FEW OF US would deny that our Catholic public schools are making a valuable contribution to education and many would deplore their closure purely for ideological reasons.
It is not unreasonable to assume that once the independent sector is closed. the next logical step will be to close the voluntary sector.
However, what surprises many lay people is that some religious orders feel it necessary to concentrate their apostolate in education preponderantly on public and independent schools.
With due respect to Father O'Connor, what is to stop a religious order 'building a school community around a religious community' in the aided sector?
in view of the shortage of effective priestly ministry in so many of our aided schools, could not these orders accept as of secondary importance, 'what we want to do in education' — to quote Father O'Connor — and apply themselves to the demanding needs of the Church's ork outside the narrow confines of the Private school system.
Many religious are finding ordination to the priesthood hard to reconcile with a ministry devoted almost exclusively to the socially privileged.
It would he interesting to know how religious in the independent sector have come to terms with this dilemma, Peter Eckersley Headmaster Christ the King School Stamford Road Southport Merseyside