That’s 4 percent.
Dr. Hosffman Ospino, associate professor of theology and religious education at Boston College, recently published two articles regarding Catholic education for Hispanic families: The imperative of educating Hispanic children in Catholic schools and Embracing Hispanics in our Catholic schools. Both wonderfully written, the former discusses the opportunities Catholic schools provide for Hispanic children, while the latter details the best way to outreach to the Hispanic Catholic community and exemplifies the benefits of including this community in our Catholic schools.
The Hispanic community has long been excluded from educational opportunities within the US Catholic schools, mainly because of the financial expense of tuition. By excluding our brothers and sisters, we do the entire Catholic community a disservice. As Dr. Ospino writes, “They will be the Catholic voice in this country when casting their votes, serving in public office and advancing their careers a few years from now.” Moreover, by including more Hispanic children in the Catholic schooling system, the Catholic community facilitates the academic success of a large and growing community. Dr. Ospino expounds on this generality: “According to the National Catholic Educational Association, 99 percent of students from Catholic high schools graduate and 85 percent of graduates go to a four-year college.”
Welcoming more members of the Hispanic community into parochial schools will bolster the number of children who will finish high school and continue onto college. The Church needs more Hispanic leaders and by making parochial schools accessible to Hispanic families, we just might accomplish this endeavor.
In his articles, Dr. Ospino details a possible solution by enumerating the best ways to include the Hispanic population in the Church: active outreach to Hispanic communities; understanding that Hispanic, Latinx, and immigrant populations have different needs and concerns regarding Catholic education; and that change starts at the top, meaning that we need more Hispanic teachers and administrators who will provide an environment more conducive to learning.
In fitting with TWIN-CS’s mission of inclusion, Dr. Ospino wishes to expand the Catholic school system to include students of color without erasing the culture and language of those students. In a brief interview, Dr. Ospino commented on Boston College’s TWIN-CS with respect to Hispanic families:
“TWIN-CS proposes an innovative and groundbreaking educational alternative that affirms the languages and cultures of the diverse families that meet in the Catholic school context. TWIN-CS welcomes Hispanic children and their families with their many cultural and linguistic gifts as values that enrich Catholic school life. In turn, these children and their families are enriched by the cultural and linguistic gifts from the rest of the school community. Everyone wins.”
Thank you, Dr. Ospino, for such high praise! Keep following the blog to hear about more faculty publications and interviews.
-Melissa Hoppie, Graduate Research Assistant