Catholic Schools’ Impact on Faith Formation and Sacramental Practice

  • Catholics who attended Catholic schools are significantly more likely to actively practice their faith, including the reception of the sacraments.
  • Those concerned about promoting sacramental practice would do well to ensure that Catholic education remains a realistic option for today’s families.
Those who attended a Catholic elementary school are more likely than those who did not to say the following are “very” important to their sense of what it means to be a Catholic:

Catholic Elementary School Students

Helping those in need 54%
Living a life consistent with Church teaching 46%
Having a devotion to Mary 41%
Receiving the Eucharist 71%

Non Catholic Elementary Students

Helping those in need 44%
Living a life consistent with Church teaching 30%
Having a devotion to Mary 35%
Receiving the Eucharist 58%

Catholic High School Students

Helping those in need 56%
Living a life consistent with Church teaching 49%
Meaningfulness of Holy Orders 62%
Receiving the Eucharist 71%

Non Catholic High School Students

Helping those in need 46%
Living a life consistent with Church teaching 33%
Meaningfulness of Holy Orders 45%
Receiving the Eucharist 58%
Those who attended a Catholic high school are more likely than those who did not to say the following are “very” important to their sense of what it means to be a Catholic:
More likely to believe the Eucharist is most meaningful to them.
Catholic High School Student
37%
Non Catholic High School Student
22%
Men attending Catholic high school are more likely to have considered the vocation of priest or religious brother
Catholic High School Men
32%
Women who attended a Catholic high school are among the most likely to have considered the vocation of a nun or religious sister
Catholic High School Women
25%
Proud to be Catholic
Catholic High School Student
63%
Non Catholic High School Student
54%
Catholic Faith is at least "among the most important parts" of their life
Catholic High School Student
64%
Non Catholic High School Student
40%

Keeping Catholic schools “viable and affordable” leaps out from the data as a pastoral priority.

 

-Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, Georgetown University, February 2008 as compiled by the Archdiocese of Chicago

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