The global reach and contribution of the Church is enormous, but the national impact of the Church on every aspect of society is also impressive, though largely unknown. In the United States alone the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday, at a cost of ten billion dollars a year to parents and parishes. If there were no Catholic schools these same students would have to be educated in public schools, which would cost 18 billion dollars. The Catholic education system alone saves American taxpayers 18 billions dollars a year.
Beyond our national and global impact, the local contribution Catholics make in every community, on a daily basis, is nothing short of remarkable. Every city and town has its own stories.... In Chicago, there are hundreds of Catholic organizations that serve the needs of the people of that city. One of those organizations is Catholic Charities. This year the local chapter of Catholic Charities in Chicago will provide 2.2 million free meals to hungry and the needy in that area. That's 6,027 meals a day -- just one small example of our enormous contribution.
We have spent more than two billion dollars settling lawsuits, but we have not spent a single dime on any special initiative to encourage Catholics in America to continue to explore the beauty of their faith. We have not spent a dime reminding the culture at large of the enormous contributions we make to society as a Church. We have not spent a dime inspiring Catholics at a time when more are disillusioned about their faith and the Church than perhaps ever before. And that is a tragedy.
Matthew Kelly, Rediscovering Catholicism