Very soon it will be the time of year when parents begin applying to the local Catholic Schools for admissions in the next academic year. For both Primary and Secondary applications this requires the reference of the Parish Priest. The Governors of our Schools are diligent in the way they apply the admissions criteria in each case. Priority is given to those candidates who are from practising Catholic families. The definition of a practising Catholic can be seen in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.“117 "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day."118
2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.
2182 Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God’s holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Obviously being a practising Catholic is more than simply attending Holy Mass on Sunday; it involves a whole lifestyle in conformity with the Gospel and Catholic teaching. This pattern of practise is taken into account when an application for School is presented to the Parish Priest and will be challenged if there is a discrepancy. Furthermore, this practise of the Faith will be viewed over a period of time and not just the weeks prior to an application. Parish Priests may also look at the date of Baptism in the case of Primary School applications, noting those children who have been Baptised soon after birth as compared to those Baptised with proximity to school age. This is a matter of justice to all involved in applying for places in our Schools. Our schools are often oversubscribed and in order to be fair, preference will justly be given to those who live and practise the Faith as well as who contribute to the life of the Church through the various ways in which that support is given.
Please submit any application forms for signing to Fr Kevin during the month of October only, after Sunday Mass.