20 Signs You Grew Up in Catholic School

20 signs you went to catholic school

There is a blog post floating around Facebook these days called 20 Signs You Grew Up A Church Kid. After 12-years of Catholic school I didn’t understand most of them.  Apparently growing up in Catholic school is just not the same as growing up a church kid. They had fun Jesus learning with Mr.Psalty, and we had just plain old nun-ification. With the help of three of my lovely former-plaid skirted friends, I came up with my own!

Let’s get this party started. Are you ready? Cause just like your first two hour mass, it’s going to be a loooong ride.

ASH WEDNESDAY

1. You at one point compared who got the “better” ash mark on their head from Ash Wednesday. Really they all looked like splotchy finger prints, but it kept you busy at recesses comparing noggins.

colored socks

2. You feel like a rebel when you wear colored socks. Oh yeah, now that you are out, no regulation white ankle or crew socks for you! Blue! Pink! Black! The world is your stage when it comes to sock color because you know how to party.

Peace be with you

3. When someone says “peace be with you” you say “also with you” without thinking. It’s true. The years of training sunk in, and there is no letting go.

The moment a boy walks into an all-girls school...mine?mine?mine?

4. While you tell everyone that going to an all-girls school helped you focus on school and made you more intelligent, you secretly know it also made you more desperate and socially awkward. It’s sad, and pretty embarrassing, but true.

Oh there's boys! I have to give a crap what I look like!

5. You secretly miss having your clothes picked out for you 5 out of 7 days in the week. Life was easier when you were forced to wear a uniform…unless you wear a uniform for your job…then you are probably thinking  “when is my free dress day???”

Class of kids

6.  You still remember the names of 30 kids you spent 8 years with…their parents, and siblings too.  Aaaah, elementary school. Sure a couple kids came and went, but you got to know this core group well. You battled teachers, started puberty, and all sat through mass every Tuesday together. These are ties no graduation can break.

kid playing with a ball

7. You still feel like you need say your prayer before a meal really, really fast, so you can get to recess faster. Because saying the words like you had a espresso, redbull and some crack all at the same time counts as a “real prayer” when you are starving and need that pudding cup…right? 

Bible

8. You were shocked after you graduated to find out there were other translations of the Bible than the New American Version. NIV! ESV! IHSYESYGGLSO! Okay, that last one isn’t a translation that I know of but there are so many options out there! If you decided to stay or go back to the Christian life after graduation you were probably met with some confusion when you went to the Christian book store and was met with the aisles of different translations.

Authors note: This originally cited (wrongly) the King James translation, which isn’t approved by the Catholic church.  I have since had some coffee, woke up a bit, and changed it. 

kids dressed up as lambs

(A special shout out the Mountain Mama Teaching blog for this photo!)

9. You’ve been dressed up like an angel, a sheep, and a shepherd at least once (but probably three) times as a child. Don’t lie. Your mother has photos.

kids singing

10. …and you had to sing. A LOT. On top of the school pageants and usual fair, you had the special church events that they used your class singing off key like some secret choir reserve force when the old ladies got sick. It was probably just a plot to actually get your parents to mass every once and a while.

pew

11. When at any non-catholic church or the train station, your right knee automatically buckles anytime you enter a pew, and you have to stop yourself from kneeling. Again, it’s true.

Jesus holding a candy bar

12. You know how to fundraise and sell stuff like a boss. Whether you went to one of the “rich kids” Catholic schools or the “very much not rich kids” schools, either way they had you out pimping cookie dough, magazine subscriptions, wrapping paper, and coupon books every year. That pizza party just became less worth the trouble as time went on.

sign of the cross

13. Your non-Catholic friends think doing the sign of the cross is some complicated secret handshake and keep asking you to show them how to do it over and over. It really is a secret sign that makes you get the good wafers at communion. Ya know, the ones that don’t taste like cardboard.

Ghost sitting in church pew

14.  There was always some rumor about a dead saint body part, haunted room, or scary secret tradition (saying Bloody Mary into a mirror) at your church…that you totally bought. Admit it. You believed!

Teen dance in the 60's

15. You know what “leave room for the Holy Spirit means.” One foot apart with only arms touching is the only way to slow dance and keep Jesus happy.

drawing of kid confessing to a priest

16. You totally made up a sin during your first confession with a priest because you were in the first grade and didn’t understand what the heck was going on.  Your friend even said adultery, because it sounded cooler than cheating or thinking bad thoughts against your parents, and no one was smart-assy enough yet to just say murder.

sleeping-300x225

17. You dreaded stations of the cross day. It was long, you had to sit in a hard pew, and most of the time you couldn’t see action or hear the person speaking. So you just sat there. For all eternity.

Nuns holding guns

18.  You have strong feelings about nuns. ‘Nuff said. 

May crowning

19. You are still bitter that you were not picked to play Mary during May Crowning or Jesus in the Last Supper. Only the coolest kids, and teachers favorites got those roles. Not little old you. It’s still hurtful to talk about.

Catholic school is like combat, unless you've been there. You don't know.

20. You talk more (aka are more traumatized) about your elementary school experience than anyone else who went to public school. It’s an experience that forever changed you. There was good, there was bad, there was just odd…but in the end you survived.

***Note: Each photo is a link to the original source of the photo***

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796 comments

    • Jennifer A. says:

      Interesting. I’m guessing, and from some initial research, there is not one Catholic bible. It probably depends on the church and what your parents used. I consulted with some friends (I know, super thorough right?) and they agreed with the memory of using King James. But that doesn’t mean it’s for sure… Thanks for commenting!

      • TJ says:

        Some of your friends might have used the Douay-Rheims Bible, a 17th-century translation (pretty close to the same time of KJV) updated in the late 19th century. it’ss till available and is a catholic translation. Only the NAB and RSV / NRSV area pproved for use in Mass. Neither of them use “thou”.

        • Enaid says:

          Oh no! We were chastised if we forgot a head covering…handkerchiefs were OK, but definitely NOT a Kleenex. It was blasphemous!

        • Eileen says:

          I so remember the Kleenex thing. They always hid them up their sleeves. My most traumatic memory was when I cut my head on the towel dispenser and Sister Loretta pulled me down to the principle’s office because she was sure the blood was hair dye!

    • Karen H. says:

      Amen brother! The Baptist love the King James Version! Plus our Catholic bible has some books in it the the King James does not have!! I love being Catholic and the Catholic Church!

  1. Michelle says:

    The King James version of the bible should not be in Catholic schools as it is not a version approved by the church. I really hope that you did not have them in your school. The most common would be New American Bible- NAB or the New Revised Standard Version NRSV.

      • Karin says:

        LOL I found it very very funny! What ever bible it was it was the only one and no other version was known. Thanks for sharing.

    • Karen H. says:

      That’s right Michelle. Also our bible has more books in it than the King James Version has. Again, the Protestants use King James! Each member in the Protestant churches carry this bible to church every Sunday! We don’t do that! We have our books already supplied at church and our Big New American Bible- NBA at home ,my husbands parents always kept theirs on a wooden scrolled book holder on a table with a lit candle we get from mass every Sunday! We keep it burning 24hours a day and a new on every Sunday.

  2. Jennifer A. says:

    I added this to the post:

    “Authors note: It was pointed out to me that the New American Bible is the “Catholic” bible as King James is not approved by the Catholic church. When I originally wrote this some friends I consulted thought the same thing I did. So I am adding this:

    8B. You thought the New American Bible and the King James Bible were the same thing… you just remember it having a lot of “thou’s!”

    Thanks for nicely letting me know Michelle and Christopher! I appreciate the help!

    • Rhonda says:

      Just a bit of trivia….The King James version of the Bible is based on a version from Greek text dating back to the 12th century and has been found to be greatly flawed in its translation based on information later uncovered in history. All Bible text were translated by humans from a dead language which allowed for a bit of creative interpretation depending on the individual translating. All versions of the Bible could be greatly flawed and should be seen as “possible Words of God” depending on the interpreters understanding of Aramaic and the century in which the translation occurred. The people speaking the word may have been inspired by God however nothing was in writing by those individuals. Most prophets’ words were inscribed for the prophet by a scribe (again a great margin for human error) and were not in a language that was still in use when found during archeology digs. A true fact….speaking the above words to anyone who is a defender of the KJV of the Bible will result in a heated debate and probable token damning of your soul by the Defender of the KJV. :D

      • Doug says:

        Rhonda – One more funny thing is the fact that I don’t really remember using the Bible at all! I’m a 10 year product, altar boy (not server) and all. Another funny fact is that the Apostles didn’t have a Bible, either – how about that! Really, I don’t understand why we aren’t ALL Catholics. We have the ultimate gift being shared with us absolutely free of charge. It doesn’t get any better than that.
        Peace and God Bless

  3. stacey says:

    This was fun to read! Makes me smile thinking of when my boys start school and attend Catholic School!

    • Jim says:

      The Catholic schools have an embarrassingly high rate of turning kids away from the church. Most of my adult friends who attended Catholic grammar school are no longer practicing Catholics. Most of my Catholic friends who are active in the church, went to public school. Many archdiosese have apologized for this and promised to make positive changes. I wonder if they realize what the past mistakes were?

      • Karen says:

        Yeah, because after Vatican II they “forgot” to actually teach the faith. The Catechesis became “Jesus loves everyone, peace out, kumbaya.” They dumbed it down to the point where less than 1/2 of Hispanics know that Communion is the Body and Blood of Christ and not just a “symbol.” And the White people aren’t much better, only about 60% of them know it.

        Scandalous. Pew research study showed that.

    • Kay says:

      In elementary I got to do May Crowning…..but only because they forgot about/excluded me in First Communion planning and I was the only kid without some sort of role. haha. In (Catholic) high school, we had a “May Crowing Court” instead of a “Prom Court”….makes tons of sense, right?

      **Funny article!!! thanks! I would have added: you got to enjoy recess and other elementary type activities (book parade? Playground anyone?) throughout middle school since it was a k-8 school. And also always wearing shorts under your uniform skirt…or maybe that’s just because I am clumsy and tripped a lot

      • Jennifer A. says:

        I had one about shorts under the skirt but wasn’t sure if everyone could relate. Skirts still feel weird without them! Thanks for sharing your memories and reading!!

      • Suzanne says:

        When my girls were in day care, they loved to wear dresses. I could never understand why none of the other parents thought to put shorts under them. I thought that was what everyone did until they got to college. They must have gone to public school. And today as I write, there are 2 girls in school wearing shorts under their jumpers.

      • Rhonda says:

        How about my public school friends were always jealous because my school was closed for Holy Days of Obligation and we got out of school at the end of the year a week or two earlier than the public school kids. And in my school the convent was connected to the school by a huge door in the choir loft of the church. Everyone always looked at the door in fear of what was on the other side. :)

  4. Vicky Mitchell says:

    Ok, I just have to tell you that just today I uploaded a book about teaching for 37 years in a Catholic School. So many of these ring true! LOL. If anybody is interested, it is available on Amazon as an ebbok entitled…Prisoner In Room 12: Confessions of a Catholic School Teacher.

    • Jennifer A. says:

      :-) I am glad!! By no means did I mean this to bash on the Catholic church at all. Just to find humor in it. That’s all. My husband is a protestant pastor but my family is still Catholic. I still feel Catholic by heritage and relation. Lol.

  5. J Hoelting says:

    Sorry, it sounds like “bashing”. I started to read the “20 things”, but became more disappointed the further I read into your memories. Traditions happen in all schools–Hebrew, Lutheran, Catholic, and public schools. It is how you interact with the experience—Yes, I was in 12 years of Catholic school, and am so appreciative of all that was taught and shared. Many years ago, children rode school busses to and from school and some Catholics were on the public school busses, and some folks who went to public school were on the parochial school busses. Fuel and mileage were saved, as well as the wear and tear on the busses. That would not be allowed today.

    • Jennifer A. says:

      I am sorry you feel that way. That is certainly not my intention or where my heart is. I have fond feelings for my Catholic school upbringing. Just because I found humor in some of its uniqueness, doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate or liked it. That is just me and my sense of humor though. Thanks for reading what you did!

      • John says:

        I went to a Catholic School and road the public bus. Our school doesn’t have it’s own bus. So it’s not unheard of.

      • sue says:

        jennifer, do not take offense, my girls go to catholic school as did i as did my mother and her mother and so on… and the other parents and myself are on the parking lot after school, always humorously remembering everything stated in your 20 statements and then some!if there is one thing catholic’s (most) have ..its a sense of humor!

      • Chris Wilborn says:

        Yes, there were good attributes and bad. Happy for my own experience and not so happy with my kids experience. BUT, I am happy with both….. Also, wish it wasn’t so expensive. Of course, Catholics paid for our schooling and everybody else’s (through taxes).

    • Lizanne says:

      In our community, the public school still shares the bus system with our Catholic school and everyone rides together. Small town, big savings, good friends of every creed. Thought that might hearten you to know it was still allowed.

    • Elisa says:

      Seriously?? There is no tone of bashing in any of this. Try growing a thicker skin and not finding every tiny detail to complain about. I went to catholic school and my kids do now. I also have taught at one for 9 yrs. this is all cute and funny in a pretty realistic sense. And the transition to discussing busses?? You’re correct in what you wrote however it makes no sense to bring up in this forum. You sound like a sad and pathetic person. If you’re not, you might try thinking about how you portray yourself because it’s not in a positive light. Whining about a light hearted little piece like this!

      • Rhonda says:

        Without going back to the article, I have to say I don’t remember anything written about buses in the article. I found the article to be very amusing and lighthearted. Brought back a lot of memories for me personally. Thanks to the writer for giving me something to read other than the latest rape, murder, or the latest political buffoonery. Get off your knees, stop thumping your chest with your fist and don’t take it so seriously. And smile because its hump day!

    • KMoves says:

      If it sounds like bashing, its because you’re hoping to find someone bashing it. This is a funny, lighthearted piece and you, J Hoelting, sound like someone who just wants attention.

    • Mary Alice says:

      I didn’t see it as bashing at all, and much of it still rings true today. In fact, my children still ride to their Catholic school on the same bus with public school kids who get dropped off after.

  6. Janie says:

    I can really relate to #5. I do wish I didn’t have to think about what to wear to work. My sister works in a pharmacy and has to wear scrubs…same color, everyday. For the most part she’s glad to be wearing a uniform to work.

  7. nikki gregg says:

    I had to crown the blessed mother in the big hallway u have to climb a ladder to reach the top of her head, I was worried my crown would fall apart ans sister paschal would kill me bc I called her polly once her nickname well u guessed it I fainted

  8. SJJ says:

    It would be interesting to know who came up with this. Several years in Catholic school and most of this is bunk.

  9. Hollieif says:

    Um… Number. 17…. the guy in the picture is totally a mormon missionary. He has the name tag and everything X3

  10. Christie says:

    Haha! Loved it!! Stations of the cross went on fooorever! (As did the mass for St. Blasé when everyone got their throats blessed.) I might also add that every year there was at least one kid that would pass out at church while kneeling too long because they forgot to eat breakfast. Thanks for the post!

  11. Lisa says:

    Loved it! No need to worry about hurting feelings. This is ur page. If someone doesn’t like the drapes….well you know. Anyway I attended a catholic school through college. (18 years total) I loved the uniforms, nuns, CYO!!! I think ur list provided a good look back down memory lane. I totally embraced the quirkiness that was being a cradle catholic. ..like I thought I was incredibly cool with ashes on my forehead! The public school kids that were on the bus would make ignorant comments. I was so caught up in my world that I would retort, “I’ve been blessed and it’s the way we remind ourselves of Christ’s sacrifice. You got a problem with that!” They would look at me like…what do you say to that!?! Needless to say, my bubble was soon burst but looking back I had a confidence stemmed from all the right places! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jennifer A. says:

      Thank you. I am trying not to let negativity get to me. I wrote it for a couple of friends, it made them smile, so I am happy. And that is so great you had such confidence in your faith then!! I really did like Catholic school, it really gave me a huge foundation so when I was really really ready to devote my life to Christ I already had a strong place to work from.

  12. Michelle says:

    The author is most definitely not Catholic. I question if she ever even spent time in Cathilic school. Come on… KJV?! Really?! The rest are just Catholic stereotypes exploited. Traumatized?! How disrespectful to Catholics and your parents who probably worked hard to send you to a nice school.

    • Jennifer A. says:

      I was being sarcastic about the “traumatized”, I certainly did go to Catholic school for 12 years, and my mom thought the article was a light hearted and funny take on things (as it was intended). Sorry you didn’t like it.

    • Patricia says:

      lighten up. This is supposed to be humorous. I graduated from a catholic high school 3 years ago, and her depictions are spot on. To writer: Don’t worry, it’s not disrespectful at all. Kudos to your kind responds to comments such of these.

    • david says:

      Oh my God, don’t take yourself so seriously. Leaving this hateful comment shows who is really DISRESPECTFUL. She was CLEARLY making a light hearted joke about most people’s experience attending Catholic school. I can certainly relate to several of the JOKES.

    • Janice says:

      I went to Catholic schools for 11 years; first grade was too crowded to get in. Not everything rings true to me, but I enjoyed reading it. I don’t doubt that the author went to Catholic school. She put the link to photos there so you can see where she found the photos. On some it just looks like she tried to find a photo to match what she was talking about and what’s wrong with that.

  13. cmoreno says:

    It’s also said that the best was for a Catholic to lose their faith is to attend Catholic school. Out of two school aged kids both have gone their entire lives and I’m seriously rethinking them going. Only the oldest is still in. I’m homeschooling the younger. Tired of the watered down pseudo Catholicism. So sad to say. Used to love the school. Catholic School grads fall away at the same rate as public school kids. 13% of US Catholic live their faith as taught by the Church. Sad. However it’s not all the schools fault. It the parents job to teach the faith. And most are failing…badly.

    • Jennifer A. says:

      It’s very true. After 12 years of Catholic school I left the church for 6 years. When I returned to Christianity, I happened to go to a protestant church. It wasn’t anything against the Catholic church just where I think God wanted me at the time (I met my now husband there who is a protestant pastor). The Catholic school did give me an AMAZING foundation to begin from again. All was not lost. Plus there are so many more plus’s of going to a private/catholic school than just becoming a Christian.

      • Chris Wilborn says:

        We have 5 kids : 1st one could not stand her Catholic school. So bad she refused to finish the 8th grade. Now agnostic ? #2 Graduated and related several bad experiences with the “clicks”. I think that he still appreciates the Catholic Faith, but doesn’t attend Catholic church much. … At some point we moved and started #4 and 5 in public schools. “Probably” my strongest Catholic is #5. In my experience , (sadly) attending Catholic school doesn’t assure anything. AND, I totally understand this.

  14. Karessa says:

    Seams like a few people above need to he reminded of the “Golden Rule” that was strictly enforced in all my Catholic schooling as well as the wonderful phrase, ” If you can’t say something nice….don’t say nothing at all.” :)
    I thought it was great and made a few laughs. I didn’t know for years what version we used and thought it was KJV too. I read more missalettes (sp?) than the actual bible anyways!

  15. Kathy says:

    I can understand how you confused the KJV – 12 yrs of Catholic school for me in the 50’s & 60’s. Don’t recall ever reading the bible in grade school (we got into that in high school). For us it was memorizing the answers to a zillion church questions in the CATECHISM ;o) and daily mass at 8am – if you talked you had to sit next to Sister – they had to have had the longest arms to reach across the pews to poke you if you slouched while kneeling LOL

  16. Kelly says:

    Jennifer, these were hilarious! I’ve already seen it 3 times on my Facebook timeline. Four years ago my classmates had an 8th grade reunion. It was the absolute best time ever. We toured our school, and I am not gonna lie I felt like a sinner having a beer in my school that night. Haha! I loved Catholic education so much I got my elementary education degree and taught in Catholic schools until I decided to be a principal….of a Catholic school! I hope my students over the years have as many fond memories as I have. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jennifer A. says:

      Thank you very much! And yes, I am with ya that drinking beer in school would be a spiritual dilemma to say the least. They trained us well! My step father was a teacher at a Catholic school for over 20 years. Thank you for doing what you do. A lot of kids appreciate it. :-)

  17. Ginny says:

    #1: Yes, yes, yes! Every Ash Wednesday, we’d all compare foreheads to see who was the biggest “bad-ash,” so to speak. (Couldn’t resist.)

    Very fun post. Thanks.

  18. Melissa says:

    I’m 41 & still change my clothes when I come home from anywhere–& my 4 Catholic school -attending kids also change those uniforms upon entry to the house (in my best mom voice: ‘I’m only washing uniforms once a week so keep them clean! This isn’t public school!’)

    If I might humbly add a few more:
    21. You only own a few pairs of jeans compared to the multitude filling the closets of your public school friends (Mom again: You only wear them for 4 hrs a day; how many pairs do you need?!). This also applies, in recent years, to hoodies as I only borrow them from my public school grad husband & own none of my own.
    22. Find yourself picking up random garbage in public places just because you know you shouldn’t leave anyplace looking like that (& be secretly proud when your kids comment on the messiness of the public school they’re playing a tournament in).
    23. Spent the first quarter of college looking for the Crucifix above the professor’s lecturn &/or the statue of the Virgin somewhere in the room.
    24. Spent that same time constantly moving your seat in those classes so as not to sit by the kids who were eating or smoking in class (& before someone nitpicks that, I’m 41 & yes you could still smoke in public places at that time!)—‘avoid the near occasion of sin’ remember; see also ‘guilt by association’
    25. Absolutely refusing to throw away a piece of paper that has a blank side—or use scotch tape if glue can be used.
    26. Finding a bizarre sense of sinister delight upon being told, as Confirmandi, that we were now Soldiers of Christ &, as such, could theoretically slay any enemy of the Church & still go to Heaven (& yes…I have a list).
    27. Quietly cringing every time you read ‘mass’ instead of ‘Mass’ (per Sr Bernard Francis: One is a unit of measurement & the other a beautiful gift from God…you always capitalize ‘Jesus’, don’t you? Well He was a gift from God too’—& I never argue with a woman who not only had that level of command of the English language but also operated on that level of twisted logic …God rest her soul.)

    Sorry about the length but I think that may have been another hang-over: anything worth saying is worth saying well…& in complete sentences!

  19. Eric says:

    You know you can really relate when you even went to the school that was pictured in #5 lol St. Pats represent!

    • Jennifer A. says:

      Really? That’s hilarious!!! I couldn’t find one online from my old schools so I wanted to find one similar! Although your plaid was slightly different. :-)

  20. Diane Litzinger says:

    This is very clever and so true! Who remembers “sitting” during stations of the cross?? We used to kneel for what seemed like hours on end! I still cringe at the though!!

  21. Sheila Parizo says:

    I am a product of Catholic education, grammar school, middle school, high school and, yes, college and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this list with each point bringing warm memories, especially in grammar school. I would add something about the “clickers” the nuns used while in Church preparing for a sacramental Mass or other event – so funny! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. May God bless you all.

  22. Juvie Nieva says:

    Some of the books in catholic bible weren’t canonize but they still added it to the bible such as macabees and others. Thats why they didn’t approve King James.
    NIV bible is good, easy to understand.

  23. Kc Fitz says:

    I also attended a Catholic school for 12 years appreciated every single day of it, I can relate to all 20! I found it extremely comical and very true. Made me smile from ear to ear and I am totally going to share it with all of my friends and make my children read it as well, thank you so much for posting that I absolutely enjoyed reading every bit of it! Shake the haters girl they’re just mad cause I didn’t think of it first. :)

  24. Eog says:

    I dont think its bashing, as a matter of fact, it felt the complete opposite.
    I think it showed a love of the past and of the memories.

    I had the same memories and loved the experiences

  25. Frank S says:

    The rumors about “dead saint body parts” are somewhat true…. The altars in Catholic Churches have what’s called a reliquary, and they are embedded within the structure of the altar. When mass begins, you’ll notice that the priest kisses the altar; he’s actually kissing the spot where the reliquary is embedded. The relic for an altar is a piece of bone of a saint. It is sent by the Vatican, and it’s placement in the altar is celebrated as part of the Church Inauguration.

    • Jennifer A. says:

      It’s true! As a kid, you only hear “part” of the truth from your friends or the rumor based off of it…and I just remember hearing “dead body part”. We used to guess if it was a finger or and arm and where they “hid” it on the alter. We never thought to actually ask an adult.

  26. Mon says:

    True this. Haha! Especially number 18.
    Well, I had my fair share of experience growing up as a Catholic School Kid. =]
    But I’m proud of it. Man, most of what I blog about are things I learned in church.

  27. Ruth says:

    As the token Baptist in a Catholoc high school for 30 years, teaching was a positive experience. I learned about genuflecting when I slipped on the wet mat entering the church. To this day my Catholic colleagues make fun of me because I didn’t know about Stations of the Cross; I kept wondering why the priest went to the windows.

  28. Kevin says:

    Aaaah, elementary school…?
    Correction: Catholic’s attended grade school; not elementary school!

    This from an old Catholic who had his knuckles cracked in first GRADE!

  29. EBC says:

    Any takers on this one?

    Long after the final Catholic school graduation, you attend a service/wedding/funeral at a non-Catholic church and awkwardly discover there is a “lost verse” to the Our Father. (For thine is the kingdom… or something like that)

    Had we been praying the “Radio Edit all those years?

  30. Phil Germani says:

    I think the “official” Catholic Bible back in the day was called “Douay-Rheims.” But I cheated and read King James. It sounded more “Biblish.” lol

  31. Kelli says:

    Every altar at a Roman Catholic church has a relic of a saint’s bone in it. I believe they are no longer doing this practice, but in old(er) churchs it is done. Might stake some claim to those body parts those kids were talking about ;) For my Catholic school, the basement was haunted. hahaha.

  32. laura576 says:

    Love this!!! I only went to Catholic School for 6 years, but still fondly remember my time there. Love your blog post!!! Used to love all the half days we had due to holy days!! Rough when transitioning to public school and they didn’t have as many. Also, how we used to get out very early that day and when we were at school most of it was spent at church!
    Great job! Love this post!

  33. Michelle says:

    You forgot about the sneezing!!
    It feels super awkward when you sneeze and you aren’t told bless you 50 times!! Almost insulting!!

  34. Cecilia says:

    we actually had a statue of Mary that we crowned, but yeah, the popular kids always got to do that.

    #12 heck yeah…Thankfully, my mom worked at a place that was 99% male, so those candy bars went like hotcakes!!

      • J. Hanyak says:

        I find it strange that you had Communion before Confession. I was always taught that you went to confession before Communion. On the Thursday before the First Friday of the month, the whole school seemed to have a race to get to the Church (about 5 or 6 blocks) so they would be one of the first and not have to wait very long.

      • Angela says:

        I agree with J. Hanyak. I was told the same thing.

        I had Reconciliation 1st grade
        Communion 2nd grade
        Confirmation Junior year of high school (but I did it a year early)

        My mom was baptized and confirmed as an infant. It just goes to show you that culture and location can effect religious rules. Which means that nothing is really that important. Or something.

        Also the new/old correct response to “Peace be with you” is “And also with your Spirit”. All the kids are doing it now.

        • Janice says:

          We started confession in 2nd grade before we started first communion, later the same year. Confirmation in my school was 7th and 8th grade every two years. I was in the first Holy Communion class where Mass was in English… we got to say “Amen” with the long “A’ sound.

    • Ed says:

      This was funny, nostalgic and mostly true. I have to say though that my Catholic school formation was generally very helpful in life. I still have deep faith, good education, hope for the future and excellent memories. The worst incident involved having to eat part of a sandwich that I threw in the trash! Starving in Africa was the reason! The best parts were pretty much everything else that made me what I am!

  35. Cecilia says:

    Also, life was sooooo much easier with uniforms. I remember my best friend’s mom telling my mom that she spent $500 on new school clothes. You know what my mom spent that year? $50. I needed skirts because 6th graders didn’t wear jumpers.

    After 12 years of uniforms, I missed the ease of waking up and pulling out an outfit identical to the one I had worn the day before…college was an eye opener, LOL.

    • Vanessa Fasanella says:

      So crazy to think about $500 in any year to buy clothes for a quickly-growing child! But maybe since my daughter goes to a dress code school like I did, I can’t comprehend the overspending? LOL

  36. Grace says:

    love this =) thanks for writing about Catholicism with a smile and not a slant.

    One correction… Sister always said “A mass is a lump of something. A Mass is a Eucharistic liturgy.”

    Cheers!

  37. shelly says:

    I went to Catholic school in my elementary years. I too can relate to most of these things. I appreciate my upbringing and the awesome education I received. I am now a born again Christian and have used many translations of the bible. They are all lacking but if you use a concordance with the king james version it will give you the meaning of words in the original languages; hebrew and greek. This opens up God’s word to us now. Its not just a story book or a bunch of confusing words we can’t understand. Its very relevant to our lives here and now. God had spoken to me through reading the bible in so many wonderful ways. I pray that whoever reads my comment will receive a hunger for God and His word. God bless you richly as you seek for heavens revelation.

    • J. Hanyak says:

      I’ve had the same experience–Catholic school from second grade through high school. Was an altar boy for about years. Loved to serve the high Mass (I loved the Latin. The Mass was, then, almost a mystery to me because everything was “hidden” with the priest’s back being towards the congregation. It lost a lot of meaning to me when they went to English. I joined the military two weeks after graduation; and, became a Christian 3 years later. After my enlistment was up, I attended a Bible School and the went on to Seminary and received two Masters. I then pastored a church and worked for the district of the denomination. Through it all, I always looked back to those days with the nuns and the monks with an appreciation that I never had while attending their schools. I thank God for that time in my life.

    • ki cog says:

      ….Historically Catholicism is the only religion that can be traced back to the time of Jesus. All other religions and bibles come AFTER. Doctrine was changed and deleted to accommodate different evolving sects of Christianity.
      The confusion is not ours in the Christian Book Stores. I enjoyed your tongue in cheek comments.

      • J. Hanyak says:

        You may be right, but you may also be wrong! .It is true that the history of the Catholic Church is traced back that far; but, any Christian Denomination could also make that claim by using the fact that they were formed from a split from the RCC. In fact, the first “Christian” church was made up of Jewish followers of Christ. Remember, Jesus was a Jew; so does that mean He wasn’t a part of the Catholic Church? The word “catholic” means “according to the whole”, universal in extent, encompassing all, wide ranging”. Thus, regulating the use of the word “catholic” to a single denomination does not do justice to the word, nor the Father who gave us His only begotten Son.

    • Linda says:

      Hi Shelly,
      Thank you for sharing your perspective and experience. I too am a born again Christian. I was raised in the Roman Catholic church through my junior year in high school. The church turned my world upside down when they doubled back on the “rules” and “precepts” that I was held “thumb-screwed accountable” for. Although I couldn’t put it in my own words at the time, somewhere deep inside I realized that God makes the rules, not churches, not organizations, and not governments. I knew who God was but I remember reasoning, “God is God but who is Jesus?” “If they changed everything else then who is he?” Unlike the comment made, “Don’t ask why,” I questioned everything! After 18 years totally un-churched but searching for who Jesus is, He revealed Himself to me, not in church, but right in my own home, when my youngest son was born, in my dining room to be exact. I knew then, as I do now, without a doubt that “Jesus is God with us.!” Others may elect not to pay attention to Him, question Him, and as I did “question everything.” No worries!

      Ezekiel: 34:8: “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because My flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because My shepherds did not search for My flock but cared for themselves rather than My flock…..
      Ezekiel 34:9-10: paraphrased [Listen up shepherds, God is holding you accountable for the lost sheep, you are being disposed and will live lean. My sheep are no longer fodder for your table.]
      Ezekiel 34:11: “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says, : I MYSELF WILL SEARCH FOR MY SHEEP AND LOOK AFTER THEM.
      Ezekiel 34:14: I WILL TEND THEM IN A GOOD PASTURE, AND THEY WILL LIE DOWN IN GOOD GRAZING LAND AND THERE THEY WILL FEED IN GOOD PASTURE ON THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL. 15: I MYSELF WILL TEND MY SHEEP AND HAVE THEM LIE DOWN, DECLARES THE SOVEREIGN LORD. 16 I WILL SEARCH FOR THE LOST AND BRING BACK THE STRAYS. I WILL BIND UP THE INJURED AND STRENGTHEN THE WEAK, BUT THE THE SLEEK AND THE STRONG I WILL DESTROY. I WILL SHEPHERD THE FLOCK WITH JUSTICE.”

      As you know, we each are held to the same line in the sand as are the shepherds. The Good News is, “Jesus Himself is our leader, our shepherd, our righteous and just God.” Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. Praise God!

    • Séamus says:

      I did 12 years of Catholic schooling and now I’m a seriously religious Wiccan. So really, Catholic school prepares you for almost anything ;)~

      Seriously in agreement about the Bible thing though. I was liek WTF IS THIS TRIPE? Who are they to say what version of the bible is right?!

      Getting a bachelor’s degree in religion is something I blame on Catholic schooling, and it makes re-examining the religion endlessly fascinating.

      (also, Confession right before Communion in second grade, and you totally need an entry about how First Communion secretly felt like you were marrying the person they paired you with walking up to the altar.)

  38. Linette Marie says:

    two things I loved…uniforms and all girls high school! My family didn’t have much money and not having to worry about being able to dress as nice as others, or worry about seeing and flirting with boys were much appreciated by me.

    My children went to public schools and outfitting them was a real financial burden. After 8 yrs of Catholic grade school I actually chose to attend the most conservative Catholic High School in the area…way out in the sticks with no associated “boys school” on an adjacent campus.

    I did leave the Catholic Church for another religion, but not at all due to anything I learned or experienced in Catholic School. We were actually given a very good and true interpretation of the faith. It taught me the importance of self discipline, and maintaining a healthy spiritual life.

    I found this article fun and lighthearted, and thanks for the memories!

  39. Bilbo Baggins says:

    21. You don’t believe in god anymore due to the tramatizing years of catholic educational upbringing

    • Kelly says:

      Bilbo Baggins, I’m sorry for your experience. However, don’t allow someone else to rob you of the most important thing in life – your faith. Just as you wouldn’t allow a nasty clerk in a candy store to determine whether or not you like, or would ever again consume, candy, why would you allow the individuals you encountered in school to determine your spiritual beliefs.

      As an adult, I encourage you to reach out to a house of faith – of any denomination – and see what it’s all about with fresh eyes. I, too, had a rather, shall we say, tainted, experience when I was 17 and I allowed it to run me away from the church.

      Then it dawned on me. I had allowed a man to keep me from my God. Shame on me. By this time, I was married with two children. I ‘sampled’ a few churches, including some outside the Catholic faith, and found a faith home. A Catholic home, and I was welcomed back with open arms.

      And this has been a faith home for my entire familyand I can’t tell you how glad we are to BE home.

      Please consider it.

      Be well, my friend!

      PS. Sorry about your ring . . .

    • GiGI says:

      NOT TRUE, I WOULDN’T BE WHERE I’M AT NOW. I LOVE BEING CATHOLIC. WHENEVER I WALK INTO A CATHOLIC CHURCH, I ALWAYS FEEL THE GRACE OF GOD ENTERING INTO MY HEART.

    • yoo says:

      I had to comment because this is WAY TOO TRUE. and if you go back to church to see old friends, you feel bad for them because they still believe =/

      • Chris Wilborn says:

        Bilbo and yoo,
        Please don’t feel bad for us. The Catholics I know are happy, or we wouldn’t be in the pews. Way too easy to roll over and go back to sleep.
        May I apologize for any bad experiences and I promise to Pray for you both.
        I think a Protestant once said : “We aren’t perfect, just forgiven .”

  40. Ann says:

    I just finished reading your blog and smiled a lot while doing so. I’m Catholic but went to a public school. Saturdays I went to religion classes and Sundays to church. It’s a shame some people have to take things out of context and and have to make a scene. I’ve learned in my 55 years that
    1. God loves us all no matter what book or version of his we read
    2. God wants us to treat others the way we want to be treated
    3. And even God has a sense of humor!
    Lighten up people !

    • Séamus says:

      OMG: Must add one about how being a Catholic school kid made you hate CCD kids for coming in and messing up everything in your desk.

    • stunned says:

      believing everything you read in the bible would be like believing everything you read on the internet. And one in every 5 people are sociopaths, and you can love and respect them with every fiber of your being, but God can’t help them treat you with the same feelings, for they lack a part of the brain to feel remorse or empathy. And I too believe God has a sense of humor, but I may not find things as funny as God does

  41. Pat Moxley says:

    I went twelve years to Catholic School. While I don’t agree w/ all the statements above regarding “going to Catholic School”, I can tell you that I don’t regret a minute of it. It is a great way to grow up. You not only learn religion, you learn so much more. You learn respect for yourself as well as others. You learn you are never alone when you have sadness or problems; you learn manners and consideration along w/ a very good education. I wish more children had the opportunity to attend 12 years of Catholic Schooling.

    • James Tomaszewski says:

      Pat ,I agree.It was an experience……….manners,consideration and a Good education and it fostered my sense of humor.After 8 yrs. of Catholic school I shed my alter boys cassock and went on to Public High- School,boy those public school kids were so far behind scholastically.I went to Catholic school in the 60’s and it was a AMAZING time to grow up in.It was fun to reminisce recently with school chums reunited through FaceBook.

  42. Clare says:

    Hi,
    Love it, love it, love it. We didn’t go to mass on Tuesdays but every first Friday of the month and then got to go home early! The only good thing. LOL Also, if you could get the slant from a boy there was the whole thing about being an alter boy. They would actually fight to “work” a funeral so they could get out of class. My ex-bil was one and he said he used to shuffle his feet on the carpet and then shock old ladies with the dish (can’t remember the word) under their chins when they were receiving communion.

    • AndyDo says:

      It was/is called a “paten” (Pronounced like the General’s name: Patton.) I still have to use one on myself when I have soup or some dish with a lot of drippy sauce.

  43. James Tomaszewski says:

    Recently through Face Book I have reunited with some classmates from grammar school and the experiences and bonds we shared were unbreakable!The reminiscing was fun.Most of our teachers taught us well and set a sturdy reliable scholastic foundation and yes I was one of the Three Kings of Orient Are!!!!!!LOL and I still sing today! In the words of Fleetwood Mac,Chain Keeps us together and St Christopher!

  44. Jason says:

    Our church actually did have a fragment of a bone of a saint…..I’m not kidding. They brought it out to show us once. They kept it in or around the altar.

  45. Rita says:

    Catholic school turned one child into an athiest, and the other does not attend church but does initiate Grace before dinner when home. That’s something. Oh and absolutely no Catholic guilt with either child.
    I have no problem saying “sending my kids to Catholic school was the worst thing we did as parents. We should of just tried to make catechism work, it worked for me.

    • kick says:

      Generally it isn’t “Catholic School” that turns a child into an atheist but life experience….life style versus religion and life style often wins. . I am involved with the Baptism Ministry in our Parish.
      I see a big part of the population come back to the Church after their children are born and they have to make a decision to offer the gift of faith to their child. It is a reaffirmation of their own faith.

      • areyouserious? says:

        I think it has more to do with examining honestly the ridiculous things you have been told, and coming to the realization of how ridiculous the whole concept is. It has more to do with being honest with yourself. Not many people are capable of this.

    • JM says:

      I went to Catholic school for 7 years & it was the worst experience of my life. For it being a Catholic school, & everyone there being so christian & following Jesus, it definitely wasn’t. Money talked & if you werent in the “rich” group, you were made fun of, didnt get to play sports, & pretty much shunned by the other kids. I would have went to public school my whole life if I would have known then what I know now. Switching to the public school was the best thing that ever could have happened. It was so much better than the Catholic school.

  46. Pamela says:

    I like this list a lot! Our mass day was on Friday, and maybe it was just our class, but in the grades before you moved up to skirts from jumpers, at recess we always tucked the top part around our waists and acted like the big girls with the skirts. One I can’t relate to is being skipped over for being Mary…I was Mary in the Christmas play in kindergarten. I wasn’t feeling too well that day, I guess, and ended up throwing Jesus across the room because my veil thing kept slipping. My parents were so proud.

  47. traumatized kid says:

    I admit going to Catholic schools gave me a sense ,that is a divorced parent you as a kid might as well been the anticrist. Nuns gave me Hell for having divorced parents and snobbed me off . Detention every day. At one time I accumulated 80hrs of detention. Made me a better Christian forgive as you would like to be forgiven.

  48. Marsha says:

    In regards to #16, once during confession I lied to the priest about my “sin”. I am a kid. I did not remember what I did wrong that week. Well the following week, he asked me what I did, and I told him that I lied. He said “Lied to who?”
    I told him that I lied to him the week before during confession because when he asked me what I did wrong, I explain to him that I am a kid and do not remember what I had for breakfast so I will not remember what I did during the week that was a sin. Then I went on to tell him that God knows what I did wrong and forgives me anyway.

    Yeah he didn’t ask me again what I did wrong that week.

  49. Stephen says:

    cited* not sited, and I’m glad you stated it upfront because it’s easy to tell that you were a catholic school kid and not a “church kid” like you said. No offense meant, and being both, you’ve hit the differences spot on

    • Jennifer A. says:

      Thank you! I edited the post at 2am in between my kids getting up, so I didn’t exactly catch all my mistakes (as you may tell with the King James controversy). Thanks for the edit. I’ll change it.

  50. Irish Art says:

    Eight years with the Dominicans, 4 years with the Irish Christian Brothers, and after 2 years of City College, finished it off with a couple more years with the Jesuits. The nuns with those 3 sided rulers, the brothers with their hard rubber batons. – the Jesuits? they just scared the bejeezs out of you. Anyway, you girls – after getting out of school, would roll up your skirts at the waist and show a little knee!! Caught our attention!

  51. Marcia says:

    I went to Catholic school in the 40’& 50’s. No uniforms and Mass every morning. I don’t regret it for a moment. The nuns did put the fear in us but we respected them. I’m in my 70’s and am still a Catholic.

  52. Bonnie says:

    78 year old Grandma went K thru 7th grade (no 8th grade that long ago) started high school at 12 / graduated at 16!!!!!! Learned so many life lessons from nuns…made life long friends / still in touch with after starting K at age 5 (that’s 73 years!!!!) Wouldn’t change those years of school – world needs to revert back – better place to live!!!!! Respect – manners – morals etc etc…………

  53. shar says:

    I don’t see being sexually mistreated on that list anywhere…that’s what I got from our priest in Bishop McDevitt High School!

  54. Kathy Rex says:

    I attended Catholic School from 1st-8th Grade. As with any school,there were good & bad points to my Education! But in the end I would NOT change a thing!
    We were always taught to say a prayer whenever we hear/see an Emergency Vehicle. The “funny” thing is that the school is a block away from the Fire Dept. I still do this to this day!
    I was in the class that Vatican II took effect when I was in 2nd Grade. From that point on, the Church seemed to not know what to do with us, in terms of our Religious Education. Who remembers the “Electric Bible”? In 7th Grade, we had at least 3 different Books, all at different times. (I would guess, they tried 1, didn’t like it…). I find now that I missed so much!
    Our school just celebrated 100 years of Service!! Not many that can say that!! At the Celebration, many of our former teacher’s & students attended. It was so much fun to reminisce about the wonderful Education we received! Hat’s off to our Ursuline Sisters who still administer to our Church & School; & to the “Laity” who were an important part of making me who I am today!!

    • Jenners says:

      I still say that prayer when I hear an emergency vehicle too! And I’m not even Catholic anymore (though I’m still a Christian)

      • Melissa says:

        Or ‘Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord…’ Whenever a funeral procession passes? Or a Hail Mary upon hearing bells at Marian Hours? Or praying for the safety of the cops/firemen upon hearing a siren (my grade school was very Irish; as the only Polish kid, mine was the only father NOT a first responder)

  55. Jose Canchero says:

    Catholic grade school, the place where they physically beat the concept of love and compassion into you!

  56. Richard Gorka says:

    Cannot go into every detail, but here are a few: Catholic education post Vatican II has been a corruption of what true Catholic principles represent. The “approved” versions of the Bible contain serious errors. Because the Bible is the inspired word of God, Who is incapable of being in error, this means that the new versions are not the Bible at all. For example, the new versions mistranslate Gabriel’s salutation to our Blessed Mother. He said, “Hail full of grace” NOT “favored daughter” or “favored one” of any other such watered down nonsense. Full of grace meant that she was and always had been without any sin of any kind, including original sin. How many Catholic schools today teach the dogma of “outside the Church there is no salvation”? Why is it that 75% of people in America who call themselves Catholic do not believe that the Holy Eucharist is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ? Vatican II was arguably the greatest calamity of the twentieth century. I have seen in today’s new church examples of grave deviations from Catholic principles and theology that can be nothing less than heretical and anything but representations of the one, true Church.

    • Protestant but taught Catholic School says:

      I’ve always thought that communion was an outward sign of an inward faith regardless of whether you thought it was a representation of Christ or the actual body and blood. Maybe 75% of Catholics don’t like to think of it as the body and blood because its seems rather cannibalistic to think of it that way or because it actually tastes like bread and wine (not bones and blood). Just a thought

  57. Nancy S. Brandt says:

    I was raised Protestant and converted in my thirties when my daughter was about 2. She was baptized by a Methodist minister (who since divorced his wife and married a formerly married member of his congregation!-not many of her classmates could claim that!) but raised in the Catholic church. When she was to take her first Communion the priest asked when she made her “confession of faith.” We said she didn’t know any other church but the Catholic one, really. Anyway, she always said she loved wearing uniforms because she never had to think about what to wear and said, “If you’d sent me to a public high school, I’d have stressed so much about what to wear, I’d have missed the bus.”

  58. Jenners says:

    Catholic school is still a great option. A friend of ours who had spent his whole career in public school got a PT job teaching math at the local Catholic school after retirement. He told me in amazement, “At the public school we worried whether the kids had drugs and guns. At this Catholic school the major reason for detention is usually uniform infractions!” This is not to say that C. schools don’t have problems. But it amazes me that they seem to maintain discipline nowadays even without a whole brigade of nuns running the show.

  59. Amy Fradel says:

    Grades 1-8 I was taught by the Sisters of St. Casimir. I loved my teachers, their black robes entranced me and their hands were beautiful, immaculately manicured, with a gold bands with beaded edges. They taught me to love reading,to have beautiful penmanship, to spell, to love history, and to take pride in my work. They would hang our work on the wall and some would get gold stars. I wanted gold stars. They believed in my ability to succeed, and told me so. My mother bought my uniforms big and shortened the hems and shoulders, letting them out as I grew. I learned to sew on the hems of my uniforms.I loved my white procession dress, I passed my veil on to my daughter. I was hurt for life when my father refused to send me to Catholic high school. he didn’t believe that girls were worth educating. I left the church as a teenager. I had doubts about matters of faith that teachers failed to address–doubts were not permitted. I tried atheism, Buddhism,other Christian sects, but ultimately I found my way back to the Catholic church in my 40s. I thank my Catholic school education–all the little words and stories of my teachers are etched in my brain, and I am thankful. There was no Catholic school here for my children. i have done my best.

  60. al says:

    sorry I wont ever go to a catholic church I was raised and grew up very strict roman catholic.raised my children that way too after 13 years of her cheating we divorced
    the church turned there back on me they said I could still come to church but coulnt get communion but I could still donate to them …sorry ill go to church in my home and keep my money

  61. Chris Reynolds says:

    My eight years of Catholic school ended in 1971. Spent the next four years at public junior and high school begging for a challenge in the classroom, so superlative and superior was our education in Catholic Schools at the time. I am forever grateful that almost all our school’s classrooms were led by Sisters of Notre Dame, a teaching order. Every sister that headed my class had a Ph.D. They all went back to school every summer, while we were enjoying our freedom. I may have earned a barrel full of Cs and Ds in conduct (and handwriting), but I earned As in every academic subject for eight years because these Sisters could teach. They were behind me, coaching and challenging me everyday. They figured out how each of us learned best, and individualized their teaching to meet our needs. They taught me how to learn. My successes are directly attributed to their caring and insistence on every child’s best effort. I have not, and never will, forget them or fail to be thankful.

  62. subjectverb1 says:

    ” It really is a secret sign that makes you get the good wafers at communion. Ya know, the ones that don’t taste like cardboard.”

    This is quite a flippant way of referring to the Eucharist and the Real Presence of Our Lord.

    • Shirley says:

      I thought so too. I know the author didn’t mean to be offensive, but for those of us that believe in the Eucharist as Jesus is really hurts to hear to it referred to so insultingly.

  63. Jackie Arnold says:

    We just had our 52nd 8th grade Catholic School Class Reunion, May 2013. Class of June 1961. It was our 3rd Class Reunion. Out of a class of approximately 84 students we had 46 attend the reunion. It was determined to be a “get to renew friendships” and was very laidback. Casual dress… CD music by one of our own who had been a DJ… door prizes… buffet casual food.. Everyone said it was the best reunion they had been too. No programs. Everyone was given a little notebook with a pen to get the phone#’s/emails etc they wanted.. an attendance certificate… I was the #1 customer at the Dollar Store for a couple of months… We all agreed to continue to stay in touch. So many of us have for 52+ years.. having gone to school together since kindergarten. Not many people can say this… We even had one of our former nuns at last years event (and others at previous ones). We have a bond… like no other… for this we cherish and will always be thankful. ~In Memory of Charles “Chappy” M. Lako” January 13, 2014 RIP

  64. Jan says:

    I totally agree that Vatican II was the beginning of the end for so many Catholics born after the 1950s. Unfortunately they have had to struggle to find their faith!! How blessed we older people were to have received the basics of our Catholic faith taught through the cathecism. Those of you who have fallen away from the Faith, I feel sorry for you because you have turned your back on the greatest gift your parents gave you–the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist!

  65. James says:

    I have had 20 years of Catholic Education. I loved it.
    It is still affordable in the Diocese of Wichita
    Chili and Cinnamon Rolls was the best lunch.

  66. sharee says:

    I went to public school but I converted and now I teach in a Catholic School that my son attends. Just a mother and child, heading out in matching blue and white uniforms.

  67. Nate Montgomery says:

    The saint body part (bone really) thing is true. It’s called a “relic” and they are located in every Catholic church – usually in the altar. The relic doesn’t have to be a body part though, it can also be the saint’s clothing or something they held close throughout their life. That’s no rumor!

  68. Sheila Boyd says:

    As a life-long Catholic, I can’t believe that no one commented that #13 is not the Roman Catholic way of making the sign of the cross. 3 & 4 should be reversed. The image shown is the Orthodox way. Then again, that could be the reason for the question mark.

  69. Richard says:

    Catholic education here and would not trade it for the world! Still, at 75, go to daily Mass. I still serve for Funeral Masses at my parish.

  70. Brownie says:

    It’s important to remember that there are 2 sides to every story. I have friends who were emotionally scarred for YEARS because the nuns beat on them so much in elementary school (a form of abuse the late Fr. Andrew Greeley wrote would, like the sex abuse scandals, eventually come home to roost); some left the church altogether. It’s also important to remember that it’s the CHRISTIAN church or NO MATTER WHAT DENOMINATION that matters! The Roman Catholic church is not the “one true,” nor is it the “be all end all.” This is in NO way mean spirited–I have many Roman Catholic friends, but we of other faiths should be allowed the sacraments (which I take anyway if visiting a parish where no one knows me) and the pope should allow female priests and married priests, please!

    • Richard says:

      After all those years with the Benedictines, I never saw or heard about any kid getting beat by those wonderful women.

      • kevin says:

        Yeah, having attending catholic school with nuns I call bullshit on that. It’s a trope that stuck even though catholic schools gave up corporal punishment the same time public schools did.

        And asking to take the sacrament, and taking the sacrament, when you aren’t catholic, or are in one of the other christian sects that is in communion is incredibly disrespectful, as well as demanding that a religion you aren’t part of change its traditions even though you aren’t an adherent. You wouldn’t like it if an outsider of your group started telling you how your group should operate, I would expect the same courtesy in return.

      • John says:

        There is plenty of documentation in American Catholic schools of emotional and physical abuse by nuns, and sexual abuse by Catholic priests, particularly of altar boys. Your experience, unfortunately, if it is to be believed, is the exception.

    • ExJAG says:

      I am long since tired of listening to these types of posts. After a long life, I am now convinced that those who write things like this always find something, somewhere to complain about, and that whatever demons they’re exorcizing have little to do with the teaching Sisters who WORKED FOR NOTHING! I was taught by the Sisters of Charity of the BVM in the 1960s. The very old ones still administered discipline in the old way – becuase they were old. The rest? The best. Thank you, Sisters, again and again.

      • coookingsue says:

        Taught by the same order- stopped me from sending my daughter to Catholic school. She received an excellent education in our local public school without being beaten or having a woman hating nun teaching her in an all girl class. This nun was put in an institution. Therapist get rich off adults still trying to get right after the various forms of abuse that happened in some schools.

      • John says:

        You can hide your head in the sand over the crimes that Catholic priests have committed against children, including one of my closest childhood friends, or you can open your eyes and recognize this evil attempting to be camouflaged by religion, The Catholic hierarchy almost always sought protection for the perpetrators instead of the children being abused. This abuse is not just a sin, it’s a felony. I went through 12 years of Catholic schooling, and I’m sorry, you reap what you sow. I witnessed these frustrated and repressed nuns physically and emotionally abuse children endlessly. They took out their anger on innocent children, not just in the United States but all over the world, including and especially in Ireland. Once the dam broke, nothing can hold back the truth of this evil allowed by the Catholic Church. Find something to complain about? My friend the altar boy has suffered lifelong emotional and psychological scars after his parish priest brought him on trips and sexually abused him, and then from his sick mind he would say, “This is between you and me and God.” Then in school, the nuns would beat children for “misbehaving” and verbally humiliate them and tell them they were going to hell for something they might have done wrong. You may be just as tired of reading about this abuse as those who suffered it are tired of those who continue to deny its existence. Ironically, we were taught to look down on those who attended public school. To be fair, many nuns, brothers and priests are to be admired for their charitable work, particularly in the Third World where they have lost their lives for standing up against inequality and social injustice.

    • Dan says:

      Non Catholics should not receive Holy Eucharist because we (Catholics) believe that the bread and wine are actually changed to Jesus’ body and blood (transubstantiation). Other Christians believe the change is merely symbolic. Furthermore, if you are not a Roman Catholic, do give advice to my pope.

      • Jen says:

        Conservative Lutherans believe the same thing so why does it make it wrong to take communion at a Catholic Church?

      • BeeKaay says:

        “Conservative Lutherans believe the same thing so why does it make it wrong to take communion at a Catholic Church?”

        If you REALLY believe the same thing, why not come back home to Rome?

        Oh wait, you REALLY don’t believe the same thing.

        Can’t pick and choose like the relativist advocating “doesn’t matter what denomination…” Galatians 1:9 is clear on that!

      • David Whapham says:

        Catholicism -The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present at your birth because a women, who was created out of the rib of another man, was convinced by a talking snake that was possessed by a devil, to eat from a magical tree.. You are of course free to believe what ever nonsense you like, but don’t expect anyone to take your lectures seriously..

      • John says:

        Right on, David Whapham. You nailed Catholicism. Hardly another word need be said, except how amazingly well Catholics can remain smug and condescending in the face of such criminality and hypocrisy by the very people in the religion who are supposed to be emulating Christ.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deliver_Us_from_Evil_%282006_film%29

        Having said that, how much fun is it to watch conservative Catholics flip out over this new pope, who cares more about the poor than materialism and capitalism.

    • blanche says:

      No one will ever stop you from receiving any sacraments. “be all end all” you sound like a bitter non Catholic to me. The pope should have female priest and married priest. Zzzzzzzzz Now if you knew anything about us you would know that we always had married priest and now we don’t. You should look that up!

      • Melissa says:

        You are so correct. In high school, while being trained to be a Eucharistic minister, we were told than under no circumstances were we to refuse Communion to anyone (the example was, ‘…even if, on the way into church, you saw a man beating his wife & then later you find him in your line..’). To do so would be a judgement reserved for God—it was up to God to remove Himself from the consecrated host, thus denying him reception of the sacrament.

    • Mary says:

      We were never hit in grade school, except with a slight slap of the ruler on your fingers if you kept talking, but no beatings. We had tons of “writing” to do instead if we misbehaved in class like: “I must not talk.” 50 times, if you continued the next day talking, you got to do it 100 times until finally you thought better to talk while she was talking. HS was better, if talking- we had to do the history “nutshells” at the end of a chapter” as writing. That was more interesting and actually helped with studying as opposed to “I must not talk.”

    • Deb says:

      Other denominations do not believe that the communion wafer is REALLY the body of Christ. It is “symbolic of Christ”. To a Roman Catholic, it is REALLY the Body of Christ, as the wine is REALLY transformed to his blood. That is why others are not allowed to take communion in a Roman Catholic Church. I may feel the same way about women being priests.

      • dagmarwulfe says:

        The Orthodox do believe in the transubstantiation as well. If you really take this seriously, you CANNOT in good conscience give the eucharist to anyone who does not fully believe in the transubstantiation because they would be taking it unknowingly, and thus to the possible detriment of their soul. It’s not that they’re trying to be mean,they’re trying to protect others from possible harm that could come to them through engaging in what they ( the Catholics and Orthodox) believe is a very powerful act without really knowing what they (non Catholics and non Orthodox) are getting into. And it IS very disrespectful to take the eucharist at an Orthodox or Catholic church if you do not believe the same things they do.

      • John says:

        They really believe some little round white wafer REALLY is the Body of Christ and some rot-gut wine is somebody’s blood? Why, that sure sounds like voodoo to me, Deb! But believe how you want, as long as you can endure that others think Catholics are a little nuts for believing this stuff.

    • BeeKaay says:

      “CHRISTIAN church or NO MATTER WHAT DENOMINATION ”

      The only difference between denominations is doctrine. So you advocate relativism instead of the gospel.

      This is not the truth.

      Unless you deny Galatians 1:9. I bet you do since you deny a lot of other Biblical verses from what you’ve posted.

      Gotta love the CINOs who stand for whatever the society tells them instead of what Jesus Christ stood for.

    • Mo says:

      It’s highly offensive for you to take Communion if you are not Catholic and visiting a Catholic church. I would not take communion in another Christian parish. Totally different meanings… we believe the Eucharist is Jesus. Not symbolic. Please stop doing that.

    • Pat Mallory says:

      Many in our generation have grown out of the security of religion, and changed our thinking to the comfort of victimization. This seems to
      help excuse our faults and avoid the responsibilities that we where
      taught by the sisters, that we have to one another. Many people think that the Pope should change the Church to suit our whims, and adjust
      Church to what ever way the wind blows at any given time. These folks are called protestants.

    • Mike Damiano says:

      One does not “take” the sacraments. You receive the sacraments. Your understanding of Catholic theology is faulty. And the RC Church has the fullness of revelation which other Christian denominations do not have. They were not started by Jesus Christ but by a human being. If you want what we have….come join us. You know you want to.

    • Mary Kelley says:

      During the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass, the priest actually changes the bread and wine into the bread and body of Jesus Christ. The eucharist doesn’t “represent” the body and blood of Christ, it IS the body and blood of Christ. If you truly believe that and want to receive Christ’s blood and body, we would love to have you join the Catholic church. I am sure there is an RCIA group at your local parish you can join. We would love to have you!

      • John says:

        It is no surprise, Mary Kelley, that you “would love” others to “join the Catholic Church,” given the incredible slide in your membership in recent decades. “We would love to have you!” you say? Of course! You are desperate as your congregations continue their steep decline and Catholic parishes actually close their doors. My mother was a Catholic, the daughter of Irish immigrants. She married a non-practicing Protestant who could not become a Catholic after refusing to kneel down in front of a priest and confess his “sins.” The Church consequently refused my parents a church wedding, so they were married in the rectory! This was in 1945. Sixty-five years later, not only did my still non-Catholic, non-practicing Protestant father get a funeral mass in the church, but he was buried in the Catholic cemetery! Have times changed? Yes. As our funeral director explained to me, the Catholic Church needs the money as their numbers decline, and funerals and burials are significant revenue generators. That one funeral mass I know generated a lot of cash for the Church. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

      • Mo says:

        John. Calm down, dude. You think every person on earth that says, “We would love to have you” is on some mission to get numbers up? You could say that about anyone from any group. As for Catholic funerals… I would assume that decision is made by the family. Why do you sound so shocked that someone that didn’t agree with the Church’s sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) would not be permitted to join the Church? I’m sure that would be a problem today. I married a non-practicing Protestant in a Catholic Church. No one expected him to convert.

    • Cassandra Bourget says:

      Christianity is by far the Only One True belief anyone could have. Catholicism is the lead of any Christian church, because it was began by Jesus Christ. All “religions” are just broken off of it. The nuns did not beat-they disciplined. Catholic school children had families at home who enforced rules, they were not deprived. Until this day, I still believe The Lord is the Most High! And yes, I agree with many of these 20. :)

      • dagmarwulfe says:

        Actually, the Catholics and Orthodox split from each other. Don’t lump the Orthodox in with all the protestants, it’s not the same at all!!

      • Lynda says:

        Sorry you are wrong because the Catholic church is not the one true church…Show me from God’s word, which is the bible, where it says that that is true….Yes, I went to the Catholic school and was hit, slapped in the face, all sorts of things…Nuns are the meanest people alive ….Thank-God I am not Catholic……One thing we do agree on is the Lord is the Most High…King of Kings and Lord of Lords…..Only way to heaven is through him….

      • John says:

        Cassandra, love, we were indoctrinated with that same tripe in Catholic elementary schools in the 1950s, the Catholic Church being the “one true church.” You still believe that even though the Catholic Church itself no longer subscribes to such religious arrogance? You need to update your condescension, or at least be a little better at hiding it, given the worldwide criminality of the Catholic Church exposed in recent years, from child abuse to rape to other outright crimes covered up by the Catholic leadership. It is not just the worldwide sexual abuse criminality by Catholic priests, mind you, but so many historical outrages perpetrated by the Church in the name of Christ. I know you will not dare to watch this Youtube all the way through, but others might:

        How could “the one true church” be involved in such behavior down through the ages? Perhaps because its followers blindly have “faith.”

    • KARIN ZOANELLI says:

      heavens NO – no woman will EVER be ordained a priest. and I am sorry you have such a negative view of the Catholic schools: what happens to kids nowadays is worse, much, much worse. their are indoctrinated, not allowed to think for themselves and pitted against the parents (if they have any)
      as far as your wish to partake in the sacraments: NO again, you do not believe. we do. Transsubstantiation – look it up in. and shame on you to disrespect our Catholic Faith.
      as far as married priests: NO again, and again, but then – why would you – a non believer – even cncern yourself with our Faith?????
      maybe I should let you in on a secret: until the reformation of Maqrtin Luther, and Calvin there was ONLY THE cATHOLIC CHURCH.

      • pattyd0620 says:

        I must comment on the accusations of nuns beating and being mean to students. All the nuns in Our Lady Queen of Angels were nice, but did discipline….and without any hitting. I do recall, while a new school was being built for us, when we were temporarily placed in classrooms at other Catholic schools. The nuns in the school I was temporarily at were mean and they did scare me. Fortunately, our own nuns taught us and encounters with the other nuns were few, but they did scare me. I just thanked God I was attending the school that had the nice nuns. Hey….they’re human like the rest of us. It’s unfortunate for those who had to know only the mean ones.

    • Jenna says:

      If you are not Catholic, the sacraments simply do not mean the same thing to you. If they do, become Catholic!

      • Rosemary Salvaggio Sharkey says:

        Going to Catholic sxhool has taught me the parts of speech,how to put a sentence together,great penmanship and the genuine use of the English language.Todays kids print and you can’t understand a word. Grammar is so important,especiallly when submittimg a resume to a a prospective employer..I qawn]t crazy about Catholc zchool,buy it sure taught me how to be literate/ When I sign my name,[eople ask me if I went to Catholic school. lol

    • Dee says:

      Since you are so negative on the Catholic Church, why would you care so much about receiving their sacraments? You took a lighthearted post and made it heavy and dark. For many, the Catholic Church IS the one true church and the be all and end all and that’s their prerogative. On that note, who are you to tell us what to do regarding who can be a priest and what we should call ourselves. Why don’t you just go be whatever religion you are and leave us alone.

    • Timothy Nohe says:

      I too went to Catholic school. I was in the Air Force and I recognized the name of a new guy in our unit as having gone to St Johns with me for eight years. He didn’t know I was in the unit. The first time I ran across him personally, I overheard him telling a story about how Sister Richard used to beat “us” and how cruel and abusive Sister Earl had been. Except … he didn’t know I heard him. Sister Richard was no doubt about it a pain in the ass. She had her favorites and I was certainly not one of them. She took every opportunity to mark me down and to degrade and belittle me even in public. If she had been beating anyone, it would have been me. And she did not. And Sister Earl? To hear him slander Sister Earl just stunned me. A tall ugly woman she was, but she was as sweet as honey. She too a real interest in making sure we were learning. She single-handedly brought me up to grade level in reading after school and taught the the magic of math and what amazing things numbers were and sparked a keen interest in science. And not just for me but for a lot of kids in the class. What he was saying about her was pure slander.

      So now when ever I hear someone claim to have been beaten and physically abused by the nuns, I look at their claim with a jaundiced eye and swallow it with a salt lick.

      • ann says:

        I also attended Catholic school for eight years. While I experienced one nun who I didn’t particularly like because she played favorites with the students (I was not one of the favorites, but she NEVER beat or otherwise abused anyone), the other seven were extremely humble women who devoted their lives to educating and mentoring other people’s children for zero pay and not a heck of a lot of appreciation. I sent my own son to Catholic school for a time and had an equally positive experience. Seeing our public schools today (I have tutored in mine for many years), I will be DELIGHTED if my grandchildren end up in Catholic schools, even though neither I nor my children are practicing Catholics. Some of the comments on this site are extremely mean-spirited and others pure slander. As far as receiving the sacraments, PUL-EEZ! Do you go around demanding your “right” to dictate the rules to other organizations of which you are not a member? Or to eat dinner at the table of someone from whom you have not received an invitation? Chill out and get a life!

        Ann
        class of ’61

    • Ali says:

      Brownie,
      This is a light hearted thing that if you haven’t been there you don’t understand. If you are not Catholic then how dare you tell our religion what we should and shouldn’t do. And if you want to take the sacrament knock yourself out the reason in part for non-Catholics not being allowed to take communion is because you don’t have the teachings we do about the sacraments. Clearly you are taking it as a big F U to the church because you should be able to do whatever you want whenever you want. Good for you! I hope you feel that your fight against the MAN is complete! (How lame!) Do you demand that you go into the Temple of the Mormon church? I didn’t really see where they author wrote other religions aren’t Christian and only Catholics are Christian. I don’t get your tirade when this is supposed to be light hearted. Get a life

    • Chris Wilborn says:

      Brownie,
      Please let me apologize for the “sins” of those Catholics (Nuns, Priests, or Lay) that hurt you or your friends.
      Please respect your fellow Christians and their Sacraments.
      Hope to see ya at our final Home ! Prayers !!

  71. Word Warrior says:

    I came away with the life-long ability to memorize anything. All those years of memory verses paid off when I went to college and had to memorize medical terms. It is a skill that should be taught in every school.

  72. Jane Rosenbarger says:

    This was wonderful. I went to Mass six days a week from first through seventh grades, and only stopped because our school closed (1969). I disagree that Vatican II was a disaster, and I disagree that the Bible is God’s inspired word. Just try translating from one language to another…there are always other ways to translate the same thing. Maybe God’s infallible, but Man is not.

    When I went to 8th grade in public school, I was miles ahead of the other kids, but miles behind in “bad words.” Although I do not identify myself as Catholic anymore, in my experience, it is something that never totally leaves you. Studying comparative religions in college and throughout life has taught me much, but I am happy with my grounding in Catholicism. It gave me a stable foundation on which to build (in ways the nuns never dreamed!). Thanks for your article.

  73. Kristen Warick Evans says:

    Don’t forget, with those magazine/pizza/candy sales came the sketchy sales guys who would do a “prize showcase” in our gym to entice us to sell as much as we could. I always wanted to do the cash box where the money flew around and you had to catch it!

  74. Teri Sue says:

    I grew up in a Lutheran Church and it was very religious but didn’t have all the rules the “Other Church” had so I think it was very good to prepare me for life.

  75. Frank says:

    How about the feeling you had when it came to pass that new kids you met were not (gasp!) – catholic? I thought EVERYONE was catholic!

  76. Barbara says:

    Nobody has mentioned my favorite ‘sign’…Good Penmanship! 8 years of Catholic school and still keep in touch with several of my classmates. Lots of fun memories.

    • Jean says:

      Jean
      January 15, 2014 at 4:19 PM

      I’m 68 and people will still comment on my penmanship. Once a cashier said when I handed her my check, “You went to Catholic School”. I did for all 12 yrs. We just had our 50th Class Reunion and it was so wonderful seeing everyone and sharing memories. It was the best of times.

      • Dee says:

        You are so right! I was waiting for the author to mention this but she didn’t. How about diagramming sentences? Also, athletics were quite strong.

      • pattyd0620 says:

        I’m 68 also and have had many people make the same comment about my penmanship…..that I must have attended Catholic school. That was just one of many teachings the nuns did better than at any public school !!!

    • Timothy Nohe says:

      Or my favorite sign … being able to count back change.

      “That’s seven dollars and twenty one cents, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, fifty, seventy-five, eight, nine, ten, twenty dollars. Thank you so much, ma’am.” Coins in the hand first. No miscounting. And a thank you.

      I had a customer who so trusted the machine that he doubted I gave him the right change because I didn’t look at the register when I counted his change. “How do you know that’s right?” Because it just is, I told him. “Count it correctly!” So I recounted it the same way.

      I had so much trouble learning subtraction that Sister Josine took me aside and taught me change counting. To this day I do a lot of subtraction that way … backward addition.

    • Doc says:

      Bwahaha! In adult life I seriously dated one and always wondered which desk she sat in. Were I paying attention I could have had clues from 20 years earlier how it would play out.

  77. Diane says:

    The Catholic Church, the Catholic faith, was founded by Christ, thus is “Christianity”, and therefore it is the one, true faith – “one holy, catholic, and apostolic church”. In loving our fellow man, we must respect all people, regardless of what religious denominations they have chosen, but it is forgotten or ignored, that other denominations broke away in protest from the original Catholic faith, thus, they became ‘protest’ants, and other denominations also came into existence, all originating with doctrines, beliefs, and political impulses against the Catholic Church. No one of other “faiths” can receive sacraments of the Catholic Church, if they do not believe in and espouse the meaning, the significance of those sacraments. What Brownie is proposing is a “have it your way” religion, but at the same time, not espousing the Catholic Church’s teachings, and yet somehow expecting to be “allowed” to receive the sacraments of Catholicism anyway. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the sacraments as “efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.”

    How sacraments are defined any other way by anyone else except Christ, is irrelevant, because only Christ, the founder of His Church on earth, instituted the sacraments. Perhaps Brownie might wish to explore an RCIA program, and study the Catholic faith. It sounds as though that he/she could be interested in it.

    • Spanyrd says:

      As you bring up the Four Marks of the Church, I just want to point out that it says “catholic” with a small “c” not a capital “C”, which actually means “universal” as in the wholeness and totality of all true believers in Jesus as the Christ.

  78. Maureen says:

    cute, very cute. I don’t agree with #4 at all though. I went to an all girls catholic high school and never once felt that way. I embraced no boys and looking less showered by the end of the week! #7 is a sports car race prayer at our table both my husband and I are catholic. #14 Ah yes, the old Bloody Mary. I think the catholic church wanted us to be afraid of the drink rather than the haunted story. #15 I’m thankful for this saying. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this to my own children. Lastly # 19 I have to totally disagree with. I was our 8th grade May Queen and I was picked probably because my first name was the closest to Mary. It was a definite that I was not the teachers pet. Perhaps it had a lot to do with the fact that maybe I was last of the girls to mature and still a virgin? Either way if the girls from my 8th grade class can’t get over the fact that those nuns picked my name out of a hat (or just said it because they didn’t like who they really picked lol) than oh well there’s so much more to have to get over than that. Cute blog. Thanks for the read.

  79. Nor says:

    I had Dominican Nuns in kindergarten through 8th grade. I remember in 8th grade, a boy who sat next to me, Lewis Rice, did something (I don’t remember what because this was 1966) and Sister Kathleen took his head while he was seated at his desk, and banged his head upon the top of the desk multiple times!!! I think the nuns were very frustrated women!!!

  80. Helen Terris says:

    I went to both Catholic and Public Schools back in the 50’s and 60’s. The punishments were no different. Missing recess….writing “I will not…., staying after school, etc. I had wonderful public school teachers and wonderful nuns. Were there some crazies out there? Sure…but there are crazies in all professions and unfortunately that’s who we remember.

  81. C. Quin says:

    I attended catholic school from k-graduate school. I am 65 and believe that I received the best education in the worl. My teachers were strict, but kind and loving. Of course there were some that weren’t, but even saints had to put up with malcontents! I thank all the nuns, brothers and priests, who educated generations of children so selflessly and with love for their vocation. I also thank my parents for the many sacrifices they made for all twelve of us. Our Catholic education grounded us and has sustained us always, especially in times like today.

    As a retired teacher, who spent most of my teaching career in catholic schools, and later in public schools, I say that the catholic schools outperformed the public schools in so many ways with far less resources than the public schools. That is something to contemplate as our nation struggles with so many problems in education.

  82. Shelly Sullivan Nuessle says:

    I had 12 years of Catholic Education in the 60s & 70s, with the Sisters of Loretto and Jesuits, some Christian Brothers and a lot of laity. And the most frustrating teachers I had were not religious – they were lay women.

    I actually have my youngest graduating this May after 13 years (9 in our parish school and 4 years at an all-girls HS) and she has had a number of Sisters of St. Joseph and has had a great four years,

    Unfortunately, that penmanship thing… not being taught anymore…

  83. Betty says:

    We actually moved to a different neighborhood in Brooklyn, so I could attend Catholic School (Our Lady of Angels, Bay Ridge). I hat attended public schools through 5th grade. However, my mother believed I was headed for juvenile delinquency and a “600 School.” I didn’t breathe for three year, but I learned so, so much. We had the Sisters of Charity of Halifax Nova Scotia…no messing with those women. I was hit by a pointer once across the back of my hand. My father took issue with this and met the principal and offending teacher. I feared retaliation. I then went on to an all-girls Catholic high school. I count those four years as some of the best years of my life.
    And, yes, my penmanship is very nun-like. With all that knowledge crammed into my head, I was able to be a two-day champion on “Jeopardy!” Thank you, Sisters.
    (Oh, I did send my kids to Catholic school…) They were never traumatized, not did they grow up to become serial killers. Amen.

  84. Lori says:

    Many other faiths do not believe in the holy trinity (which is the major difference) and why receiving communion by visiting parishoners or parisoners who have not received the sacrament of Eucharist is not allowed. So not Lutherans may not receive communion at a Catholic Mass. No one will stop them but we aske that they resloect our faith in God’s house. We welcome everyone to receive a blessing from the priest at communion but not sharing in the body and blood.

    • Dee says:

      All Christian faiths, other than Unitarians and Jehovah’s Witnesses, believe in the holy trinity or they wouldn’t be Christian.

  85. Bette Isacoff says:

    I attended Catholic schools kindergarten through grad school (nursing school was secular), and I never heard of any of this crap. This is the stuff of fertile imaginations more than anything else, I think.

  86. Joanne says:

    I attended Catholic School starting in first grade in 1961. I had the most amazing nun of the Sisters of Mercy for first grade. She wasn’t much taller than the 98 kids that were in my first grade class. She was awesome. Then in 3rd grade I had a secular teacher, Miss Carol (some polish unpronounceable name). I had been out sick with Tonsillitis for a week and when I returned the class was on the 9 times table. The first day back we were marched up to the board to do a problem. Mine was 9×3 and I was pulling a complete blank….I had missed the 9x’s table!!!!!! I told her I didn’t know the answer. Instead of prompting me to think of the 3x’s table she pulled me across the front of the classroom by my earlobe saying, “YOU SHOULD KNOW 9 X 3…” “Bitch” is all I can say to this day and have suffered from a math phobia since that day. I have tried to forgive but the hurt keeps coming back to haunt me even as an adult. I made sure my kids knew their times tables and at the age of 35 my dear sister in law taught me one of the tricks to the 9x’s table….Why hadn’t Miss Carol thought of that? The rest of the Sisters of Mercy were ok except for Sr. Ignatius in 8th grade who kept hitting one particular boy over the head with a metal ruler who hadn’t done a thing wrong. We drove her crazy by pinning bells to our slips and ringing them surreptitiously from opposite sides of the room. She was retired after our class. Then in high school the nun I had for Geometry simply wrote notes on the board and required that we copy them down. She never taught us anything. I flunked Geometry and had to go to summer school. My sister in law had her the next year and the entire class was flunked. The nun was retired and the entire class was given a passing grade….dang….Some of the Nuns were Awesome such as Sr. Joel Marie SSJ who taught me french. Other’s not so much…..no regrets…

    • Dee says:

      Very similar to my experiences and I think we are the same age. Catholic school wasn’t always fair but then, neither is life. I think they did a good job of preparing us for that.

      • Janice says:

        We’re all about the same age. Do you remember JFK being shot and having your whole school go to church to pray for him?

  87. Linda DeBoe says:

    I went thru 12 years of Catholic School with Dominican Nuns. They definitely were wonderful teachers and you DID learn. I unfortunately did see some very rough discipline like banging a person’s head against the blackboard and face slapping. I wish that our children had the respect for their teachers that we had. Principals like honesty, integrity and morals were important during our school years.

  88. Wanda Higgins says:

    I remember a lot of this stuff! Does anyone out there remember the reading series in the 50’s and 60’s that was similar to Dick and Jane, but the main characters were David and Ann?

    • Timothy Nohe says:

      I remember David and Ann very well. I remember seeing a picture of David and Ann pinning clothes on the line. “See David. See Ann, See them help mother with the wash.” I am from Baltimore where we pronounce it “warsh.” We had been learning with phonics (pa-hon-ics?) I called Sister Laura (who had a Baltimore accent) over and told her the book was wrong. “Sister. They misspelled warsh. They left out an R” She shook her head, “No, Tim, it’s just got an invisible R.”

  89. RonParra says:

    I am Catholic, you are free to practice your own beliefs. Stop embellshing and utilizing Oprah’s repressed memory syndrome. Good and evil in all people in every walk of life.

    • Sister Mary Grammar says:

      If you decided to stay or go back to the Christian life after graduation you were probably met with some confusion when you went to the Christian book store and was met with the aisles of different translations.

  90. tim says:

    You who went to Catholic School when they watch Star Wars and Yoda (or Obi Wan) says “May the force be with you.” And you here them (or you here yuorself say) “and also with you.”

    • Richard says:

      Just a note here …. “And also with you” in response to “the Lord be with you” came in as the translation AFTER Vatican II. The translation has been corrected and Catholics no longer say “and also with you” in response. The correct translation is “and with your Spirit”, which we use today.

      • Richard Gorka says:

        Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and all the unfortunate others of their ilk were NOT reformers. They revolted against the order established by the Son of God Himself. They would not obey. They would not serve, as their master Lucifer would not serve. They rebelled against the axiom that our purpose in this life is to know, love, and serve God in order to be happy with Him in the next life. Man, of himself, is frail, helpless, prone to fault and sin. For century after century enemies of the one, true Faith have railed against it often citing the human failings of its leaders and members. But the doctrines and teachings that Christ imparted to His Church are unerring and will last until the end of time. No Buddha, no Krishna, no Allah, no shallow, false concept of Christ as preached by Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans et al can lead men to salvation. “If you are not with Me you are against me.” If you are with Christ you accept and embrace ALL of His teachings, not just most of them or the ones you may find easy to accept.

        • Crystal says:

          I agree with jean catholic school svawesome, my girls go to them one is in kindergarten one is in high school. My oldest did public school from pre to 4th grade. I put her in catholic school..I have step daughters the same age they are in public school and live in the same town we live in. They wear make up and dress up for school everyday. My daughter does not she is in a catholic all girls school. She a kind courteous girl. Honor roll, nice kid. I truly Beileve catholic school has shaped her. Are there some jerks in catholic school sure a few, but there are more nice kids from nice families. It is not cheap, but worth every single penny.

  91. Doc says:

    Felt I had to drop this anecdote here, since it’s true, by now, FUNNY, and I don’t often get a chance to share it.
    I started Catholic Kindergarten in 1979. At the beginning of first grade, we learned that we could no longer bring in wooden rulers with the metal piece wedged into the bottom. Every teacher and student received school-issued soft rubber rulers.

    Parents began to complain about children coming home with bloody knuckles. This was the solution. The rulers hurt considerably less and left no marks. Much easier fix than changing the institution.

  92. David says:

    Just wanted to point out that the person in the picture for number 17 (Stations of the Cross Day) is actually a Mormon missionary…

    Catholic school through grade 8 (1-4 parochial, 5-8 private all-boys)… and everything on this list is true.

  93. Ar Recine says:

    THIS IS PRICELESS!!! THERE IS A BOOK TO READ IT LOOKS LIKE A COMPOSITION NOTEBOOK AND IE TITLED “DONT CHEW JESUS” YOU CAN GET IT FROM AMAZON.COM. ITS HILARIOUS AND ALL CATHOLIC SCHOOL SURVIVORS CAN RELATE TO IT …………. LOVE THIS BLOG, GREAT JOB AND THANKS.

  94. wayne says:

    Of course, nuns work for “free”, but they have multi-million dollar retreat houses. Great health insurance, no taxes, oh…I wish I had all that under the banner of “vow of poverty>” They are taken care of for life.

  95. Patricia DiRienzo says:

    I made my First Communion and Confirmation, both on the same day, while in second grade. The one thing not mentioned here was (I believe it was called) the ‘League (or Legion) of Decency’ (doesn’t sound right, but it’s close)……the list of movies in the back of church, where you looked before you went to see a movie, to see how the movie was rated, in terms of it being allowed for your age, i.e. G being acceptable for anyone, etc. And, I never saw a movie not allowed……until I got a little older. LOL. And, I still sometimes think of that when I go to the movies. Bottom line is I am glad to have been able to attend Catholic school from first grade through high school. It does make me sad that neither of my schools exist any longer.

  96. brendan cunningham says:

    Catholic education made me who I am today. I consider myself very successful having authored two books ,numerous articles, and run some very successful business. I have become a good father, a sound citizen, a great friend to those people I treat as such because of what the nuns and priests did for me. Oh, I was disciplined for sure. The very first day of school, Sister Mary Patrick called me to the front of the room and slapped me across the face and reminded me that “there was no humming in first grade.” I did not tell this story to my mother until she was 80 years old because I knew what her response would be. “You deserved it.” I am not traumatized or psychologically scarred. I do not harbor anger or resentment. The public school system in our country can take a lesson. Uniforms make sense. They are cheaper and go a long way toward helping personalities develop without the stigma of being more or less fashionable. I for one give the Catholic system of education two major thumbs up and am proud to say I made sure my daughter had the specific advantage of 12 years of it. She is in law school, by the way.

  97. katesroom2@gmailcom says:

    As to #19, I was always picked and have the photo to prove it. When I went to public high school I was amazed (maybe shocked) by the freedom.

  98. GJbean says:

    You sound like a public school kid to me. Catholic grade school was the BEST experience for everyone. And please get off the nuns, don’t fall prey to the way our media presents them. These are women who devoted their lives to God. Did you have an imperfect experience? so sorry.

  99. Judy says:

    Please let your priests and nuns marry!! It will change a lot of things in the church for the good!! I went to Roman Catholic School from K-8. Loved it! Have good memories of it. Funny memories, too!

  100. Robin Marinaro says:

    I can relate to a lot having been to Catholic schools from K to 6th and 9th to 12th with the exception of the 11th grade when I went to a public school in France. I read the NIV version of the Bible and it’s changed my life.

  101. Kim Lucas says:

    Seriously? You’re only going to comment about how the Catholic church hides secrets or pry on small children. Have any of you read the news lately? Unfortunately, abuse exists in all walks of life. It’s not the Church, it’s people in trust that are the problem. I don’t think we should blame the religion,but blame and hold the person(s) guilty of the crimes accountable for thier actions.. I myself, enjoyed my childhood attending a Catholic school, and fortunately did not suffer from evil nuns and pervert priests. And, I hope for those that did suffer, get help to sooth their minds from the past. God Bless

  102. Melissa says:

    Can anyone explain this Humorless Mystery to me: Why are all these people who have clearly suffered the slings & arrows of the Church even bothering to read a humorous post regarding said institution? Other than the requisit spleen venting & re-hashing of tales of cannibalism, statue deification & Nazi nuns, this clearly wasn’t the post for you. May I humbly recommend you exercise your free will (which this Catholic read about in Genesis—in that Bible we never read) & find a more appropriate site. I’m quite sure the blog’s author did not sit down to write a nostalgic tome in an attempt to have as much criticism heaped upon her as some of the posted can shovel.

    I didn’t agree with everything either, but the Grace of God helps me to turn a blind eye while still enjoying that which I do find myself in communion with (REALLY enjoying slinging all this Catholic terminology/idioms around btw!) & appreciate the spirit in which she wrote.

  103. Mary says:

    I not only went to Catholic elementary and high school when it came to college I (horror of horrors to some) CHOSE to go to a Catholic college. Why? My education was by far better than my neighborhood friends and even as a child I knew it. I wish I could have afforded to send my children to Catholic school but it wasn’t to be. As adults we have the choice to dwell on stereotypes and negative experiences or realize that every thing we experienced made us who we are today. I am thankful to have had a great education “in the Dominican Tradition” as they said at my college.

  104. Maureen Vines says:

    I went to Catholic schools for 12 years, as did my kids, and the only punishment from nuns was an occasional slap on the open hand from a ruler. And that was for a really disruptive kid (long before anyone knew about ADHD). They usually made you write a lot and sent notes home for your parents to deal with you.

    My husband went to public schools and had a 4th grade teacher who made him sit under her desk and hit him EVERY DAY. In those days, you didn’t tell your parents, for fear you would be in more trouble at home, because they always believed the teacher! He ended up in the hospital with an ulcer at 9 years old. And when the truth finally came out – the bitch couldn’t be fired till the following year because of her contract. No telling how many other boys were victimized by this boy-hating monster. These days, there would be a huge lawsuit.

    So don’t tell me about all the abuse in Catholic schools. My family, including generations of aunts, uncles & cousins all had good experiences and got great educations in the Catholic system. But there are good and bad people in every segment of society.

  105. Carolyn says:

    Never was I beat by a Sister… NEVER! I never even saw a child beat by a Sister… All of that talk is folklore, manufactured nonsense…and therefore, does take away from abuse that actually has happened. Having said that I would like to also say that the Catholic Church is NOT the only institution plagued by sexual abuse in its history! In the end… Thanks for your ” 20 signs….” Made me smile as I recalled soooo many fond memories of my Catholic school days. Peace to all

    • DetroitJanice says:

      Funny – you don’t believe that nuns ever hit anyone and it’s a bunch of “manufactured nonsense” because you never actually saw it happen, yet you believe in an invisible man in the sky.

      • Donna o'Neil says:

        Are you kidding me? I went 11 yrs to Catholic School, and saw more spankings and humiliation than I’d like to remember.. My sister was so tramatized as a kid, that at a bingo game 50 yrs. later, one of her teachers was sitting across from her, and she ran outside to throw up…50 YEARS later…they caused a life time of damage. Frustrated old bats

    • Leo Volz says:

      You couldn’t be more wrong, Carolyn. Just because you didn’t see doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. To assert such does a huge disservice to those of us who experienced it.

    • KADsmom says:

      The nun beating thing….NOT FOLKLORE….I repeat .. NOT FOLKLORE! I witnessed/experienced it 1st hand in the 80s.

    • Jacqueline A Senski says:

      I went to a catholic school and i have seen a sister take a stack of rulers she had taped together and hit kids over the knuckles with them. but that was also at a time when corporal punishment was not frowned upon in schools.

    • John says:

      The Carmelite sisters at good old St Rose didn’t hit me in 1st, 3rd and 4th grade either. 2nd and 5th, well, I deserved it. Sister Lourdes still owes me the TV she confiscated.

    • vlad says:

      If you came to St. Andrew’s Penal Colony (Erie, PA) in the 1960’s you would have seen it as a common occurrence… Some nuns even watched us going to the bathroom… The worse case was when six of us guys were taking a leak and some of the guys were laughing at a joke when the principle came in and hit us with a paddle while we were doing our thing.

    • norma jean says:

      I wasn’t beaten by nuns, but my knuckles were, with a ruler. In 3rd grade. In 7th grade I witnessed humiliation of other students. We all lived thru it.

    • Maddie says:

      Our nuns put heads under water fountains if you yawned, put dresses on boys if the mis-behaved, Smacked kids in the head, etc. It happened because I was there.

    • Francis says:

      Unfortunately, it is true that nuns and priests were physically aggressive, and sometimes even abusive, in Catholic schools. That’s not to say that all of them were, but it did occur. However, it’s certainly a thing of the past, as this corporal punishment had largely disappeared by the 70’s. Of course, it’s also true that the Catholic Church is not the only one guilty of sexual abuse either. It’s important to be realistic about our past. If we truly love something/someone, then we should be able to admit its/his/her faults. The Church is no exception. After all, while it has had some bumps along the way (as every prominent institution has), it still remains a beacon of hope.

      • MARIANN FASANO CRABTREE says:

        is that you my der sister fran the sisters hade there moments i remember being draged into the classroom on my frist day by my ear and when mommy had heard enough she took us all out of school thank the good lord and lets forgive them for they know not what they do

      • Melissa says:

        Obviously, the sisters/nuns at poor Mariann’s school beat the living spelling and punctuation right out of her. Perhaps she can pray to St. Cassian of Immola, patron of writing (he was stabbed to death by his pencil-wielding pagan students, thus earning his stripes, so to speak) for guidance in future communication endeavors.

    • William says:

      HOLD ON. Here’s the truth: Nuns used to use a ruler or some other ferule, as late as the 70s, maybe the 80s, but since then the practice of disciplining a child physically has stopped. Of course, assertive discipline methods are still in place, but not any that would physically harm the students.

    • Lynn says:

      12 years of Catholic ed. In 5th grade, my teacher, a nun, approached the desk of the boy in the row right next to me. She yelled at him for not having his reader out and ordered him to get it from the storage space under his desk. As he leaned into the aisle, his head was inches from my desk when Sr. Mary Ann hit him on the back of his head with her thick, hardcover reader. The shock of that violence has never left me. That was the worst I saw but there was plenty more. It never occurred to me to tell my mother. That was the culture.

    • Monica M says:

      I am going to share this post. BTW, I was beat by a nun…and I wasn’t the only one!! My offense for the beating? I didn’t get my spelling paper signed by my parents. Yup! Hit in the face with a California History book…I can still see the poppies on the cover!!

    • maryann kelly says:

      what years did you go. i remember it in the 50’s. one nun actually threw a boy down the stairs by his ears and then went and stomped on him. they were vicious back then.

    • sjp1969 says:

      I was hit by a nun during the first grade for writing with my left hand. She used a ruler to hit my hand whenever she caught me doing it. That was in 1975. I came home one day with an extremely red and swollen hand and finally told my mom what was happening… Needless to say after my mom got a hold of the nun the following morning I was never hit again and allowed to write with my left hand.

    • Tom says:

      Well Carolyn, I was personally grabbed by a nun in the first grade. Her fingernails dug into my bicep leaving scars that I still have to this day. I also saw the principal that year spank my best friend, and to substantiate the comment below about the boys room, saw a nun come into the toilet, yank a kid from the urinal, drop his drawers and foist him onto a toilet because she thought he wasn’t peeing fast enough standing up. But the nuns were not alone, our lay music teacher threw books at us, called us names, and stomped his feet if we didn’t follow the music. When I was in Catholic High School, the English teacher, who was also hockey coach, would serve out slap-shot butt spankings with the hockey stick by his desk for even minor errors in class. No it’s definitely true, I saw it happen.

    • Nick says:

      I know your heart is in the right place, Carolyn, but kids did get hit by nuns and priests up until the 1960’s. ALL kids experienced corporal punishment until the 60’s or 70’s (some still do in public schools in the south). I experienced it ONCE in 1982 as a second grader and a lay teacher smacked my face for crying.

      • dar says:

        My son’s kindergarten teacher tied the kids up with duck tape to a chair and duck taped their mouths. My fourth grader started stuttering. I took them out of Catholic school. This was the late 80s. His stuttering stopped when he went to the public schools.

      • Wendy says:

        I think corporal punishment is pretty much dead in the South as in most other places. Of course, so is any form of discipline. The lunatics are running the asylum.

    • Lynda Patire says:

      We obviously did not go to the same school….just because you were not witness does not make it folklore but kudos for attempting to acknowledge problems outside of the Catholic Church as well…now go say 10 Hail Mary’s & One Our Father…Bless you my child

    • Eileen Fahy says:

      The nuns that taught at our grade school were quite physical. Of course, not all of them. But as early as 1st grade (circa 1960), Sister Marian would slap a boy in the face if he pee’d in his desk. Happened a few times! Our 3rd grade lay teacher would make the boys that forgot their tie put on a yellow dress she kept in the classroom. If a girl forgot her “beanie” she had to wear one of the boys’ ties. I loved reading this blog because it brought back so many memories – some not so pleasant but most of them good. I just felt a responsibility to respond to your “folklore” and “manufactured nonsense” statements. The abuse was real and certainly adds to the “abuse that actually happened. Peace be with you!

    • linda dejauger says:

      I’m sorry Carolyn but the Nun’s at my school always hit us and they nearly all used a chair leg one Nun beat a girl so bad she was taken to hospital we was told later that she was dead the Nun just disappered into thin air But I still wouldnot change from being a Roman Catholic as I believe you should stick to the religion you are and I have never regreted being one

      • Mimi says:

        What are you some kind of idiot? Why would you stick to that and worse, subject your kids to that. I was raised Catholic and am done. My children are not being beat by nuns or chair legs or whatever, and they are not being sexually abused by any priests.

    • Denise says:

      Omg!!! In 4th grade, the principal took me and a girl who pinched me and I pinched her back to her office……..we went in one at a time………..glad I was 1st. because she bent me over, pulled down my panties and whacked me with a yard stick……..the next girl she broke it on!!! Can you imagine bending us over, lifting our uniforms, pulling down our panties and whack with a yard stick!!!

    • Gayle Doyle says:

      Oh no, K-college in a Catholic school… “Beaten”. I’m sorry! Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!!! Oh yes, not folklore at all… Just saying!

    • Kenley says:

      Physical beating is not the only way to leave a mark on someone. I spent 9 years in Catholic school and though I never dealt with the nuns, had the misfortune of having a number of teachers who were not equipped to be teaching young children. There are so little guidelines in this school system (at least where I was) and I was in therapy by the age of 9, largely due to my anxiety caused by my school experiences.

      In addition to this, of course the Catholic Church is not the only institution plagued by sexual abuse. This does not make it ANY less important to talk about.

    • Incarnation says:

      My mother (in the late 70s, early 80s) was smacked on her back with a ruler for tripping over a trash can, disturbing class.
      Then, that same nun punched a classmate of hers in the face for laughing, breaking his nose (he was 8)
      She panicked and took him to the infirmary, then transferred a few months later to a new church.

      I was left in a freezing room for hours because the church claimed my family never paid them for schooling. Then they let me go when they found the check they were mailed.
      Also, I was smacked in the hands with a ruler myself back in 1997.
      This is not some ancient urban legend. It was a regular occurrence. Just because you never saw, doesn’t mean it never happened. If we all lived by that philosophy we would be fools.

      • Survivor says:

        Transferring nuns and priests who act inappropriately is the typical way the Roman Catholic church handles things.

        • James Tomaszewski says:

          God is INCLUSIVE.Organized religions are not .Some of them are like clubs.If your not LIKE me your OUT!And that’s a SAD truth.We are ALL responsible for how we act ,think and do.It’s up to US.You can LOVE or NOT and be fearful and ignorant.You choose.

        • James Tomaszewski says:

          GOD is INCLUSIVE.Organized Religions are not.They are exclusive.They are like a Club and if your not like me your out!That is NOT LOVE that is FEAR.We are ALL responsible for what we do, think or say.It’s up to US.When you take the robes off the priests and the habits off the nuns we see they are human beings like us all having our faults and goodness’.If people would take out the thoughts of I AM BETTER than you then that is a start.I myself like to remember all the fun and friendships I started and continue to this day some 50 yrs later and the education i received in Catholic school.Peace b with you.

    • osic2877 says:

      One of my classmates parents was a policeman and he gave the principal, Sister Juliana, a paddle that was about a foot long, about 4 inches wide and maybe 3/4 of an inch thick. It was used.

    • Charles says:

      Did your lithium kick in after you typed the second exclamation point? Catholic school was amazing! I’m not a girl but I totally get this, it was funny stuff.

    • Carolyn Amato says:

      Oh really Carolyn-I went 12 years in Catholic School during the 60’s. In 8th grade a girl was fooling around at her desk and Sister Agusta walked down that isle and gave her a right hook that knocked her on the floor. I saw it. I was also hit with a yardstick when I was only in 1st grade. I was 6 at the time. They can’t get away with it now, it’s against the law, but believe me, just because you didn’t see it yourself doesn’t mean it never happened. It did.

    • dolores says:

      I saw a whole lot of kids get beat in my Catholic school…it is far from folklore…my sister was locked in a church and left there for not doing her homework…she was only in 5th grade and i watched my parents absolutely terrified searching for her up and down the streets in Brooklyn

    • Bonnie says:

      We were taught by Benedictine nuns, and several did hit kids, mostly boys. One nun even slapped a boy in the face so hard that her whole hand print was on his face. His offense? She overheard him mocking her. If you saw the Blues Brothers movie, the “Penguin” in that movie looked just like my 5th grade teacher, and she used the yardstick frequently.

    • julie says:

      I don’t know how old you are…but it is TRUE….they hit us on our fannies, knuckles and made us kneel on pointers if we were “out of order”….and the priest were worst! I attended all 12 years, but the worst was elementary…yes dear, they were abusive and it worked…my generation learned from it and it should still be that way…My thoughts and credit this fright they instilled and made me a better, respectful adult….AMEN

    • AW says:

      I went to Catholic school for 13 years and I also NEVER saw a nun, brother or priest hit any child. For anyone who had a horrible experience (not just heard about one), rest assured, public school beatings were no exception. When corporal punishment was the norm, it was the norm for public institutions as well. Don’t kid yourselves, these kind of things happen everywhere. Catholic schools don’t have the corner of the market on any of it. Just as I had a wonderful experience of all my 13 years of Catholic school (and so did my 8 siblings and parents and grandparents), I am sure there are people who didn’t have as good of experience. Happens everywhere. I’ve heard just as many stories from my public school friends about their teachers and principals.

      • Melissa says:

        …after being told NOT to talk in the bathroom? Imagine! I’m not saying some didn’t go too far–way too far (one of ours was committed after being forced to leave)–but some of it was unbelievably justified and acceptable punishment for its era. If the hair length policy for boys is to be above the collar, our HS principal would walk the halls during change of class and pull the random offending boy into the bathroom and cut it then and there. If your skirt was too short, he would hand you scissors and have a secretary walk you to the bathroom and you would slice your hem stitches. Those were the rules and there were consequences for not following them. I clearly remember my parents saying, “Rights?! I’m not paying for you to have “rights”

    • jerry krygowski says:

      They smacked the shit out of us all the time. Where did you go to school? I’m talking about the late 60’s early 70’s.

    • Rick Bohan says:

      I went to Catholic school for eight years in Cheraw, SC. (Yes, there was a Catholic school way down there.) 33 kids in all eight grades was the top enrollment one year. I spent my first three years in school in the same room with the same nun teaching me.

      Our nuns were warm, loving, kind, smart. It was as if they were the best and the brightest of the order sent down to the mission lands of SC from Philly to teach us little RC (and other) crackers down South. Our little school integrated before the public schools did…we lost a few kids over that but not many. I have nothing but fond memories of the sisters who taught me. Never got spanked or paddled once and, believe me, it wasn’t for lack of deserving it.

    • Kate Krechel says:

      I once saw a nun throw a third grade girl down 2 flights of steps, breaking her arm, because she forgot her bus pass money! Another girl started wetting her pants in third grade due to this nun. In seventh grade, an eighth grade boy wrote on the girl’s arm with a ballpoint pen, and the nun brought him in front of the class, and beat the h–l out of him. You, Carolyn, obviously did not have Dominican nuns in the 1950’s!!

    • Chloe Page says:

      I attended Catholic school for 5 years…and nuns did indeed hit kids…I saw it…so you were lucky if you did not have to witness or be a victim of that…but it did happen…

    • NoOneImportant says:

      That’s true for many. My aunt was beaten for writing with her left hand. She had to learn how to write with her right. We were not beaten by nuns, but teachers using corporal punishment was pretty common in the school I went to back in the 80’s. A few teachers were very sadistic. One teacher even had a tack he pushed through a yardstick that he would hit kids on their legs with during tests…just for shits and giggles.

    • Ann says:

      Actually, ALL schools way back had corporal punishment, so it’s unfair when people accuse just Catholic schools of doing it. In the South, some public schools still practice it. I think most of us in Catholic schools in more recent times never did witness it, though, so it’s hard to fathom.

      • LBH says:

        Thanks! Kids attend Catholic school now and it’s getting pretty discouraging. The teachers dress like they’re going to the club and they actually hand out communion dressed like hoochies… What the heck has happened to the freakin’ church…?!?!

    • Sara Milanese says:

      Um, good for you, I was beat by the nuns on a weekly basis. Bible upside of the head. I was humiliated, not allowed to go to the bathroom in second grade.Crapped my pants in front of the whole class. If that is not abuse I don’t know what is! The nuns would call me out on my absentee mother in front of the whole class. Sisters of St Joseph. God forgive them, I do.

    • Frank says:

      Well, witnessed and was recipient of couple “nun disciplines”…they must of been more docile nuns at your school, lol…ours were more like Sgt. Hulka!…..yeh, folklore, lol…

    • Gene says:

      I went to a Catholic grade school for 8 years 50 years ago. We had one mean Nun in about the 4th grade, ( she looked about 90 years old ), but she would prowl the room and if you did anything wrong she would whack you across the knuckles with a wooden ruler. My poor cousin would get smacked at least a couple times a day, whether he deserved it or not…. Those were the days!

    • Janice says:

      One of my younger brothers got up out of his seat a lot. My dad found out ant took a rope to school and told the nun in front of the class that she had his permission to tie him to his seat if he wouldn’t stay in it. He was never tied to his desk. He just stopped walking around.

  106. Linda says:

    I enjoyed this so much, especially #6, #12, and my favorite, #19. I was the alternate for crowning Mary in the May Fair and secretly hoped the girl selected would get sick so I would get to crown Mary. This brought back so many memories of eight years in Catholic school. I personally never saw anyone beaten in school although I did get hit with an eraser for turning around in my seat. I loved the Stations of the Cross and incense, Novenas and Palmer method cursive writing. You did a great job on this. Not all nuns have wonderful health care; it all depends on what order they belong to, but they deserve great health care. Anyway, this was fun to read…thanks for the memories.

  107. LBH says:

    …AND THEN THERE WERE NUN!… My guess is that when the Nuns took a look in the 1970’s that the “Catholic” church was becoming over run by a bunch of weirdo lefty liberal soft minded limp wristed priests, they all collectively said “screw this” and split. I would have too. It’s like the Bible says, “by their fruits, you shall know them!” What came out of Vatican II was a liberal democrat stooge factory, formerly known as the “Catholic Church,” and today, it is simply the “Vatican II Circus Cult.” I am a product of it, and I had to reteach myself, the Catholic religion. I started to wonder why 95% of everyone I attended Catholic school with in the 80’s-90’s, has not been to regular Mass since graduation. 95% of everyone I attended Catholic school with is a RADICAL left wing obama zombie, and they all militantly oppose church teaching on every aspect of good Christian teaching you can think of, contraception, adultery, abortion, same sex marriage, etc. I respect everyone’s political views by the way, I just find it incredible that Catholic schools in my area, have produced people that are radically outside the teaching of the faith, and the biggest offenders, work for the dioceses and teach in the schools. I realize that this is not everyone’s experience, nor would they see this as a problem, but, of the three (so called) “Catholic” high schools in my area, where the tuition has reached the EXTORTION level of $19,000 per year… They have not produced ONE PRIEST in decades… Let me repeat that, the liberal infested extremist left wing democrat stooge factory diocese HAS NOT PRODUCED ONE PRIEST… NOT ONE in decades. I’ll tell you why, and any other smarty pants with some ding dong smart alec difference of opinion, as to why liberal Vatican II cult dioceses can’t produce priests, doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Me and a tiny itty bitty group of guys considered being priests because there was a minuscule amount of good male role model priests remaining briefly in the 1980’s. And, we would have been good for the Church. We spoke English, were pretty orthodox and traditional (hard to imagine in today’s (so called) “Catholic” lib cult.) The reason we didn’t, is because, one Sunday, during Holy Mass, the satanic fruit priest, actually came out of the closet during Mass. I’m no brilliant theologian, but my guess would be the Mass is about JESUS CHRIST! Not some priest coming out of the closet to his captive audience. And, the disrespect to a once great institution just continued. A priest once told me that 75% of the priests in my area are militantly homosexual. After 2 BILLION DOLLARS in legal settlements later, I’ve noticed lately, all the priests in America have come from far away lands. Not to mention, most of the so called Catholic Churches have been converted into new age pagan temples, performing arts centers, or Protestant worship centers. The Tabernacle has been placed in the closet (or side alter) while the priests have come out of the closet. Crucifixes have been replaced with odd geometric shapes and meaningless plus signs. The priest comes in and yells HOW’s EVERYBODY DOING TODAY… I CAN’T HEAR YA!!!… The Mass has been replaced with a informal worthless kinda “THE JIM AND TAMMY FAYE BAKKER SHOW ON THE PTL TELEVISION NETWORK!!!…” And it is only getting worse. Communion has become meaningless snack time where an army of Eucharistic ghouls rush to get in the spot light on the “stage” and hand out the snacks the priest has made in a bunch of little salad bowls, the music has been replaced with The Liturgical Band rockin’ out to today’s greatest Protestant Christian Rock Hits… Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not anti-anything… I respect everyone and anyone who is whatever religion, whatever political party, whatever orientation. However, I just think, if someone went through the trouble of putting the word “Catholic” on the sign in front of the church and school, than stop disrespecting what is “Catholic” or take the freakin’ sign down because otherwise it’s FALSE ADVERTISING!!! And teach the religion in an orthodox traditional way! Taking a look at the way the religion is being ignored and disrespected today, aparantly there was a Vatican III. I wonder, how many “for sale” signs on Catholic parishes in America, is it going to take, for the liberal modernist in the Church, to stop marginalizing and ignoring, the small handful of loyal traditional Catholics, praying for and ringing the alarm bells of reform…?

    • Mary says:

      I am not sure what area you live in that this is your experience. I did have one mass experience like the rock band one you described. I was in Daytona for my cousin’s wedding. I needed to go to a Saturday evening mass and when I looked up the times, there were two masses – one traditional and one contemporary. I went to the “traditional” mass and after witnessing the mass, I asked an elderly lady afterwards if I was confused and that was the contemporary mass. She told me no that was the traditional mass because she couldn’t stand the contemporary one. I said I thought that was contemporary and would pay to see that if the priest rocking out was traditional. She asked where I was from. When I replied Philadelphia she said that explained it all. Apparently, if you want an old school mass, you need to come to our diocese.

    • Rick Bohan says:

      I think this was actually written by a liberal Catholic as kind of a joke to make right wing Catholics appear to be dumb bigots. And it works pretty well.

    • julie mayo says:

      Amen, I say to you!! I agree with everything you have said. .Respect the Traditional Catholic church—I had 12 years of catholic schooling and would not trade that for anything in the world! Sad to see that not alot of people agree.

    • Ann says:

      Lol, Obama isn’t even that liberal. And under whose administration was abortion legalized? Yep, Nixon. So much for the liberal agenda.

  108. Casey Perez says:

    wow yeah those were formidable years i hadn’t been to a church in 20 something years but i fell right back into it like i never forgot and i was hit in catholic school but my grandparents told me and them that they had permission to beat that ass if i acted up which i did in fact me and my older sister both got our butts spanked with a ruler both on the same day one time but i don’t regret it it taught me how to be a man and to respect my elders

  109. Jane McBride says:

    Enjoyed it — although my memories are ‘older’. The Dominicans of Adrian gave me a wonderful education and some great memories. I am still ‘allowed’ to sing out load in large crowds and only at Christmas (family joke). The quality, the joy, the trials and yes, the discipline of an excellent education have served me well. It is sad to know a lot of that is gone.

  110. KADsmom says:

    I currently teach in a Catholic School and my how things have changed. Let me just say that these kids today, and many of their parents too, could use a good dose of sister justice!

  111. stephen sopko says:

    I Have been a Catholic 4 66 years and proud of it. the two best things my parents gave me was my religion and non discrimination. the problems today are we are not respectful to others; there religion, race, to receive a sacrament of any religion by someone not of that religion is disrespectful.. But that is what we have become today. dont tell me what, to do or how to do it no matter who i offend. We are a world of different races. religions,beliefs, and sexual preferences ;we donot have to believe what others do but we should respect their choices. God the Father gave us many things of which to me the two greatest are sending His Son to free us from sin and free will. God put us on this earth as individuals and as a human race and we reap what we sow.. As great as God is He respects us by giving to us a free will so we can choose our own paths in life and He will judge us accordingly
    So if God can respect us why cant we respect each other no matter what race reigion or beliefs, If a gay straight,drug user ,black, or white person were walking down the street and Jesus passed them would he look at some of them with distain and some with love or would he look at them all the same as His loving children, I fully believe its the latter and try to practice this belief daily,, Hopefully this could be the 21st way to show i spent nine years in the Catholic school system,

  112. Margie says:

    Went to Catholic school for 11 years, none of the above apply except singing, which I loved, and the sign of peace which made me say something I’m not accostomed to.

  113. Will Lower says:

    I thought the blog was kind of fun. I reminds me of many years of Sunday School. Only….why is there a picture of an LDS Missionary asleep in scripture study class?

  114. Taylor says:

    I laughed at this even though I’m not Catholic. I wondered if i should forward it to firiends who go to the Catholic school right by us. Did wonder why you have a Mormon Missionary picture in your collection?

  115. LJB says:

    cath·o·lic

    /ˈkaTH(ə)lik/

    adjective

    adjective: catholic; adjective: Catholic

    1.

    (esp. of a person’s tastes) including a wide variety of things; all-embracing.

    synonyms: universal, diverse, diversified, wide, broad, broad-based, eclectic, liberal, latitudinarian; More
    comprehensive, all-encompassing, all-embracing, all-inclusive

    “her musical tastes are quite catholic”

    antonyms: narrow

    2.

    of the Roman Catholic faith.

    •of or including all Christians.

    •of or relating to the historic doctrine and practice of the Western Church.

    noun

    noun: Catholic; plural noun: Catholics

    1.

    a member of the Roman Catholic Church.

  116. Maddie says:

    Our nuns ran put heads under the water fountain if you yawned, put a dress on the boys if they mis-behaved, smacked kids in the head….etc. It happened, I was there.

  117. Christine says:

    I didn’t see my own personal favorite: even 20+ years later, the only thing you remember from your foreign language class is how to say the Hail Mary (or Our Father) in French (or whatever language you took). “Je vous salut Marie…”

  118. Rhon McMahon says:

    Oh Yes… So many of those things I experienced at least once, many times 3 or 4 times…. Growing up Catholic… Let’s not forget about Sister Angelberta nearly choking me to death in 3rd grade, not to mention slamming my head against the chalk board, oh yeah, standing in front of the chalk board with your nose in the center of a circle she drew…Memories !!!

  119. Diane W. says:

    I didn’t even go to Catholic school but had religious instructions every Wed afternoon . We were walked from the public school to the Catholic school and the nuns hit us with the paddle and loved it.

  120. Jeff Smith says:

    I was beaten by nuns, forced to eat salt and soap in front of the class for saying “jackass”, hit with rulers, hit with hands, hit with a rosary one time. That was the easy part. Once I was old enough to be an altar boy, 5th grade or so, I was introduced to the priests and the deacons. I was raped, sodomized, and passed around like a sex toy between those heinous old men. Then I had to help them dress in their robes for mass. Afterwards, I got to help them undress and receive the “holy spirit” as they referred to it. My fellow victims and I told our teachers (nuns) and parents, but nobody believed us. Nobody believed that the leaders of our school and church would do something like that. Yet, they did do something like that. This was in the mid to lake 80’s. That experience was when I learned that there is no god/Jesus/whatever other magic fairytale these organizations believe in.

    • Jay says:

      I am so sorry to hear that. I know there is really nothing I could say that could bring comfort to someone who had such a horrible experience. All I can say is, do not give them what they want. What I mean is, If they cared you believed in God, they obviously would not have done those things. Those individuals are lost that did that to you, don’t join them. The bible says in “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:39). Consider watching these videos. I think your eyes will be opened watching this series if you commit to the whole thing, and your life will be changed, positively, forever. God Bless.

    • trwhite6979 says:

      Glad you came to your senses. I am a girl so they didn’t really want to rape me. I have been raped, yeah, but not by priests. My Catholic school years were the best, even though Sister Ann Marie made me cry because I couldn’t spell “strange” or when Sister Barbara didn’t call Children & Youth when she saw the handprint my mom put on my eye, instead asking me what I did to deserve it. Or the time I asked a teacher where god came from and she told me not to think about it or I would go crazy. I stopped thinking about it. Went crazy anyway. It’s all lies. I was too smart to be brainwashed. Happened for a little bit but by 8th grade, my last year there, I was an atheist. I am not the only one of my class who affiliate with atheism either.

  121. lexi says:

    I have an addition …. CCD kids stealing your stuff on the weekends … anyone else experience that lol

    • Nick says:

      OMG! I forgot about that. Haha We’d have stuff turn up missing all the time. I remember one of my friends, who was frequently targeted, left a note in his desk once that said “look up and to your left pubbie, that crucifix has a camera behind it, I know who you are, I will find you.” LOL

  122. Sandie Minder Gennerella says:

    I loved “Sister School” as we called it in St Nickolas. Minersville, Pa. All of Our Nuns didn’t have college educations but boy did we learn, Math, English, Ukrainian, History, Geography, Literature and Art Appreciation, no juvenile delinquents, no Special Ed We were disciplined with a ruler on the knuckles, Sister Rita did not discriminate, girls and boys were treated the same, we went to parks at the end of the school year. We went roller skating, learned to dance Ukrainian Folk dancing, sing the beautiful Christmas songs in Ukrainian went on to be good Catholics and productive citizens, served in armed forces, successful in our occupations, became good parents and grandparents and when we meet first thing we talk about is our education with the Sisters after many years. How lucky were we?

  123. Anne says:

    oh yeah some of those nuns were mean but others were angels. I’m 81 and I am what I am today due to them

  124. Marsha says:

    Yes, some of the nuns got carried away- but who wouldn’t with40-60 kids in a classroom. I think I got an excellent education because most of the sisters wanted us to exceed the norm. I even became a nun myself for a few years in a teaching order. We learned to have beautiful penmanship , which children today cannot even read cursive. How are they going to write their signatures? Also, I know grammar rules and spelling, unlike many of my counterparts. Talk about learning my math facts ; I had no choice. I learned them or there was no recess. I’m not saying that everything was hunky-dory, but I have good manners, still attend Mass regularly. As far as the priests, yes, some of them were and are gay, some are pedophiles, but there are also, some great ones.

    The one I found funny was the genuflecting in the train station; I genuflected on one knee in the movie theater not so many years ago, before going to my seat at the end of the row, after walking down the aisle.

    • Melissa says:

      Marsha, rest assured my 4 little ones are all coming home with penmanship homework. However, you’d be surprised at the changes in the Zane-Blouser method (a Q doesn’t look like a 2 anymore) but there’s another one: where else can you learn not only legible penmanship but also name the method you were taught by?!

  125. Velda Phillips says:

    I am a convert and I enjoyed the blog as I sometimes feel I can’t commiserate with my husband and his friends when they are reminiscing. I will say, the grammatical errors are distracting; I would hope you were taught English in addition to religion.

  126. K says:

    Catholic School was the best choice I ever made. I actually begged my mom to put me in it because the local public school was so bad. I loved being in a class with 30 kids in our entire grade. Even though we had to go to mass every week I really liked it because classes were shortened on those days and we actually had a really fun priest. As for nuns we only had 2 and they were verrry old. They never hit anyone, they just screamed a lot. I was very surprised to see what an old irish nun can do. The fundraisers sucked but the annual fair was always a blast. My mom didnt want to come to my graduation. She thought it was silly. I had a very hard time explaining to her that being in catholic school is different than graduating highschool after 4 years. You are with these kids for twice as long. From Pre-k to 8th grade. All I have left to say is that they were the best years of my life and I wouldnt have traded them for anything else!

    • Wilbur J. Huffnagel says:

      “Catholic School was the best choice I ever made. I actually begged my mom to put me in it because the local public school was so bad.”

      What made the local public schools so bad?

  127. Christy Brandt says:

    Yes, I not only went to Catholic School for 8 years, but I also taught at the same school for 31 years! Many happy memories, but also some not so good. Yes, the nuns were mean–but they had 40 to 50 students in a room and not enough materials. Times have certainly changed–mostly for the better.

  128. The Author says:

    No, you didn’t get more traumatized than anyone who went to a public school. By the time I was done with public school I was very bitter that my parents (Catholic school grads) never made good on their ‘when you’re being bad’ threats to send me to a convent school. It had to be better than public school. (And even though I didn’t go to Catholic school, I also don’t get the “church kid” things, either. My parents may have been avoiding the Church but they weren’t nuts enough to turn Protestant. I guess High Anglican would have been okay, but we’re in the wrong country for that.)

  129. carol garber says:

    What do you mean by the word “folklore?” Are you using the term to mean untruths? I teach Folklore at the college level and you are using the word incorrectly. By the way, I attended Catholic school as a child and was indeed hit each day for being left handed. I was also placed in a dark room for several min until “I could learn to write correctly.” Even at the age of 59, I have flash backs of the unjust treatment!

  130. Dianne says:

    Maybe if there were still corporal punishment in schools and parents actually disciplined their children, we would have less people in jail. And children that actually respect authority.

  131. Megan Downes says:

    I am proud of the catholic education I receive! Sure, we have all had our dose of Nun discipline but we weren’t exposed to half the crap our young innocent children are being exposed to in the general public system, in my opinion. Teaching isn’t easy especially in the spoiled generation we now face. I can’t wait for my children to relate to these things listed above, they actually mean a child learned something! Great Job on the Blog! I would rather my child be taught discipline in catholic school and learn the teachings of the church, along with the morals and values, that both my husband and I were taught. She is already practicing the “Secret Handshake” at dinner time and has such a warming smile when she tries to do it by herself at only 16 months old. Proud Parent

  132. Michelle Shields says:

    I wen to a catholic school it was horrible…Priest told me I was to stupid to go to LCC in Lima,Ohio….So I went to Perry…..best time of my life…..

  133. Richard says:

    Curious about something. Someone mentioned they attended a “traditional” Mass thinking it was a “contemporary” Mass …. Or the other way around. There is only one liturgy. I am assuming you were talking about the music????? Or were you talking about the Ordinary Form or the Extraordinary Form (pre Vatican II)!

  134. Vic G says:

    Catholic grammar school in the late 40’s was really something. Used to get smacked across the knuckles with double 16″ rulers for talking. Fourth grade Nun who taught my Mom in the fourth grade pulled me across her lap and spanked me for something, I can’t remember what now, and then told me to go home and tell Mom. I did and got another spanking…But I survived and an no worse off for it…

  135. Kathryn Chappell says:

    I wasn’t Catholic, but everyone I grew up with was. I grew up in Chicago. My 1st boyfriend was Catholic and always talked about Sister Mary Margaret hitting him on the knuckles with the ruler. This would have been about 1971. And I can do the cross like a pro. Learnt it when I was seven from the neighbors.

  136. Karin W says:

    #2 – I kept my crazy sock habit – I think I even have those socks in the picture… the crazier, the better!
    #5 – I made my own uniform as a SAHM – Spring/Fall – yoga capris, plain cotton tee, LL Bean sweatshirt if it’s cool; Winter – jeans, coldwater creek tee, cardigan (why can’t I get away from these?) and crazy socks. I tried getting my kids to wear stuff from the “uniform” section at Old Navy but it was a no-go…
    #11 – my non-Catholic hubby STILL doesn’t understand genuflecting! and fyi – genuflecting while pregnant is tough!! I started the 1/2 kneel/head bow/grab the pew for dear life and get as much of the sign of the cross before I fall…
    #17 – our principal was so loud, you couldn’t miss the Stations and we had booklets (which I was excited to see pulled out again when I taught CCD for my kids a couple years ago) – you guessed it – there’s singing involved..

  137. rmbell811 says:

    I’m currently in a Catholic High School right now and so much of this is true, especially about my grade school! Granted, nuns never hit us, but I do respect the nuns that taught me. I love every minute of going to a Catholic school and it definitely did not traumatize me like #20. I think I agree with almost every other point though :) loved reading it!

  138. BB says:

    I have read all of these blogs and I am not surprised at all…punishment was accepted and I still have problems myself…especially when I see a priest…I sweat and I walk in the other direction…God Bless all of you…there are good memories too…Thank the Lord we survived them…:)

  139. Dorothy says:

    Wouldn’t trade my catholic school years for anything. We learned respect and were disciplined for not following the rules. The was a consequence for bad behavior. And if you got in trouble in school you got in trouble again at home. If there would be more discipline and respect in the world today we would be in a much better place. Today everyone feels entitled.

    • Karen McWhorter-Butler says:

      Dear Deby,
      So happy to know you’re quirky as ever. I absurdly begged my parent’s to send me to Catholic school, but as products of Catholic schools themselves, they knew the public schools offered a far more diverse and challenging education.
      In 2nd grade, in public school, I was chosen to play Mary in the Christmas play. My classmate, Jerry, was to play Joseph. I was so honored!!! A nasty case of chickenpox derailed me for a bit but the final pock fell off the day before the play “opened”. I was a 2nd grade star!!!!!!!! Jerry went on to become a dentist and I saw him for a cleaning when I was visiting my parents. He had ZERO memory of ever having known me!!! Idiot?

      When Aaron was about 4, he and 4 boys in the neighborhood went to a one week summer bible camp at our local RC church. I was the Thursday pick-up Mom, the day before their pageant. Ryan had a note pinned on his t-shirt to wear red tomorrow to play a fireman, John was to wear yellow to portray a bird, etc. Aaron had nothing pinned to his shirt. While driving the kids home I asked Aaron, in the backseat, if he had lost his tag. Should we go back to look for it? No Mommy, I’m Jesus.

      Mommy was a bit overwhelmed coming up with a JESUS costume for the next morning. I found an old cotton “hippie” dress that he wore backwards, tied with a rope at the waste, sandals, a brown napkin on his head with a hair band, a stick of wood as a staph, and a stuffed baby lamb in his arms. I had created a Broadway worthy Jesus .costume in no time,
      .
      The next morning, with the costume and all, we were running a little late. Aaron’s Dad was pulled over for doing 80 in a 30 mile zone.
      I blabbered on to the officer that we had Jesus in the backseat, Instead of a ticket, we were escorted to the church.

      Karen

  140. Wilbur J. Huffnagel says:

    I suffered through 10 years of Catholic School (2 years of Middle School, 4 years of HS and a 4 year sentence @ the St. Whatever Institute for the Excessively Heterosexual Male).
    I am certain that God does not exist and that most priests hate the entire human race and are masters at hiding it.
    It was strongly implied (particularly during college) that if I did not become a priest, I should probably consider suicide.
    The most effective way to combat insomnia is to read any Theology text.
    Failure to follow ‘the rules’ TO THE LETTER were grounds for immediate excommunication.
    Catholic Middle school was co-ed; the women were hags and harpies and I pretty much despised all of them. So did every other guy.
    During Catholic High School (a dance with sister schools) I met my 1st GF. We still communicate frequently but never got a chance to disappoint any of the clergy at our respective schools (she was not a hag or a harpy; terrific gal who deserves a decent guy).
    If I were a parent, I would be deeply conflicted: Catholic school instills a discipline and focuses on academics; non-Catholic school students seem to have so much more fun and life. I don’t think I’d send my child to a Catholic School, but I’d be quite leery of public school since they are run for the benefit of the unions and little else.

    • Mo says:

      Technically those aren’t the only two schooling options. Due to where I live we homeschool. Nearest Catholic schools are 45 min. away. Nearest private school uses a Protestant curriculum. And local public schools are failing.

  141. Milliann Johnson says:

    yes i did get hit by a yardstick on the palm, i did get my ears tweaked a lot & guess what i deserved every one & i would challenge all you haters out there to have put up w/me without some type of corporal punishment…no guns at school then

  142. Sarah says:

    No capital punishment in Catholic School?!? Hahahaha!!! I graduated highschool less then ten years and saw a nun throw a heavy textbook at a kid. My mother got hit so hard by a nun that her mother, a strict Catholic Irish woman, went to the school and threatened the nun. My father, who also went to Catholic school, got smacked in the head by priests and nuns alike.

  143. Survivor says:

    When my son was the new boy in class, the other boys took him behind the school and beat him up for being new. Then they told the nun he must have fallen. That night he told me the truth and I immediately took him out of that good catholic school. The abuse wasn’t just from nuns.

  144. rk says:

    9 yrs of catholic school had my hair pulled hit with rulers across the knuckles had erarasers and chalk thrown at me so as far as you not seeing it dosent me it never happened

  145. KYMOM says:

    Kids today are out of control, do not have ANY respect or care about authority. I was never spanked but I did know a few kids that got spanking. I have to say, I would rather my kids fear then to be the punks you see most days. My kids followed in my footsteps in catholic school. Of course, you don’t lay a hand on a kid in school these days. I am ok with that but I don’t think kids should be allowed to talk or act like they do these days either. Catholic school cost me a ton of money but I have brilliant and polite kids. I know and have been around kids in public schools too. Many are bright and well behaved as well. There is the other 25 percent I don’t know how any teacher can stand to be in the teaching field.

    • peabody3000 says:

      fear is a terrible motivator. it only works when kids think they might possibly get caught, and there is hardly a moral compass developed for when they dont think theyll get caught. by far the best behaved, most well adjusted kids i have ever known were not beaten. the more a kid is beaten, the worse off they are. ive seen the results over and over again

    • Bullied says:

      I went to Catholic school from 2-8 grade. I was bullied almost every day and the teachers, principal, nuns, priests and parents did nothing to stop it. I do not think Catholic school makes you a better kid. I think it varies by school whether public or private.

      • bullied2 says:

        I agree with you and had the same crap happen to me.. They way it went in my school was if you didn’t have a “name” or your family donates tons of money, you were not cool and no one liked you… I went to a public school my 9-12 grade year and loved it! Ya there was bullying but not the the extend of the catholic school… Oh well its in the past now and I look back at those old bullyies and laugh knowing that I have a much better life than they do!!!!

  146. greg says:

    Everyone commenting on the nun thing must be old, all teachers were allowed to hit back then, my mother went to public school and got hit by teachers and they would make kids kneel on gravel and one of my older professors even admitted to watering down a kid because he had come to school looking “dirty.” So this whole thing wasn’t just a Catholic school thing. I’m 25 went to catholic school all my life, I am a faithful practicing catholic, never got hit, molested, or told I was going to hell. I guess they must be better now. Had really great teachers, great pastors, great experience.

    • Maureen VanBuskirk says:

      I agree. I got the best education anyone could want, after 12 years of Catholic Schools. Nuns were dedicated women who only wanted to teach us. Some came in early and stayed late to make sure we understood what we were learning. Yes, we were unprepared for ‘secular’ life, but we were ultimately prepared to tackle anything that came our way. Life wasn’t easy and not being protected within the walls of the Catholic School System was hard to comprehend at first; but as I aged, and put what I had learned to action, it was easier. I applaud those dedicated women every day for making me the woman I am today.

    • Sandy says:

      Not only did I attend Catholic School from 4th grade til graduation from high school, I taught in a Catholic school for 15 yrs. Everything you learned was taught by a fearsome God or a loving God. Lucky me my God was and is Loving.

  147. Rodrigo Karolys says:

    Catholic school was the worst experience of my life. Not only was it emotionally draining, but the education sucked. It seriously held me back from achieving my potential. That said, I will never in my life set foot in a church again.

  148. Ann says:

    I loved when the class would go over and do Stations of the Cross! We didn’t just sit there, we moved from station to station. It was fun!

    • Carrie says:

      Me too! And we had those little books to follow along word for word, so when the book was done we were done. Much better than listening to the priest drone on for who knows how long.

  149. Liz says:

    My children have both been educated in a Catholic school from day one. It hasn’t been perfect but they are very well-behaved and polite children who play sports and get straight As. They the dearest friends and it feels like we all are one big family. Thank God we’ve been able to afford it.

  150. NJmom says:

    I went to 12 yrs. of Catholic school-saw some abuses by nuns and priests. Thought the education was OK not great-biased toward religious slant. You won’t get the full story on scientific issues or history-esp if there was misconduct by Catholics in history. Where I live there is an excellent public school system. Glad my kids are going to public school. They will get an education without a religious slant/bias and learn to think for themselves. Also, if any teacher put their hands on either of my kids-I’d be in prison for murder/attempted murder of said teacher.

  151. ken says:

    The Bible thing confused me. I grew up in public school but attended CCD (Catechism) classes for years and years. We didn’t read the bible, we read the Catechism. Years later, my rigid Catholic son – born out of wedlock – demanded we had the King James version… as your pre-edit/correction suggests. Not some New American version. As you are aware, Catholics don’t really “read” the bible, so it probably doesn’t matter. (The Catechism sloths through the boring stuff and tells you how to act). Easy-schmeasy.

  152. Jessica says:

    @Karen
    You are spot on! My husband always looks at me funny when I say “Grade School” Damn Public School Punks ;)

  153. me says:

    I was the only Lutheran in my catholic school, which meant I was not allowed to have first communion with the rest of the class, which meant I sat alone kneeling in the pew while everyone else went up to receive the Eucharist every. Single. Wednesday…. Even now I still won’t get it at the Church I go to because I feel guilty that I never went through the ceremony Lol

    • Maggie Carrico says:

      I think most churchs don’t have a ceremony like a Catholic church does. I know when I go to church with my daughter her church you just go up and get it.

  154. Clare M. Fabula says:

    The Douay-Rheims Bible is the Catholic Bible. The Latin Vulgate. You can purchase one and learn the True Faith if you want. Rev. George Leo Haydock provides notes and explanations. Receive Christ spiritually, yes. Pray, sacrifice for others, Offer your day in union with Christ upon the cross to God the Father. Satan will fight you. Stay strong and ask the Holy Ghost to dwell within you and be a light for others. This world needs the true Catholic to spread the Gospel and bring people closer to God through example. May God bless and keep you.

    I am number 11 of 12 children. We were reared very much with the church teachings being the center of our world. God has seen us through a great deal.

    13 years of Catholic education after Vatican II. May my mother and father rest in peace. They taught me the True Faith. I have 8 children now and homeschool them, rearing them to know the truths of the Faith and live according to Christ’s teaching. We attend the Tridentine Mass (said prior to V-II). My son is a seminarian who will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Latin Rite. God be praised. He had mercy on me and allowed me to hear His call back to His Church. His Truth for us all. Archbishop Sheen was my mother’s instructor in the faith. He was the pastor for my parents early in their marriage. I am very grateful for my upbringing in the Faith.

    St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church, 9201 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22183. Pray the rosary. Wear your Brown Scapular.

  155. Linda Girouard says:

    So funny, I was taught 12 years by nuns…was taught real well, but, the nuns we had were so mean! Still have the catholic guilt. Ha ha. By the way, have 3aunts that are nuns! I am 71, and my aunts are 96 95 and 91!

  156. Jean says:

    I grew up In public school and I am a strong believer on the fact that a child will be successfull no matter what school system the child is in, its the effor and hard work that pays off regardless of peer pressure. I now have a 7 year old daughter and boy must I admitt times have changed ! I have seen countless disrespectful young children…somewhere along the line the principles and morals are being lost and sadly it is the public school system that is mostly of my concern. I am bilingual and struggled to have my child enrolled in a bilingual public school system. My daughter went to this prestigious school for one day and that was enough for her to say “Mom I hate this school.” I had a terrible experience on the first day with the rude kindergarten teacher, not to mention my daughter was bullied for her lunch on the first day!!! I am catholic however I do not go to church often and its not my topic for a family dinner, I decided to enroll my daughter in catholic school and it is the most amazing experience. My daughter loves every bit and enjoys school sooo much. I love the fact that its always a small community environment and a big family, everyone knows each other and most important my daughter is very polite and generous, her education reflects on her personality. I am very thankful for catholic education and definitely recommend others to give it a try.

    • James Tomaszewski says:

      And Peace to you Eileen.Yes everyone has good and bad memories.I had fun reading ’bout the good times!When you take the priests robes off and the nun habits off we see that they were just human beings too.We all have our faults and goodness too.

      • Paulas Dsouza says:

        “school is for learning and church is for learning about God.”
        Then by your logic a mistress is for pleasure and a wife is for procreation. Holly, discipline in school helped us learn not to take others for granted, we knew early that good begets good and bad begets bad. So we tried our best to do what was right. Religion in our school helped temper us in our word and deed. We tried to be better because we wanted to be liked both by those around us and God. We knew that our every spoken word and every deed whether visible to those around us .. was visible to God and therefore we refrained from crossing the lines which would cause hurt to others. We had fun, we played pranks, we fidgeted in the pews and yet it was in moderation. The reason why society is able to restrict evil-doers and maleficent practices is because of the threat of punishment .. not the inherent goodness in people. People come in varying packages, for some a word is enough .. for some the stick .. and for some nothing can ever change them. Methods have always varied, to define one as being better than the other is incorrect without an understanding of the rationale and environment. As someone mentioned earlier, the emphasis in most schools and homes has been on discipline and not abuse. A firm hand to discipline is not the same as hitting with the desire to damage. Religion and discipline may not have made angels out of everyone .. but they sure helped drive the demons out of folk like me.

  157. cari says:

    That one extra bitter nun everyone was afraid of… I am 31 and i will never forget the one nun in third grade remedial math class grabbing a classmate up out of his seat by the hair for not paying attention!

  158. GodsNotReal says:

    21. You learned so much about religion that you realize its a sham, so you are now a die-hard atheist.

  159. Ann says:

    My mother attended our local Catholic school from grades K – 8. After that, the public high school was the only option. She was so ‘shell shocked’ when she got to the high school and saw how different the student behavior was (and this was in the late 1940’s!!). Anyway, I once asked her why she never sent us to the Catholic school, to which she replied, “I always swore I’d never do that to my kids.”

  160. Sharon K says:

    I attended Catholic elementary school from 2nd grade thru 6th and only had a nun (Sister) once, the other years I had “Lay” teachers, non-Nuns. I had lots of friends and still call them friends to this day. When I left Catholic School, I attended the dreaded C C D (Catholic Christian Doctrine) and met someone who became my best friend thru high school…..we have reconnected via Facebook. All I really remember in the transition from Catholic school was how far behind in Mathematics I was…..my 7th grade year was a tough one in the Math field. I never actually got past Alegbra 1!

    • Pat Marsh says:

      I thought they were weak in Math too. I had mixed experiences in Catholic grade school and high school. Only had a nun in first grade. She was mean as a snake.

  161. Barbara kemp says:

    Enjoyed the blog. Younger version of memories than mine. We had mass every morning before school and often went on First Saturdays.

    Great 12 years of education second to none in the city. Nuns were all fine. Younger Nuns and Priests were fun. Principals had to be firm but not mean. Neighbor kids in public schools did not fare as well in life. Uniforms were life savers in poor neighborhoods like ours.

    Parents ensured we went to mass and were responsible people. Catechism still memorized. Bible not so much. Not a great catholic today. They were right about marrying someone with no faith and training. Hard to share beliefs and rituals even after 47 years. Good man. Yet, I am unsuccessful in even getting him baptized to this day.

    I miss choir. I miss seeing the nuns teaching. I
    Miss the pre Vatican 2 Latin and rituals. I like better see and. Wish I felt more like I belonged than I attend. Hard to become a part of the church family in such a large congregation. I wish fir a more balanced role for women. I wish clergy could marry. I wish the more narrow minded would not tell me I am doomed for wishing the last 2 items. I believe more than Catholics will be in heaven. I believe anyone can get there with a pure heart and by living a good life to the best of their ability regardless of religion race and yes sexual orientation. I am not the judge. No capital punishment and no immoral wars. God will judge us.

  162. Sean says:

    arriving at the public high school after going to a catholic elementary, junior high school was an “epiphany” to say the least…a funny thing happened…freshman year history and we’re covering the roman empire, etc….we get to jesus’s life, the teacher said “christians believe jesus rose from the dead” and it was like getting smacked in the face…like finding out that the ultimate santa clause wasn’t real…”christians ‘believe’?!?” I had never heard an outsider describe it like that before…it was always: jesus rose from the dead….end of story…but of course hearing such things for years will drive it pretty deep into your psyche….needless to say, within a few years time I was a full blown atheist…I look back on those times with a certain nostalgia though…part of me wishes that I could still believe in god…but I would just be lying to myself…and regardless of what they tell you at a catholic school, being dishonest with yourself about something so fundamental and important is one of the most tragic “sins” imaginable

    • Ann Griffith says:

      Sean, I think it is sad that you do not believe in Jesus Christ any more. I grew up Catholic and went through 12years of Catholic School. I studied a lot of science in college also. What I have found is that I do not think there is any way that all of these complicated organisms, animals, plants, beings, and so forth could have come to be without a greater being. I ended up exploring other Christian religions and found a Church and church family I really like. If you are not satisfied with the Catholic Church, that does not mean leave God and Christ. It means search and find them in a new place more meaningful and loving to you.

    • Holly says:

      good for you but I went to school in the 60’s and 70’s, public school, I never saw a child hit in school. On the other hand my husband went to Catholic school and saw children hit daily. He also saw nuns kicking a boy. So it may be different these days at the tender age of 25 but when he went to school it was a nightmare and non productive…school is for learning and it doesn’t matter where you go if you want to learn you will. But punishing children with beatings is nuts. I know lots of children that attended Catholic school that are not good people as well as children from public schools. So again religion has nothing to do with it, if you want to learn you will…school is for learning and church is for learning about God.

    • JesusIsBetter says:

      I totally agree. I had the best childhood k-8 catholic schools.
      I went to public high school and had hooooorrible experiences with kids calling my house, vandalizing, writing mean stuff on my locker, yelling things at me down the hall. It was so hard.
      I’m not claiming that all public schools are bad or all catholic schools are phenomenal. I do know my experience though and now that I have children… I will be sending them to catholic school. It takes a village to raise a child, and that’s what catholic school was for my family growing up …a community. You become so close with the other kids, families, teachers, priests. It was really quite remarkable! I am still close to all of them for peets sake. :)
      To have all that and to be able to pray in school, and hold religious studies is what I want for my family.
      I will be honest, I didn’t find some of this countdown that funny. Some of them were cute, but not really my experience. I knew that there were other versions of the bible, what I was doing while receiving the sacraments, that there usually ARE relics somewhere in the church/altar, etc. All of that was taught to me…
      Anyhoo! I’m not trying to stir up anything. Love to you all!
      God bless! :)
      BC

    • Gan Ainm says:

      Pretty much the same for me, though I think I’m a bit older. Corporal punishment ended in Catholic schools 40 years ago.

  163. Jeanne says:

    Agree with whoever said this list is a younger version of Catholic education. I attended Catholic school (boys and girls) grades 1-6 and loved it. I still recall how every morning … rain, sleet, snow, or shine … started out on the playground, waiting for Sister to ring the big old school bell when it was time for us to line up, grade by grade, to walk into Church. Going to Mass EVERY morning was a joy for me ~ and no, much to my father’s dismay I did not become a nun! I went to Church every opportunity I got ~ Stations of the Cross, The Rosary, etc.~ and even as a small child felt such peace there. As for school itself, we had Sisters of Charity and only one lay teacher. The nuns’ habits were daunting, mysterious, but somehow comforting in their familiarity. With everything covered but the hands and face there were no distractions so we were focused more completely on what was being said. Without realizing it, I think we all learned to look people in the eye when being spoken to or speaking to someone. And we did NOT speak unless spoken to! We all sat quietly at our desks and when called upon, STOOD UP first before responding. When Sister asked the class a question, NO ONE shouted out the answer. Those who knew the answer quietly raised a hand and waited to be called upon. Occasionally someone who really knew the answer and wanted desperately to be called on would wave their hand quite wildly and nearly vibrate in their seat with excitement, but not a peep, nor a sound was made! Manners were deeply ingrained, and aside from the usual please, thank you, yes Sister, no Sister, etc. we were trained to respect and acknowledge authority. When the Pastor would come into the classroom we quickly stood up beside our desk and in unison said, “good morning (of afternoon) Father!” and remained standing until Father said, “be seated, children.” It was the same when the principal or any other adult known to the class came into the room. Obviously I could go on and on! I am grateful for the six years I spent in a Catholic “grade” school. My life took a dramatic, and rather traumatic at the outset, turn of events when we moved from the city to the country and I began attending “junior high” in a public school district. For starters we rode the bus, that was scary! And kids talked in class and they didn’t stand up when they were called ~ they stayed seated! And the class didn’t acknowledge the principal or any adult who entered the classroom unless the teacher requested we stop whatever we were doing and pay attention if the visitor planned to speak to the class. Otherwise we were just expected to ignore the visitor and carry on with our work! As for the academics, I found that I was at least one to two grade levels ahead of my classmates in every single subject. I just coasted that first year of junior high, and other than a Speech class didn’t learn anything new. Which was probably just as well since it was taking a LOT just to adjust to the change in discipline, attitude, and environment ~ and learning how to fit in. In spite of the extreme (to me) differences though, I was in a good public school system and by the time I got to high school I was comfortable and learning at an accelerated rate again. Being in a country system I now realize was better than had I been in the city public school system. There it would have been worse in terms of discipline, respect for authority and opportunity to immerse myself in getting a good education. I like how my educational life played out: first Catholic school and then public school and CCD classes. I feel I became a better well rounded individual with a broader life experience. (Although I guess I didn’t learn how to be succinct!) It was the perfect education for me! Class of 1962.

  164. Janet says:

    I loved Our Lady Of Mount Carmel catholic school and St. Maria Goretti High School in South Philly, Pa., and I loved and respected the sisters(nuns) and fathers(Priests) etc… I loved singing in the Choir, My Mom God rest her wonderful soul, she barely got by financially trying to pay for us to have a good education and be in Catholic School, I loved her so much more for that and all her sacrifices and wonderful upbringing !
    I wish I could go back in time and do it all over again and have the ones that I lost, my mom, brother ,family, friends etc… alive again. Catholic schools gave homework and in Many subjects !, Public schools hardly gave homework !, Catholic schools had more discipline and taught religion and taught us all to have more respect for people, life, things etc…., and I heard, and seen and knew that employers hired more kids out of Catholic schools more so than public kids, I could go on forever about the great things about Catholic schools. The world needs more Catholic schools, Catholic Religions, More churches etc…. The world would be a Much better place ! Just take a look at our so called world now, there taking away more and more of Catholic churches, Religion, convents, rectories, Priests, nuns, 10 Commandments, Pledge of allegiance, Merry Christmas out of stores and so on…. and look at the corrupted world now with all the crimes and disrespect and inhumane things etc… going on. SO yes, Catholic schools and Catholic Religion etc… did help this world a lot !

    • James Tomaszewski says:

      KUdos to you Janet .well said.and you brought tears to my eyes when talking about your Mom.My both parents worked to put 6 kids thru schools.It was the 60’s and we had our chores to keep the wheels going.We had paper routes and we all worked.Catholic education rocks!!!!!!! And we have many great memories and reunions.God Bless you.

  165. Duane 'Andy' Anderson says:

    I not only went from first grade to graduation from High School to Catholic schools, but lived in one. My father was a caretaker, and as such at the time, lived in the school. A family residence was built in to the school. The plus side of this was that I had many friends because I had the largest playground in the neighbourhood. The Catholic Schools where I grew up were segregated and by that I mean All boys classrooms and all girls classrooms. in each school. The boys on one side of the building with the girls on the other. At my Catholic High School, it was gender specific ie Boys only in the building. The same for the girls High School. Girls only. From Grade four on, I witnessed daily physical assaults and vicious beatings on students. The violence was horrific. and traumatizing..

  166. A random ex-Catholic says:

    My take:
    1. You at one point compared who got the “better” ash mark on their head from Ash Wednesday.
    Yeah. That did happen.
    2. You feel like a rebel when you wear colored socks.
    I actually couldn’t wear socks in grade school due to neuropathy. Took a freaking doctor note to get out of it, and there was always that one playground watcher that would give me a hard time about it

    3. When someone says “peace be with you” you say “also with you” without thinking. It’s true.
    Yeah. It’s true.

    4. While you tell everyone that going to an all-girls school helped you focus on school and made you more intelligent, you secretly know it also made you more desperate and socially awkward. It’s sad, and pretty embarrassing, but true.
    Went to a co-ed one Pre-K-8th and high school

    5. You secretly miss having your clothes picked out for you 5 out of 7 days in the week.
    F**k no. I donated my uniforms the second I graduated middle school.

    6. You still remember the names of 30 kids you spent 8 years with…their parents, and siblings too. Aaaah, elementary school. Sure a couple kids came and went, but you got to know this core group well. You battled teachers, started puberty, and all sat through mass every Tuesday together. These are ties no graduation can break.
    Nod

    7. You still feel like you need say your prayer before a meal really, really fast, so you can get to recess faster.
    I never pray before meals anymore. I just hate it.

    8. You were shocked after you graduated to find out there were other translations of the Bible than the New American Version.
    Yes.

    9. You’ve been dressed up like an angel, a sheep, and a shepherd at least once (but probably three) times as a child. Don’t lie. Your mother has photos.
    Yes. She does.

    10. …and you had to sing. A LOT. On top of the school pageants and usual fair, you had the special church events that they used your class singing off key like some secret choir reserve force when the old ladies got sick. It was probably just a plot to actually get your parents to mass every once and a while.
    Pretty sure it was a plot!

    11. When at any non-catholic church or the train station, your right knee automatically buckles anytime you enter a pew, and you have to stop yourself from kneeling. Again, it’s true.
    Yes

    12. You know how to fundraise and sell stuff like a boss. Whether you went to one of the “rich kids” Catholic schools or the “very much not rich kids” schools, either way they had you out pimping cookie dough, magazine subscriptions, wrapping paper, and coupon books every year. That pizza party just became less worth the trouble as time went on.
    Since I sold Girl Scout cookies too, I was doomed to success.

    13. Your non-Catholic friends think doing the sign of the cross is some complicated secret handshake and keep asking you to show them how to do it over and over. It really is a secret sign that makes you get the good wafers at communion. Ya know, the ones that don’t taste like cardboard.
    They all taste like cardboard. Don’t lie!

    14. There was always some rumor about a dead saint body part, haunted room, or scary secret tradition (saying Bloody Mary into a mirror) at your church…that you totally bought. Admit it. You believed!
    In my high school it was tunnels under the school, and a ghost!

    15. You know what “leave room for the Holy Spirit means.” One foot apart with only arms touching is the only way to slow dance and keep Jesus happy.
    Oh f**k yes.

    16. You totally made up a sin during your first confession with a priest because you were in the first grade and didn’t understand what the heck was going on. Your friend even said adultery, because it sounded cooler than cheating or thinking bad thoughts against your parents, and no one was smart-assy enough yet to just say murder.
    Actually never had reconciliation because I was the “heathen” child of the school, born to a non-catholic mom who became divorced.

    17. You dreaded stations of the cross day. It was long, you had to sit in a hard pew, and most of the time you couldn’t see action or hear the person speaking. So you just sat there. For all eternity.
    Also Rosary Days. SO BORING.

    18. You have strong feelings about nuns. ‘Nuff said.

    19. You are still bitter that you were not picked to play Mary during May Crowning or Jesus in the Last Supper.
    I got to play the aunt on the Mary of Guadalupe play. And I totally rocked my costume from home.

    20. You talk more (aka are more traumatized) about your elementary school experience than anyone else who went to public school. It’s an experience that forever changed you. There was good, there was bad, there was just odd…but in the end you survived.
    Not quite sure how I survived though.

  167. sheilabr says:

    Too funny~ I admit to having been an angel when I was too young to make my 1st communion in the first grade…. But how many of you, draped in red crepe paper, played “poor souls in purgatory?”

    • judy says:

      being beaten and getting a spanking are two totally different things. if you are beaten you need to go to an emergency room. being spanked you don’t…Idiot…

  168. Jim H says:

    Made me smile. One thing: in my day, somebody said, “Pax vobiscum,” and the answer was, “Et cum spiritu too.” In Montreal, there were English, French, Catholic and Protestant school boards, all public. Four school boards. In high school and college, it was a Jesuit “collège classique,” with three hours of homework every night. Some very good and inspiring teachers, and some real duds. And yes, all boys. Definitely made me more awkward with girls than I had to be.

  169. Lisa says:

    Proud Catholic school survivor…my faves here are 1, 3, 14 & a5. And as for my friends……still with the best of them 40 yrs later :)

    • 1TiredMom says:

      If you have time to visit a Catholic church, drop in and grab one of the books in the pew…flip to any Sunday…and see that 4 readings each Sunday are from the Bible – first reading and a Psalm from the OT, and second reading and Gospel from the NT. Just because we don’t carry a complete Bible to Mass every Sunday doesn’t mean we don’t read it. By the way, there are 3 year-long cycles for the readings used during Mass, so we go through a good chunk of the Bible every 3 years.

    • Rich Munnich says:

      The Bible is read to all Catholics at Mass. If you went to Mass every day then after three years the entire Bible will have been read to you. It’s important to note that you should read the Bible all the time but not take it literally as the King James Bible suggests. Bear in mind that the Bible is a treasure of theological truths and fantastic insights into human nature but it lacks strong forensic evidence.

    • Mom of four says:

      I have been in a Catholic Bible Study for 25+years. You have been away a long time. Many lay Catholics are in love with study of the Bible and have been doing so for years.

    • Rhonda says:

      The Catechism has been out of the church for a long time now. Catholics read the Bible now. They usually stick to the NIRV, IRV or NAB. KJV is not applicable in the Catholic Church. KJV leaves out too many books and was written from documents that have long since been shown to contain many errors. The NIRV uses documents that have been most recently discovered and are complete. Archeologist continue to uncover history and reveal more fact. To think that doctrine written by humans or scribes many centuries ago that was passed by word of mouth by other humans does not contain some erroneous statements has never played the game of passing a statement through many people to see what comes out at the end.

  170. Mimi says:

    Catholic Schools put a polish on you that never rubs off, publics don’t have that. When I’m out and about, I can tell when someone waits on me where they went, publics usually can’t make change without a calculator nor do they hold the door. I spent 12 years in Catholic, 4 all girl, best, best, best experience.

  171. Kevin M Carney says:

    This is excellent. Recess at the Catholic school in the in winter means sliding on the ice in the parking lot next to St. Julies Hall. Cuffed dress pants, white dress shirt, tie (not a clip on) dress shoes with leather soles.

    • Dorothy smith says:

      The nuns we’re mean back in the late 1960’s. I was one of four black kids in this catholic school. The nuns would take us out of the classroom and lock us in this empty classroom across the hall. They told us not to talk or we would get a paddle.

    • deb says:

      this is what we still should have in some of the schools agree the nuns were the best teachers baaack then

  172. Janet says:

    I went to a High Episcopal (very much like Catholic) school for K-6th grade. I still do things I learned from school now (like genuflecting before the cross) and I was taught manners (like standing & speaking politely to an adult entering the room I was in). And I can still remember my Kindergarten roll (almst 50 years later!)!

  173. Sheila says:

    My education at catholic school in the 70 ‘s and 80’s didn’t include any corporal punishment. We learned evolution in science and I came out feeling prepared for college and life. It felt like a family and that is what I liked the most. That said, I’m not a practicing catholic now.

  174. LInda Smith says:

    I went to a Catholic school for 12 years. We had some nice nuns but plenty of frustrated mean ones. One mean nun literally BEAT a kid out in the hall once and terrified the rest of us. My uncle was a priest and two aunts were nuns. They lived like royalty while my poor Mom raised 12 kids and cooked and baked for the nuns to keep on their good side. They had a housekeeper and the parents took meals to them. Looking back it was shameful how they treated some of the kids and traumatized the rest of us for the rest of our lives. My kids went to public schools in NJ and had a wonderful experience and education. Both have PhD’s and have no religious background at all but are generous, kind, moral people. I would not subject my kids to the terror dished out by some of the nuns. I see that this new pope is trying to make the Catholic church a kinder, nicer organization which is great. He should start with some of the nuns.

    • lisagw1 says:

      Wow — this must vary according to location. All the nuns I encountered in school during the 1970-83 time period were wonderful, kind, caring teachers.

      • Jennifer A. says:

        From the variety of stories I am reading, I feel like many need to remember that nuns are human too. Just like anyone else there are nice ones and not-so nice ones. Thanks for jumping in with a positive memory. Thanks for reading.

      • Rhonda says:

        Ditto to Techie51 comment. I was disciplined as well and I have a great deal of respect for both of my parents. I had a great childhood full of good memories. I also have great memories of Catholic School. This article was meant as entertainment and I can’t believe how much negative has been written because of it. That is what is wrong with this world today, we thrive on negative. Take it for what it was, a walk through memory lane for some with a few chuckles thrown in. It’s not war on terrorism.

      • Kathleen A. McKenna says:

        Spanking is not the problem. What is the problem is when you tell a child to do this or not do it and the child disobey and YOU repeat again and gain until you get upset enough to lose your temper then start hitting without control – this is violence – You talk a couple of time then spank before YOU LOSE YOUR TEMPER – this is discipline. None of my children is violent – but then on the other hand – one good spanking worked – I didn’t have to do it much more than tht because my children knew that when I said something I MEANT IT and the never challenged me. Never let them disrespected me. Respect is important – AND telling them often that you love them.

      • Kathleen A. McKenna says:

        It’s not the nuns and the catholic schools that ruined today’s children but the psychologists, with their bleeding hearts.

  175. Jean Waddell says:

    I went to public school and on Wednesday went to catechism, whatever that means. No one explained anything! Sister Sheila made the 8th grade public school hyper kid cry by abusing him relentlessly. The nuns were all mean and cruel. We used to get yelled at in 3rd grade for being a few minutes late; what, like we drive?

    • Ann Griffith says:

      My sisters daughter is in kind. at a Catholic school. There are 12 children in the class but next year, 4 are going to be going to the public school. The expect her first grade class to have 8 – 10 children in it. It was a very low birth year. It is going to be amazing at how much one on one attention those kids are going to get through 8th grade.

  176. valleygirlgonecountry.wordpress.com says:

    This was great!! before reading your post i clicked on 20 signs you grew up a church kid….it seemed so foreign, who the heck is Mr.Psalty, the nuns ever mentioned him during my 9 years in Catholic School, I continued reading ….and nothing clicked, nothing was familiar at all, so I went back to reading your post and laughed because you were clueless as well, but you were so right on about 19/20 things you listed…I went to a coed catholic school, but we still preyed on the new boys like a lion stalking it’s prey!!

    • Jennifer A. says:

      I love the comment about the lions! At least we were not the only ones. We once, at my all girls high school, had a hot young male substitute, who the girls literally mobbed so much on his first day he had to be escorted around by other teachers. He never came back!

  177. Pat S Gogol says:

    Exactly. I went to Catholic school in the early 60’s. Nuns were brutal, I do think it depended on what sect of nuns you had. NOTRE DAME nuns, very brutal, you could be smacked over the head at anytime and not know why. Tbey are a Ger man order very strict. Later had St. JOSEPH nuns they were very sweet and kind. I survived

    • JBD says:

      Methodists welcome ALL to the Lord’s Table who believe in God and that Jesus is the Christ and our Lord and Savior. We are ALL children of God.
      We take Communion either via kneeling around the altar or by intinction as practiced in the Catholic church.

  178. Colleen says:

    Big family all going to Cathholic school! Nuns were Great! Lots of support for my mom. If it wern’t for a few of the Nuns we wouldnt have had icecream on our birthdays and Christmas presents under our tree.

  179. Richard Gorka says:

    The abuses prevalent in the new “Catholic Church” since the debacle of Vatican II are primarily due to the fact that the bishops, priest, and nuns lost their faith and embraced false doctrine. Priests stopped praying the divine office, bishops no longer required newly ordained priests to make the oath against modernism enacted by Pope St. Pius X, true Catholic teaching gave way to novelty, the social gospel, and innumerable errors, and most of all, the holy sacrifice of the Mass was abolished and replaced by the protestantized “meal.” Satan triumphed by worming his way into the bosom of the Church aided by the false Catholic cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, and laity who, knowingly and unknowingly followed his bidding. The Blessed Virgin Mary foretold at La Salette, France over 150 years ago that “Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of Antichrist.” Jesus, in speaking of His final coming, said to His apostles, “When the Son of Man returns will He find, think you, faith on the Earth?”

    • AndyDo says:

      Now that you’re sharpened up, you can go into Macy’s and argue that there is no zucchini around. Stretch that fine mind a bit. Y’heah.

  180. Sharon Krotzer says:

    I went to public elementary and high school and had catechism classes and a strong Catholic father. Went to an all girl Catholic college which was great; learned that nuns were people…some good, some not so good! Some of the girls I met in college had gone to all girl Catholic schools their whole lives and were somewhat warped….did not know how to even talk to boys! I am a practicing Catholic and love the church. Many of the girls I went to college with no longer practice Catholicism.

    • anna says:

      Wow. My friends still comment on “what pretty handwriting ” I have. Catholic school was the only place that a quiet shy kid was rewarded. I actually miss it sometimes.

      • Laurie says:

        Love it Anna! My handwriting has been commented on many times in my life & I always say…Thank my Catholic upbringing! They taught me how to do it right! I actually am amazed at my own handwriting…I can read it! I am frustrated that schools today don’t put as much emphasis as they should on cursive…!

    • Joe says:

      I still say curive should be banned from school until sixth grade.we never had time to learn how to print properly first. i still re