Que Alguien Abre La Puerta: Opening the Doors of Catholic Schools to Hispanic Catholics (Season 3 — Ep. 3)
Nearly half of U.S. Catholics are Hispanic — so why don’t more families send their children to Catholic schools? Expert Lucia Luzondo talks to Religious Freedom Matters.
In the 1950s, Hispanics made up 5% of U.S. Catholics. Now, the figure is close to 50% — and more than half of those are under the age of 18. So why are only 2.6% of students in our Catholic schools from the Hispanic community? In this episode of Season 3 of Religious Freedom Matters, Joan Desmond and I talk to Catholic attorney, theologian and broadcaster Lucia Luzondo, an expert on Hispanic ministry who hosts a popular Spanish-language radio show on EWTN with her husband, Ricardo.
What has gone wrong? Money is a huge problem, of course: The Spanish-speaking parents of these children can’t afford to send them to America’s Catholic schools and don’t even know that school choice could help them do so. Luzondo wants to change that situation. As she tells us, for Hispanic parents who do send their children to Catholic schools, pastoral and social support has been a “lifesaving grace” during the pandemic.
That’s why Luzondo, confronted by daunting social problems in the Latino community, is determined to increase awareness of Catholic education. As she points out, many Hispanic parents have been scandalized to discover that their children are being taught secularist dogma in public schools. If those children can attend parochial schools instead, there’s an added benefit: American Hispanic families can hold on to and develop their Catholic identity, which is under assault from so many directions. And the schools themselves will lose their reputation as a refuge for the white middle class and once again become a resource for the entire Catholic community. There is no time to lose. As Luzondo notes, demographic statistics clearly show that “the future of the Catholic Church has a Hispanic face.”