A crucifix is seen on the wall of a Catholic school classroom.
A crucifix is seen on the wall of a Catholic school classroom. (photo: Tiziana Fabi / AFP via Getty Images)

Bishop Thomas Daly: ‘School Choice Is Coming to America’ (Season 3 — Ep. 1)

Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane, Washington, says, ‘We need as many kids in Catholic schools as possible’ — but they have to teach the faith.

Catholic schools are more necessary than ever at a time when children are being force-fed progressive ideologies — but parents are struggling to afford the tuition, and some of them are closing. And how can parents be sure that Catholic schools uphold the faith?

This third season of Religious Freedom Matters is devoted to the urgent topic of school choice. In the first episode, we hear a powerful message from Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane, Washington, chair of the USCCB’s Committee on Catholic Education.

“We need as many of our kids in Catholic schools as possible,” says Bishop Daly — “but we have to be honest that we have some Catholic schools that have lost their mission.” So they have to preach the authentic faith — and also resist the idea favored by some younger priests that we should be happy with “a smaller, purer Church.”

The bishop talks frankly about his time as a teacher in a Catholic high school in Marin County, California, which, he says, had “lost its way” to the point where some teachers “who claimed to be Catholic did everything to undermine the mission.” One of them was even reading tarot cards in class. Now — thanks partly to Bishop Daly, who became its president — it’s a flourishing faith-filled school that produces vocations.

The bishop’s conversation with me and my co-host, Joan Desmond of the National Catholic Register, is encouraging. He says he tells parents that Catholic schools’ ultimate aim is to get their sons and daughters into heaven — “but before that, we have to get them into a good college, and you can do both.”

Ivan Aivazovsky, “Walking on Water,” ca. 1890

10 Scripture Verses to Strengthen You in Hardship

“The witness of Scripture is unanimous that the solicitude of divine providence is concrete and immediate; God cares for all, from the least things to the great events of the world and its history. The sacred books powerfully affirm God's absolute sovereignty over the course of events …” (CCC 303)