BSM needs a Catholic curriculum

Regardless+of+a+student%27s+personal+opinion%2C+BSM+has+every+right+to+require+religion+classes

Colin Sheeley

Regardless of a student's personal opinion, BSM has every right to require religion classes

Week after week we hear the groans from fellow students, “Why do we have to go to mass today?,” or better yet, “I’m just skipping mass and coming late.” The irony of these complaints are not lost on us. As Catholic school students for 12 years and counting, we knew what we signed up for. We knew we were enrolling and paying for a Catholic, parochial high school when both our parents and we chose Benilde St. Margaret’s. With not only religion classes but also services scattered throughout the year, the Catholic faith is prevalent within the halls of BSM.

With this being said, we are tired of listening to ignorant arguments from students that believe religion classes and mass are a waste of their time. Sure, maybe you didn’t want to come here. Maybe your parents forced you to, maybe you ‘grew out’ of your faith, and maybe you wish you could take more ‘relevant’ classes instead of classes such as Christian Vocations. But why ruin the experience for everyone else? Personally, we like going to mass during the school day.

We’ll be the first to admit that we don’t always pay attention when we should be, or sing when it’s time to. But it’s a break where we can finally breathe, where we can dwell on whatever is going on that day and not be bombarded with tests or lessons while still living out our faith. However, with more than a few of our classmates missing from the all-school masses and the prevalent complaints within the student body, it takes away from what mass in the school day is all about.

The student body is not entirely made up of Catholics—we know that. The student body is not all self-identifying Christians. Furthermore, some of the student body do not even believe in a God. Yet more often than not, we hear students bash Benilde St. Margaret’s basic Christian values and the moral grounds on which it was founded on. As a student who came from a conservative, all-girls high school, I, Danielle, can first handedly tell you that Benilde St. Margaret’s is as liberal as Catholic schools come. With tolerance for all religions and people of all faiths, students are told they do not have to participate in the prayers said during the morning announcements or the masses held throughout the school year—yet they must respect them.

The Catholic church created Catholic schools with a purpose to evangelize the faith. So why would Benilde-St. Margaret’s not make all students take required religion classes? Otherwise, the curriculum would not follow what the Catholic church promotes. Even if you do not plan on becoming Catholic, Benilde-St. Margaret’s is––and always has been–– a Catholic school dedicated to the teachings of the church and the hope to extend the faith to others. These classes not only teach students a deeper understanding of their faith and allow them to question, but also teaches them simple morals that are the basis of a well-rounded society. Religion classes and masses teach the student body how to live a life following the Catholic values––whether or not they chose to continue to practice these is their choice.

We are not asking for a sudden change in how many students skip masses or participate in their religion classes—and we are certainly not expecting a lack of griping on mass days. However, Benilde-St. Margaret’s has every right to promote the Catholic faith and their teachings. All we are asking for is a little respect for the faith our Catholic school is based on and for the students who wish to practice these values.