Considering present day Catholic education in the light of the Council, Mary Perkins Ryan, author and lecturer, poses the question Are Parochial Schools the Answer? Her answer -- bound to be violently and vehemently disputed by many -- is that the Catholic educational system has outlived its usefulness and that the needs of the Church now lie elsewhere. Mrs. Byan's searching analysis of this pertinent issue can't be dismissed as a ""hatchet job"" on Catholic schools. The importance of these schools, especially to immigrant parents of the 19th and early 20th centuries, she admits, can never be over-emphasized. But, she argues, what about the Catholic school system today which is educating only 55% of Catholic children in elementary grades, 45% in high school, and 37% in college. Could the effort, money and personnel involved here be used more effectively to provide adequate religious formation for all Catholics -- adults as well as children and young people? Mrs. Ryan is convinced that it could, and she pleads her case soundly, reasonably and realistically. There must be an all-out effort on the part of Bishops, priests and religious to educate and train Catholics in the renewal of Catholic life demanded by the Council. Parents so trained would then be in a position to re-form themselves -- and form their children -- into the kinds of Catholics who give witness to Christ on every level and in every aspect of our society. This is certain to be one of the most controversial books of the season in Catholic educational circles. Serious-minded Catholic parents and educators -- whether they accept or reject Mrs. Ryan's main thesis -- will find much of value to ponder in this excellent book.