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The Sentinel

The Sentinel

McClancy’s diversity as a catholic school!

McClancy’s diversity as a catholic school!

Over the years as a Catholic school, McClancy has become  religiously diverse in its population of students. Even though our student body is still widely and proudly Catholic, there are some who don’t share the same faith. Examples of other religions displayed throughout our school include Islam and Hinduism. Both of these religions are different from Christianity, but we are all taught to respect other religions. Due to these facts, I wondered how the student body felt about this diversity. 

In order to write this article, I searched for 5 students of different religious backgrounds to get their opinions on the situation. The best way to do this was by interviewing and giving them questionnaires. I gave everyone the same simple questions just to get an understanding of their feelings. These questions were:

 

  • What is your religion?
  • What made you come to the school?
  • Brief background on your religion?
  • What is it like being (your religion) in a catholic school?
  • How do you feel when you have to sit through a mass?
  • Do you ever feel odd being a non catholic and going through the school day praying in classes and more?
  • What’s your take on the way McClancy takes part in the catholic faith?
  • Is there anything that you regret or wish religion wise, whether it’s yours or not, that the school could do or acknowledge?

 

To start off, I interviewed two students who follow the Islamic faith. For those who don’t know, Islam is a religion that “focuses on the oneness of God and worship through prayer and good acts along with maintaining tradition,” as said by one of our students. Another student of Muslim background, Maya, states that she attended McClancy because she came from a public school and was exploring private highschools to gain new insight.. Student A, who will remain anonymous, claims that being in school as a Muslim isn’t as difficult as practicing it in the outside world. They feel more accepted within McClancy rather than anywhere else as McClancy provided them with a safe space. As a Catholic school, we hold masses in which everyone is mandated to attend. These two students both believe that sitting through mass isn’t a problem at all, and even respect the religion. Student A  said he loves to learn about the catholic faith through mass. As a non-Catholic in McClancy, both students claim they feel very secure and never out of place being another religion. Each of them also admire the way McClancy keeps the Catholic faith alive throughout school; whether it be praying in each class or “the aspects of conservatism and having students be upstanding people,” our school keeps their roots alive while still adjusting to the modern world. What we can learn from these two is that even  if the outside world makes it harder for people to feel comfortable as Muslims, McClancy always provides a safe space for all, and they should have no regrets choosing McClancy as their High School. 

The second part of this article comes from the standpoint of two Hindu students, one being myself and Student B who will also remain anonymous.  Hinduism is a faith which originated in India and was widely spread within the west indies. Within Hinduism we believe in aspects like karma and reincarnation. Both student B and I chose McClancy because we went to catholic schools before and preferred coming back even if we didn’t practice the faith. Being Hindu in a catholic is nothing either of us aren’t used to, but for me it is a bit of a change not seeing many other religions. Due to the location of the middle school I went to, even though it was a catholic school, it had a larger diversity religion wise. Because of this I had many more friends of other faiths inside of school as opposed to McClancy.  As student B says, “during masses we feel no different. I try to respect my peers as they are participating in their religious mass”, which is all we can do during this time. When it comes to feeling different due to different religions, neither of us feel it. We are both secure in our faith and no one at McClancy has ever made us feel out of place because of it. When McClancy prays throughout the day I look at it in a respectful way to allow other kids time to pray and I appreciate the fact that McClancy is trying to keep their students faithful. For student B and I we mainly just respect all the religious aspects that McClancy has while taking into consideration that we are at a catholic school.

Last but not least we are hearing the opinions of our fellow catholic members at McClancy. I didn’t use the same questions as before, and instead asked their general opinions on the fact that there are non-Catholics at our school. Not one person saw anything wrong with this idea, but they did have some things to change in general. For example, there was a person stating that they wished that mass was taken more seriously. During the time to pray and give thanksgiving, many people, catholic or non-Catholic, talk and distract others. The fact of the matter is that many are trying to pray and others need to remember that that is what masses are meant for. Beyond that factor all Catholics are accepting of the religious diversity in our school. They see it as no different to them because they still have the ability to practice their faith without feeling judged and to respect others’ faiths. 

The overall purpose of this article was to learn about other faiths and how our students feel practicing their religion while in school.  What I was able to learn is that no matter whether catholic school or not, McClancy is a completely welcoming school. Everyone feels completely safe and welcomed inside of school and they are ready to accept others too. Everyone interviewed for this article had many opinions in common but the main thing was that they all had respect. Respect for McClancy, the way our school partakes in their faith, and prayer overall. We’re all very content in the choice of having McClancy as our highschool and that we will be graduating from here.  Whether we are Muslim or Hindu or catholic, we are forever catholic school kids!

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About the Contributor
Hey, I am a junior and I like reading and writing for fun. I love writing about different cultures and casual thing. Hopefully you all enjoy my articles and are able to learn something from them!

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