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It would not, however, be dealing fairly with this subject if, after showing the interdependence of college and school, we should add no word as to the mode of adjusting their relations. If a manifold responsibility rests on the parochial school as a preparation for the coilege, it is obvious to ask how this responsibility can be met, or how the school can best enter into cooperation with the other factors in our system. Here of course one naturally thinks of the frame-work-of the course of studies, the number of grades, the hours for each subject-and all this is doubtlessly important. Or again one has in mind the qualifications of the teacher and the distribution of work in special departments-questions assuredly that cannot be too thoroughly considered. But back of all these, though certainly dependent on them in many respects, lies the question as to how the teaching shall be carried on. While a due succession and continuity of subjects are required, and while a mutual understanding as to their respective limits is necessary, it is even more necessary that college and school should reach an agreement regarding methods by which education as a whole and the teaching of the several subjects can be most effectually conducted. Now these methods, so far as they are sound, are simply the application of certain underlying principles drawn from the sciences of life and mind. Once we have learned how life, organic and mental, develops, we are in a position to understand on what basis educational methods are to be harmonized. We know that in the living germ the several organs are potentially present and that they are developed by a proportionate growth. We find, not that brain or heart or eye advances alone to its final form and awaits the tardier growth of other parts, but rather that by an evenly progressing differentiation, the several structures appear and take on their appropriate functions. In proportion, moreover, to the development of structure and activity, new relations with the environment are formed, new materials are assimilated, new modes of reaction are manifested; but throughout, the same law of adaptation to actual and growing needs is observed, and whenever that law is interfered with, arrest of development inevitably results.
Analogous to this natural process is the work of education. Our aim is not merely to see that just so many subjects of study are offered the child, nor that, having completed the one he shall now enter upon the next. Our criterion is not the logical sequence which appeals to the mind at maturity, but rather the psychological relation determined by the nature of the mind itself. Succession there must be—not, however, of a mechanical sort, but of the sort that supplies precisely what is needed in quality and quantity at each stage of development and enables the mind to pass on through its own activity to the next higher stage.
On this basis, the ideal relation between school and college would imply that from the very beginning of his school life, the child shall be trained by methods which, on a scale proportioned to his needs, are in principle identical with those which later on the college will apply. The school is not called on to anticipate the work of the college any more than the college work is expected to take up what the university does. The essential thing is that each lesson in the school be given in such a way as to provide those structural and functional elements which, with proper treatment in subsequent periods, will attain their full development in variety and power.
Evidently, then, the most arduous task in all education, is that which falls to the lot of the elementary school. For its accomplishment a deep insight into the laws of mental life is the first requisite; but there is also needed, to accomplish it well, a clear conception of the methods adopted and pursued in collegiate training. These, again, unquestionably, are susceptible of improvement, and we may be sure that the colleges themselves are eager for the better things. But any modification that is to be useful, and particularly any change that is far-reaching in its effects, should be the outcome of mutual understanding, of joint deliberation and action, on the part of school and college together. As I now see the situation, I am persuaded that no measure would advance our common interests more efficaciously than a careful study and a prudent adjustment of the methods that are followed from the lowest of our schools to the highest.
But of methods and method-making there is no end-just as there is no end of reforms and tendencies and movements. Clearly, we must make a choice, and for the choosing we need a standard. Have we, then, within our reach, in other words, within the range of Christian education, in its source, its history or its present agencies any guidance or irreproachable example ? Is there any record of a teaching by methods that are absolutely secure in their principle and that have been adequately tested in their application ?
The reply, I am sure, takes definite shape in each of your minds. We have come to realize that in the teaching which the Gospel presents us there is not only sublimity of truth and morality without equal, but also a perfection of method which no merely human wisdom can ever attain. And when we speak of Jesus Christ as the greatest of all teachers, we imply with all reverence that He is the supreme exemplar on which our own work, according to our capacity, should be modeled. Furthermore, it is plain that the Church, in imparting to mankind the truths of salvation, employs those methods which are most thoroughly in accord with the nature and the needs of the human mind. In the sacramental system, the liturgy, each detail of the ritual, each item of adornment added to the material edifice where we worship, the Church observes, and for centuries has observed, the great laws which psychology is just trying to formulate—the appeal to sense, the use of symbols, imitation, expression and the principle of learning by doing-all are her ordinary methods.
These things we know and appreciate; but note the consequence for the subject we have in hand. The pastor is the regularly appointed agency by which the Church carries on her teaching; the sanctuary is his school; and every liturgical act which he performs in accordance with the spirit and prescription of the Church is a lesson imparted by the most effective of methods. He has only to analyze his own action and bring into clear consciousness the principles it involves in order to see that he must pay attention to psychological method, because, as a priest, he is continually putting it into practice. He has but to convince himself that the same methods hold good for the entire work of education in order to secure the standard that is needed.
From this point of view we might well be justified in revising the title of this paper; we might quite properly speak of "the pastor as educator.” For such in truth he is. He is not merely connected with, or interested in, education; his daily and hourly ministrations make him, in a very literal sense, a teacher with the most vital knowledge to impart and the most perfect methods of imparting it. So far now as we may be able to extend these methods to other subjects, and thereby secure unity in our teaching, we must count upon the experience and the earnest cooperation of the pastor to make our endeavors successful. We now recognize the necessity of making religion the center of all education, of employing the same principles and methods in intellectual, moral and religious training. What could be more natural than to enlist and put to the best advantage the cooperation of that teacher who, more than any one else, is the authorized exponent of the methods which the Church herself employs ?
Our appeal to the pastor, therefore, is not any request that he shall go aside from his official position and its duties to seek out new policies or to inform his work with a new spirit. He can be most helpful to us, if, in the use of his authority as head of the parochial school, he will keep before his own mind and before the mind of those who labor with him in teaching, the central purpose for which this Association exists, and if he will extend to the whole Catholic system the care which he directly feels for the organization of his school and his solicitude for those salutary methods which he is constantly applying in the name of the Church and of Christ. With such a spirit on his part, there will not only be cooperation, but there will also result a system of Christian education in the true sense of the word; for it will be, like the Church herself, a system animated by the spirit of Christ, fashioned upon His teaching, and carrying over from the school to college, university and social life, in unbroken sequence, the lessons which the Master taught.
DISCUSSION. Very Rev. F. A. O'Brien, Kalamazoo, Mich.: I certainly deem it a great privilege to congratulate the distinguished head of the Catholic University on giving us this great paper, and I think I express the sentiment of the entire gathering in thanking him sincerely. Nothing else could be expected from the distinguished prelate of the great University. It is a pity that we cannot have the University brought more closely and more fre
quently before our pupils of the lower grades. A distinguished professor of the University only a short time ago entered a parish school of 300 children where the pastor thought they were pretty well up, and yet very few knew anything about the Catholic University. I would respectfully suggest that the Catholic University put into every parochial school a picture or something of that description as a constant reminder to the children, even of the lower grades, that there is such an institution. If we are to have the parochial schools a great success, we must cooperate with the Catholic University.
To my mind, it would be a great benefit for the entire school system of this country, if a bureau or department could be established at the Catholic University, whereby examination papers could be sent out to every school throughout the United States, in a manner similar to the regent system in New York. It would bring us in closer connection with the great center of learning which the public expects to be the head of all Christian education' in this country. It would be of great benefit to each parochial school, for there would be some system about our examinations, which they sadly need at the present time.
I do not know that we should add one word of comment upon the excellent paper; however, there are a few statements in connection with it which may be called to the attention of the assembly. I think a distinction might be made between a Catholic school and a parochial school. It seems to me that there are a number of schools that are Catholic schools but are not parochial schools, and I would describe them as schools conducted by religious wherein the priests are not welcome. If we are to have parochial schools, it is necessary that the pastor be the heart and center of the school, otherwise it is not a parochial school. There are schools where the pastors are criticized, where they are made little of, either on account of their old fogy ways or something of that description. It would be better that they were not in existence. We want love of the priest fostered in every parochial school, because it has been well said that the priest is the heart of the school. The priest is the authorized teacher, and love must be fostered for him. Show him that he is welcome. Where this is not done we certainly do away with the very essential which is necessary in every parochial school. Always have a kind word for the pastor. The Lord knows he has troubles enough, more than many can imagine. Parochial schools foster a feeling of reverence, love, kindness for the pastor. For this reason feast days should be celebrated, not because the pastor wants it, but in order to foster in children that love which should be in their hearts. Very frequently you will find institutions and teachers where they wil: hold up the pastor as a bugbear to the children. “If you are guilty of this or that, I will send you to the pastor.” The priest should not be a punishing agent until every other means of governing is exhausted. Let us try to foster love and affection for him so that children may go to him