I found a new policy document on http://www.irishbishops.ie/ . It is called Policy For The Religious Education of Catholic Children Not Attending Catholic Schools (PDF). I looked through it, and do you know what, it made me mad. Why? It seems that (on paper at least) there is more concern for the religious formation of Catholic children not attending Catholic schools than their is for Catholic children attending Catholic schools.
If my children had attended a local multi-denominational school, the chances are that the person providing their religious instruction after school, will have been chosen by the parish priest. The priest will has looked for somone suitable, (an so he should) the person could be a daily Mass goer, a member of the Legion of Mary, someone who has shown some committment to the faith. This is what the document says about the people who should provide this religious instruction.
"Catechists must be practising Catholics, baptised and confirmed, taking part in the worship and apostolate of the Church. They must realise that their vocations as Catholics call them to worship God in the liturgy and their personal prayer and to serve God through service of God’s people. The example of their prayer and service is a powerful teaching tool. Catechists should be versed in the hierarchy of truths as outlined the GDC. (They are required to have a general knowledge of the Creed, the Commandments, the Mass and Sacraments, the Liturgical Year, the prayer life of a Christian, and the life of Christ and the Church’s Social Teaching.)" from Policy For The Religious Education of Catholic Children Not Attending Catholic Schools.
I have chosen to send my children to my local Catholic parish school, and what do we get? I don't exactly know what we get, but it feels like nothing.