Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Sister Maureen Fitzgerald, principal of St. Rita School in Hamden, talks with Betsy and Ronald Bathrick and three of their children, from left,  Raechel and twins Rylee and Reaghan. Click here to enlarge. (Photo by Mary Chalupsky)

HARTFORD – Thanks to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, hundreds of families with children in elementary schools have received tuition assistance that keeps their dream of providing a Catholic education for their children alive.

As families struggle with the current economic crisis, job loss and stressed budgets, financial assistance is becoming increasingly important.

"It’s greatly, greatly appreciated," said Betsy Bathrick, who, with her husband Ronald, have sent five of their children to St. Rita School in Hamden, including two who now are in college.

"Catholic education is a wonderful thing; but at times when money is tight, it can be a hardship," she said.

"But we can’t say enough good about the school and about the benefits of a Catholic education for our children," she continued. "It’s extremely important to us, and we can see the benefits it provides for our children that last a lifetime."

Last year, the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal provided $15,000 in assistance to each of the Archdiocese’s 56 parish schools, with awards averaging $500 per student. There are 12,770 students enrolled in the archdiocesan elementary schools.

For families enrolling more than one child, at an average tuition of $3,129 per student, the assistance becomes even more meaningful.

"The need for financial assistance is increasing, especially with the economy and the growing number of people being laid off," said Dale R. Hoyt, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese. "Yet, many families remain committed to giving their children a Catholic education."

Mr. Hoyt noted that the tuition assistance program, which began under the direction of Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, is "extremely rare" among Catholic dioceses. He said its existence underscores the Archbishop’s deep commitment to Catholic education.

"The tuition assistance program," along with other scholarships, grants and parish support programs, "gives every school in the Archdiocese an opportunity to provide financial assistance," he said.

School officials see a clear benefit from helping parents with tuition costs.

"It’s absolutely important to be able to provide tuition assistance," said Carol Schweitzer, principal of St. Ann School in Milford. "For many, it makes all the difference in being able to send them to a Catholic school."

Sister Maureen Fitzgerald, principal of St. Rita School, agreed. "Many families wouldn’t be able to afford Catholic education without the tuition assistance," said Sister Maureen, who is a member of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Even though it may not seem like a lot of money, she noted, "parents are encouraged by the fact that somebody recognized their need and offered to help them – often giving them a boost to say, ‘Let me see what more I can do.’"

In a thank-you letter to Mr. Hoyt, a mother of children at St. Francis School in New Haven acknowledged the family’s financial struggle to keep their children enrolled, but added, "It would be heartbreaking to our children if they had to go to another school.

"When you…ask them, ‘How was your day?’ and they all try to speak over each other because they are excited and happy, they had a good day," she wrote, then "these are some of the rewards that help us know we’ve made the right choice to send our children to a Catholic school."

Similarly, Scott Nugent, a parent of three boys at St. Rita School, noted, "We have a new 30 million-dollar public school within walking distance. So for my wife and me, it’s a real commitment to send our children to St. Rita’s.

"We understand how important it is to make tuition assistance available to as many people as possible," said Mr. Nugent.

"The appeal does so much for so many," he continued, "but, for us, it helps with the Catholic education of our children, which is important to us. We feel committed to the Church; plus with three boys, I would do whatever I could to foster a vocation."

For some families, providing a Catholic education is the continuation of a legacy.

"We believe that providing a Catholic education for our sons is a valuable and important commitment," said Robert and Lisa Wiecki, whose sons attend Sacred Heart School in New Britain, in a thank-you note to Mr. Hoyt. The financial assistance received, Mrs. Wiecki said, "allows us to continue to send them to a school that both my husband and I attended 20 years ago."

 

Events Calendar

September 2014
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
12:00 AM
Archbishop O'Brien Library , Bloomfield, United States
The Archbishop O’Brien Library will participate in a community-based project with Life Choice Donor Services, a non-profit organ procurement organization, during September, to raise awareness for organ [...]
Date :  September 01, 2014
2
3
4
06:00 PM
Hartford Club, Hartford, Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – The House of Bread, one of the area’s largest urban ministries, will kick off its 35th [...]
Date :  September 04, 2014
5
6
09:00 AM
Caritas Christi Center, Hamden, Hamden, United States
“Empowering Catholic Social Justice Teachings through Gospel Living, Every Day, Every Way’ is the title of a Catechist Day presentation to be given by Father Chris Tiano, director of the Office of [...]
09:00 AM
“Empowering Catholic Social Justice Teachings through Gospel Living, Every Day, Every Way’ is the title of a Catechist Day presentation to be given by Father Chris Tiano, director of the Office of [...]
Date :  September 06, 2014
7
02:00 PM
Cathedral of St. Joseph, Hartford, Hartford, United States
08:00 AM
Academy of the Holy Family's Dining Hall, Sprague, United States
The Baltic Knights of Columbus will have a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 7 at the Academy of the Holy Family’s Dining Hall at 54 W. Main St., Baltic.  Pancakes, French [...]
11:30 AM
St. Rita Day Care Center, Hamden, Hamden, United States
St. Rita Parish in Hamden will celebrate its 50th anniversary with an outdoor Mass at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 7 [...]
Date :  September 07, 2014
8
9
10
11
07:00 PM
St. Lawrence O'Toole Church, Hartford, Hartford, United States
People from the English, Spanish and Portuguese Cursillo communities will be among the congregants at a multicultural Cursillo Mass that will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at St. Lawrence O’Toole [...]
Date :  September 11, 2014
12
03:00 PM
St. Anthony Maronite Catholic Church, Springfield, Springfield, United States
The Archdiocese of Hartford will host a one-day pilgrimage to St. Anthony Maronite Catholic Church in [...]
Date :  September 12, 2014
13
09:00 AM
Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, Bloomfield, United States
A workshop titled "Building Intercultural Competence in Our Parishes" will be presented from 9 a.m. to [...]
10:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield Shrine, Litchfield, United States
BRANFORD – The St. Mary Ladies Guild is planning a Day of Pilgrimage and Prayer on Sept. 13 at the [...]
10:30 AM
Mortensen Riverfront Park, Hartford, Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – Immaculate Conception Shelter & Housing Corp. will have its third annual “Give Me [...]
Date :  September 13, 2014
14
08:30 AM
Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Waterbury, Waterbury, United States
WATERBURY – Sheridan Council 24 of the Knights of Columbus will host its second annual Communion [...]
Date :  September 14, 2014
15
16
17
18
19
06:00 PM
Church of St. Ann, Avon, Avon, United States
St. Ann's Church of Avon is having its fifth annual clothing sale from 6-8:30 p.m. Sept. 19 and from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 20 in Father Bennett Hall at the parish. Proceeds benefit students [...]
Date :  September 19, 2014
20
08:30 AM
Church of St. Ann, Avon, Avon, United States
St. Ann's Church of Avon is having its fifth annual clothing sale from 6-8:30 p.m. Sept. 19 and from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 20 in Father Bennett Hall at the parish. Proceeds benefit students [...]
10:00 AM
St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, Bristol, United States
St. Paul Catholic High School open houses at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Sept. 20,  7 p.m. Oct. 8 and at 10 and [...]
Date :  September 20, 2014
21
11:00 AM
Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, United States
Applications are being accepted for the 2014 Catholic Youth Spectacular (CYS), set for Sept. 21 on the [...]
Date :  September 21, 2014
22
23
11:00 AM
Wampanoag Country Club, West Hartford, West Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – The 22nd annual Archbishop John F. Whealon Memorial Golf Tournament will take place Sept. 23 [...]
Date :  September 23, 2014
24
06:00 PM
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Hamden , Hamden, United States
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Hamden will have its monthly Pro-Life Holy Hour Novena from 6-7 p.m. September 24.The Holy Hour will include exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, pro-life rosary, [...]
Date :  September 24, 2014
25
26
27
09:30 AM
Holy Angels Parish Center, South Meriden, Meriden, United States
MERIDEN – The Meriden-Wallingford Council of Catholic Women will sponsor a catered breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 27 at Holy Angels Parish Center in South Meriden. Guest speaker Deacon Thomas J. Davis [...]
Date :  September 27, 2014
28
01:00 PM
Polish-American Club, West Haven, United States
NEW HAVEN – St. Stanislaus Parish will have its annual picnic/harvest festival from 1-8 p.m. Sept. 28, rain or shine, at the Polish-American Club at 194 W. Spring St., West Haven. Polish and [...]
Date :  September 28, 2014
29
30

Login Form

Copyright © 2014 The Catholic Transcript Online