MISSION STATEMENT: “Parents working together to strengthen and support Catholic high school education that is faithful to all of the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
Click here for a downloadable description of Campus Fidei
Campus Fidei is a movement of Catholic parents seeking complete and accurate instruction in the Roman Catholic faith in Catholic schools. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children (CCC 2223).” As such, it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure their children are being educated, both at home and at school, in the authentic Catholic faith.
Catholic schools also bear a special responsibility when it comes to the proper catechesis of children with whom they have been entrusted. Canon Law states that “the instruction and education in a Catholic school must be grounded in the principles of Catholic doctrine; teachers are to be outstanding in correct doctrine and integrity of life (Can. 803 §2).”
A mountain of evidence demonstrates that there is a crisis of faith in today’s American Catholic Church. A recent Pew research poll reported:
- Only 4 out of 10 U.S. Catholics attend Mass at least once a week,
- Just 15% of U.S. Catholics say that using contraceptives is morally wrong,
- Half of U.S. Catholics overall (51%) say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and
- About half of U.S. Catholics support same-sex marriage.
In her book, Forming Intentional Disciples, Sherry Weddell systematically outlines some of the problems facing today’s American Church:
- Only 30 percent of Americans who were raised Catholic are still practicing (p. 24).
- 10 percent of all adults in America are ex-Catholics (p. 25).
- Nearly 80 percent of those who have dropped the name “Catholic” and claim no religious affiliation of any kind, have done so by age 23 (p. 33).
- In the early 21st century, among Americans raised Catholic, becoming Protestant is the best guarantee of stable church attendance as an adult (p. 35).
- The majority of adult Catholics are not even certain that a personal relationship with God is possible (p. 46)
Catholic schools and publishers have not been unaffected by the culture which is responsible for these problems. In 2003, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Catechesis reported “we have not been able to grant a declaration of conformity to any one complete high school series from any of the major publishers whose texts are most frequently used in this country” and that “close to two-thirds of the conformity reviews conducted on high school catechetical materials have ended with the judgment that the materials were not only inadequate for conformity, but also could not be amended and therefore needed to be rewritten.” While the situation has improved since 2003 and the USCCB now publishes a list of approved texts, the situation is indicative of the effect of the culture across broad sectors of our landscape.
In addition to curriculum problems, lay persons have replaced most religious persons in Catholic education over the past 20 years. Most Catholic school teachers are well-intentioned and do-their-best to pass on the faith to students. But like most Catholics, many teachers were poorly catechized. Canon law states that the local bishop “has the right to appoint or approve teachers of religion and even to remove them or demand that they be removed if a reason of religion or morals requires it (Can. 805).” However, experience has shown local bishops rarely intervene in the affairs of Catholic school staffing.
In the end, it is ultimately up to parents to ensure their children are receiving the appropriate catechesis in their Catholic schools. Catholic Fidei seeks to help parents by working collaboratively with both Catholic school staff, priests and the local diocese.
ABOUT OUR LOGO
Campus Fidei means “field of faith” – it was taken from Pope Francis’ address at the 2013 World Youth Day.
The field represents the good soil in which we seek to sow the seeds of our children’s Catholic education.
The wheat represents the bountiful harvest we hope for our children’s lifelong Catholic faith.
The stormy sky represents the troubling times in which we are trying to raise faithful Catholic children.
The rainbow and the cross represent the hope we hold as Catholics in Christ and his Church.