Urban Catholic Education: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times is a sequel to a 2010 work with the similar title, Urban Catholic Education: Tales of Twelve American Cities. Together, these works explore the historical contours of the Catholic parochial school movement in America's divergent urban centers from colonial times to the present. The first volume covers the years of growth and expansion up to 1970 and the second volume continues the story and discusses the years of decline and retrenchment over the past forty years. In this second volume, ten scholars - many affiliated with Catholic schools and universities - address the recent history of parish schools in as many cities across the country. Not only do the essays address common themes, they also articulate the elements that make Catholic education distinctive in each city. The book is a valuable touchstone for Catholic educators and scholars who work in and for a national Catholic educational establishment; that establishment includes 238 colleges and universities and several thousand Catholic high schools among other institutions.
Thomas C. Hunt is a member of the faculty of the University of Dayton and a former editor of Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice. This is his 27th book. David J. O'Brien is Professor of History and Catholic Studies Emeritus, College of the Holy Cross, and University Professor At Large, University of Dayton. He has written widely on U.S. Catholic history. Timothy Walch is the author of Parish School: American Catholic Education from Colonial Times to the Present (2003). Andrew M. Greeley hailed Parish School as "the best summary review of the history of Catholic education in the last half century."
Contents: David J. O'Brien: Introduction: Conscious Choices, Deliberate Decisions - John White: A Clash of Culture and Faith: Catholic Education in Boston - Rodger Van Allen: Toward Sustainable Catholic Education: Parochial Schools in Philadelphia - Maria Mazzenga: A Fast-Changing World: Race and Change in Baltimore's Parochial Schools - C. Walker Gollar: Making the World Better: Catholic Education in Cincinnati - George V. Fornero: A Tale of Two Schools: Catholic Education in Chicago - John T. James: Planning for Growth and Retrenchment: Catholic Education in St. Louis - Justin D. Poche: Stemming the Tide: Catholic Education in New Orleans - Steve Neiheisel: From Mission Church to Future Church: Catholic Schools in San Antonio - Shane P. Martin: Diversity, Opportunity, Challenge: Parochial Education in Los Angeles - Mary Peter Traviss, O.P.: Catholic Schools by the Bay: Parochial Education in San Francisco - Timothy Walch: Conclusion: Looking Backward, Moving Forward.