Post # 1
I just recently accepted a position at a Catholic School in my hometown. It is an awesome position as an Art teacher and it is rare to find a position such as this one. Before I ever got this position my FI and I planned to have an outdoor wedding since I am a non-practicing Catholic (which they were aware of that in my interview) and he is Lutheran. After I signed the contract the Principal asked what we had planned for our wedding I explained that we would like an outdoor wedding because of the above reasons and then we would have a blessing ceremony in the church if needed. She proceeded to tell me that if I decided to go forth with something like this that I may lose my job. With only a month and a half away from school starting I am questioning whether I made the right decision (about the position). I honestly do not want to get married in a Catholic church because I do not agree with all of their rules. Also they have hired people of other faith at this school and since I will not be teaching religion I did not think anything of this controversy until after I accepted the position. The thought never crossed my mind that they could delve into my personal life in this way. I understand their side of the situation in that parents are paying for a Catholic education, but at the same time I am teaching art. Not religion. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions about what my next step should be?
Post # 3
If it were feasible I would lie my ass off. Tell her you decided to get married a church after all. Pretend you’re having a destination wedding in Florida in a Catholic church if you’re concerned about her finding out.
Lying might be bad, but getting fired over where you get married is so much worse. I would want to quit on principle, but I understand that’s not always realistic given the job market for teachers.
Post # 4
If they were aware of your non-practicing status in your interview and yet they still hired you then I don’t see what the big deal is. They can’t just fire you because of a wedding. What is their reasoning? I would stop emphasizing your “nonpracticing” status with your work and if the wedding issue comes up again just blame it on your FI being Lutheran. Say that he isn’t comfortable getting married in the church because he is a different religion. What’s the principal going to do then? Fire you over your fiance? Thats discrimination and frankly your personal life isn’t their business.
Anyways, if you are teaching at a Catholic school you probably should start going to the mass that the school offers, even if you don’t like all the teachings of the church. Catholic schools are all about community. Trust me, I went to one for elementary school and my mom has taught at them for 30 years. They like to see that you are present for church and involved in the parish community.
Post # 5
Eeek! IDK for absolute sure, but I think they could possibly fire you over this!! Becasuse they are not public school, I don’t think they have to abide by the same rules. I can’t believe that they interviewed you and were all cool with it, and NOW that you have the job, are making something of it!! You can get fired for just about anything these days, as there are sooo many other people that could easily take your place!!! I was baptised, confirmed, and went to Catholic Church for many years, and married a Lutheran-and we got married in the Catholic Church. I’m more comfortable in Protestant Churches now. IDK, if you’re both not totally opposed, you may want to get married and participate in the CC to save your job? I heard that something like 90% of graduates of teaching programs will NOT find a job. Best Wishes.
Post # 6
Probably a bad thread for my first post, but I have some input. 🙂 My fiance is Catholic, I’m not and while we’re having a plain old regular Christian wedding, I was under the impression from him that as long as the marriage is blessed by a priest, it doesn’t matter that the wedding wasn’t Catholic. In other words, if an outdoor wedding + blessing by a priest later is good enough for the Catholic Church, why isn’t it good enough for your school? Weird.
Post # 7
Catholic schools hire non-Catholic and non-practicing-Catholic teachers all the time. I’m pretty sure the laws of equal employment opportunity, discrimination, and wrongful termination apply here. I suggest you do a little research about such policies (or maybe somone on this forum can help?) and take that information to the Principal. Do they require their non-Catholic teachers to get married inside a Catholic church too? Is there anything in your employment contract or other rules that state you must be a practicing member of the church now that you’re a teacher?
Perhaps the principal is just concerned that your students will learn the details of your wedding and get an impression that goes against what the school is trying to teach. Perhaps if you can assure the principal that you won’t share those details with your students, she might not come down so hard on you.
Post # 8
I can offer a different perspective. My children attend a private Lutheran School. I was not raised a Lutheran. But because I wanted to make sure that I knew what they were teaching my children, I joined the Lutheran church. I don’t agree with everything that they teach either, but I feel like I would be a hypocrite if I sent my children there then expected them to abide by their doctrine and not abide by it myself.
Perhaps when you disclosed that you were non-practicing, they thought that because you were going to be employed by them, things would just naturally take course and you would begin going to Mass again?
Post # 9
Actually there is nothing legally you can do if they decided to fire you. In the eys of the law, the Catholic Church has every right to fire people is they go against the school’s morals. Again, they are closely affiliated with the church, but they do put in place their own rules so they can have the best of the best role models for the children.
If they found out you lied about the ceremony, they would fire you. Trust me, word will eventually get around, but it might be years down the road. If you want an outdoor ceremony I suggest finding a different job. If you want the job, then have a church ceremony. It just depends on what you want, but Catholic Schools are notorious for keeping their teachers in line. If you are caught drinking in a bar they can fire you (this is what happened to my friend). Honestly, I don’t think it is worth the hassle, but then again I have no idea how many jobs there are out there for art teachers or what is feasible for you.
Good luck and I’m sorry the laws don’t protect you from this kind of moral discrimination. 🙁
Post # 10
Ugh, I don’t get it either. Don’t talk about your wedding at work (with anyone). If you are directly asked about it, be vague. If someone asks you specifically if you are having a Catholic wedding, say “yes, we are getting our priest’s blessing.”
Post # 11
I would just not talk about the wedding AT ALL around school, not invite any of the coworkers (I mean, you don’t even know them yet, right?) and if anyone questions you just be really vague and say you really haven’t decided on any of the details yet. If they press you on it, say something like “It’s going to be such a small ceremony, I’ve decided not to discuss the details at work. I hope you understand, I just want to avoid any hurt feelings” or even say something like “I prefer to keep my professional and my personal life separate, so I’m not discussing the details at work.”
I really doubt she will follow up on this, but if you refuse to answer one way or another, how can they fire you? I imagine it wouldn’t be this person’s sole decision, and would she really want to go to her supervisors and say “I want to fire our art teacher because she won’t tell me where she is having her wedding!”? I doubt that would fly. So as long as you don’t give them any further confirmation on the matter they probably won’t be able to do anything. Plus, it’s not like they can say you are setting a bad example if you never discuss your plans openly…
Post # 12
Actually, since you are marrying a non-Catholic it is licit for you to be married outside the church, if you are being married in your fiance’s church or by a minister of his church. So you could tell the school that you are having a Lutheran ceremony outside. There is a procedure for you to go through (isn’t there always…) to get it approved by the church. It is called a dispensation from canonical form. That would validate the marriage in the Catholic view.
Post # 13
I am also a Catholic school teacher and the other postings are right – they can actually fire you (silly as it sounds – check your contract for a “upholding teachings of the church” clause). You may want to get a local priest – not your school’s priest – on board for that blessing in some way. I strongly suggest you make a point of attending mass as often as possible at your school’s parish – it will look better to the principal. Jobs (espcially for art teachers!) are hard to come by. Because your fiance is not Catholic, the church part could be as short as 30 minutes – it really depends how much you want to do – because there is no communion. This is something only you and your fiance can decide – are those 30 minutes worth it for your job?
Post # 14
I would brace yourself for the reality that they may fire you because they can and private religious schools have certainly fired teachers for similar reasons before.