Monday, October 3, 2011

Why Are More Catholic Families Sending Their Children To Louisiana Tech

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine. She noted that her neighbor , who attends my parish, could not to Mass in town so they went to Ruston where Louisiana Tech is located. Afterwards they took out their niece who is attending school there out for lunch.

He noted how warm and welcoming the Parish was which is of course connected with the Louisiana Tech Catholic Center both of which are practically on campus.

I can attest to that since Louisiana Tech is where I became a Catholic and the St Thomas Aquinas Parish was a great part of my life.

The only drawback was the Church (the physical plant) which I believe was rebuilt in that period of "interesting" post Vatican II architecture. As one Catholic English Professor informed me when they first came to town they thought they had went to the wrong location because it looked like a funeral home. But I digress.

Going back to this conversation the man told my friend a interesting point. That there appears to be a major upswing of South Louisiana Catholic parents that send their Children to Louisiana Tech because it has a more protective atmosphere. He then proceeded list off quite a list of family names from just the town he was from that are sending their kids to Louisiana Tech.

For those outside Louisiana reading this post Louisiana Tech is the Diocese of Shreveport and is the most Protestant, Evangelical Baptist etc of the Louisiana Dioceses.

I certainly hope , and I expect Bishop Duca is aware of this. Bishop Duca has a past of being associated with campus ministry and I expect to see him be a continued supporter. However beside Bishop DUCA I hope that the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops is aware of this.

Besides Louisiana Tech the Diocese of Shreveport also supports an important Campus Ministry operation at Grambling and especially ULM in Monroe that meet the religious needs of many people thats main connection to the Diocese is they are just happening to attend school here for 4 or 5 years and who proceed to leave after that. . In other words the Diocese of Shreveport which is the least Catholic of all the Dioceses is handling the load for a sizable number of Louisiana Catholics outside the Diocese. All with limited resources.

I bring up this point to mention that dreaded word. That is "Second collection". I have always thought the Louisiana Catholic Bishops should have a more "Louisiana Baptist State Convention" view of campus ministry. That is the Louisiana Baptist have a very Statewide coordinated view of the matter. With kids from other Dioceses attending Catholic student centers in other Diocese this makes sense. This of course involves more than money but money does help.

I do think it would be extremely helpful if the Louisiana Catholic Bishops had a WELL PROMOTED second collection for Louisiana Campus Ministry as a whole. Maybe even take the lead in trying to help supplement that funding in other areas too by bring attention to this vital part of the Church. Who knows perhaps if we did we might be on the road of seeing the unbelievable success that happens at the Texas A & M. The Catholic student center at Texas A & M among other things is producing an amazing amount of vocations to the Priesthood and religious life.

Anyway I found that conversation interesting and if you are a Catholic Tech Alumni consider perhaps making a donation to the Louisiana Tech Catholic Student Center. It is serving a vital need.

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