February 2004

Congregation of Holy Cross 
Southern Province


Vol. 15, No. 2

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     Fr. Joe Tomei, Gina Hinojosa (a St. Ignatius parishioner), and Fr. John Korcsmar attended the I.A.F. Education Conference in Austin.  A carefully selected group of people came from I.A.F. organizations in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

    There was a brief history of the work of the organizations with the Alliance Schools.  Then there was a report of the changes in public schools since then, especially in regards to "school reform."  There is more and more time spend on taking tests and teaching to tests.  There is little time or energy for any kind of personal creativity, development of critical thinking.  It's all: drill, drill, drill.  Joseph Piepper (author of Leisure: the Basis of Culture) was heard rolling over in his grave.

    Public schools are under a lot of pressure these days.  In one respect, they are doing better than ever before.  There are more minority students graduating and in college.  Test scores are higher than ever before.  But in another respect, it doesn't matter.  Things have changed.

    It used to be that a student leaving school did not need much education to earn a good living.  In fact, prior to 1973, a student who remained in school and graduated would never recoup the money lost by not dropping out first.  That was true because there were plenty of higher-paying manufacturing jobs.  A student could leave high school and get a good job with benefits at a steel mill or auto assembly plant.  But those kinds of jobs are going overseas or do not pay what they once did.

    Now there are two kinds of job for those entering the workforce:

As if intended to make things worse, the kind of training that students are getting in schools--while helping them to deal with standardized testing--does not give them the chance to be truly educated: to have the ability to learn critical thinking, to be able to make judgments, etc.  These abilities are important for people to be able to be active citizens and persons who can grow in their faith.

The Bishop of Austin, Bishop Gregory Aymond, celebrated Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral on the celebration of the Day of Consecrated Life.  Religious priests, brothers, and sisters were all invited to the Mass, reception, and dinner.

Both Fr. Marin Hernández and Fr. John Korcsmar had Saturday afternoon Masses at Stony Point and at Dolores, but after Mass, they made it to the cathedral for the dinner.  There was a good representation of Holy Cross religious there: priests, brothers, and sisters--including the two novices from Colorado, Charles McCoy and Vincent Cuna.


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