In the older days, many youngsters attending Catholic schools experienced harsh treatment that would affect their whole life. Tragically, his had caused many to leave the Church. Of course, there were truly loving and understanding nuns and teachers too, but the "horror" stories you hear a lot more. I believe that the major cause was not knowing the Lord personally well enough, for you can know all the teachings of the Church, say all the prescribed prayers, be active in ministries and still remain a cold person. One other thing I see is that children can go through religious classes for years and lose their faith in college or later. Again, the focus of the classes might not have been proper. Once I suggested sharing personal spiritual experiences with the children and the person in charge of the program didn't seem to know what I was talking about. The goal of all programs and activities should be to bring the participants closer to Christ. Even Bible studies can become so focused on history and other peripheral facts that you feel you are taking an academic course. As for preparation for confirmation and other similar programs, the ceremonial aspect gets top attention, whereas the focus should be 99% on the Lord. The strength and vitality of the Church depends foremost upon how well her people know the Lord.