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INVEST IN ALL KIDS
The principal of St. Patrick's Catholic School says it will be able to survive without the Invest In Kids Scholarship Tax Credit Program, but wants the program to continue so they don't have to worry about survival ("St. Patrick's wants tax credits to continue," Sept. 14). We have public schools that struggle to make ends meet, but we should keep a program alive to allow private, religious-based schools to continue to make a profit?
If these schools are truly doing God's work and wish to be able to keep their doors open to all children, then they should do that. Money shouldn't be a factor. Most of these schools offer ways to save a few bucks on tuition by helping in the classroom; expand these programs and offer it to those in need first. Create a group that focuses on fundraising and helping those in need pay their tuition. Think how many kids could go to school off the money Sacred Heart-Griffin makes on their Mega Raffle – 4,500 tickets are sold at $100 and only about 25% of that is the prize money given away.
These schools chose to be tax-exempt and private, so they shouldn't be able to rely on tax dollars to stay open, or to ensure they continue to make a profit. These schools were developed to provide a religious education to those who can afford it, a pretty clear message to who they wish to have in their classrooms.
This program does not need to continue, and the state needs to focus on improving and funding its education system that is truly there for all kids, no matter their color or economic status.
After reading "Coming back to Mass" (Sept. 14), I'm again reminded of why I am no longer a practicing Catholic. I was baptized at St. Agnes and attended church every Sunday until I turned 18 and my mom no longer forced me to go. However, it was around middle school when I realized what they were teaching every Sunday was hateful and alienated a whole community, including some of my family members.
Instead of deciding to alter their Mass each week to be more appealing, the Springfield Diocese has instead decided to bribe parents of school members with the promise of paying less tuition for their children's education. I have not attended Mass in over 20 years, mostly due to our diocese's anti-LGTBQ+ views. Maybe instead of bribing parents they can just get rid of Bishop Paprocki and join the rest of the 21st century in becoming more inclusive.
I find it funny that Father Dan Bergbower said, "It's not about a money thing. It's just about a faith thing." If it really is about a faith thing, then be more welcoming to all people and stop with the hate.
ADDRESS THE CAUSE
Wouldn't it be better to determine why attendance is down at Mass and address the cause? Coercion may work in the short term, but the seeds of resentment may yield a bitter harvest down the road.
The Catholic church is a private enterprise and it can set its own rules. Don't like it, leave. Also, parents are not forced to donate money to the church, just attend.