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catholic school memories
 
...maybe this is an old topic, but i'm new to this site...does anyone have any good/bad/ugly catholic school memories??! it wasn't until i transferred to public school in grade 9 that i realized everyone did NOT go to confession!!
- leta 1962

  Replies:

1. Re: catholic school memories - R.Ranke 1954
-and it wasn't until I started public school in grade 9 that I saw that no one had to dress up all the time for classes and there were no uniforms.

The Catholic school I went to from grades 1 through 8 had religon as the first lesson every day.For the first few years,the teachers would tell us stories about God and Jesus...or,when it was time for First Communion,we'd have to learn the Ten Comandments,the Sacraments,etc.Our school was right next to the church,and we would have to go to church once a week during schooldays-or at times,every day.

Of the 16 different teachers I had those years,10 of them were nuns.There were 5 different principals,all nuns.

We also learned that the Roman Catholic Religon is the true religon.

1.Bring on the Levi's and the peasant blouses ! - AstringOfPoloponies 1959
I hear ya ! In ninth grade, I wore Levi jeans and army pants every day ! Talk about letting loose !Even platform shoes ~ it was 1973.

The nun principles we had were cool - we had Sr. Assumpta, than Sister Edyth and than Sister Christine. Christine was nice to me but she used to go into a classroom and tell the kids that if they didn't shut up, she would kill them !LOL.

2.Re: catholic school memories - Tom N 1961
Welcome to the site, leta...my name is Tom, and I'm a fellow survivor! I attended Catholic schools from 1st grade through high school. Let's see...

GOOD MEMORIES:

Sister Jean Louise, my second grade teacher. A veritable saint who set the standard for "nice" nuns that few I had after could match.

Christmas-time...the only time I really WANTED to go to mass.

The Stations of the Cross...Most of the kids hated this ritual, but I found it fascinating.

Playing soccer, kick-ball, softball, and "Maul ball" on the huge field we had behind my elementary school.

BAD:

Sister Anacetus, my 8th grade teacher. Mean, nasty, vindictive, and older than dirt. We used to joke that she served drinks at the Last Supper. An "old school" nun, she wore the full habit, so that the only bare skin of her's you ever saw were here hands and her face...which was probably a blessing. Fond of hair-pulling and knuckle-rapping, I once saw her actually break a kid's fingers.

Confession...was anything more terrifying?

Uniforms...In elementary school: white shirt, charcoal-grey "slacks", and a too-wide, ugly-@ss striped grey necktie. But even that was better than 1st & 2nd grade, where the boys had to wear bright red bow-ties.

UGLY:

See Sister Anacetus



1. Oooooo, Tom ! - AstringOfPoloponies 1959
Sister Anacetus ~ even the name sounds lethal ! LOL !

The weirdest one at my school was a sister Emily. I never had her, but my sister did. One day (this was when the Pill first became widely used) Sr. Emily made the class (my sister's class) each tell her what form of birth control their parents used ! This was in the eighth grade. My sister just said she didn't know, but my mother threw a fit. This nun also didn't allow the boys boots next to the girl's boots lined up in the hall way - they had to be separate and far from each other. She was a real character.

1. Re: Oooooo, Tom ! - Wotan 1966
"Oh yes, Tom! Right there! OHHHH YES!"
Hee hee
I couldn't resist.

I can't believe I never equated Catholic nuns with Emporer Palpatine before.

"I'm looking forward to completing your catechism, young Skywalker."

"If you will not learn, you will be DETAINED!"

I had a few nuns that fit the crotchety profile, but by and large it was the lay teachers who were poopy. They made my sentence at St. Retard's (St. Rita's) a living hell.

But I'll dwell on the sunnier side. There was Brother Bechner at Bishop Kearney HS. He just plain rocked! Not only was he a superlative English teacher, but he related well to students and was adept at telling off color jokes.

I missed a bunch of school due to illness and had to make up math tests after school in Bro. Bechner's room. I was a Freshman sitting in the back of the room taking my math test and he was up front with a bunch of seniors just chewing the fat and joking:

"...then there's the book 'A Thousand Haiwaiian Children by Kamanahwannaleya.'"

"I want this guy as my teacher," I thought.

I got my wish my Junior and Senior year. Bro Bechner was 6'2 or 3 and just plain big, not fat but big. I only saw him angry a few times. You did NOT want to be on the business end of his wrath!

Our principal, the overweight Bro Walsh, would teach religion in order to hear himself talk dirty. One day after there'd been a tremor in the Rochester area early that morning Bro. Walsh in his chubby glory decided to pick on red haired Paul Hamilton as we were all filing into religion class:

"So, uh Paul, I felt the tremors this morning. Were you jerking off?"

"No Brother, I thought you were doing jumping jacks."

Brother Walsh just had to concede defeat right there and stood with his lips moving slightly. It was a Kodak moment.

3. Re: catholic school memories - AstringOfPoloponies 1959
I have a million of them . I too went from K - 8 to a catholic school (that was 1964 - 1973 when there were no child protection laws !)

Talk about confession...this memory always cracks me up ! We had rehersals for confession in the second grade. My best friend at that time, Karen T., just didn't seem to get it, though. When it was her turn to go through the motions of confession, she spoke out loudly in the confessional. We were all laughing hysterically. She said, "Bless me father, for I have sinned, this is my first confession. I killed seven ants. I stepped on my cat's tail." We all were saying stuff like we lied or disobeyed our parents - the standard fare... but with Karen yelling her confession and the colorful sins , we just laughed a lot.

Oh, I hated The Stations of the Cross ! I remember feeling so upset and sad having to go through each step, almost like re-living it. It was too dark for a child, I believe and repetitive.

The best things were when we did shows,plays, singing.And the candy we had to sell back in those days was so delicious. Turtles, peanut brittle in cans , a large chocolate Easter egg with coconut in the middle. Did you also have butter lambs ? The nuns made butter in the shape of lambs at Easter time.

1. "Ladies and gentlemen, step right up..." - Wotan 1966
"..and see the HUMAN SINNERS! Only .25, the quarter part of a dollar! Thrill as a ten year old unburdens his soul from his crimes against humanity. Gasp as you hear their confessing to using the 'f-word'. Choke in horror as they describe the discovery of the intimate side of their gender!"


I preferred the face to face more relaxed confession as opposed to the confessional. I once confessed to Fr. Murphy in one of those "telesin booths" and he was like a rabid Pit Bull on the other side of the screen.

"Forgive me Father, for I have sinned."

" *rowwwr* *snap* How long since your last *RAAARK* *snap-snap* *growl* confession? *snort*"

The whole confession was like that. I'm sure I got absolution just by kneeling through that. At the very least I was traumatized!

I hated The Stations of the Cross because they took so long. In kindergarten we did them at the end of the day while kneeling on our little carpet shards. Many times I could see my mom sitting across the street in her VW Bug waiting for me. I was always afraid she was going to leave me because the Stations were taking forever!


4. Re: catholic school memories - Tyler77 1972
Sister Catherine would get on the PA system at the start of each day and rattle off events that were happening at the school (bake sales, communion practice), and would start by hollering "SIT AT YOUR DESKS! FEET FLAT ON THE FLOOR!" One time during a snowstorm she announced over the intercom that school would be dismissed early, and of course, everyone began cheering...she then hollered "SHUTUP..I CAN HEAR YOU CHEERING!" Sister Margaret taught science, and once she admitted that when she was in college, she left in the middle of an experiment, and went to a bar and got drunk like no one's business. Then she returned to the lab and dumped her experiment down the drain.

5. Re: catholic school memories - heyabbott - still looking for my mind 1963
I went to Catholic school from kindergarten to grade 10. In elementary school we did not have to wear uniforms, but we couldn't wear jeans. The principal's name was Sister Conception - pause while you go into convulsions of laughter over that :) I remember in Grade 6 a bunch of my classmates were mad at one of the boys who was always teasing us and challenged him to a fight. I got picked to go fight him after school. After we each took a couple of swings at each other (none connected 'cause he was basically too nice to hit a girl) someone yelled "Here comes Sister Conception" so we took off. The next day, she came on the intercom and asked (in a very Irish accent) that the students who had been involved in the fight last night come to here office. When Danny stood up, the class cheered. When I stood up, they were in shock. Then, when we got to the office and she asked me what happened, I told her my friends talked me into it and she called me a "spineless jellyfish". At that point, Danny (who had been in the fight too) stood up for me and called her a jacka*s right to her face. Everyone was in shock that he actually said that, and he was the school hero for months afterward. We eventually became really good friends for the rest of elementary school.
Sorry about the long post, but that is my most vivid memory.

6. Re: catholic school memories - Christina 1982
I went to catholic school from Pre-Kindergarten to the 10th grade. The years from Pre-K to the 6th were pretty good years. My class got a long with each other pretty well. I have a lot of good memories from those years. They took us to pretty cool places on field trips-one included going to the Bronx Zoo. Seventh grade and eighth grade were bad. Without going into details,in 7th grade my supposed best friend stabbed me in the back and managed to turned most of the class(there was about 28 of us) against me and told them vicious rumors about me. Luckily 2 of my friends stuck by my side. In 8th grade the rest of the class still pretty much ignored me. Tenth and eleventh grades were okay because I was in a new school and met new people. The bad side was I flunked out both years due to the pressure of the academics and transferred to public school.

7. Re: catholic school memories - filburtgirl 1983
Ok, so maybe my Catholic school memories aren't exactly...er...pious.

I grew up in a neighborhood that was 3 blocks from the local Catholic High School. When me and my brother rode out bikes to Westside Elementary in the mornings, the Catholic marching band would be out there and they would make fun of us. And there was no way to avoid the high school. You had to go past it to get to Westside.

As we grew older, my brother and his friends learned that there was a HUGE drug/alchohol/smoking problem at the Catholic High School. Whenever my brother and his friends would go over there to skateboard, some Catholic kid would be there asking them for drugs. It actually offended my bro and his friends...the Catholic kids instantly thinking that the sk8ers from "public" were drug dealers.

So many people rant and rave about the superiority of private schools, but looking at my town...public was actually more in line than the Catholic High School.

8. Re: catholic school memories - barbell 1967
I was stuck in Catholic school for only two years, fifth and sixth grade, and hated practically every minute of it. The basic education (three R's) was fairly good, but the rest blew. The nuns were dried-up old buzzards who really believed all that superstitious BS and most of the kids were a bunch of goody two-shoes who narced to the nuns on each other.

That and wearing a tie. No wonder I now consider formal wear to be socks and a shirt with a collar.

9.Re: catholic school memories - 70sburgher is mean, 70sburgher is GREEN! 1975
I have been a product of the Catholic school system from nursery school through graduate school.

I had the opportunity to rub elbows in school with many Protestant/Jewish kids whose parents saw Catholic schools as places where discipline, values and academic excellence were better than the local public schools and the religious affiliation was a minor issue.

The school made the practice of Catholicism in daily life easier with regular Mass and confessions. Many of the Protestant/Jewish kids participated to the greatest extent allowed by Church law. For instance, a Confirmation retreat coincided with several bar mitzvahs.

For all you parents, consider Catholic schools for your kids.


1. Re: catholic school memories - lilith 1976
It was different in my school, the nuns who ran the school grades 1 to 12 did not want children of different religions. I was in 4th grade when the principal send a letter to all the parents and said that if the kids were not catholics they had to be taken out of the school about 25% of the kids left. By the way all the nuns in my school were from Spain.

10.Re: catholic school memories - Hazywoods 1954
I started public school with the 9th grade,how I wish my parents had sent me to catholic high school.The years in catholic school are among my best,only good memories.
I despised public school!!!!!!!!!!!!

11. Re: catholic school memories - Private Benjamin (Toni) 1982
It's safe to say that I'm also a product of a private catholic school education after having being placed in an all girls catholic school from 6th grade to 12th grade by my dad who thought that my going to school with boys would be a distraction, even though I had just come out of a very wonderful co-ed private episcopalian elementary school, and not once where boys considered a distraction. Sucky? Yes. Sometimes fun? Yes. But NEVER a distraction---at least 95% of the time they weren't. Either way, my grades didn't suffer. Anyways, I can think of quite a lot of things that sucked about going to a catholic school, especially going to one during your impressionable teenage years, but my experience wasn't all that bad.

Good: Well, this is a partly good experience. In the beginning, when I was in my 6th or 7th grades, my catholic school would always take these very interesting field trips to Washington, Lancaster, PA, etc, in these REALLY nice coach buses. I'm telling you, we had the luxury of a clean bathroom, tall cushioned seats that ever so slightly reclined, air conditioning AND heating, and tinted windows that helped to block out annoying UV rays. It was perfect! I used to always look forward to the field trips we had just so I could get to ride in those posh coach buses the school always ordered for us. That didn't last long though, since once we hit eighth grade, the school got cheap and continued to order those tacky yellow cheese buses with the leather seats that always stuck to your skin, no heat, no air conditioning, windows that would never work properly, and a bus driver who always had some kind of attitude. It sucked.

I think another advantage of my being in private school was its total disassociation from statewide school rules when it came to school vacations as well as its openings and closings. What I loved about going to catholic school was being able to have longer vacations than my public school friends and being able to start my summer vacation sooner than all my public school friends. And on snow days...oh boy! What joy I got out of telling my friends that my school closed down because of the snow, while they still had to go because THE STATE INSISTED!

I guess I should talk about the educational benefits as well. I won't deny that the classes offered at my catholic school were pretty top quality. We had everything from various levels of Latin to Marine Biology. Even though I hated the large amounts of work they gave in catholic school, I did learn, and its educational benefits helped to shape how I am today. So I guess I should give catholic school its props on an academic standpoint.

Bad: As mentioned in the above paragraph, the ton of homework we were assigned pretty much sucked. I think I experienced my first night of all nighter homework when I was in eighth grade when I was stuck doing an historical project for my world history class in which a ten page paper was required. I never enjoyed those nights when I knew that sleep would be out of the question.

Of course, the main thing that was bad about catholic school was the uniforms. We wore grey wool kilts, white polo shirts and red blazers with brown shoes. I don't think it was necessarily the uniform that sucked as much. I mean, we were all very capable of snazzing our uniforms up to our liking. However, what sucked about the uniforms were the fact that the school was so strict in enforcing its dress code. The kilts had to be either at or below the knee; we couldn't wear large outlandish earrings such as large hoops; the heels of our shoes had to be flat, and what really sent me over the top was when someone in administration made a rule that we couldn't wear colored bras underneath our polo shirts. They ALWAYS had to be white. So after that, I pretty much got fed up with the school and their uniform rules, and so did pretty much all of the rest of my classmates. And we being the degenerates that we were, never followed a single one of their rules. I continued to wear my skirt short (nothing distasteful or anything, but the length was definitely kept ABOVE my knees), I wore my hoop earrings, I wore shoes with a platform heel, I chewed gum, I wore red, black, orange, polka dot, any color of bra other than white, etc. It felt so liberating!

Another bad thing about my catholic school was its lack of diversity. The majority of the time I was there, I was only one of about a handful of minority students attending. I know for a fact that I could count up to 20 minority students that attended my school. 20 minorities that made up a 400 person student body! I could count on both hands the amount of black students who attended, and I could only count on one hand the amount of hispanics, asians, indians, middle eastern folk, etc, that attended my old catholic school. So that was pretty sad. We didn't really talk to much about racial relations as a result. I mean the only other time that we would even come close would be on Black History Month, when our schools black student union would put on some kind of assembly for the entire school. What was funny to me was that the school had a Black Student Union, however we hardly had enough black folks at the school to even technically call it a "Black Student Union". So towards my senior year, most people started to call it the "Multicultural Awareness Union". My school didn't just start to diversify until my senior year, when I noticed a lot more African-American students in the incoming 6th and 9th grades, which was refreshing to see, but even sadder to see that it took so long to do.

Ugly: I think the ugly thing about catholic school, at least the one I attended, was its tendancy to play favorites. I think...well actually I know that the school I went to tended to favor those with money, or those who would donate hefty amounts of money to the school, and in return, the kids of the parents who would donate the large amounts of money, would get a dang near free education. They would hardly have to pay any kind of tuition. It was ridiculous. Keep in mind that they didn't do this overtly. I found this out from the kids of the parents, some of whom where in my class. So it really went to prove the theory that it isn't always what you know, but who you know, if you know what I mean.

12. Re: catholic school memories - mrmatt 1957
Yes, I survived catholic school, grade 1 through 9. Our parish wasn't very rich, we didn't have a playground for recess, we played in the parking lot next to the church.
Our principal was Sister Mercita, whe must have been less than 5 feet tall, she seemed short even to us kids.
A catholic schoolboys friend was the clip-on neck tie. On the way home from school just roll it up and stuff it in your pocket.

1.Re: catholic school memories - AstringOfPoloponies 1959
We had recess in the parking lot next to the church, also. I believe grades 1 - 6 had recess in the school playgrounds and 7 & 8 th grades used the parking lot.

I remember the clip on ties for the boys ! Haven't thought of them in decades ! They must have been convenient for you guys. We girls wore pleated woolen plaid skirts, white blouse, navy blue wool vest with an emblem SFAS (name of school) on it.

13. Re: catholic school memories - Bearcat 1944
I wish I did. Never even got into a Catholic church (much less a Catholic school) until shortly before I got married. I have since gotten to know a number of girls who went to both Catholic grade school and high school and find some of the things that happened to be interesting. I'm still trying to learn about the faith and find that it's never-ending catch-up. If only I would have started earlier.......

14. Re: catholic school memories - Erinnez; Born Too Late 1982
I only went to Catholic school for one and a half years. I gotta tell you, I hated it!

GOOD:
My second grade teacher, Mrs. Murray. We were lucky, we didn't get nuns for every grade. I liked her because she was nice.

BAD:
Kevin Shorter. I don't really remember much about him, but he was in my second and third grade classes and bugged me. Third grade, he sat behind me. I really can't remember what he used to do, though. When I went back to public school, HE was there at my school a year later (just not in the same class as me, thank goodness!)

UGLY:
The school uniforms. The boys had to wear white shirts and gray pants. Us girls ended up in plaid maroon jumpers. Yuck!

15. Re: catholic school memories - mcdermnatr 1968
Well, I didn't attend Catholic school but I did attend CCD (catechism) at a Catholic school every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. By and large it was a good experience but it had some down sides to it as well. First of all, the school was affiliated with Nativity Church, while my family attended St. Margaret Mary. Consequently, Sister Cecile was constantly asking why I wasn't in church on Sunday, when in fact I was, albeit not the church she was at. The CCD was administrated by one Mrs. Biscin, a rather bland old woman who was rather unbending about the dress code (as it was CCD, we didn't have to wear uniforms). My 5th grade CCD teacher was Mrs. Tetarica and she was very devoted and caring. I would talk with her long after class broke up about all kinds of questions regarding heaven, hell, God and every other Catholic mystery. There was a kindness and spirituality about her that I seldom see in most people. There was also a nun who was model material. Even in her habit (they wore a rather modern one) she was very beautiful. She played the guitar and piano rather well. I had quite a crush on her, but I can't remember her name. She was either Italian or Latina. I'm not sure. Father Delaney was also a very good man, and I mean that beyond a religious sense. He genuinely wanted to help stop human suffering, spiritual and temporal. But he could laugh and play right with us and joined us in squirt gun fights.

As for the not so good side, I would have to say that Mrs. Biscin was one of the worse things about that place, which isn't too bad really. It's not that she was mean or overbearing, she was just bland and uninspiring. I mean, gospel means good news. It would be wonderful if we could live forever in paradise so long as we follow ten relatively simple commandments and a few sacraments (seven, I think). Yet she read about this covenant, this unending treasure, this deity who loves and cares about the human race, as if she were reading a mere public service announcement. Saying the rosary was somewhat uncomfortable since our class always arrived last and we would have to kneel on the floor. Confession was...well, not so much bad as it was funny. It was done in the janitor's storage room of the chapel downstairs. Father Mc Hugh had a habit of repeating one's sins and his voice was naturally loud so we heard everything repeated back in his Irish accent.

As for the ugly, well there was a Mr. Hurley who looked like Jimmy Durante only not so handsome. His arms were disproportionate and hung down almost to his knees. He wasn't a bad guy, but he was really funny to watch.

16. Re: catholic school memories - Bradleyjoe 1974
I was quite a talker in class, and was always being nailed for it. One day, the teacher had enough, and sent me into the hall. Sister Roberta would make the rounds during each class hour, and have a word or two with the students sent into the hall. I was standing near the door, scared to death. Sister Roberta went up to another child, well known for causing trouble in class, and bounced his head off the locker behind him. She sent him to the office, and turned to me and in a stern voice, "Brad, do you understand?" I quietly nodded my head, and she sent me back to class.

We also had weekly locker inspections. Being influenced by my grandfather's love of women, I had a picture of a woman in a bikini taped to the back of my locker, usually hidden by my coat. However, I missed one inspection day, and was called to Sister Roberta's office the next day. She asked me what the hell I was thinking having a picture of a scantidly clad woman in my locker. I asked her why she was snooping through my locker. I then picked my self up off the floor, returned to class, and served 2 weeks of detention for objectifying women and talking back to the principal.

17.Re: catholic school memories - dollpartzcobain 1987
Catholic school for me was a f**kin NIGHTMARE! I had to go from K-8TH GRADE! I had the exact same class every year,all the same people.They all were "popular" and thought they were greater than sliced bread.The teachers were just teachers,no nuns(thank buddha!)and EVERY one of them basically preached to us that we were low life scum and God would punish us all for partying.Thank Buddha I got out of there in the middle of 8th grade and went to public school.There,I got my confidence back when I met my best friend.I HATED St.Francis De Sales,AWFUL place.I count my stars every night I left there when I did...I would've died if I had to graduate with them

1.Re: Re: catholic school memories - Wotan 1966
So, by Thor's hammer, are you a Buddhist?

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