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Catholic High School To Open Muslim Prayer Room

Catholic school opens Muslim prayer room

Mother Teresa Catholic secondary school, a high school in London, Ontario, Canada is about to open a Muslim prayer room.

24 Hours Vancouver reports the Catholic secondary school with a student population of about 1,400 has about 25 Muslim students, who lobbied the school beginning last year for a place to pray. The prayer room will be located on the second floor, just steps away from the school’s chapel, and is scheduled to open at the end of the month.

“They’re members of our school community. We want to ensure that all our students feel welcome, that they feel that they belong,” said Principal Ana Paula Fernandes.

The Free Republic reports that Mother Teresa is the first school in Ontario, public or private, to open such a facility. In Canada, baptism is required for enrollment in elementary schools, but secondary schools are open to anyone.

School officials and interested students have been in contact with a local imam, a leader of Islamic worship services, to develop guidelines for the room. Muslims are required to pray toward Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, five times daily but school officials say the room will be primarily used on Fridays.

While the move is sure to be hailed by some as a marker of tolerance, others disagree. The St. Catharine Standard conducted an online poll asking “Should schools provide Muslim students with a place to pray?” At 9:15 pm Eastern, 57 percent of voters said no, 20 percent said “Yes, they have the right,” and 23 percent said “Only if the same is done for other religious students.”

The Muslim prayer room at the Catholic school was converted from an old office.

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Comments

74 Responses to “Catholic High School To Open Muslim Prayer Room”

  1. Karen Bowe

    ok, confused. In a Catholic School? Then if that is to be tolerated then we should allow for options in insurance to include birth control. If we are truly allowing others to be free in their speech and beliefs. So torn right now as to why a Catholic School should offer separate rooms for other religions to pray.

  2. Joanne Sgrignoli Boyd

    Students enrolled in a Catholic school should expect to be taught the Catholic faith. Period. I think that the school's opening of a prayer room for Muslim students is a bad decision. Muslim students wanting to pray should attend a Muslim school.

  3. Jesse Arellano

    its a catholic school. I would assume that the students would be of the catholic faith. its like someone enrolling at MIT wanting to major in performing arts.

  4. Alfred Lehmberg

    Nooooooooooo! A mixture of Church and State is ill advised even (especially!) where the latter is _inspired_ by the former, eh? You can't legislate common sense _or_ faith and it is disaster wherever it is attempted… See, where these are mixed you no longer have that very necessary "separation" where they _debate_ one another and keep each other on efficacious toes. Mix Church and State at peril, forever and always!

  5. Alfred Lehmberg

    Nooooooooo… What is this but a slippery slide to theocracy! A mixture of Church and State is ill advised even (especially!) where the latter is _inspired_ by the former, eh? You can't legislate common sense _or_ faith and it is disaster wherever it is attempted… See, where they are mixed you no longer have that very necessary "separation" where they _debate_ one another and keep each other on efficacious toes. Mix Church and State at peril forever and always!

  6. Karen Bowe

    Ok, don't know if this is real or not.. headline says High School and story says secondary school. This might be just propaganda for other reasons.

  7. Alan Coverdale

    1 rule for 1 another for the muslim. if they do that in this school they should do this in a muslim school for christ. these poeple of christ who make these rules should be shot dead.

  8. Kris Kulesa-Colt

    if you CHOOSE a Catholic school for your child NO MATTER WHAT YOUR FAITH, the ONLY religion that should be practiced there is the Catholic religion. Most people who are not Catholic that send their children to Catholic schools do so for the education and the low tolerance for problem students. If that is your reason than you have MADE YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEF secondary to your child's education…deal with it.

  9. Carrie Sue Faccone

    well I don't know, it is Catholic, isn't the expectation of the children being raise Catholic just the norm? I don't know much about Catholic School, but the name would I.

  10. Carrie Sue Faccone

    the name would imply that the school teaches Catholic belief. Hummmm? I am ever so happy I am athiest.

  11. Paula Qualls Gurley

    A private school acceded to the requests of some of their students………..what is so difficult about that? It was not in opposition to their beliefs, the government is not involved. What part of this is so hard to understand? The Muslim parents who pay tuition obviously prefer this environment to public schools, and the school appreciates the desire for a place to pray. These folks apparently have more respect for personal beliefs than most of the posters here.

  12. Melody Pritchard

    I'm still waiting to hear if you are going to stop posting pictures of little babies in bikinis, ARE YOU STUPID! I really like a lot of stuff you do post so I hope to hear from you soon or I will start asking my friends to take you off their FB.

  13. Larry Middendorf

    I would like to point out that any negative comments in this comment section are the result of ignorance of the teachings of either faith. To those who wrote negatively, I am appreciative of the freedom that you have to claim ignorance in public but if I were you I would spend some time reading and listening to knowledgeable practitioners of both faiths before making decisions about their choices. I am also appreciative of the fact that the parents of the Muslim children have chosen to send their children to a catholic school. I am sure they thought a lot about that decision before taking that action. It says a lot that the school respects that and acknowledges it by accommodating them. Most important is what it says to the students there. My only dissappointment is that this story is not the headline of most major media outlets. It offers a look at what real faith and Religion is.

  14. Dan Nowak

    This is an insult to the catholic religion. Muslum schools wont permit catholic prayer. Ready to go to Australia where they back christianity their religious roots.

  15. Phillip Webb

    A Muslim prayer room in a Catholic school is wrong on so many different levels

  16. Jamie Wilson

    It is a Catholic School and catholic religion should only be practiced in a catholic school. Only catholic students should attend not other religions. This is a good example of those who are not catholic taking advantage of the education provided by catholic schools. It's a school based on education and catholic religion not anything else.

  17. Jennifer Brown

    Well to really make them feel welcome the school should take out all prayer and symbols that may offend the muslims. They really should start including the Muslim faith in the daily life of the school. The Muslim youth need to feel welcomed! I wonder if this principle thinks Catholic churches should have a prayer room attched to the altar so Muslims attending mass will feel comfortable and welcomed in the catholic church.

  18. Anonymous

    I feel like if you're going to a catholic school, then you should be catholic. I completely understand why the students would want a muslim prayer room though. I just don't think it should take place at a catholic school, but if it doesn't cause any problems then to each his own.

  19. Melody Pritchard

    Ummm Very interesting,Helen Schultz,Do you think something is up?

  20. Sheila Torres

    Paula, do you think a Muslim school would have a chapel for Christian (Catholic) students to worship God? I think not. You are putting all faiths on the same level, which of course they are not. It makes no sense that a Catholic school would make accommodations for worship for Muslims, Buddhists, Protestants, Jews. It negates the Catholic faith that the school is trying to teach and instill.

  21. Lauren Jaye Siegel

    What if it is the closest school to you and all other nearest schools are too far or not safe/does not have as good an education system? The school officials obviously knew who they were letting in. as a private school they could have restricted access to anyone from a different faith. What if they wanted the students because they were advanced? Many schools want advanced kids in order to up their reputation with awards and possibly win contests. Schools with winning national spelling bee champs get profits as well. And the students made a request and went about it the right way and the school considered it and had the means to appease the students. Why is this a horrible thing. This is actually one of the first times that I as an Atheist would applaud the Catholic group. For preaching so much "Love thy Neighbor" this is walking the walk.

  22. Laura Vale

    For real? Is this for real? This school should be ashamed of itself! This is what will kill the Christian west: Accommodation. It never, however, works the other way. In case you haven't read the Koran, we are infidels and are to convert or die by the sword.

    For those who call this a religion of peace and cite the sweet Koran, remember, the more recent passages take PRECEDENCE over the earlier passages, and the more recent passages are extremely violent.

    Read the Koran and take it to heart: This is what Muslims truly believe. And lying and obfuscation are okay as long as it achieves the desired results.

    I'll bet the administration of this school, though, feel all warm and smarmy and holier than thou in their "I'm better than you because I believe in inclusion" attitude. You SHALL reap the whirlwind. And in the meantime, you are bringing terror down on us. Because of YOU, it WILL happen.

    Draw the line now or repeat history. Do these people even remember history or why the Crusades were fought?

    For shame. But beyond that, the consequences, though creeping, will be terrible and REAL.

  23. Susan Stratton

    It's a Catholic school and it should not be adding a Muslim prayer room. I doubt a Muslim school would add a church area for Christian services! Plus, Catholics paying for their kids to go to a Catholic school would not want them exposed to Islam or an Islamic prayer room. That would be contrary to what they wish to teach the children.

  24. Susan Stratton

    I hope the Catholic parents who are footing the bill (usually quite expensive) pull their children out of that school after they add a Muslim prayer room. Obviously the school is more concerned about being "politically correct" rather than making sure the students are learning the Faith. Yes, we can respect people of other faiths but that does not mean you put a Muslim prayer room in a Catholic school.

  25. Susan Stratton

    I agree. It is shameful and the local Bishop needs to take action against this. Where are the active Christians in Canada?! All Christians–both Catholic and Protestant–should be offended by this.

  26. Luana Radix

    My Catholic high school had Jewish, Muslim and Hindu students because the institution of Catholic schools has an excellent reputation. This just sounds like the openness and tolerance that people have been wanting Catholicism to embrace. I don't see anything wrong with it.

  27. Paula Qualls Gurley

    That is the choice of that church/school, and obviously they disagree. Just because Muslims wouldn't do it means Catholics shouldn't? I was taught 2 wrongs don't make a right, by a Southern Baptist.

  28. Sisca Lestari Ilham

    Agree. Jesus will do the same. Whether Muslim school will provide a chappel or not, it does not matter. We are Jesus follower, so we have to do better, love one another as Jesus does.

  29. Lacey TheBear Bade

    I mean, yay for tolerance, you know? But I thought that if you went to Catholic school, you had to study Catholosism, so I would never have thought there would be students of other faiths enrolled. I would have thought it was a requirement to be the faith of the school, thats all. And what Muslim (Lutherin, Jew, whatever) wants to sit through classes about Catholic stuff? Thats all.
    If its a matter of going to a privet school, I would think they exist without religious affiliation….

  30. Cheryl Rockwood

    Absolutely. Give them all 5 minutes of silent prayer in the same room. No special equipment needed to pray to God.

  31. Cheryl Rockwood

    Absolutely. Give them all 5 minutes of silent prayer in the same room. No special equipment needed to pray to God.

  32. Mark Marquette

    Not a problem. Can we get a small chapel put in the Muslim schools for Christians…or are all Christians expressly prohibited from attending them. Hmmmm. Seems like institutions should be permitted to establish their own identity without others trying to manipulate it.

  33. Gail Dunning

    I believe that if the majority voted no then it should have been respected. Muslims do not have to attend a Catholic school. I feel that if you attend a Catholic school, knowing full well….it is a religious school within a specific faith you should understand that you will have to deal with it. Freedom of speech and faith is important….I BELIEVE THE PLEDGE SHOULD BE SAID AT THE beginning of every morning at school but not prayer unless it is a silent prayer.

  34. Jamie Wilson

    It's not whether the school new. It is my opinion. And my thoughts are if you are Catholic then you go to a Catholic church. If you are Muslim you go to a Muslim Church. If you are a non believer you stay at home. And I think the same should apply to the schools. It would save a lot of possible conflict. But they obvisiously, chose to let other religions attend. So, it is what it is. If conflict arises they helped to create it and it is on them. Have a nice day.

  35. Lauren Jaye Siegel

    You know what they say about opinions? They are like a-holes. Everyone has them. And who said there was conflict? You are creating conflict. The students made a request and the school thought it over and saw no problem with the request and found a way to for fill it. And again, if they wanted to save any possible conflicts then they would never had let them in in the first place. Jeez. You don't sound very Christ-like. I thought you were supposed to love thy neighbor and help those in need. You sound like you would want a segregated country. You know how to really fix it? Do away with all schools. Make every child home schooled. Then you can teach them how ever you want. But then I guess you either can't work or need to make enough to pay for a teacher. Hmmmm?

  36. Judy Balla

    I totally agree. Would any Muslim country do the same for us if we went to live in their country? I don't think so? This is a catholic school were they teach Catholic beliefs. If you want to practice your Muslim faith go to a Muslim school, period.

  37. Edeltraut Fuhr

    I agree, we have given up too much for others coming into Canada at one time you had to adjust to the country your in now we have to adjust to them,,,,time for Canada to believe in themself

  38. Judy Balla

    Wake up Canada. Muslims have an agenda to turn every country to Islam. Wherever they go they push for accomadations but accomadate no other religion themselves. We will wake up one day with our freedom gone and women will have no rights at all if we are not carefull. Muslims make trouble wherever they go.

  39. Juana Oner

    If I go to a Muslim school, will they build a Catholic chapel in it so I can pray my Catholic Liturgy of the Hours every few hours, or have morning Mass? Never….and I wouldn't expect them to!

    We should treat all people with respect, but it is just not right to put anything pertaining to any other religion in a Catholic place. Period.

    When non-Christian people decide to go to a Christian school, they know what they are getting. If they want their own religion's worship space as part of their school experience, they have their own schools for that.

    It makes me very upset to think about their worship going on under a Catholic roof. Not because I hate them, but because that school is Church property, holy ground, and it is to be dedicated to Our Lord Jesus ALONE.

    Why are we such wimps about just being who we are? Jesus didn't give us a mandate to teach everybody's kids so we can have more money or feel like we're nice because we include everyone. He gave us a mandate to preach the gospel to all nations.

  40. Lee McBride

    If it was a public school then sure, diversity and tolerence are expected. As a private school that you must choose to go and pay to attend to it should be able to decide it's own criteria. If you buy a home in a covenant neighborhood then you have to expect to go by the neighborhood bylaws as well. Fair is fair and people have a right to pick their own environments.

  41. Jennifer Burt

    OMG! So First.. Do you not have to be baptisted to go to a Cathlic School? Why would a Muslim want to go to a Cathlic school anyways.. Christains is thier eyes are infedels.. Well according to them everyone is that's not muslim. They really need to keep their religion to themselves and stop pushing it in Canadians faces. I'm not a religious person but come on we all need to know that this is INSANELY WRONG!

  42. Jennifer Burt

    So do you think that Muslim's would open up a Jewish prayer room in their schools for the Jewish Community. This is'nt about teaching of faith is about Muslims hating for thousands of years do to their negativity and know they are asking us to bring it into our schools and having our children see how they treat women.. Think about that.

  43. Jamie Wilson

    You (Lauren Jaye Siegel) can take everything you've said and shove it up your ass. I am not creating conflict you are. As far as the school system is concerned why don't you go ahead and allow the same. Bend over grab your ankles and spell RUN. Don't talk to me about faith, I know where your faith lies. As far as segregation is concerned you should be segregateed from society because you are a whack job.

  44. Lauren Jaye Siegel

    Oooo! That wasn't very Christ-like! LOL. Took you over a month to write this? You sure seem mad that a group of students peacefully requested their school for a space to pray to their god and the school didn't have a problem with it. Again, you are the one making the conflict. The school saw no issue, you did. And faith is defined as believing in something that has no proof. That is stupid. I don't have faith in anything. I want proof of what I believe in. I may have hope for things, but I like to hope for what is possible and plausible. You can keep your faith. Only those that can't think for themselves need it anyway.

  45. Jamie Wilson

    I never said I was Christian, ass munch. I am not on the internet every second like you are. Yeah, it shows you have no faith. People without faith go through life wondering aimlessly.

  46. Lauren Jaye Siegel

    Well you sure do jump to childish name calling. Do you kiss your children with that mouth? LOL. People with no faith search for the truth and a happy with saying I don't know the truth yet so I won't make up nonsense to make myself feel better. You and people of faith lie to yourselves because that is easier than admitting you just don't know. Grow up.

  47. Bob Millington

    1John 2 22,23.he that denieth the father and the son is a LIAR and the Truth is not in him…he is antichrist…..islam IS antichrist…. why; when catholic doctrine forbides so many NON catholic tidbits is the leadership aquiescent in silence…wusup?`.