A study of Monsignor Frederick G. Hochwalt and the Catholic Church's position towards federal aid

Marie Valpoon Leekley, Marquette University


A major issue in the century long struggle for federal aid to education was the question of federal aid to nonpublic schools. This study investigates Monsignor Frederick G. Hochwalt's effect on the Catholic position towards federal aid leading up to the enactment of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The Catholic Church had long been one of the strongest opponents of federal aid to education; however, in November of 1945 the Roman Catholic hierarchy issued a statement through the Department of Education of the National Catholic Welfare conference which signaled the beginnings of a change of attitude towards federal aid. For the next twenty years, Monsignor Frederick F. Hochwalt, as Director of Education of the NCWC, spearheaded the effort to get federal aid for nonpublic schools. His campaign resulted in Catholic support for the passage of ESEA 1965, the first general aid bill which included appropriations for nonpublic schools. For this study the qualitative historical research method was used with the primary source of data coming from the Department of Archives of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and, specifically, four major collections of the National Catholic Educational Association and the National Catholic Welfare Conference. The collections were from the NCEA Office of the Secretary General, the NCWC Department of Education, the NCWC Legal Department and the administrative files of Monsignor Hochwalt. It was Monsignor Hochwalt's leadership of the NCWC Education Department in cooperation with the NCWC Legal Department that resulted in Catholic participation and input into the drafting and passage of the ESEA legislation.

Recommended Citation

Leekley, Marie Valpoon, "A study of Monsignor Frederick G. Hochwalt and the Catholic Church's position towards federal aid" (2002). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI3061524.