Catholic School Closings Philadelphia

J. D. Mullane Why Catholic schools are closing?

Catholic schools are hanging on a thread of support by elderly faithful.

In 1961, the archdiocese had more than 250,000 students. Today, it has 68,000 — a 72 percent plummet.

Weekly church attendance in the archdiocese has cratered, from 80 percent in 1960 to about 15 percent today, according to the archdiocese’s October survey.

Just two percent of U.S. Catholics receive the Rite of Reconciliation (confession). And, despite 1.5 million members, baptisms in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have declined 42 percent since 1991.

Poor church attendance has hollowed parishes. It’s an open secret that buildings, grounds and vital ministries are maintained by a fraction of registered members, who are generally older.

One way to rebuild this is to make church more of a network to help people.  To find them jobs, to buy from each other’s businesses.   A key way to do that is to accurately signal reliability and quality.   Know each other’s work and promote those who are doing good work, have a good product, and are loyal.  Be an Ark of Skills and a Network in an Ark.

Teach and promote the skills that people need.   Try to make math, computers, and other subjects part of what is taught.  Incorporate them.   Have study groups during the week to use the facilities to teach and pass these on.  Be a hub.

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Re Catholic schools strive to meet challenges

Rev. Peter Weigand is the President of St. Anselm’s Abbey School in D.C. and a contributor to The Washington Post’s local faith leader network

We Catholic educators believe that all education is a means of finding God and that academic excellence gives a young mind the freedom to pursue God. This tradition goes all the way back to Pope Innocent IV (d.1254) who wrote: “Scripture and science should walk hand in hand with sanctity in the cloister schools, and this twofold light, while it serves to enlighten people, at the same time merits for monks an increase of glory in heaven.”

The Peano Axioms fit well with learning the Lord’s Prayer.  Both can be learned in first grade or even earlier.  The Peano Axioms are even easier than the Lord’s Prayer when rewritten for that purpose.


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Faith and a better tomorrow

When people have to worry about how they will get on, they go to sleep with faith.  They go on day to day with faith they will somehow manage.  Despite the difficulties of the times, personal or general.  Does this mean the days don’t exist?  No.

Having to get on by faith does not mean that the days don’t exist, or that tomorrow’s meal won’t come or shelter won’t be there.  Faith does not prove it is false or won’t happen.

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Causality and ordered pairs

Causality as a concept comes to us from the push.  We push something and it moves.  If we push a person, they react.  Cry. Push back.  Laugh.

We form an ordered pair of (push, move), (push, cry), (push, push back), (push, laugh).

In this case, more than one thing can happen from a push.  In math we call this a relation.

If we can restrict this indeterminacy by adding more data to the push, then we can get a single output for a single input.

This gives us the function.

Thus ordered pairs and functions can be understood as soon as we begin to understand pushing and causality from pushing.

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Can God be known from an axiom?

We have the 5 Peano Axioms for the natural numbers. The 5th axiom is the principle of induction.  If a set contains 0 and contains the successor of each natural number in it, then it contains all natural numbers.  This is a principle of proof.

What is the difference between saying the 5th axiom is a principle of proof and saying it is a principle of faith?

If proof is an axiom, then why can’t faith be an axiom?  Why is not a proof by the proof axiom equivalent to faith from the faith axiom?  Are they not parallel?

The proof axiom and the faith axiom are parallel.

Do we choose a system of axioms?  A system like the Peano Axioms is something we choose?  Or something that we accept?

Do we really go around choosing which math axioms we believe?  Or we just believe them?  In practice, we just believe them.

So they are axioms of faith.  They are convenient to human existence so we accept them?

So if the axiom of God or axiom of Faith is convenient to human existence, we accept them as well?

Numbers are on an equal footing as God?

Turn it around. We find that for the existence of the numbers, 0,1,2, etc. we need an axiom.   Do we then turn around and say because we need an axiom, we doubt numbers exist?  Not at all. We never doubt their existence.  So why do we not come to doubt them when we find their existence requires an axiom that can’t be proved?

Then why should we doubt God’s existence because we find it needs an axiom that must be proved?

We use number axioms because they are convenient to our knowledge of numbers.

So why do we not use a God axiom because it is convenient to our knowledge of the universe? Or of moral things?  Or moral practice?

Applications justify the number axioms?  I.e. works?

Then why don’t works justify the Faith Axiom?

Is it really a choice?  Do we really choose whether to believe the axioms of math?  Have we met a person who chooses not to believe them?

Is belief in God likewise determined for us?  By an act of Grace?

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Does the soul exist forever?

Descartes discusses the immortality of the soul and how we may know it.  See Synopsis of the Meditations in A Discourse on Methods.  This was published in 1641.

Even at single point in time, one might argue that the soul exists as a fact.  This is where a fact exists and exists forever or exists outside of time.   Wittgenstein in Tractatus defines the world as the collection of facts.

1 The world is all that is the case.
1.1 The world is the totality of facts, not of things.
1.11 The world is determined by the facts, and by their being all the facts.
1.12 For the totality of facts determines what is the case, and also whatever is not the case.
1.13 The facts in logical space are the world.
1.2 The world divides into facts.
1.21 Each item can be the case or not the case while everything else remains the same.


A sequence in time involves a transform.   Dedekind treats the natural numbers as governed by a successor function, i.e. pairs (n,n’).

Such a sequence can also stop.

However, even if it stops say at (100, 100′), each link still exists as a fact in the sense of Wittgenstein above.  These Wittgenstein facts exist forever, or exist outside of time. For Wittgenstein these are what make up the world.

Descartes also discusses truths of arithmetic such as two plus three is five.  Dedekind’s book was published in 1888.  This is 247 years after Descartes’ book.

The Dedekind book gives us a valuable perspective on what natural numbers mean and the definition of addition and proof of its properties.

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And Did Twelve White Christian men walk on the moon?

Did exactly 12 White Christian men walk on the moon?

I’ll take it as a Sign of God’s Will.

I wonder why the press does not report it?

Jerusalem the Hymn

And did those feet in modern time.
Walk upon lunar mountains grey:
And was the Holy Lamb of God,
On lunar pleasant sand dunes seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among Lefty dark Satanic shills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In New Englands green pleasant Land

William Blake

And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the Holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land



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