February 04, 2013
Tuition Free Catholic Schools
A story of stewardship, Catholic education, and the vocational blessings flowing from a commitment to Catholic education.
The stewardship model which funds Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wichita has blessed the local Church with numerous priestly and religious vocations, the diocesan superintendent of schools said.
“Combined with the intensive daily formation in faith that our students receive in our Catholic schools, the spirituality of stewardship and the constant interplay between family and parish motivates young people to see their choice of vocation to be an act of stewardship in responding to God’s call,” Bob Voboril told CNA Jan. 30.
“Because the stewardship way of life has been instilled so strongly into our families and students, our families are active members and leaders in their parishes.”
The largely rural diocese with a mere 114,000 Catholics currently boasts 46 seminarians. Voboril noted that the openness to God's will in Wichita's young people can be seen as a natural effect of their parents' generosity in supporting His Church.
The Wichita diocese provides tuition-free enrollment in its schools to the children of active parishioners, through its vigorous model of stewardship.
Under Bishop Eugene Gerber, the diocese adopted its stewardship model in 1985. By giving generously to the diocese, families were able to send their children to the diocese's elementary schools for free.
The model started at St. Francis of Assisi parish under Monsignor Thomas McGread in 1968. He challenged his parishioners to each give at least 5 percent of their income to the parish so that all its obligations would be met.
He later pushed for 8 percent donations to the parish, saying he could then pay for all the students to attend Catholic high school.
After the model was adopted throughout the diocese, schools continued to expand and to be financially stable, and since 2002 every Catholic school in the Diocese of Wichita has been tuition-free for active parishioners. Wichita's 38 schools educate nearly 11,000 students, forming them to be disciples of Christ.
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HT: Maria Scaperlanda
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