Catholic Schools and Neighborhood Vitality

The Omaha Catholic Consortium seeks to provide present and future stability for Catholic elementary education in the Urban South Central and Southeast Deaneries of the Archdiocese of Omaha. Catholic schools not only benefit the families and students enrolled, but their surrounding communities as well.

Research published in the March 2010 Notre Dame Law Review supports the validity of this intention and belief. This study found that Catholic schools are “important sources of neighborhood social capital (Brinig, 2010).” Social capital is defined as the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively. The presence of a Catholic school provides this kind of advantage for immediate neighborhoods. Civic leaders have often expressed their gratitude that Catholic schools are present in urban neighborhoods, especially in historic city centers.

Researchers also found that Catholic schools appear to “suppress social disorder, increase social cohesion, and bolster collective efficacy in these neighborhoods (Brinig, 2010).” Local Catholic schools have the capacity to increase the quality of life for those living in the communities they serve, and thus earn the gratitude of individuals in the larger community even if they do not have children in school.

Click here to read the complete article, Catholic Schools, Urban Neighborhoods, and Education Reform.


Brinig, M.F. and Garnett, N.S. “Catholic Schools, Urban Neighborhoods, and Education Reform” Notre Dame Law Review. Vol. 85, No. 3. (2010): 887-954.