island of Orleans, Point Levis, Chateau-Richer, Quebec, Montreal, Three Rivers. Proofs exist that there were in the city and district of Quebec 15 primary schools for boys; in the city and district of Montreal, 10; in the city and district of Three Rivers, 7. Among the organizers were Msgr. Laval and his seminary. Msgr. de St-Vallier, his successor, encouraged elementary, secondary, and technical schools by every means in his power. In the district of Montreal the Sulpician Fathers founded several schools. M. Souart, superior of Montreal from 1661 to 1668, took pride in styling himself the first schoolmaster of New France; all his brethren shared his zeal. In 1715 Brother Charon opened a school for boys at Pointe-aux Trembles, near Montreal, and took upon himself the charge of recruiting teachers for the country districts. In investigating the history of the schools in pioneer days we invariably find as their founder or benefactor a bishop, a priest, a religious congregation, or a layman, himself a school-teacher or assisted by a teacher who traveled from one district to another.
The education of the girls was as carefully attended to as that of the boys. The Ursulines built schools at Quebec and Three Rivers. The religious of the Hopital General de Quebec erected a boarding school, while the Sisters of the Congregation de Notre Dame, founded by the Venerable Marguerite Bourgeoys, multiplied convents at Montreal, Quebec, Three Rivers, and in the country districts, where the children of the colonists came to be trained in all things essential to the development of a strong Christian character. Charlevoix says: “If to this day, there prevail in Canada so great a gentleness in the manners of all classes of society and so much charm in the intercourse of life, it is owing in great measure to the zeal of Marguerite Bourgeoys”. Twelve houses were opened by the Congregation of Notre Dame during the period of French rule.
(b) Special Schools.—Specializing in teaching was not unknown at this epoch when existence itself was a struggle. There were schools of mathematics and hydrography at Montreal at the Jesuits and the Charon Brothers’, art and trade schools at the seminary at Quebec, art and trade schools at St. Joachim, art and trade schools at the Charon Brothers.
(c) Secondary Schools.—While defending the colony from the incursions of the Indians and fighting to retain their prior right of possession, the French not only established primary and special schools but founded and endowed secondary schools. The classical college of the Jesuits was established at a time when the population of the entire country was but a few hundred souls, and the Petit Seminaire of Quebec opened its doors on October, 1688.
(2) British Rule (1763-1910).—In 1763 60,000 French Catholic colonists passed by right of conquest under British Protestant rule. The progress of the Catholic schools was greatly impeded. The Church, through her teaching communities and secular clergy, organized schools in the most important villages; but, unfortunately, a great number of parishes were without pastors. In 1801 the Legislature passed a law entitled “An Act to establish Free Schools”, which provided for the establishment of a permanent corporation known as the Royal Institute. Thus the monopoly was given to the Church of England to establish and support English Protestant schools for a population almost entirely made up of French Catholics. Scattered over the country districts, in the midst of a mistrustful people, the schools of the Royal Institute were patronized by the English colonists only. Twenty-four years after its foundation the Royal Institute had only 37 schools with 1048 pupils. On the other hand, parochial schools increased. At Montreal, the Sulpicians and the Ladies of the Congregation of Notre Dame opened free schools. A Catholic educational society was founded at Quebec to teach poor children and train teachers for country districts. Many other societies were formed in different parts of Canada for a similar purpose. The parishes were few that could not boast of fairly good schools. Private or independent schools increased more rapidly than the parish schools. In 1824 the Legislature passed the Parochial School Act authorizing the pastors and churchwardens to appropriate a fourth part of the revenue of the parochial corporation for the support of the schools under their exclusive control. In 1829 there were no less than 14,700 children in these schools which were supported at the cost of much sacrifice by a poor and scattered population. Many other attempts were made to organize Catholic schools until, finally, in 1841, a law was passed wherein were contained the principal provisions of the Educational Act as it exists in the Province of Quebec today. This law, considerably augmented by that of 1846, gave a great impetus to public instruction. In 1849 there were 1817 schools and 68,904 pupils. Owing to the influence of Dr. Meilleur, Superintendent of Catholic Schools of Quebec, education made rapid progress. Chaveau, his successor, continued to work with the same zeal. He established three primary denominational normal schools in Lower Canada, two for Catholics, who were in a great majority, the third for Protestants. In Ontario, there was but one normal school, for the Protestant majority, who neglected to do justice to the Catholic minority, while Quebec gave to Protestants, who were in the minority, a separate normal school.
The school organization of the Province of Quebec is now under the control of the Department of Public Instruction. The president, who is elected for life, is non-partisan in politics and bears the title of Superintendent of Education. He is assisted by a French and an English secretary, who are charged with the administration of the affairs of their respective nationalities and co-religionists. The Council of Public Instruction is composed of highly esteemed members, chosen from the two religious denominations; they frame laws and rules relating to public instruction which are afterwards submitted to the sanction of the government. The Council of Public Instruction is divided into Catholic and Protestant sections. The Catholic committee includes as ex-officio members the archbishops, bishops or administrators of dioceses and Apostolic vicariates of the Province of Quebec, and a number of Catholic laymen. The Protestant committee is composed of Protestant members equal in number to the laymen of the Catholic committee. Apart from these two committees, there are other members who do not form part of the Council of Public Instruction, but who have, in their respective committees, the same power as the members of the committees. These two committees, which sit independently, unite, under the presidency of the superintendent of education, when there are matters to discuss that interest both religious denominations. All questions relating exclusively to Catholics or to Protestants are decided by their respective religious committees.
The Province of Quebec is divided into school municipalities for the support of one or more schools. These municipalities are subdivided into school districts, and are entrusted to the commissioners or trustees elected by the taxpayers. In large cities, like Quebec and Montreal, the commissioners are named by the Government on the suggestion of the superintendent of education, the bishop of the diocese, and the city itself. The commissioners are the local directors and real supervisors of the school; they have charge of the administration; they name the teachers; dispose of school property, purchase ground and build schoolhouses, impose and collect the school taxes and fees. Taxpayers who do not profess the same religious belief as the majority of the inhabitants in the municipality where they reside, have a right to a school commission of their own, composed of three members chosen from among their co-religionists. These members, called school trustees, represent the dissenting minority; they have the same privileges as the commissioners.
The administration of public schools is controlled by Catholic school inspectors for Catholic schools, and Protestant for non-Catholic schools. These functionaries are subject to the superintendent of education. There are also two general inspectors charged respectively with Catholic and Protestant normal schools. The first inspectors were named in 1852. At present (1911) thirty-nine Catholic inspectors, under the supervision of a general inspector, visit the 6000 Catholic schools of the province. The school revenues are obtained from government grants and local taxation. The operation of this law exhibits striking proof of the good faith and fairness of the Catholics, who constitute the great majority: they organize their schools, but never take advantage of their numbers to force Protestants to send their children to Catholic schools. All persons wishing to teach in public schools under the administration of school commissioners and trustees must obtain diplomas from a normal school or from the Central Board of Examiners. Nevertheless, ministers of religion and members of religious communities of both sexes are exempt from these examinations. Members of teaching orders, after completing their course of studies, make a novitiate of two, three, or four years before receiving their “obedience”. This period of normal training exempts them from the examinations imposed on lay teachers by the Central Board of Examiners. Primary teaching comprises three degrees: the elementary course (4 years), the inter-mediate course (2 years), and the superior course (2 years). Schools of the first degree are called primary elementary; those of the second, model, or primary intermediate; those of the third, academic, or primary superior. In the following table of statistics of elementary education in the Province of Quebec for the year 1909-10, those schools which are subject to the provincial or the municipal Government are classed as “State”; the others, as “Independent”.
The teaching congregations direct a large number of schools, independent or under the control of different school commissions. The Christian Brothers have 63 houses in Canada, 51 in the Province of Quebec, 750 brothers and about 23,000 pupils. The following are the other teaching congregations of men: Clerks of St. Viateur, Brothers of Charity, Marist Brothers, Brothers of the Sacred Heart, Brothers of Christian Instruction, Brothers of St. Gabriel, Brothers of the Cross of Jesus (Diocese of Rimouski). Among the teaching congregations of women are: the Ursulines, with houses in the Dioceses of Quebec, Chicoutimi, Sherbrooke, and Rimouski. There are also Ursulines in the Diocese of Three Rivers; this house was founded by Msgr. J.—C. de St-Vallier, second Bishop of Quebec. The Congregation of Notre Dame, founded at Montreal, April 30, 1657, by Venerable Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700), possesses 131 houses in Canada and the United States. It numbers 1510 professed sisters, 240 novices, 45 postulants. The Sisters teach 34,000 pupils in 21 dioceses. The Grey Nuns of Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, and St. Hyacinthe teach a great number of children. The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary have their motherhouse at Montreal and. houses both in Canada and in the United States; professed religious, 1257; novices, 110; postulants, 81; establishments, 74; parochial schools, 32; pupils, 24,208. Other congregations are: the Ladies of the Sacred Heart, the Sisters of Providence, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sisters of the Holy Cross and Seven. Dolors (544 religious, 14,577 pupils in Canada and the United States), Sisters of St. Anne (63 establishments in the United States and Canada, 19,190 pupils), Sisters of the Assumption of the. Blessed: Virgin, Nicolet (414 religious, 49 establishments), Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, Religious of Jesus and Mary, Sisters of St. Joseph (St. Hyacinthe), Daughters of Wisdom, Sisters of St. Mary, Franciscans of Mary (Quebec), Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sisters of the Holy Heart of Mary, Sisters of Our Lady of Good Counsel (Chicoutimi), Daughters of Jesus, Sisters of Charity of St. Louis, Religious of St. Francis of Assisi. Many of these congregations have motherhouses in the Province of Quebec; they direct a great number of establishments and send missionaries to the other provinces of the Dominion and to the United States.
There are thirteen art and trade schools in the principal centers of the Province of Quebec. During the school year 1909-10 there were 56 professors, 2632boys. Besides the Agricultural Institute at Oka, affiliated to Laval University, and which is included in the scheme of superior education there is an agricultural school in connection with the College of St. Anne de La Pocatiere, in the district of Quebec. There is a manual training and agricultural school for girls, under the direction of the Ursulines, at Roberval, Lake St. John district; another at St. Pascal, under the direction of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame. Normal schools were founded in 1856. There are now ten; two for boys and eight for girls. Three normal schools for girls are soon to be opened, so that each diocese of the Province of Quebec will have its own normal school. The pupils number 660; the professors,110. There is one Catholic school for the blind (boys and girls), the Nazareth Institute, directed by the Grey Nuns; fifty-five pupils follow the regular course, under the direction of five professors; many excel in187,120 music and in other subjects. The Catholic Deaf and Dumb Institute, for boys, is directed by the Clerks of St. Viateur. The total number of pupils is 135, of whom 89 are instructed by the oral method, 46 by the written and manual alphabet. The work of teaching is carried on by 31 professors. The Catholic Deaf and Dumb Institute for girls is directed by the Sisters of Providence; 71 sisters teach 142 pupils. The two methods are in use, but the oral method is employed in instructing almost all the pupils. Former pupils, numbering 115, are engaged in manual labor in these asylums, receiving physical, intellectual, and moral care.
The night-schools, numbering 129, have taught 2546 Catholic pupils. There are a certain number of industrial schools. The Brothers of Charity direct a reform school (30 religious, 118 boarders). The Sisters of the Good Shepherd also have two houses, one at Montreal, the other at Park Laval. A great number of congregations are charged with the instruction of orphans; among the institutions may be mentioned the Orphan Asylum of Montfort, 305 children; Huberdeau, 220. The Fathers of the Society of Mary and the Daughters of Wisdom have charge of these orphans. All the principal cities have their kindergarten schools, which are not mentioned in the official reports. They are due to private initiative and are organized by religious communities. There are 21 classical colleges at Quebec, 18 of which are affiliated with Laval University. They were founded by bishops, priests, or zealous laymen who understood the needs of the different phases of the national and religious existence. Therein were fostered vocations to the priesthood and the liberal professions. These classical colleges have given Canada eminent men, both in Church and State, who, in the dark hours of its history, have preserved its faith and nationality; they have flourished and are still flourishing, thanks to the generosity of their founders and former pupils. They receive but $12,643 from the Provincial Legislature. The accompanying table of the Catholic colleges of the Province of Quebec exhibits the dates of their respective foundations as well as the number of pupils and professors in each.
English is the mother tongue of only a little more than 9 per cent of all the pupils attending these twenty-one institutions, the language of the remainder being French. The Classical course, including two years of philosophy, covers a period of eight years. It includes the study of Greek and Latin, to which educators, in certain countries, are coming back after having tried to abolish it. The study of the dead languages does not diminish the student’s ardor for the two official languages of the country, French and English. Mount St. Louis, directed by the Christian Brothers, has a modern secondary course without Greek or Latin. They prepare young men principally for the polytechnical schools. The classical colleges affiliated with Laval University have the university course of studies and examinations. In 1910 a new school was opened for the hautes etudes commerelates, and about twenty-six pupils have followed the courses. In 1911 the Legislature organized two technical schools: one at Montreal, the other at Quebec.
In 1908 the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame opened a college for young women. It is affiliated with Laval University, and embraces English, French, and commercial sections. The regular course, leading to the degrees of B. L., B. S., B.A., includes two, three, or four years’ study according to the anterior preparation of the student. About seventy-five follow the regular course. A large number attend the public lectures. The final examinations of the year are submitted to university professors. The staff of sixteen religious is assisted by professors.
C. Province of Nova Scotia.—Catholicism was introduced in the Province of Nova Scotia by the French with the first settlement of the country; but the first mention which we have of Catholic school education dates only from thirty years later, when the Recollects opened at Port-Royal a seminary for the instruction of French and Indian children. This Catholic teaching was evidently continued, since we find a Capuchin Father writing, in 1652: “Emmanuel Le Borgne, governor of Acadia, has expelled from Port-Royal Madame de Brice d’Auxerre, superioress of the School for the Abenaquis”. About 1680 the vicar-general, Petit, says in a letter to his superior, Msgr. Vallier, that he has with him a man who teaches the boys of Port-Royal. Msgr. Vallier himself first sends a Sister of the Congregation of Notre Dame to teach the Indian and French girls of Port-Royal, and a few years after, in 1686, he sends for Geoffroy, a Sulpician, “to continue the instruction of youth which so far has been so well looked after”. In fact Geoffroy improved the school teaching and supervising. He also laid the foundation for the future coming of the Sisters of the Cross, who came in 1701, after the capture of Port-Royal by Phipps and the cession of Acadia to France in 1697. After the final taking of Acadia by the English it seems that Catholic schools were abolished, as we find Father Burke writing: “There is a great desire to establish a Catholic School [in Halifax]. The need is pressing. We would succeed if we could have repealed an infamous law forbidding Catholic Schools”. Through the zeal of the Catholic missionaries, however, Catholic education was not altogether neglected. In the western part of Nova Scotia, for example, we find a French priest, the Abbe Sigogne, urging his flock to send their children to school, organizing Sunday schools; thanks to his labors for the cause of education, there were in 1851, in the district of Clare alone, 17 schools attended by 422 pupils.
In 1864 the Law of Common Schools was passed in the Provincial Legislature of Nova Scotia. Since then there have been very few separate schools properly so called. Under this law the province is divided into districts called schools sections, which are administered by a board of three trustees elected by the ratepayers of the section. It is the duty of the trustees to engage teachers and to pay them out of the funds derived partly from taxes directly imposed upon the inhabitants of the section and partly from government grants. According to law, the teaching of the Catechism is prohibited during regular school hours; but the trustees may instruct teachers to give lessons in Catholic doctrine during one half-hour after class every day. Inspectors are appointed by the Council of Public Instruction to visit the schools and report upon them to the superintendent of education. Some of these schools are under the direction of religious teaching communities as follows: In the Diocese of Halifax the Sisters of Charity have charge of nine such schools, four in the city of Halifax and five in the Acadian parishes of Meteghan, Church Point, Eal Brook, and West Pubnico, and the English-speaking parish of Prospect. In the Diocese of Antigonish the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame conduct seven of these schools, with 37 religious and 2281 pupils; the Sisters of Charity, 5 schools; the Daughters of Jesus, 2.
Besides these schools organized under the law, the Ladies of the Sacred Heart of Jesus have a convent school at Halifax with 48 religious and 500 pupils; the Sisters of Charity, a separate school at Amherst and convents at Rockingham, Meteghan, and Church Point; the Sisters of the Congregation, at New Glasgow and Pictou; and the Filles de Jesus at Arichat and Cheticamp. These separate schools are supported by the Catholics of their respective towns. There are also three Catholic colleges for boys in the Province: St. Francis Xavier (English), at Antigonish, with 15 professors and 200 pupils; St. Anne, at Church Point, with 18 professors and 180 pupils (French and English), and St. Mary, at Halifax, with 7 professors and 80 pupils.
D. Province of New Brunswick.—As had been the case in Nova Scotia, the first Catholic schools in New Brunswick were opened by Catholic missionaries; and when the regrettable deportation took place, it could be said that a great number of Acadians were able at least to read their prayers and also the exercises relating to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. One can easily understand how these poor exiles returned to their country and more particularly to New Brunswick. Their first care was cold in the forest and on the desert banks of the gulf. Next, they asked for missionaries and for persons capable of teaching reading and writing to their children. For lack of priests they had to be content on Sunday with reading the prayers for Mass, and it was imperative to teach their children the truths of religion as contained in the short catechism. Fifty years and more passed before it became possible for them—such was their extreme poverty, and so precarious the conditions of their existence—to procure the service of any school-teacher. However, at the close of the Napoleonic Wars, adventurers, sailors, deserters, or tourists came from France, who knew how to read and write, and their services were eagerly accepted. The old residents still remember M. Grenet, who taught at Barachois, M. Gabriel Albert, who taught at Grande Digue, M. Jean Lemenager, who taught at Memramcook, M. Alexandre Theodore, who taught at Petit-Codiac (Ruisseau du Renard) and in neighboring parishes.
Then came the Abbe Antoine Gagnon, parish priest of Barachois, of Grande Digue, of Shediac (Gedaique), etc., who founded a college at Grande Digue. This school remained open for two years (1833 to 1835), with three teachers, Messrs. Des Varennes, Braidly, and Gosselin. When the lands and properties of this institution were afterwards sold, the proceeds were placed in the hands of Msgr. Sweeney, in trust for the education of young Acadians, in the event of another college being built in the diocese for any other similar purpose. During the first years that followed the return of the Acadians, after their dispersion, teachers boarded with the scholars’ parents in turn, and received from $3 to $5 per scholar, which means that only the prosperous centers could procure their services. In those days the Acadians received from the British Protestant authorities the fullness of their political and civil rights without molestation or annoyance in things religious or relating to the French language. The thinly populated country did not as yet complain of the burden of its school laws.
The first act to be found in the Statutes of New Brunswick concerning education is dated 1805 and relates to the founding of a public grammar school for the City of Saint John. It is therein enacted that the rector of Trinity Church shall be one of the directors of this school, and at the same time president of the Board of Administration. A somewhat paltry grant was awarded to this establishment. In the same manner, other grammar schools were authorized for different localities in New Brunswick. The first law establishing public parish schools dates from 1833. These schools are placed under the control of three school trustees for each parish. These trustees possess great executive authority. They subdivide the parishes into school districts, engage and dismiss teachers, and give them such certificates as entitle them to their grants from the Government, the maximum of which is $160 for each parish. The justices of the peace are entrusted with the duty of making school reports to the Government. No certificate of competence was exacted beyond the approbation of the parochial syndics, and no examination as to aptitude was held. It was not until many years afterwards (towards 1853) that the Board of Education, with its hierarchy and inspectors, was definitely organized. These latter, until the events of 1871, always showed kindness and liberality towards Catholic teaching and the French tongue. The Catholic teachers received from the board their grant as did also the Protestant teachers, French and English alike. In 1871 a law was passed by the Provincial Legislature establishing “Neutral Schools”, in which the French language was ignored; but it was taught in the French schools and was afterwards recognized officially. The French and the English Catholics protested energetically against this unjust measure. Petitions were signed and sent to Ottawa requesting the repeal of this law, which was injurious to the Catholics who constituted one-third of the population of the Province. Some turbulent and stormy years passed over; certain defenders of the minority were imprisoned, and finally a modus vivendi was adopted to the effect that the school remain neutral from 9 A.M. till 3:30 P.M. The books shall be approved by the Government. The use of the French language was recognized, and a set of books was chosen to that end.
After the regular school hours the Catechism was permitted to be taught. Nowadays all the schools of New Brunswick are under the control of the law, even those exclusively attended by Catholic children. The number of Catholic children frequenting the schools is about 23,000; the teachers, male and female, number about 600. About eighteen convents under the direction of various religious congregations are scattered through the principal centers of the province. There are three colleges: one at Chatham (English) founded in 1910, directed by the Basilian Fathers, and containing 90 pupils; one at Caraquet, French and English, founded in 1899 by the Eudist Fathers, and containing 150 pupils; one at Memramcook (l’Universite du College Saint-Joseph), French and English, founded in 1864, directed by the Fathers of the Holy Cross, and containing 250 pupils. With the exception of a few convents these institutions are not under state control.
E. Prince Edward Island.—The system of public schools in this province is not denominational. There are therefore no primary Catholic schools, except seven convents under the direction of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame. All the schools have been under the immediate control of the State since 1877 and are strictly neutral, or non-sectarian. Besides the convents, which teach about one thousand girls, there is a Catholic college for boys, which accommodates about one hundred and fifty. Nearly all the pupils of this college are boarders, and their education costs them about $150 each, while, of the thousand girls in the convents, there are barely one hundred boarders, whose education costs each about $60. The Government pays $720 to the Sisters who teach the provincial normal school conformably to the program of studies prescribed by the Department of Education. The other 900 girls who attend the convent schools receive their education for a nominal payment. The majority pay nothing. Generally speaking, the expense of heating the schools is borne by the respective parishes in which the convents are situated, and, in return the day-scholars living in the vicinity of the convent are educated gratuitously. Until 1850 there were very few schools among the Acadians. In each parish there were two men who taught reading, writing, and arithmetic.
F. Manitoba.—The first French schools in this province were established in 1818 on the arrival of the Rev. Norbert Provencher, afterwards Bishop Provencher, and the Rev. Nicholas Dumoulin. Bishop Provencher opened his first school at St. Boniface, and Father Dumoulin opened his at Pembina. As the population increased, the schools multiplied. In 1835, notwithstanding that the population was very limited, there were already five schools. After many efforts Bishop Provencher succeeded in founding a school at Red River for young girls, and the first teacher was Angelique Nolin (Metis). In 1844 the Gray Nuns of Montreal, at the earnest request of Bishop Provencher, came to the West. Those who arrived first were Sisters Lagrave, Lafrance, Valade, Coutlee. The first convent founded by them was at St. Boniface, and the second at St. Francois-Xavier. In 1835 Bishop Provencher got an English teacher for his boys’ school. This school in time became St. Boniface’s College. At Pembina Father Dumoulin was occupied in preparing young men for the priesthood, and in 1821 he had six students in Latin. The primary schools increased rapidly. Every place where a spire indicated a house of worship a school sprang up. Soon, unfortunately, a crisis came, and the Catholics were severely tried.
At the present time (1912), in virtue of the British North American Act, each province has the right to adopt the system of education that best suits its particular needs. It must, however, respect the privileges or rights already guaranteed to the diverse groups or sections having separate schools. Accordingly, when Manitoba asked, in 1870, to become a unit of the confederation, the Catholic deputies, under the clear-sighted direction of Bishop Tache, demanded a formal law covering the rights already acquired. In 1890, the Catholics were, unfortunately, the victims of a legal persecution which embittered the last years of Bishop Tache. The Protestant majority of that province should have treated the Catholic minority with as much generosity as the Catholic majority, in the Province of Quebec, treated the Protestant minority. Such, however, was not the case. The schools were secularized, and the teaching of French was discontinued. Protestations were made, and the grievances were laid before the British Throne, which recognized the rights of the Catholics. Archbishop Langevin, of St. Boniface, vigorously defended the rights of the Catholics, but no justice was done him. The compromise of 1896 was voted: this pact embodied the principle of the “neutral schools” system, and, although diminishing the bad effects of the law, it deserved to be styled, by Leo XIII, a law “defective, imperfect, insufficient” (manta est, non idonea, non apta). It is thus that the Catholics of Winnipeg and of Brandon are obliged to pay double school tax. The public school is a school to which Catholic parents cannot send their children. They are obliged to open Catholic schools at their own expense, while paying their share of taxes to the Protestant schools. Nevertheless, in those places where Catholics are grouped in parishes, in the country or at St. Boniface, in the municipalities having a Catholic majority, they can elect Catholic trustees who protect their co-religionists. In this way they can secure the government grant for the schools attended by Catholic children. Thanks to the vigilance of the valiant Archbishop Langevin of St. Boniface, two Catholic inspectors have been appointed for the Catholic schools. These schools are 190 in number, with an attendance of over 7000 pupils. It is to be remarked, however, that it is with much difficulty that religious teaching is tolerated during class hours. Besides, the schoolbooks are not Catholic, and Catholic interests are not sufficiently safeguarded. There is one Catholic normal (French and English) school at St. Boniface, and another (English and Polish) at Winnipeg.
The teaching congregations are numerous. The Institute of Mary, from Paris, has schools at Winnipeg and St. Boniface. The Clerics of St. Viateur have an orphanage for boys at Makinac. The Brothers of the Cross of Jesus, from France, have two schools in the French parishes at St. John Baptist and at St. Pierre Jolys. The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, of Montreal, have six convents or schools in the French parishes, St. John Baptist, St. Agathe, St. Pierre, St. Boniface. St. Mary’s Academy, Winnipeg, is for English-speaking girls. The Sisters of the Five Wounds have four convents in the French parishes of Notre Dame de Lourdes, St. Claude, St. Leo, and St. Alphonse. The Benedictine Sisters, from Duluth, Minnesota, have two schools at Winnipeg, one English and German, the other English and Polish. The Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Mary from Rome have two schools among French and English-speaking whites at St. Lawrence and a school for the Indians at Pine Creek. We must not forget to mention the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate of the Ruthenian Rite, the Daughters of the Cross, and the Oblate Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Mary Immaculate who are entirely consecrated to the education of youth. The Classical College of St. Boniface, founded by Bishop Provencher, was at first directed by secular priests, then by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, afterwards by the Oblate Fathers. In 1885 it was confided to the Jesuit Fathers, who have organized a course of studies to the satisfaction of the two principal nationalities whose children, to the number of 300, attend the college. There are a French section and an English section, with a regular Classical course having Latin and Greek for its basis. Each year its students succeed admirably in competition with those of other colleges in the university examinations. The non-Catholic colleges are St. John’s (Anglican), Manitoba College (Presbyterian), and the Wesley College (Methodist). There are 300 pupils attending St. Boniface College.
In 1909 Archbishop Langevin founded a petit seminaire which he confided to secular priests. The Rev. Father Joubert was the first director. There are at present 54 candidates preparing for the priesthood. A glance at the numerous nationalities represented at the preparatory seminary suggests some idea of the cosmopolitan character of the vast regions of the great West. At the same time it gives a faint idea of the episcopal solicitude in providing for each nationality missionaries of their own blood and language. In this seminary there are 30 French-speaking, 10 Ruthenians, 6 Irish, and 8 Germans. In 1905 the Holy Family Juniorate was founded by the Oblate Fathers at St. Boniface.
G. Saskatchewan and Albert.—The work begun by Bishop Provencher has kept pace with the increase of the population. The Gray Nuns became missionaries among the Indians. They founded a convent at Alberta and a school at Crosse Island. Their first attempt in establishing a school was at St. Ann, but in this they were unsuccessful.
In 1870 the Federal parliament voted a law of administration for the Territories. However, it was only in 1875 that they received a rudimentary form of government under the Northwest Territories Act. According to that Act the people could establish “such schools as they think fit”. The principle of separate schools was therein recognized. It would be too long to give the history of the school legislation of these territories up to the constitution of the two new provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta in 1905. At all events the new constitution should have safeguarded one essential, giving to Catholics the right to organize everywhere separate schools truly Catholic and the right to their share of the government grant. Unfortunately such was not the case. Notwithstanding the agreement of 1870, and notwithstanding even the British North America Act, which the Parliament of Canada cannot modify, the system of neutral schools was imposed on the Catholics. It is not the half-hour of religious teaching that makes a school really Catholic: it is essential that there should be Catholic books, explained by Catholic teachers, in a Catholic atmosphere. But nothing of all this was granted. However, the government is equitably administered in those districts where the Catholics are in a majority. Thirty-one such districts appear in the last Report of the Minister of Education for the Province of Saskatchewan (page 14). These schools are public schools in which religion may be taught at stated hours. The right, therefore, to organize separate schools for Catholics is limited to the districts where they are in the minority (there are twelve Catholic separate-school districts in the same Province of Saskatchewan).
It would be somewhat difficult to determine the number of pupils attending the schools in the Catholic public-school districts or in the Catholic separate-school districts. The Diocese of Prince Albert, which comprises all that part of the Province of Saskatchewan, has 54 academies and schools attended by Catholic children. (These schools are not really Catholic. They are neutral schools attended by Catholic children and endowed with a government grant.) These children number in all about 3000. The southern part of the province is in the new Diocese of Regina. The first Bishop of Regina was consecrated on November 5, 1911. There are a great number of Catholic schools in that flourishing part which is found in the Archdiocese of St. Boniface. The Sisters of Notre Dame of the Cross of Maurianais, France, have here two schools, one at Forget, and the other at St. Hubert. The Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Hyacinthe have a school for Indians at Lake Croche. The Sisters of Notre Dame of the Missions, from Lyons, direct three convents: a boarding-school for English-speaking girls, at Regina, and two others in the French-speaking centers at Lebret and at Wolseley. The Oblate Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and of Mary Immaculate direct a school for Indians at Fort Pelley. The industrial school at Qu’ Appelle has 242 Indians, under the Sisters of Charity.
The Diocese of St. Albert comprises all the southern part of the Province of Alberta and a part of the Province of Saskatchewan. It has an industrial school, 14 convents, 8 boarding-schools for Indians. The pupils in the schools of the Catholic school districts number about 3700. We find here again the Sisters whose motherhouse is in Quebec: Sisters of the Assumption, Gray Nuns of Montreal, Sisters of Nicolet, Gray Sisters of Nicolet, etc. There are also the Polish Sisters of the Ruthenian Rite. The petit seminaire of St. Albert was founded by Bishop Grandin in 1900. Father Cullerier, O.M.I., was its first director, but the Oblate Fathers have now given up the institution and the Missionaries of Chavagnes, or Sons of Mary Immaculate, direct it at present (1911). There are 33 pupils in attendance. The Oblate Fathers have opened a juniorate at Strathcona, where they have 14 pupils.
H. British Columbia.—This province entered the Confederation in 1871. In it there is not one Catholic school in receipt of a government grant. The different dioceses bear the expense of Catholic education. The Archdiocese of Vancouver has eight industrial schools for Indians, with an attendance of 513 pupils; four academies for young girls; seven parochial schools, with a total attendance of 729 girls. New Westminster possesses an excellent institution of learning, Saint Louis College, under the direction of the Oblate Fathers. In the Diocese of Victoria, which comprises Vancouver and the adjacent island, there are two academies for young girls, with an attendance of 342; nine parochial schools, with 450 pupils; two industrial schools, 110 pupils (boarders). The secular priests direct a college of 50 pupils. Among the Catholic educational institutions there are nine directed by the Sisters of St. Anne, whose motherhouse is at Lachine, near Montreal, viz.:
New Westminster-6 religious, 162 pupils
Ste-Marie Matsqui-7 religious, 76 pupils
Kamloops -4 religious, 85 pupils
Industrial School-3 religious, 63 pupils
Victoria- 27 religious, 323 pupils
Cowichan- 5 religious, 43 pupils
Vancouver City- 14 religious, 390 pupils
Kuper Island- 7 religious, 100 pupils
Lady Smith—7 religious, 100 pupils
I. Territories.—In the vast regions of the West outside of the provinces regularly constituted, there are large territories where missionaries are engaged in God‘s work, under the guidance of vicars-Apostolic; and wherever a church is built, a school adjoins it. There are six convents in the Vicariate of Athabaska. The Gray Nuns have a boarding-school for Indians at Lake Laplonge in the Vicariate of Keewatin. At Cross Lake, 4 Oblate Sisters of Mary Immaculate carry on a boarding-school for Indians, in which there are 20 pupils. In the Vicariate of Mackenzie there are, at Great Slave Lake, 7 Gray Nuns at the head of a school of 45 pupils. At Providence 13 sisters give instruction to 75 pupils. At Yukon there are 9 schools, and at Dawson 3 Sisters of St. Anne from Lachine, near Montreal, teaching 65 pupils.
J. Newfoundland.—Although the Province of Newfoundland does not form a part of the Canadian Confederation, it should be mentioned here. In each parish there is a school under the care of the parochial clergy and supported by a government grant. The principal teaching congregations are Irish Christian Brothers, Sisters of Mercy, and Presentation Nuns.
C. In England
It was the common belief until quite recently that the grammar schools of England, that is the main part of the machinery of English middle-class education, were the offspring of the Reformation, and owed their origin to the reign of Edward VI. This legend is now exploded. A. F. Leach begins his masterly work, “English Schools at the Reformation (London, 1896), with the sentence: “Never was a great reputation more easily gained and less deserved than that of King Edward VI as a Founder of Schools”. The truth is that the few educational foundations made by the Government either of Henry VIII or Edward VI were but refoundations forming a small salvage from the wreck of educational endowments confiscated with the monasteries and chantries. In fact England was singularly well provided with schools previous to Henry VIII. Among them were the cathedral schools, collegiate grammar schools, monastery schools, guild schools, and perhaps most numerous of all, chantry schools. For the duty of teaching a school was frequently combined with the obligation of singing Mass for the soul of the pious founder. The great majority of these were termed “grammar schools”. They usually taught reading, writing, and Latin. Many reached a good standard and included rhetoric and dialectic in their curriculum, there were also song schools of more elementary character. As most of the grammar schools taught gratuitously, a very liberal provision of education was open even to the poorer classes. Indeed education as a whole was on a more democratic basis, and good secondary instruction more widely diffused in England in Catholic times than in the first half the nineteenth century. “The proportion of the population which had access to Grammar Schools, and used them was much larger than now” (Leach, p. 97). Rashdall similarly concludes that “at least in the later Middle Age the smallest towns and even the larger villages possessed Schools where a boy might learn to read and acquire the first rudiments of ecclesiastical Latin: while, except in very remote and thinly populated regions, he would never have had to go very far from home to find a regular Grammar School (“The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages“, II, 602). The Reformation, with the confiscation and plunder of the monasteries and chantries, involved the destruction of much of the educational machinery of the nation. The evil consequences are testified by Ascham, Latimer, Cranmer, and Harrison Watson.
However, the old appreciation of the value of education in a short time reasserted itself. The ecclesiastical control of all schools, now in the hands of the Reformers, was strengthened by new legislation. The religious instruction given in the schools was that of the Established Church, and the scholars were required to participate in the prayers and church services. The steady pressure of this machinery on the minds of the young was bound to be fatal to the old religion. During Elizabeth‘s long reign the great majority of Catholics were practically compelled to send their children to the nearest grammar school, if the children were to receive any education at all. For the better-off families the chaplain or priest maintained in hiding commonly also acted as tutor. But as time went on the situation grew worse. Then, in order in some degree to provide priests and also to furnish some means of Catholic education for at least the children of the nobility and gentry who clung to the old Faith, there were founded the English seminaries and colleges on the Continent. First among these was the English College at Douai, started in 1568 by Allen, afterwards cardinal. Its primary object was the training of priests for the English mission, but it also accepted lay students. Within a few years it contained over 150 pupils. Before the year 1700 it had sent back to England over 300 priests, more than a third of whom suffered death for the Catholic Faith (see Douai). It endured till the French Revolution, when, as we shall see, it gave birth to the two Colleges of Ushaw and Old Hall. Irish and Scotch colleges were also established at Douai for a similar purpose. In 1578 was founded the English College at Rome. It was designed to provide places for sixty ecclesiastical students. After a very short time it was entrusted to the Jesuits, who managed it till the suppression of the Society in 1773. There were also founded English colleges at Valladolid in 1589, and at Seville in 1592, by Father Parsons, and at Madrid in 1612 by Father Creswell. The English College at Lisbon was started in 1622 by William Newman, a secular priest. All these latter colleges sent many priests to England especially during their first decades, but as time went on, perhaps through their remoteness and the Anglo-Spanish Wars, they failed to keep up the intimate connection with England which was always retained between the mother-country and Douai and St. Omer. The three Spanish colleges were merged into the single foundation at Valladolid in 1767.
The most important college founded beyond the sea of which the primary object was the education of lay students, was the Jesuit school begun at St. Omer by Father Parsons in 1592. It had an eventful career of 200 years on the continent of Europe, and then coming back to England settled at Stonyhurst, whence it became the progenitor of the great majority of the Jesuit schools scattered throughout the British Empire today. Starting with twenty-three boys, it had by 1603, according to the spies of the English Government, “a hundred and forty gentlemen’s sons of great worship”. In 1632 there were over 200 pupils, the sons of the chief noblemen and gentry who remained loyal to the old Faith. Boys going to and returning from the college were more than once captured and imprisoned, and bills of high treason were returned against the parents of pupils there. It turned out many martyrs and confessors of the Faith, and indeed, during the latter part of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, past St. Omer’s boys scattered up and down the country formed the main part of the “old guard” of the dwindling body of the lay Catholics in England.
Meantime the cruelest part of the penal code was the statutes directed against Catholic education. Thus in the twenty-third year of Elizabeth‘s reign an Act was passed forbidding the keeping or maintaining of any schoolmaster who had not a license from the Protestant bishop. The penalty was £10 per month, with a year’s imprisonment for the schoolmaster. This statute was strengthened by another in the first year of James I, imposing a fine of forty shillings a day. Later this was made even more stringent by the Act of Uniformity in 13 Charles II, requiring all tutors and schoolmasters, besides obtaining the bishop’s license, to conform to the Established Church, under penalty of three months’ imprisonment for each offense. Concomitantly it was forbidden to educate Catholic children abroad. Thus in 27 Elizabeth it was made punishable as a praemunire to send aid to any foreign seminary or Jesuit college, or to any person in the same. Further in 1 James I it was enacted that the sending of a child or other person to a foreign college should entail a fine of £100 and render the child incapable of inheriting real or personal property. The severity of this law was again increased in 3 Charles I. Finally, in 1699 a clause of a cruel Act under William and Mary offered £100 reward to every informer who would effect the conviction of any Popish priest for keeping a school or educating or boarding a Catholic youth for that purpose, the penalty being made imprisonment for life. Relentless persecution of this kind, carried out with such rigor that the colleges of Douai, St. Omer, and Valladolid, between them, within a century and a half had mustered a grand roll of 250 martyrs, besides numberless confessors, triumphed; and by 1770 the Catholic Church in England was reduced to a scattered remnant of some 60,000 souls (Amherst).
Occasionally, during these dark days, in lulls of the storm, or in quiet places, a small Catholic school was started and struggled on with varying fortunes for a shorter or longer time. Thus, under James II (1685-8) two schools were started in the neighborhood of London, but perished soon afterwards. Another, begun at Twyford, near Winchester, about the same time, had a somewhat better fate and survived till the Stuart rising in 1745. The poet, Alexander Pope, was a pupil at this school, and the distinguished biologist, Father Turberville Needham, was an assistant master here. It had less than thirty pupils when Bishop Challoner visited it in 1741. There was also for a time about this period a small school managed by the Franciscan Fathers at Edgbaston, near Birmingham. Another, known as Dame Alice School, existed for a number of years in Lancashire. But the history of each was usually much the same—a short, timid, and precarious life, some untoward accident, and the feeble institution came to an untimely end.
Just, however, when the complete extinction of Catholicism seemed at hand, the revival began. By the middle of the eighteenth century the persecution commenced to abate. The old fear of the Church had waned. Toleration for other forms of dissent had been growing. About 1750 Catholics began to breathe a little more freely. One evidence of this was the starting of a school at Sedgley Park, near Wolverhampton, by Bishop Challoner in 1762. Yet so great was the timidity of the Catholic gentry at the time that a deputation of them waited on the bishop to dissuade him from so daring a measure—fortunately in vain. Within six years the numbers of the school rose to a hundred boarders, and for a century it was the chief center where the Midland clergy received their early education. Previously to this, another school for small boys had been begun at Standon Lordship.
The real revival of Catholic education in England, however, only commenced when the Catholic colleges beyond the seas, broken up by the French Revolution, ventured to return. In 1777 the British Government sorely needed Irish soldiers for the American war, and in 1778 the first English Catholic Relief Bill repealing the most galling of the penal laws was passed. In 1793 the College of Douai was seized by the agents of the French Republic. After temporary imprisonment the professors and students came to England and were allocated at first to Old Hall, Ware, and then in part to Crook Hall, the future Ushaw, near Durham. There were differences of opinion among the English ecclesiastical authorities, some urging the continuance of the Douai community as a single college in the South of England, others advocating the claims of the North. However unpleasant at the time was the disagreement, it proved a solid gain to the Catholic Church in England. For the outcome was the starting of the two large colleges, St. Cuthbert’s at Ushaw and St. Edmund’s at Ware, both destined to have honorable and fruitful careers and to be sources of much strength to the Faith. Each of them provides today for a community of over 300 students complete courses of humanities, philosophy, and theology, and educates lay as well as ecclesiastical pupils. About the same date English Benedictine communities, compelled to return from Lorraine and from Douai, for a time resided at Acton Burnell, but separated later to found Ampleforth College in Yorkshire in 1803, and Downside in 1815, two schools which tontine to do increasingly valuable work for English Catholic education. At the same time was begun, largely through the influence of certain laymen of the Cisalpine Club, but acting in cooperation with Bishop Talbot, Oscott College, in the Midlands. After a successful history of three-quarters of a century as a mixed school, it was converted into a purely ecclesiastical college, with courses of philosophy and theology. It trains the Midland clergy as well as a considerable number from other dioceses today.
In 1794 the Jesuit College, formerly at St. Omer, but subsequently transferred to Bruges in 1762, and thence to Liege in 1773, migrated to Stonyhurst, in Lancashire. In addition to the large educational institution into which it developed at Stonyhurst this college became the parent stock of a prolific family. Starting with twelve boys, its numbers by 1813 had risen to over two hundred and twenty. The first offshoot was Clongowes Wood College, Ireland, in 1814, which speedily rivaled the parent school in point of numbers, and was itself the motherhouse from which successful colleges were started at Dublin, Limerick, Galway, and Tullabeg. Later on from this Irish center were founded several flourishing Jesuit schools in Australia. In Great Britain itself from the Stonyhurst root there originated during the nineteenth century, eight other secondary schools, all designed for the education of Catholic laymen: in 1841 Mount St. Mary’s College, a boarding-school in Derbyshire, now numbering over 200 pupils; in the same year St. Francis Xavier’s College, a day-school at Liverpool, which has reached a roll of 400; in 1862, Beaumont College, near Windsor, also exceeding 230 pupils; subsequently large day-colleges, at Preston, 1864, at Wimbledon and at Stamford Hill, North London, in the last decade of the nineteenth century. St. Aloysius’s day-college, Glasgow, which has exceeded 300 pupils, was founded in 1859; and a Jesuit day-college has been opened at Leeds early in the present century. Meantime at Stonyhurst itself in addition to the school, which now numbers some 350 lay students, there has been erected St. Mary’s Hall, which is a house of philosophical studies and training college for the members of the society. It has been approved by the government as a recognized training college for secondary school teachers, and has some 60 Jesuit students. The Jesuit theological College of St. Beuno in North Wales was founded from Stonyhurst in 1848.
Other secondary schools of note are St. Bede‘s, Manchester and St. Cuthbert’s, Newcastle-on-Tyne, managed by the secular clergy; the Oratory School, started by Cardinal Newman at Edgbaston; Ratcliffe College, conducted by the Rosminian Fathers; a Benedictine College at Ramsgate, and St. George’s College, Weybridge, besides general successful schools managed by the brothers. Exact statistics in regard to secondary schools are impossible, owing to the indefiniteness of this term, which in England includes a wide variety of types and grades, from something just above the elementary school to Eton or Harrow. However, if we take the “Report of the 1910 Annual Conference of English Colleges” for our guide, we find this list includes thirty-three colleges or secondary schools for boys. All these are under the management of priests or religious. There are also in the country some Catholic preparatory schools for small boys and some small private institutions conducted by laymen, but these above indicated form substantially the present machinery of Catholic secondary education of boys.
Catholic girls’ secondary education is similarly in the hands of religious. Old English foundations returning from abroad after the French Revolution, like the Catholic colleges, or new teaching congregations, opened convent schools for primary as well as for secondary education and have multiplied rapidly. The total number of Catholic girls’ schools which may be fairly classed as secondary is, for the same reason very difficult to determine. Over one hundred and forty are advertised in the “Catholic Directory”, but many of them are very small institutions.
Relations of Catholic Secondary Education with the Government.—All Catholic secondary schools in England are voluntary institutions. They were founded independently of the Government. Until recent years none of them received any state support, and they were subject to no form of state inspection. Indeed secondary education, as such, did not receive any systematic support from the state in England prior to 1902; but a large number of non-Catholic schools possessed considerable endowments, many going back to Catholic times. During part of the past century, secondary schools, by fulfilling certain conditions, could earn grants from the Government Department of Art and Science; and a few Catholic schools derived some small funds from this source. But in the Act of 1902, the government adopted a completely new attitude towards secondary education. It empowered local authorities, i.e., county councils and urban councils, to build new secondary schools and to take over by voluntary agreement existing secondary schools, and to maintain them out of local rates assisted by imperial grants. On the other hand, voluntary schools which fulfill certain regulations are enabled to share in this state aid. This Act is fraught with important consequences, as it is clear from the history of primary education that the state contribution will largely increase, and unless Catholic day-schools can secure their fair share of it they will be unable to sustain the competition. Practically the grants are obtainable only by day schools. The conditions in regard to efficiency, staff qualifications, and equipment, with liability to inspection, are stringent, but as well-managed school can already secure a good subsidy. One of our most successful Catholic schools in 1910 thus earned between £2000 and £3000. But the upkeep required is correspondingly costly. Eleven Catholic schools for boys, including four Jesuit day-schools, are at present approved by the Board of Education and recognized as grant-earning. Another important point is that intending elementary teachers must in the future spend at least three years in a “recognized” secondary school. The necessity of a sufficiency of such “recognized” Catholic schools is therefore obvious. Unfortunately the government regulations at present seriously hamper the increase of such secondary denominational schools.
Of Catholic girls’ secondary schools, thirty-four are already “recognized”, of which eleven belong to the Sisters of Notre Dame. In 1911 there were two Catholic training colleges for female secondary teachers, recognized and approved by Government. One is in Liverpool, conducted by the Sisters of Notre Dame; another in London, under the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus. There is so far one Catholic training college for male secondary teachers—that at Stonyhurst.
Catholic Primary Education.—Whilst a tolerable supply of secondary schools existed in England during the eighteenth century, the primary education of the nation was in a most wretched condition. Previous to 1830 Government took no interest in the education of the poor. In addition to the efforts of some of the clergy and a few philanthropic laymen, the chief agencies working for the building and maintenance of schools for the poor in the early part of the nineteenth century were two voluntary societies, one an Anglican, the other a Dissenting organization. The first government help to primary education was given in 1833, a grant of £20,000. Today it exceeds £16,000,000. As the best available method of distribution, the grant was handed over to the two societies to be spent in building schools and for other educational purposes. It was then made annual and increased from time to time. In 1839 a further allowance was given towards the establishment of training colleges for the preparation of teachers. These colleges soon multiplied. Government inspectors were appointed, but the power of accepting or approving them was conceded to the two voluntary societies. The system was in fact frankly denominational. But down to 1850, although over £600,000 had been distributed, Catholics had not received a penny of this public money.
However, during the previous sixty years, in spite of their general poverty and of the penal laws before 1829, the handful of Catholics in the country had striven zealously for the education of their children. As early as 1764 the Catholics of London formed a small “Society for the Instruction of the Children of Catholic indigent Parents“, though how much this was able to accomplish we cannot tell. At least ten Catholic primary schools existed in England prior to 1800; and probably not many more. But with the cessation of the persecution and the beginning of the immigration from Ireland, Catholic elementary schools began to multiply. By 1829 these had risen probably to about 60 or 70. Thenceforth progress was more rapid. In 1851, though excluded from the government grant given since 1833, there were in England 311 Catholic schools built for the poor and mainly by the pennies of the poor. From 1851 the Catholic schools received some small share of the public grants, and by 1870 the number had risen to 383.
In that year Forster’s Act, the first great English education measure, was passed. It was enacted that henceforth schools should be established in every school district throughout the country. These might be either voluntary schools, or Board-schools. The latter were to be provided and managed by local school boards elected for this object. They were to be built out of the local rates, and maintained out of the rates and grants from the imperial exchequer. They were to be undenominational or secular in character and exempt from all religious instruction of any definitely denominational kind. But they might retain Bible lessons and give some Christian religious instruction of an undogmatic or colorless quality (Cowper Temple Clause). Along with these Board-schools, or in place of them, were sanctioned the voluntary schools. These could be built by private bodies at their own expense. Ordinarily such bodies were religious organizations. For the maintenance of these schools the proprietors could obtain in aid of their own contributions the imperial grants, provided they fulfilled certain conditions of educational efficiency and admitted government inspection. Each voluntary school was controlled by a small committee of managers representing the trust or body who owned the school. The school was allowed to retain the religious character of the denomination to which it belonged, to appoint teachers of their creed, and to give religious instruction according to their tenets subject to a “timetable conscience clause” facilitating the absence from the religious lesson of any children whose parents objected to their attending it.
As all previous work in elementary education was due to the voluntary or denominational bodies, nearly all existing primary schools were voluntary schools. But in response to the now much increased demand the Catholics, like the Anglicans, disapproving of the secular Board-schools for their children, set themselves to the building and maintenance of additional voluntary schools. By the year 1901 the total number of primary schools had risen to a little over 20,000. Of these, 5878 were Board-schools, and 14,275 were voluntary schools, but as the Board-schools were stronger in the towns and larger in size, of the total attendance of 5,000,000 children nearly half went to the Board-schools. Of the voluntary schools the Catholics now owned 1056, with an attendance of nearly 400,000 children—a magnificent increase from the 383 schools of 1870. The state contribution to education, which had been £20,000 in 1833 and £914,721 in 1870, had reached £16,000,000 in 1901. But though the supporters of the voluntary schools made heroic efforts, the burden of the struggle was becoming intolerable, especially for a poorer section of the community like the Catholic body. The cost both of building and upkeep kept constantly rising, owing to the higher standard forced by the competition of the Board-schools, which drew unlimitedly from the public rates which the supporters of the voluntary schools were compelled to pay in addition to their voluntary contributions to their own schools. Moreover, by legislation of 1876 and 1880 attendance of children at school was made compulsory. The important statute was enacted: “It shall be the duty of the parent of every child to cause such child to receive efficient elementary instruction”. This increased the number of school children and entailed the further statute that elementary education should be provided gratuitously for the indigent, and ultimately resulted in legislation by which primary education was made free or gratuitous for all. The annual cost of education per child in England was: in 1860, 21s. 7d.; in 1870, 25s. 4d.; in 1880, for voluntary schools, 34s. 7%d., for board schools, 42s.; in 1902, for voluntary schools, 46s. 4d., for board schools, 60s. 9d.
Such was the state of things which necessitated the Education Act of 1902. This Act abolished the school boards, transferring their functions to the general local authority—the County Council or Urban Council. It equalized the condition of Board-schools and voluntary schools-henceforward termed provided and non-provided schools—in regard to maintenance by public funds, whether from local rates or imperial grants, both schools being of equally public character in regard to secular instruction. It enacted that the local authority must maintain and control all secular instruction in the public elementary schools of its district; but whereas the local authority must provide the cost of both building and upkeep of the provided schools, in the case of the non-provided (i.e. voluntary) schools the building and equipment is to be at the expense of the denominational body which volunteers to set up the school. The school thus is, and remains, their property. Each school is managed by a committee of six managers who have the appointment and dismissal of the teachers. The local authority has the nomination of all the six managers of the provided schools, but of only two in the case of non-provided schools. The trust body which owns the school has the right of nominating four of the six. It is on this slender clause the main value of the Act from the Catholic standpoint hinges, for it is this clause which retains the efficient control of the school for religious purposes in the hands of the denomination which built it. In the provided school religious instruction is on much the same footing as in the former Board-schools; that is, some Bible lessons and religious instruction of a nondenominational character may be given if the local authority chooses. In the non-provided school religious instruction may be given in accordance with the trust-deeds, that is with the tenets of the proprietors of the school. This is to be under the control of the managers and subject to a timetable conscience clause, and not at the charge of public moneys.
For the sake of clearness, then, the present position of the Catholic elementary school in England in 1912 is this: The cost of the school building and its equipment must be found by the Catholic congregation, whilst the State through the local authority provides all working expenses for all secular instruction. Each Catholic school when first built is vested in the hands of Catholic ecclesiastical authorities by carefully drawn-up trust-deeds. The committee of managers usually includes the priest in charge of the mission with three of the chief Catholic laymen of the parish. To these are added the two members appointed by the local authority. The right of opening new schools where needed is also secured by the Act of 1902. On the whole, therefore, the condition of Catholic schools under this Act is fairly satisfactory. The Board of Education may, however, exert unpleasant pressure by exacting regulations under the title of efficiency. Still, though burdensome, if tolerable, the sacrifice in the long run ought to make for the good of the children. More objectionable have been attempts of certain bigoted local authorities to discriminate against the non-provided schools in the scale of salaries and some other matters. However, judicial decisions tend to prevent this injustice. The chief anxiety at present is the precariousness of the situation. Three Education Bills in succession have been before Parliament which sought to transfer the entire control of the school from the managers appointed by the owners of the non-provided schools to the local authority, and under the plea of abolishing religious tests for teachers aimed at rendering all schools liable to accept teachers of any religion or of none. Up to the present, each of these measures has been defeated, and largely by the resoluteness of the Catholic minority.
Provision of Catholic Teachers.—The method of training teachers in England for primary schools during the last century has usually included some years of apprenticeship as monitors or pupil-teachers in the primary school during which the candidate for the teaching profession continued his or her studies, receiving at the same time a small stipend from the State. At the end of this apprenticeship the young man or woman either began with the lowest grade of assistant-teacher and worked up by concomitant private study to pass examinations leading up to a first-class certificate; or the more fortunate candidates obtained scholarships, which secured them two years in a training college approved and assisted by the Government. In recent years, however, the aim of the Board of Education has been to secure that all future teachers of primary schools shall have gone through the last three or four years of their school course in a secondary school, and shall subsequently have the advantage of a two or three years’ course at a training college. The preparation of Catholic teachers has followed the same lines as that of other teachers belonging to the voluntary division of the system. At present there are in England five recognized Catholic residential training colleges for female primary teachers. All are managed by religious. The largest, that conducted by the Sisters of Notre Dame at Liverpool, was opened in 1856. In 1909 there were in residence at all the five training colleges 507 women students. There is one residential Catholic primary training college for men under diocesan authorities in London. There were 114 students there in 1909. The State contributes scholarships or burses of £38 per annum for each female student and £53 for each male student at these colleges. Though the ordinary course is two years, it may be prolonged to three or even four years in the case of very promising students. As at present the total number of Catholic elementary teachers is about 8000, to staff near 1100 schools and teach about 400,000 children, and as the insistence on training constantly increases, there is need of increased provision in this respect. One source of anxiety lies in the efforts of the Board of Education in recent years to compel the voluntary training-colleges, if in receipt of any grant, to admit students of all denominations. In the case of residential training colleges, this would obviously be fatal to their Catholic character. The attempt has been therefore vigorously resisted and, so far, successfully. A more serious difficulty in regard to the formation of Catholic elementary teachers for the future, as before hinted, seems to lie in the paucity of recognized Catholic secondary schools which Catholic boys and girls looking forward to a teaching career can attend, as such attendance for three or four years is now to become a permanent regulation of the Board of Education. Moreover the many valuable scholarships open to these and other pupils from primary schools can now be held in Catholic secondary schools, provided these be recognized.
Special Classes of Schools.—The Catholic education of certain other classes of children is also provided for by charitable institutions, which are primarily due to voluntary effort, and conducted by religious congregations or other charitable organizations, but frequently receive considerable state aid, subject to certain conditions. Thus there are in Great Britain: Catholic certified poor-law schools, for boys, 13; for girls, 28; reformatory schools, for boys, 5; for girls, 2; industrial schools, for boys, 14; for girls, 12.
The chief organizations for the safeguarding of Catholic educational interests are the diocesan school associations and the central Catholic Education Council of Great Britain. There are sixteen of the former. The bishop or some Catholic layman of position is usually the chairman, and the committee includes some of the most influential Catholic laymen of the diocese. The Catholic Education Council was founded by the bishops of Great Britain in 1905. It took over the functions of the old Catholic School Committee, which originated in 1847, and also those of the Catholic Secondary Education Council, begun in 1904. The Council consists of ninety-five members nominated in certain proportions by the bishops, diocesan school associations, and the Conference of Catholic colleges. The object of this Council is to look after and defend the general interests of Catholic education both primary and secondary, and the Council is recognized by the Government as representing the Catholics of England in matters of Catholic education. In fine, the conclusion presented by the history of Catholic education in Great Britain Is that, in a country where the conception of true freedom and the sense of equity prevails throughout the mass of the nation, even a small minority with a clearly just claim, however unpopular at the start, will triumph in the long run, if it insists with resolution and perseverance in its just demands.
D. In Ireland
The history of Catholic education in Ireland in the period from the Reformation to Catholic Emancipation is to be considered rather the story of an heroic struggle than a record of a school system in any true sense, and it must be gleaned from all sorts of out-of-the-way sources, for the historian of the Catholic schools of that period has not yet arisen. From the Reformation to the Treaty of Limerick (1534-1691) records are very scanty, and though, in spite of the troubled state of the times, many Catholic schools managed to survive and to do good work, there was no such thing as an organized system of schools, nor would anything of the kind have been possible. Throughout the eighteenth century Catholic schools were repressed by the penal laws, one object of which was, according to Lecky, “to reduce the Catholics to a condition of the most extreme and brutal ignorance”. The same author says: “The legislation on the subject of Catholic education may be briefly described, for it amounted simply to universal, unqualified and unlimited proscription”. Keeping a school, or teaching in any capacity, even as usher or private tutor, was a penal offense, and a reward of £10 was offered for the discovery of a Popish schoolmaster. Notwithstanding the severity of these laws, the managers of the Charter Schools, when seeking aid from Parliament in 1769, found it necessary to complain of the great number of schools “under the tuition of Popish masters” that were to be found in many parts of the country.
Proselytizing Schemes.—The Government and the ascendancy party, while prohibiting Catholic education, made several very ambitious though futile attempts to give a Protestant education to the children of the poor Irish Catholics through the agency of proselytizing schools. These schemes may be mentioned here since they were meant for Catholics, though fortunately little used by them. An Act of Parliament of the reign of Henry VIII (1537) prescribed the erection of schools in every parish, but the Act remained almost a dead letter. In the reign of Elizabeth an Act was passed (1570) for the establishment of diocesan free schools. Some schools were founded, and in the course of time the number was increased, but they never realized the function indicated by their name of free schools; they became in the main ordinary grammar schools for the children of well-to-do Protestants. A scheme of Royal free schools was initiated by James I (1608) in connection with the plantation of Ulster. Their story differs little from that of the other proselytizing schools, but their endowments have not altogether disappeared, and they were divided between Catholics and Protestants under a scheme made by the Educational Endowments Commission of 1887. Passing over other more or less partial schemes, the Charter schools, founded in response to an appeal made by Boulter, the Protestant primate (1730), demand a brief notice. Under the charter granted in 1733, a system of schools was begun which, by means of agreements secured by a combination of fraud and terror, took Catholic children from their parents and homes and deported them to most distant parts of the country. These schools became hotbeds of shameful cruelty without a parallel in the history of public, or probably even in that of private, education in any land. Yet they were powerfully supported and received large grants from the Irish Parliament, but their downfall was brought about by the indignant exposure of their callous inhumanity by John Howard, the philanthropist, who took occasion to investigate their condition while he was engaged in an inquiry into the state of the prisons.
All these classes of schools were avowedly proselytizing, and as they were the only schools which could be openly established in the country in the eighteenth century, at any rate till towards its close, the education of Irish Catholics was confined to what could be done by the efforts of priests in their own districts, and by those of the “hedge” school-master, who with great devotion sought to keep alive the lamp of knowledge, though he knew that a price was on his head as on that of the priest. That these efforts were numerous and active is clear from the complaint of the trustees of the Charter schools in 1769, to which reference has already been made. Moreover, in spite of the severe penalties prescribed by law, the practice of sending Irish youths to Continental countries to be educated was very common, and it appears from a return made to Parliament that, at the time of the outbreak of the French Revolution, there were no fewer than 478 Irish ecclesiastical students making their studies on the Continent. Towards the close of the eighteenth century the rigor with which the penal laws had hitherto been enforced was considerably relaxed, and the immediate result was an extraordinary growth of Catholic schools all over the country, but without any organic unity or definite system. By far the most important educational work of that period was the foundation of Maynooth College.
Christian Brothers.—In 1802 Edmund Ignatius Rice, of Waterford, began a work for Catholic education which has been the source of incalculable good. In that year the Irish Christian Brothers were founded, and in 1820 the Holy See extended to them the Brief of Benedict XIII by which the French Brothers were established in 1725. The Christian Schools soon found their way into the chief centers of population in the southern half of the country, and at the present day they number 100 and have 29,840 pupils. All the Royal Commissions which have inquired into the condition of education in Ireland have reported in terms of enthusiastic praise on the splendid educational work done in the schools of the Christian Brothers, and it is unnecessary to say that they have been a tower of strength to the cause of religion.
NATIONAL SCHOOLS.—The National schools, as they are called, were introduced in 1831, by a motion of Mr. Stanley, chief secretary for Ireland, to place at the disposal of the Irish Government a grant for the purpose of providing combined literary and moral and separate religious instruction for Irish children of all denominations. The new system was at once attacked by the Presbyterians and very soon by the Episcopalian Protestants, but at first it was in the main supported by the Catholics, though Dr. McHale, Archbishop of Tuam, was a notable exception. The concessions made by the Commissioners of National Education for the purpose of placating the various Protestant sects had the effect at last of uniting Catholics in opposition to the system. Apparently it was not enough that in a Board of seven commissioners only two were Catholics; one rule after another was made of such a character as to leave no doubt of the very serious danger that these new government schools would prove to be simply another proselytizing agency, as was, indeed, the avowed policy of the Protestant archbishop, Whately. As the outcome of prolonged and bitter Catholic opposition the schools were at length made tolerable, though they retain their fundamental un-denominationalism to the present day.
Outline of System.—The National Education system is now governed by a. body of twenty commissioners appointed by the Crown, of whom ten, including the resident commissioner, are Catholics. All the other higher offices, even inspectorships, are divided equally between Catholics and Protestants, offices being in some instances duplicated in order to preserve the balance. The form of local control of the schools that has been adopted gives to Catholics such measure of security as they possess. The immediate management is committed to individuals appointed by the Board, and in the large majority of cases these are the local clergy, amongst Catholics usually the parish priests. Of a total of 8401 National Schools, 5819 are under Catholic management, and of these, 5650 are under clerical and 169 under lay managers. These managers have the sole right of appointing and dismissing the teachers, but an arrangement made for Catholic schools, and sanctioned by the Synod of Maynooth, provides that in the exercise of this right the approval of the bishop shall be sought. This arrangement has been accepted by the teachers as an ample protection against the danger of arbitrary dismissal. The managers have, moreover, general authority over the schools and the teachers, but the commissioners themselves, through their inspectors, control the standard and the efficiency of the teaching, and enforce the regulations of their code. The un-denominationalism of the system makes itself felt chiefly in two ways: first, in the prohibition of religious emblems even in purely Catholic schools, and, secondly, in the refusal of the commissioners to sanction the use even in Catholic schools of readers or other books containing any matter which might be considered open to objection if the schools had mixed attendance of Catholics and Protestants.
Provision of Schools.—School buildings may be vested in the commissioners, or in trustees, or they may be held by the managers as owners. If a school is vested in the commissioners, a course considered objectionable by Catholics, that body provide the entire cost of erection, equipment, and maintenance. If the school is vested in trustees, the commissioners make a grant of two-thirds of the cost of building and equipment, leaving the remaining third, and the entire cost of subsequent maintenance, to be met by local contributions, for the raising of which the manager is responsible. If the unrestricted ownership of the school is retained by the manager, no contribution is made, but loans may be obtained in certain circumstances.
Catholic Schools.—The schools of the Irish Christian Brothers have refused to enter the National system, but it has been accepted by those of other brotherhoods, and by convent schools generally. The number of convent and monastery National schools is 396, and the average number of children on the rolls, 111,508. Of the 8401 National schools 4391 are exclusively Catholic as regards teachers and pupils, 1542 are similarly Protestant, and the attendance is mixed in 2461 schools, in which the Catholic pupils are 69.7 per cent of the whole. The number of pupils in exclusively Catholic schools is 373,613, and the Catholics in the schools in which the attendance is mixed, number 131,657. There are, therefore, altogether 505,270 Catholic pupils in the National schools out of a total roll of 704,528.
Finance.—The whole scheme of National education, with the exceptions stated above in regard to building, equipment and maintenance, is financed by the Government, chiefly by an annual parliamentary vote, which in 1909-10 amounted to £1,621,921. The ascertained expenditure from local sources in 1909 was £141,096.
Training of Teachers.—The supply of trained teachers is maintained by seven training colleges, of which one, for men and women, directly managed by the commissioners, is forbidden to Catholics, another, also for men and women, is Episcopalian Protestant, and two for men and three for women are Catholic. The Catholic training colleges are under the immediate management of the bishops of the dioceses in which they are situated, two under the Archbishop of Dublin, and one each under the Bishops of Down and Connor, Limerick, and Waterford. The students in these colleges, all of which are residential, are known as King’s scholars, and the colleges are supported by capitation maintenance grants paid by the commissioners.
Technical Instruction.—Technical instruction is carried on by local committees under the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland. The Department was established by Act of Parliament in 1899, and has, in addition to the sums voted for special institutions such as the Royal College of Science, an annual income of £197,000, of which £62,000 must be devoted to technical instruction, £10,000 to the development of fisheries, and the balance to agricultural instruction and development. The technical schools established under this system are undenominational, but as they are almost exclusively evening schools and are confined to technical subjects of instruction, or preparatory work connected therewith, they are freely attended by Catholics.
SECONDARY SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES.—Speaking generally, all schools of secondary standard, and colleges under university rank in Ireland, are purely denominational. In the department of secondary education Catholics received no assistance from the State until 1878, when an Act of Parliament established the Commissioners of Intermediate Education to encourage and promote secondary education by distributing grants to schools of all denominations on the basis of an annual general examination in the subjects of secular instruction, and giving exhibitions and prizes to the most successful candidates. A further Act of Parliament, in 1900, widened the powers of the commissioners and enabled them to add inspection to the examination, which, however, must be retained. The system of inspection established under this Act has not yet got beyond the tentative stage, and cannot be really effective as long as the annual examination continues to be the basis of the distribution of grants.
Outline of System.—The commissioners are twelve in number, six Catholics and six Protestants, and as their powers are strictly limited to subjects of secular education, the denominationalism of the schools is in no way impaired. The diocesan colleges, with few exceptions, accept the system and compete for their share of the grants. The great colleges and the smaller schools of the religious orders are all within the system, as are also nearly all the convent secondary schools. The Christian Brothers, though refusing to enter the National system of primary schools, have freely entered the Intermediate system, and have added secondary departments to their schools, in which they accept the program of the Intermediate Board, and submit to the examinations and inspection. The official statistics published by the Board take no account of the religious denomination of schools or pupils, but they give sufficiently detailed information about each school to make it possible to arrive at fairly exact figures. Of 344 schools, 218 are Catholics: 128 for boys, 84 for girls, and 6 mixed. The school rolls show that Catholics number approximately 8,780 boys out of a total of 12,067 and 4,000 girls out of 6,428. These rolls contain the names only of those pupils who are within the limits of secondary school age, and the total number of pupils in the schools is probably 25 per cent greater.
Finance.—The Intermediate Education Act (1878) gave the commissioners, from the funds realized by the disestablishment of the Protestant Church, £1,000,000, the interest of which was at first their sole income. The Local Taxation Act (1890) increased the income of the Board by the addition of the residue of specified excise and customs duties after certain fixed charges had been met. The amount received from this source was subject to fluctuation, but for several years it showed a downward tendency, and in 1911 the Government substituted for it a fixed annual sum of £46,000, which brings the income of the Commissioners up to £80,000 a year. The Government further admitted, in 1911, the claim of Irish Intermediate education to an annual parliamentary vote, and if this is made proportional to the corresponding vote in England it should more than double the income of the Board.
BOYS.—Diocesan Colleges conducted by the secular clergy, under the immediate control of the bishops: St. Finian’s College, Mullingar; St. Mel’s College, Longford; St. Macarten’s College, Monaghan; St. Columb’s College, Derry; St. Malachy’s College, Belfast; St. Colman‘s College, Newry; St. Patrick’s College, Cavan; St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny; Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, Dublin; St. Peter’s College, Wexford; St. Patrick’s College, and St. Mary’s Lay College, Carlow; St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny; St. Colman‘s College, Fermoy; St. Finbarr’s Seminary, Cork; St. Patrick’s College, Thurles; St. Brendan’s College, Killarney; St. Flannan’s College, Ennis; St. Munchin’s College, Limerick; St. John’s College, Waterford; St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam; Diocesan College, Ballaghadereen; St. Joseph‘s College, Ballinasloe; Summerhill College, Sligo; St. Muredach’s College, Ballina.
Conducted by Religious Orders:—Cistercians, Mount Melleray Seminary, attached to the Abbey, Cappoquin; St. Joseph‘s College, attached to the Abbey, Roscrea. Congregation of the Holy Ghost: Blackrock College, Dublin; Rockwell College, Cashel; St. Mary’s College, Rathmines, Dublin. Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians): St. Vincent’s College, Castleknock, Dublin; St. Patrick’s Training College, for National Teachers (men), Drumcondra, Dublin; Dominicans, College of St. Thomas, Newbridge; Society of Jesus, Clongowes Wood College, Sallins; Belvedere College, Dublin; Sacred Heart College, and Mungret College, Limerick; College of St. Ignatius, Galway. Society of Mary (Marists), St. Mary’s College, Dundalk; Catholic University School, Dublin; Christian Brothers, O’Connell Schools, North Richmond Street, and several other large schools in Dublin; Christian Brothers’ College, and Our Lady’s Mount, Cork; Christian Schools in Belfast, Limerick, and many other centers. Presentation Brothers, Presentation Monastery, and Mardyke College, Cork, and several other schools; De La Salle Brothers, Training College for National Teachers (men), Waterford.
GIRLS.—The Dominican College, Eccles Street, and the Loreto College, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, besides remarkable success in the examinations of the Intermediate Board, won for themselves acknowledged eminence, even in competition with men’s colleges in the late Royal University, and have opened halls in connection with the National University, St. Mary’s, Muckross Park; Sion Hill, Blackrock, Dublin; Training College for National Teachers (women), Belfast; Training College for Secondary Teachers, Dublin, and many other schools. Loreto Nuns, Loreto Abbey, Rathfarnham; schools in Balbriggan, Bray, Dalkey, Gorey, Clonmel, Navan, Mullingar, Letterkenny, Kilkenny, Fermoy. Faithful Companions of Jesus: Laurel Hill Convent, Limerick; St. Mary’s Convent, Newtownbarry; Sisters of St. Louis, Monaghan, Carrickmacross, and Kiltimagh. Ursulines: Convents of Blackrock, and St. Angela’s, Cork; Sligo, Thurles, and Waterford, where, in addition to the school, the Sisters conduct a training college for secondary school teachers. Brigidines: Convents of Tullow, Mountrath, Abbeyleix, and Goresbridge. Sisters of Mercy: in addition to a large number of elementary schools in various parts of Ireland, higher schools in Dundalk, Queenstown, Macroom, and St. Marie’s of the Isle, Cork, and in Limerick a Training College for National Teachers (women). Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary: Lisburn; Sisters of the Sacred Heart: Mount Anville Dublin.
Schools of handicrafts have been established in connection with many of the convents. Among the more important of these are, for lace and crochet: Mercy Convents, Dundalk, Ardee, Kilbeggan, Longford, Enniskillen, Queenstown, St. Lelia’s School, Limerick, Newcastle West, Roscarbery, Dungarvan, Stradbally, Claremorris, Westport, Castlebar, Sligo, Roscommon, and Boyle; Poor Clares, Ballyjamesduff and Kenmare. Presentation, Thurles, Carrick-on-Suir and Youghal; Sisters of Charity of St. Paul, Kilfinane; Sisters of Charity, Benada Abbey, Co. Mayo, and Foxford. Many of these schools, and some others have also hosiery, shirt making, and similar industries, and some, as Foxford, Loughglynn, St. Lelia’s, Limerick, Dundrum, and Roscarbery, are centers of much needed industrial life in their several localities.
Seminaries.—The education of students for the secular priesthood is carried on chiefly in Maynooth, which is a national seminary, though many students are sent to the Irish Colleges in Rome and Paris, and a large proportion of the students of Dublin, Cashel, Kildare, Ossory, and Waterford receive their whole education in the local seminaries. With these exceptions, however, the local seminaries confine themselves to the secondary school program, and send their students to Maynooth or the Continent for their studies in philosophy and theology. Each religious order makes its own provision for the training of its subjects, and candidates for the foreign missions are educated in All Hallows College, and in the seminaries situated in Carlow, Kilkenny, Thurles, and Waterford. (See also Ireland; Christian Brothers of Ireland; All Hallows College; Maynooth College.)
E. In Scotland
Catholic education in Scotland during penal times fared much as in England. By 1670 the Catholic population had dwindled to some 14,000 communicants, of whom about 2000 survived in the Lowlands (Leslie’s report to Propaganda).Scotch colleges which sent many missionaries back to suffer for their faith had been founded at Rome, Douai, Paris, and Valladolid. However, in the crushed condition of the country candidates for the priesthood became scarce. Small Catholic schools were occasionally started in remote districts during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and struggled on for a while. Thus in 1675 two small schools existed at Glengarry and in the Island of Barra. Early in the eighteenth century a small seminary was begun at Scalan in Glenlivat to be subsequently transferred after sundry vicissitudes to Aquhorties. Others were started at Samalaman and Lismore. The first really important Catholic collegiate foundation in Scotland since the Reformation was that at Blairs, in 1829, when the two surviving “little seminaries” at Aquhorties and Lismore were united to form the new college, destined to have an honorable and fruitful career as the future Alma Mater of a considerable proportion of the Scottish priesthood. Since Catholic Emancipation there has been a large immigration from Ireland and a rapid growth within the Scottish community, so that the remnant of 1800 has risen to an estimated Catholic population of 518,000 in Scotland in 1910, with 554 priests and 238 missions. The story of the progress of Catholic education during the past century has been much the same in Scotland as in England. As each little Catholic congregation formed, it started a school. In spite of the stronger religious bigotry in the beginning, the increasing demand for liberty and equality for dissenters after the separation of the Free Church in 1843 helped Catholic educational claims.
However, it was the Education Act of Scotland of 1872 that has determined the Scotch system down to the present time. That Act, following on the line of the English Act of 1870, established, or rather in Scotland reformed and reestablished a dual system of public schools, i.e. Board-schools, and voluntary or denominational schools. Both receive considerable grants from the imperial exchequer, whilst the former enjoy rate aid. The voluntary schools, built and partially maintained by private funds, retain the religious character of the body which owns them. Fortunately in Scotland the voluntary schools did not meet with the same hostility from the supporters of the public or Board-schools as they did in England. The religious differences which have set the English Nonconformists against the Anglican proprietors of the great mass of the voluntary schools did not exist there. As a consequence, the voluntary schools generally, and the Catholic schools in particular, received more liberal treatment and less pressure, and the intolerable burden and acute need for reform which brought about the English Education Act of 1902 did not arise. The present situation of Catholic Education in Scotland, as gathered from the Scotch Education Department Blue Book for 1910-11, may be thus summarized:
Catholic Voluntary Day Schools: primary, 207; higher grade, 12. These provide places for 107,740 scholars. The average number on the registers during the past year was 92,594. The average in actual attendance, 81,980 (41,363 boys, 40,617 girls). Teaching staff: certificated teachers, male 167, female 1306; assistant (provisonally certificated) teachers, 475. Average annual salary of Catholic teachers: principal masters, £148; principal mistresses, £94; assistant masters, £94; assistant mistresses, £73. The average salaries for the public schools at the same time were: principal masters? £189; mistresses? assistant masters, £136; mistresses, £81. Catholic teachers thus work at a sacrifice. Total annual income of Catholic primary schools:—voluntary contributions in various forms, £39,100; state contribution under various heads: annual grant, fee grant, grant in aid, grants for drawing, etc., about £170,000. The inclusion of rent (on the basis of assessment) in the approved expenditure is permitted in Scottish voluntary schools. This amounted in 1909 to £36,000, or an average of £164 per school. The total expenditure on Catholic primary schools in 1910 was £208,624, which worked out at a cost per child of £2. 13s. 5d.; while the cost to the State of each child in the public schools amounted to £3. 14s.1 1/2d. Moreover the public schools drew about twenty-three shillings per child from rates not available to the voluntary schools. Still on the whole, though the Catholic Church is subject to certain financial disadvantages, it has secured freedom, and when worked in a liberal spirit the Scottish system has proved tolerable, indeed with certain further amendments helping to raise Catholic teachers’ salaries to those of the public schools it would be even fair.
The working conditions of the Catholic primary schools in Scotland are much the same as in England. The chief manager and correspondent of each Catholic school is usually the priest in charge of the mission, but the managers of groups of voluntary schools are united into small Councils or Committees in which they share common control and responsibility for certain purposes—an arrangement possessing some distinct advantages. In regard to secondary education, the better higher grade schools help towards this in Scotland; and there are twelve such Catholic higher grade schools recognized and receiving grants. Owing to the difficulty already alluded to of defining secondary schools, it is not easy to give accurate statistics. One Catholic school for boys, the Jesuit College in Glasgow, is on the list of secondary schools recognized by the Government. The Marist Brothers also conduct a boarding college at Dumfries, St. Mungo’s Academy, in Glasgow, and a hostel for the training of male teachers. There are two ecclesiastical colleges, Blairs and St. Peter’s, New Kilpatrick; and in addition to those recognized as higher grade schools, there are probably about half a dozen academies and convent boarding schools giving secondary education. There is one large training college for female teachers, managed by the Notre Dame Sisters, in Glasgow.
F. In the United States
Out of a Catholic population of approximately 14,347,027, nearly one-half of the Catholic children attending elementary schools in the United States were being educated under the parish school system in the year 1910. Catholic schools are practically impossible in most country districts, and it has been estimated that from one-fourth to one-third of the number of Catholic children of school age live in country districts. In towns and cities, therefore, where alone it is possible, generally speaking, to build and maintain Catholic schools, it may be said that all but about one-fourth to one-sixth of the Catholic population attending school is being educated in the parish schools. The number of pupils in the parish schools is also steadily increasing.
This result has been achieved by a process of gradual growth, the root of it all being the firm determination of the Catholic mind to make religion a vital element in the education of the Catholic child. This determination has characterized the attitude of American Catholics in respect to education from the very beginning, and it has been shared alike by the clergy and the laity. The earliest Catholic colonists implanted the principle of religious training in the virgin Catholic soil, and every decade that has passed since then has added but a new growth or a fresh vigor to the educational mustard seed. A school appears to have been founded by the Jesuits in Maryland not very long after the arrival of the first colonists, though there is some uncertainty as to the exact date and its first location. But even before the coming of the Calverts, Catholic schools existed in New Mexico and Florida. By the year 1629, many schools for the natives of New Mexico had been established by the Franciscans, and this was eight years before the first school in the thirteen eastern colonies. The first schools within the present limits of the United States were thus founded by Catholic missionaries. It is probable that the earliest of these mission schools in New Mexico were inaugurated soon after the effective occupation of the region by Don Juan de Onate in 1598. In Florida, school work among the natives appears to have been begun about the same time. A classical school existed at St. Augustine as early as 1606. The Jesuits established a series of flourishing schools for the natives of Lower California, early in the eighteenth century; and the Franciscans, during its last quarter, developed the singularly successful mission schools in Upper California. All of these schools for the natives had an industrial character. In New Orleans, a parish school was opened in 1722, four years after the founding of the city; and five years later a band of Ursuline Sisters established a convent and school there for the education of girls. There is evidence also of the existence of Catholic schools at a very early period at St. Louis, Kaskaskia, Mackinaw, Detroit, and Vincennes. A college was opened by the Jesuits in Maryland in 1677, and another in the city of New York, about 1684, under the administration of Governor Dongan; and, when they founded Catholic missions in Pennsylvania, schools were opened in connection with the more important parishes as a matter of course.
The era of religious freedom ushered in by the Revolution resulted in the multiplication of Catholic educational institutions of every kind. Colleges were founded at Georgetown and Mount St. Mary’s, and plans were framed for the development of Catholic education on a larger and more systematic scale. Fathers Badin and Nerinckx in Kentucky, and Father Richard at Detroit, were energetic and farseeing educational pioneers. Religious teachers for the schools also began to appear. Alice Lalor opened a school at Georgetown in 1799, which became the motherhouse of the Visitation Sisters in the United States. Mother Seton established her community at Emmitsburg in 1809; Father Nerinckx founded the Sisterhood of Loretto in Kentucky two years later, and about the same time Father David organized the Sisters of Charity of Kentucky. From this time until about the year 1840 there was a slow but solid Catholic educational growth throughout the eastern half of the country, with the steady increase of the Catholic population. Bishop Kenrick at Philadelphia, Bishop Dubois at New York, Bishop Benedict Fenwick at Boston, Bishop England at Charleston, Bishop Dubourg in Louisiana, and Bishops Flaget, Rosetti, Edward Fenwick, Rese, and Brute in the west, were unremitting in their labors in behalf of Catholic education in their respective dioceses.
About the year 1840 a new period of school growth began, with the inpouring of the great streams of emigration from Germany and Ireland. During the years 1840-60 twice as many dioceses were organized as the number existing at the beginning of this period, and the heads appointed for these new sees were as profoundly convinced of the necessity of Catholic schools as had been the great bishops of the earlier periods. “The school alongside the church” was everywhere the accepted educational maxim. The laity were of one mind with the clergy in the matter, and the building of schools went everywhere hand in hand with the building of churches. The immigrants were poor, but they gave unstintedly of their limited means for the erection and equipment of both. The first school buildings were often of the most makeshift character, but they were gradually replaced by larger and more commodious structures. The result was that the two hundred parish schools existing in the country in the year 1840 were multiplied several times over before the beginning of the Civil War. The problem of providing teachers for the new schools was generally solved by an appeal to the existing religious communities of Europe. Many of these sent colonies to America, and so rapid was the growth of these colonies that their members, within a few years, outnumbered those of the teaching communities previously established in the country. Most of these new bodies, too, became independent of the parent organizations. The greater number of the teaching communities now in the United States trace their American origin to the little pioneer bands that crossed the ocean to take charge of schools for the children of the Irish and German immigrants.
Towards the year 1860 the period of greatest growth in the history of the schools may be said to have ended, and the period of development begun. All through the eastern half of the country, the Catholic school system was by this time solidly established. In the Far Western and Southwestern States, the work of educational growth and expansion still went on, with the opening of the country there to settlement; and great bishops, like a Blanchet in Oregon, an Alemany in California, a Lamy in New Mexico, and a Macheboeuf in Colorado, were called upon to do heroic pioneer labor in the founding of schools, like that which had been done farther East by the bishops of an earlier period. But, by the close of the immigration period, the main lines of the vast network of schools were clearly laid down. It remained to provide for the internal development and progress of the system, and to adjust more perfectly the relations of its component elements. This has been the chief aim since the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1866. The specific purpose and results of the work that has been accomplished in this direction will be dealt with more in detail in the sections that follow.
Legislation.—At the First Provincial Council of Baltimore in 1829, it was declared by the assembled Fathers to be “absolutely necessary that schools should be established, in which the young may be taught the principles of faith and morality, while being instructed in letters”. This was the first authoritative declaration of the Church in the United States on the subject of Catholic schools, and the decrees of subsequent councils have but reiterated, amplified, or given more precise practical effect to, the general law thus laid down. The First Plenary Council of Baltimore, held in 1852, exhorted the bishops “to see that schools be established in connection with all the churches of their dioceses”, and, if necessary, to provide for the support of the school from the revenues of the church to which the school was attached. Several of the bishops of the West urged even stricter legislation, and at the Second Provincial Council of Cincinnati, six years later, these views were embodied in a formal decree.
The Second Plenary Council of Baltimore did little more than ratify the decrees of previous councils. In 1875, however, the Congregation of Propaganda issued an “Instruction to the Bishops of the United States concerning the Public Schools”, in which it was pointed out that the public schools as conducted involved grave danger to the faith and morals of Catholic children, and that consequently both the natural and the Divine law forbade the attendance of Catholic children at such schools, unless the proximate danger could be removed. At the same time, the Sacred Congregation admitted the possible existence of causes which would excuse Catholic parents in the matter, and it was left to the conscience and judgment of the bishop to decide in each case. This “Instruction” led up to the educational legislation of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884. The need was generally felt by Catholics for more precise and specific legislation in reference to the schools, both parochial and public. In some dioceses, it meant exclusion from the sacraments for parents to send their children to the public schools; in others, it appeared to be made a matter of little or no account. The legislation enacted by the Council fully answered the general expectation. It defined the obligations imposed by the moral law upon parents in the matter of the religious education of their children. It provided for the case in which children were practically compelled by circumstances to attend the public schools. At the same time, it sought to give more specific application to its own legislation as well as that of previous Councils by the following decree: –
“(1) Near each church, a parochial school if it does not yet exist, is to be erected within two years from the promulgation of this Council, and is to be maintained in perpetuum, unless the bishop, on account of grave difficulties, judge that a postponement be allowed.
(2) A priest who, by his grave negligence, prevents the erection of a school within this time or its maintenance, or who, after repeated admonitions of the bishop, does not attend to the matter, deserves removal from that church.
(3) A mission or a parish which so neglects to assist a priest in erecting or maintaining a school, that by reason of this supine negligence the school is rendered impossible, should be reprehended by the bishop and, by the most efficacious and prudent means possible, induced to contribute the necessary support.
(4) All Catholic parents are bound to send their children to the parochial schools, unless either at home or in other Catholic schools they may sufficiently and evidently provide for the Christian education of their children, or unless it be lawful to send them to other schools on account of a sufficient cause, approved by the bishop, and with opportune cautions and remedies. As to what is a Catholic school, it is left to the judgment of the Ordinary to define”.
Other decrees of the Council dealt with the question of the improvement of the schools. The more important of these will be referred to in the course of this article.
Attendance.—The total number of parish schools in the United States, according to the “Catholic Directory” of 1910, was 4845, with an attendance of 1,237,251. The total number of pupils in Catholic educational institutions of all kinds the same year, including colleges, academies, industrial, reformatory, and eleemosynary schools, was 1,450,488.
Teachers.—On the basis of an average of forty pupils to a teacher, the above figures imply that there are about 31,000 teachers engaged in the parish schools of the United States. Fully nine-tenths of these belong to religious institutes. The proportion of lay teachers to religious varies greatly with locality. In certain districts the lay teachers are very numerous; in most of the dioceses, however, they constitute but a small fraction of the whole number. The number of male teachers is also relatively small, amounting to not more than one-fifteenth of the total. The religious teachers are divided among two hundred and seventy-five distinct teaching bodies, including independent convents as well as congregations or orders. There are eleven teaching brotherhoods. Many of the religious organizations have less than one hundred members, others have several thousand. The largest, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, has nearly four thousand religious. The work of some is limited to a single diocese, while others have schools and branch establishments scattered through a large number of states. As a rule, the teaching orders have extended their work wherever opportunity offered, regardless of state or diocesan boundaries. The result of this has been to make parish school education remarkably homogeneous, as compared with the public school system.
Many of these teaching bodies, although at present entirely independent of each other, have sprung from a common parent organization. Thus, there are twenty-four independent establishments of the Benedictine Sisters, twenty of the Dominicans, twenty-two of the Franciscans, twenty-two of the Sisters of St. Joseph, forty-six of the Sisters of Mercy, eighteen of the Ursulines, and twenty of the Visitation Sisters. The motherhouses or central establishments of these communities are generally located in the United States. Religious communities in Canada have responded generously to the demand for teachers in the States, especially in New England, where the French-Canadian immigration has been so large, and eighteen of the Canadian teaching congregations now have branch establishments in this country. Eleven communities look to motherhouses in France. Besides these, seven communities have their motherhouses in Belgium, six in Germany, four in Italy, and one each in Holland, Switzerland, and England.
Candidates for admission to the religious life are required to spend at least one year in the novitiate. In the case of the teaching orders, the novitiate may be regarded as a normal school in which pedagogical training goes hand in hand with instruction in the principles of the religious life. Before entrance into the novitiate, the candidate has to pass through a preliminary course of instruction in the secular branches, and this course covers not less than two years. The rules of all the teaching orders thus provide for a normal training lasting for at least three years. Previous to the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, however, owing to the demand for teachers, the pre-novitiate course was frequently abbreviated, and sometimes even omitted altogether. The consequence was that teachers were often insufficiently trained for their work, and the instruction in the schools suffered accordingly. The legislation of the Third Plenary Council went far towards remedying this evil, by providing that regular normal schools should be established by the communities where they did not already exist, and that candidates should be allowed to remain in these schools until they had satisfactorily completed the prescribed work: –
“In order that there may be always ready a sufficient number of Catholic teachers, each thoroughly equipped for the holy and sublime work of education of youth, we would have the bishops concerned confer with the superiors of congregations dedicated to the work of teaching in the schools, either directly on their own authority or, if need be, invoking the authority of the Sacred Congregation, for the establishment of normal schools where they do not yet exist and there is need for them. These are to be in suitable establishments, in which the young may be trained by skillful and capable teachers, during a sufficient period of time and with a truly religious diligence, in the various studies and sciences, in method and pedagogy, and other branches pertaining to a sound training for teaching”.
In order to give effect to this legislation, the Council decreed the establishment of school boards in each diocese for the examination of teachers, and made it unlawful to engage a teacher for a school who had not obtained a diploma from the diocesan examiners: –
“Within a year from the promulgation of the Council, the bishops shall name one or more priests who are most conversant with school affairs, to constitute a diocesan board of examination. It shall be the office of this board to examine all teachers, whether they are religious belonging to a diocesan congregation or seculars, who wish to employ themselves in teaching in the parochial schools in the future, and, if they find them worthy, to grant a testimonial or diploma of merit. Without this no priest may lawfully engage any teacher for his school, unless they have taught before the celebration of the Council. The diploma will be valid for five years. After this period, another and final examination will be required of the teachers.
“Besides this board for the examination of teachers for the whole diocese, the bishops, in accordance with the diversity of place or language, shall appoint several school boards, composed of one or several priests, to examine the schools in cities or rural districts. The duty of these boards shall be to visit and examine each school in their district once or even twice a year, and to transmit to the president of the diocesan board, for the information and guidance of the bishop, an accurate account of the state of the schools”.
Only lay teachers and religious belonging to a diocesan community were named as being bound by this legislation, but indirectly it affected all Catholic teachers. Owing to the lack of teachers, it was frequently found difficult to enforce the requirement of a diocesan diploma, to be gained by a formal examination. It may be said, however, that the legislation of the Council had the desired effect. All the religious communities now have well-equipped normal schools, and candidates, unless they come with superior qualifications, are usually required to complete the full curriculum. Summer normal schools are also conducted at the leading motherhouses, the courses lasting for a month or six weeks. In many dioceses, too, summer institutes are held, the religious and lay teachers of the diocese being assembled for the purpose during a week or two at some convenient place.
Curriculum.—The curriculum of the parish school comprises eight elementary grades. There is a class in catechism daily, and Bible history is also taught several times a week. In the singing-class, devotional hymns are used, and the school-sessions are opened and closed by prayers or brief devotional exercises. Outside of these religious instructions and practices, it may be said that the curriculum of the Catholic parish school does not differ much from the curriculum of the corresponding public school, except that there is a stronger tendency in the former to emphasize the importance of those branches that are commonly designated as “the Three R’s”. Distinctively Catholic textbooks are employed quite generally, especially in the lower grades. Textbooks in common use in the public schools are, however, frequently used in the teaching of the purely secular subjects. In the matter of uniformity, some dioceses have gone much farther than others. In some, a common curriculum, with fixed recitation-periods, is prescribed for the schools, together with an authorized series of textbooks; in others, a common curriculum is prescribed, but the selection of textbooks and the fixing of recitation-periods is left to the pastors and principals; in many others, again, the diocesan authorities have not imposed any official standards of uniformity in these respects, except in the matter of religious instruction.
Organization and Administration.—Three elements of authority are concerned in the conduct of the parish school, the pastor, the superiors of the teachers, and the bishop. The pastor has, besides the financial responsibility, immediate supervision over the school with respect to the faithful and efficient fulfillment of its work, and occupies by right the position of the school principal. Practically, however, he shares the responsibility of this position with the religious superior in charge of the school. The supervision of the work of the school, in most instances, is really left largely to the immediate religious superior. The higher religious superiors, having control of the supply of teachers and of the teachers’ training as well as a supervision of the teaching in a large number of schools, enjoy a practical power over their schools that is comparable in some respects with that of the bishop. The bishop, nevertheless, possesses the supreme control over all the schools of his diocese, subject only to the regulations of the Councils and of higher authority. It is chiefly from the bishops that movements looking towards the betterment of the schools have come. And the trend of Catholic school development is strongly towards an increase of the exercise of the episcopal authority over the schools.
Bishop Neumann of Philadelphia in 1852 attempted a diocesan organization of Catholic schools, by instituting a “Central Board of Education“, to be composed of the pastor and two lay delegates from each of the parishes in Philadelphia, and to be presided over by the bishop. But the project appears to have been in advance of the times. In 1879 Bishop Joseph Dwenger of Fort Wayne, Indiana, organized a school board, consisting of eleven members and a secretary, all being priests. The board was to have control of studies and textbooks in the schools of the diocese, to examine teachers, and to gather statistical information about the schools. The effect was seen to be so wholesome that the Fort Wayne plan was adopted by the Fourth Provincial Council of Cincinnati in 1882, with an additional provision for dependent local school boards in the larger places. When the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore met, two years later, it practically adopted the Cincinnati plan for all the dioceses. Although the Council speaks only of a central “board of examination”, and would appear, therefore, to limit the functions of this board to the examination and approval of teachers, it was expected, nevertheless, that more ample powers would be conferred on these boards by the bishops, and this in fact was done. Bishop Gilmour’s “Constitution and By-Laws for the Government of the Parochial Schools” of Cleveland, issued in 1887, may be taken as typical of diocesan legislation generally in this regard. According to this “Constitution” the central board was to be made up of seven members, who were to be examiners of teachers as well as inspectors of schools in their respective districts. The board was vested with full control over the parish schools, under the bishop. Local boards were also instituted, to consist of three, five, or seven members, who were to visit and examine each school within their respective localities at least once a year.
The board system represented an important advance in the work of Catholic school organization, and had everywhere a quickening effect. It soon became evident, however, that the system was still far from perfect. The men selected to serve on the boards, while devoted to the interests of the schools, were too busily engaged with other duties to give more than a small share of their time to the work. Besides this, few if any of them had had any formal pedagogical training. There was need, it was seen, of an executive officer of the central Board who should be specially qualified for the work of inspection and supervision, and who should devote his entire time to this task. The New York school board took the lead in the matter, and in the year 1888 appointed the Rev. William J. Degnan as inspector of schools. He was succeeded in the office the following year by the Rev. Michael J. Considine, who served in this capacity until the year 1900. The title of inspector was changed to that of superintendent. The Diocese of Omaha adopted the plan in 1891. The Rev. John W. Shanahan, later Bishop of Harrisburg, was appointed superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1894. Soon he added a new and important feature to the system; this was the appointment, for each teaching order in the diocese, of a community inspector of schools, the idea being that the recommendations of the superintendent in regard to the teachers and teaching would be more easily made as well as more effectively carried out through the cooperation of competent authorized representatives of the respective teaching bodies. The system of diocesan organization, as thus developed, consisted of a central board, with a superintendent of schools, and a board of community inspectors acting in conjunction with the superintendent in the inspection of schools and in the carrying out of the regulations of the board. In this form, the system has been adopted by other dioceses, and is gradually replacing the older or simple “board” system. Sixteen dioceses have at present introduced the “superintendent” system, while thirty-seven still adhere to the original “board” plan.
Financial Support.—Catholic parish schools are either “free” or “pay” schools. The latter are supported by the tuition fees of the pupils, paid to the head of the school. Free schools are usually supported by the parish treasury, although here and there schools are found whose expenses have been provided for, in whole or in part, by the endowment of some generous individual. The general tendency is towards free schools, and even where tuition fees are relied on, it is usually necessary for the parish to provide for part of the school’s expense. Teachers generally receive from $200 to $300 per year if members of a sisterhood, and from $300 to $400 per year if members of a brotherhood. In several dioceses the salaries are higher than this, and within recent years a movement for the increase of teachers’ salaries has been gaining ground. Lay teachers employed in the parish schools receive but little more than religious. Generally speaking, Catholic teachers’ salaries are less than one-half as much as the salaries of corresponding teachers in the public schools, and the actual cost of schooling under the Catholic system is only about one-third of what it is under the public school system. It has been estimated that the average annual per capita cost of parish school education in the United States is $8. This would mean that the education of the 1,237,251 pupils in the parish schools during the year 1909-10 cost approximately, for that year, $9,898,008. The education of the same pupils in the public schools the same year would, according to the estimate referred to, cost approximately $30,511,010; and if the annual interest on the necessary property investment were added, the total would be upwards of $34,000,000 (American Eccles. Review, XLIV, 530). This is, therefore, about the amount of money that the Catholic school system saves annually to the States.
Catholic Schools and the State.—Catholic schools are thus, in general, entirely supported by the voluntary contributions of Catholics. For a considerable period after the Revolution, however, Catholic schools in many places were, along with the schools of other denominations, supported from the public funds. This was the case in Lowell, Massachusetts, from 1835 to 1852. In the City of New York, it was also the case until the year 1824. The efforts of Bishop Hughes, in 1840 and subsequently, to restore this condition, were without the hoped-for success. Gradually, State after State framed laws forbidding the payment of public funds to denominational schools and many States even embodied such provisions in their constitutions. Several plans for avoiding the legal barriers that were thus raised against the attainment of their rights in the matter of the education of their children have been proposed and put to trial by Catholics, with the cooperation of their fair-minded non-Catholic fellow-citizens. One of the most celebrated of these was the “Poughkeepsie Plan”, which was accepted by the public school board of Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1873. Under this plan, the school board rented the Catholic school buildings for a nominal sum, and accepted the two Catholic schools of the place as public schools under the common regulations framed for the public schools, the Catholic teachers, who were nuns, continuing as before and receiving their salaries from the board. The board agreed likewise to keep the school buildings in repair. The plan proved to be mutually satisfactory, and was continued for many years. Substantially the same arrangement was made in several other places in the State of New York. The arrangement was discontinued at Poughkeepsie in 1899, only when the superintendent of public instruction intervened, and rendered a decision adverse to its constitutionality. At Lima, in the same state, a similar decision was rendered by the superintendent in 1902, and the appeal against this to the courts resulted finally in a judgment of the supreme court of the State, which sustained the action of the superintendent.
The famous “Faribault Plan” was an arrangement substantially the same as that at Poughkeepsie which Archbishop Ireland effected with the school boards of Faribault and Stillwater, in Minnesota, in 1891. There was considerable opposition on the part of Catholics, however, to such arrangements, one of the chief reasons being that religious instructions, under the agreement, had to be given outside of the regular school hours. An appeal to Rome in the Faribault case resulted in the decision “Tolerari potest”, April 21, 1892, which authorized the continuance of the arrangement under the specific circumstances. The controversy among Catholics had the effect of concentrating public attention upon the matter, and of arousing slumbering anti-Catholic prejudice. The Faribault Plan is still in operation in some places; and in various parts of the country, especially in the west, where Catholic settlements are numerous, there are Catholic schools which derive their support from the public school boards. But such arrangements are purely local. In certain states, recent legal decisions authorize the attendance of pupils from the parish schools at the manual training classes in the public schools.
In connection with these practical plans for the settlement of the “school question” there has been frequent discussion among Catholic educators and apologists as to the rights of the State in respect to education. Dr. Brownson would deny to the State the right to educate, in the strict and proper sense of the term, although he conceded to it the right to establish and maintain public schools. This was the view more generally held by American Catholic educators. In the year 1891 the Rev. Thomas Bouquillon, D.D., professor of moral theology at the Catholic University, Washington, issued a pamphlet in which he maintained that the State has the right to educate, in the sense that it has the right of “establishing schools, appointing teachers, prescribing methods and programs of study”; and that “education belongs to men taken individually and collectively in legitimate association, to the family, to the state, to the church, to all four together, and not to any one of these four factors separately”. These views aroused a storm of controversy which lasted for several years, and engaged the attention not only of Catholics in the United States but of the whole Catholic world. The efforts of Cardinal Satolli to settle the question by means of a series of fourteen propositions which he submitted to the board of archbishops at their meeting in New York, in the autumn of 1892, were futile; and the agitation subsided only when Pope Leo XIII addressed a letter to the American hierarchy through Cardinal Gibbons in May, 1893, in which, while appealing for the cessation of the controversy, he declared that the decrees of the Baltimore Councils were to be steadfastly observed in determining the attitude to be maintained by Catholics in respect both to parish and to public schools.
Schools of Foreign Nationalities.—One of the most difficult problems that has confronted the Church in the United States has been the education of the children of the immigrants arriving from foreign shores and speaking a foreign language. These immigrants were poor, and yet, if their descendants were to be saved to the Faith, it was imperative that Catholic schools and teachers should be provided for them, as well as churches. The missionary priests who came to minister to the immigrants were, as a rule, keenly alive to the importance of the Catholic school, and, acting in conjunction with the American bishops, they have, to a great extent, overcome the difficulties that stood in the way and built up flourishing systems of schools. The chief difficulty, besides poverty of material resources, was that of the securing of competent teachers. Lay teachers were commonly employed at first. Little by little, however, religious were introduced, colonies of religious teachers being brought from abroad for this purpose, and even new religious communities founded here. Some of these communities drew rapidly, and they have furnished a constantly increasing supply of teachers for these schools.
The Polish schools have the largest aggregate attendance. They are scattered all over the country, but are especially numerous in the large industrial centers. There were, in 1910, 293 Polish parishes with schools, having an attendance of 98,126 and with 1767 teachers, the great majority of these being religious. Next in number come the French schools, most of which belong to the French-Canadians, and are located in New England. These schools in 1910 numbered 161, with 1480 teachers, and a total attendance of 63,048. The Italians, although they compare in numerical strength with the Poles and French, are far behind them in the matter of provision for Catholic education. There were but 48 Italian schools in 1910, with 271 teachers, and an attendance of 13,838. Bohemian schools, the same year, had an attendance of 8978; Slovak schools, 7419; and Lithuanian schools, 2104, with a corresponding number of teachers of these nationalities. There were formerly many German schools in the United States, but schools in German parishes now generally employ English as the medium of instruction, although German is taught also as one of the regular classes. In the case of the nationalities mentioned above, English is always a part of the curriculum of the schools, and often it is the chief medium of instruction. In Italian schools, very little time is given to the study of Italian, and the same is true in many of the French-Canadian schools. In schools of the Slavic peoples, more time is given, as a rule, to the parental mother-tongue, and it is used conjointly with English as a medium of instruction. In Polish schools, from one-third to one-half of the time is most commonly devoted to the study or the use of the Polish language. Many of the States have attached to their child-labor laws the condition that a child, even though of employment-age, shall have acquired the ability to read and write English. Legislation has had an influence in the steadily growing predominance of the English language in the schools of the foreign nationalities, but the effect is due in the main to the American life and atmosphere.
Industrial Schools.—Catholic industrial schools in the United States number 117, with an attendance of probably 15,000. Many of these schools are reformatory in character, but a large number are high-grade industrial schools in charge of the teaching orders. There are also manual training classes in many schools, especially in schools for girls.
Schools for Negroes and Indians.—There are probably near 150,000 Catholic negroes in the United States, and for these there exist 119 Catholic schools, with an attendance of about 8000. Various religious communities are in charge, conspicuous among which are two congregations of colored Sisters, the Oblate Sisters of Providence, founded at Baltimore in 1829, and which now has a membership of 146, and the Sisters of the Holy Family, of New Orleans, which was founded in 1842, and has a membership of 112. A collection is taken up annually in all the churches of the United States for the mission work among the Negroes and Indians, and many of the schools derive their support from this source.
The number of Catholic Indians is approximately 100,000. There are 63 Catholic Indian schools, with nearly 5000 pupils. About 6000 Catholic Indian pupils are being educated in the government schools. 55 of the Catholic schools are boarding institutions. Many of these are of an industrial character, the policy of Catholics in respect to the education of the Indians having always been to give prominence to training in the manual and industrial arts. The success of this policy has been often testified to by government inspectors of Indian schools as well as by distinguished American statesmen. A limited support is accorded to these schools by the Federal Government. Under the so-called “Peace Policy” inaugurated by President Grant in 1870, about 80,000 Catholic Indians passed from Catholic to Protestant control. Through the efforts of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, established some years later, together with the active efforts of members of the hierarchy, a new policy was inaugurated by the Government, under which it entered into contracts with the Catholic authorities concerned to provide for the support of Catholic Indian schools. Catholic schools multiplied rapidly in consequence until, in 1896, a policy was entered upon which involved the entire discontinuance of appropriations for denominational schools. In the year 1900 appropriations ceased. To keep up the schools, an organization known as the Society for the Preservation of the Faith among Indian Children was founded, and with the contributions from this society, together with the annual collection taken up for the purpose, and the donations of generous benefactors, many of the Catholic schools were kept alive. In 1904, under the administration of President Roosevelt, through the work of the Catholic Indian Bureau, a considerable allowance was made to certain Catholic schools by the Government from the Indian tribal funds, in answer to the petitions made by Catholic Indians. This policy has been continued up to the present, and in 1908 the appropriations made to Catholic schools in this way reached the sum of $111,586.90. Prominent among the agencies which have successfully labored in behalf of Catholic Indian education has been the community of Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People, which was founded by Mother Katherine Drexel in 1889. These nuns now number 143.
Orphanages.—The number of Catholic orphanages in the United States in 1910 was 258: 45,343 children are cared for and educated in these institutions, which are found in every diocese, and which are in charge of religious communities, generally of Sisters. They are usually supported by the parishes or by the voluntary contributions of the faithful. A limited number are endowed. (See also Education of the Deaf; Education of the Blind.)
Secondary Schools.—There are two classes of Catholic secondary schools in the United States, those which are intended to prepare pupil., for a higher education, and those which are closely connected with the parish schools and aim to fit at least the greater number of their pupils for active life. The former are found both in colleges for boys and in academies for girls. The latter are sometimes an integral part of the parish school system, or, again, they may be without direct connection with the parish schools, although intended to complete and round out their work. A report made to the Catholic Educational Association in 1908 showed the existence of 85 Catholic colleges for boys, having pupils in collegiate as well as secondary courses. The number of students pursuing collegiate courses was 4232, the number in the secondary or high school departments was 10,137. There is a growing sentiment among Catholic college men in favor of at least a wider separation of the high school department from the college proper.
In the “Catholic Directory” for 1910, 709 institutions are classed as academies for girls, with an attendance approximating 90,000. The larger number of these institutions have no collegiate departments, and are to be regarded as secondary schools. All the academies have, in fact, high school departments which are generally denominated the “academic course”, with the exception of Trinity College, Washington; and nearly all have also elementary schools; divided into the “primary” and “preparatory” departments. Probably over one-half of the above total attendance is in these elementary departments. The greater part of the remaining half is in the academic or high school departments. Many of the larger institutions have developed collegiate departments that compare favorably with those of the best-equipped colleges for boys. The number of these colleges for girls as well as the number of their collegiate students is at present growing rapidly. The curriculum in the larger institutions thus consists of three main divisions, the elementary department, the academic or high school department, and the collegiate department, the latter two covering each four years. The smaller institutions have, as a rule, only the elementary and high school courses, although their high school or “academic” department is sometimes made to include a year or two of collegiate work. Besides these departments, the academies generally have well-graded and thorough courses in art and music, both vocal and instrumental, leading to corresponding honors or diplomas. The ideals of culture represented by these latter features are, in fact, a distinguishing feature of the work of the Catholic academy, and constitute one of its strongest appeals for popular favor and support.
Within the past quarter of a century, many Catholic secondary schools or high schools have been developed in close connection with the parish schools. Most often these high schools are directly attached to single parish schools. In some cases, however, they are “central” high schools, affiliated with a number of inferior schools. Sometimes, too, they stand alone, although receiving their pupils from the upper grades of the parish schools. Some of those which are attached to single parish schools have only one high school grade, but most of them have from two to four grades. The number of schools with four full grades is rapidly increasing, and there is also a notable tendency towards the establishment of central high schools. A committee of the Catholic Educational Association reported, in the year 1911, the existence of 304 Catholic high schools for boys only or for both boys and girls, apart from the academies for girls and the preparatory departments of colleges for boys, with a total attendance of 7902 boys of high school standing and 6160 girls. About one-half of these schools have four full high school grades, and 215 of them have courses in Latin. The total number of high school teachers was 1006: 157 of the schools derive their support from tuition-fees; 164 from parish revenues, and 5 are endowed. The investigations of the committee revealed the existence of a widespread movement for the development of facilities for secondary education in connection with the parish school system. The movement springs from a popular demand, and is based on the fundamental idea of Catholic education. It is evident that the further progress of this movement is destined to have a highly important influence upon the parish schools as well as the academies and colleges. (See also Catholic Educational Association.)