Catholic Educational System in USA and the Establishing of Primary Schools at Slovene Parishes (1895-1941)
On the basis of literature, printed sources (Ave Maria calendar) and her own questionnaire, the author outlines the conditions under which religious schools, including Catholic, were operating in the United States. Her interest focuses on the development of schools at Slovene parishes. The paper offers a brief history of these schools in individual states.
Slovenes, just as other immigrants in the United States, forged ties with each other through various organizations, the most Vital of which was the Catholic Church. An important aspect of this linkage was the establishing of Schools in Slovene parishes. In the beginning, the U. S. public education System was a predominantly Protestant institution and as such could not meet the needs of all the Segments of immigrant population. As a result, the system developed in the direction of secularization of public schools and the establishing, parallel with it, of different religious educational system, including the Catholic. The expansion of activity of the Catholic educational system was marked by an incessant struggle for survival. An important success in this struggle was achieved by the nuns of the state of Oregon in 1919 when the constitutional court in the case "Pierce vs the Congregation of Sisters" (1919) ruled that the state has no exclusive right to education, that individuals have the right to organize private schools and that individual states have the right to determine the minimum conditions for the activity of private schools, but not the right to abolish them.
The first schools in Slovene parishes appeared in the early twenties. Typically, their language of instruction was English. Languages of individual ethnic communities were permitted as subjects of learning and as languages of religious instruction. Slovene parochial Schools were an institution through Which Slovenes forged and maintained ties with each other. The parishes took great pride in them.
In addition to reference literature, the results presented in the paper draw on data from printed sources (the Ave Maria Calendar, annual files 1913-41) and the author's own questionnaire which she sent to all the parishes Where she had presumed the parochial schools were active. She also gives a brief history of Schools in individual states.