Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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Better Education of Church Teaching on Contraception Needed at Catholic Colleges
Educators at faithful Catholic colleges recently told The Cardinal Newman Society that students can greatly benefit from more thorough catechesis of Church teaching on contraception and human sexuality, which appears to be lacking at some Catholic colleges based on the statements and actions of students on campus. 

“Some students come to college with a strong Catholic formation, others are non-Catholic and still others have never given Church teaching on these issues a second thought,” Dr. Richard White, associate professor and chair of the theology department at Newman Guide-recommended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “No matter where they’re coming from, students greatly benefit if the college has courses in the curriculum dedicated to addressing Church teaching on contraception and human sexuality.”

College Presidents: Embracing Ex corde Ecclesiae Strengthened our Catholic Colleges and Identity
For the past 25 years, the principles of the Catholic Church’s apostolic constitution on higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae, have been implemented with mixed success in the U.S., as evidenced by the many abuses of Catholic identity reported by The Cardinal Newman Society, but recent interviews with presidents of Newman Guide-recommended colleges confirm that those principles can be successfully implanted and reap tremendous benefits for the colleges and students when administrators embrace the document’s norms.

“Ex corde Ecclesiae continues to have a central importance in the world of Catholic higher education for it was issued by St. John Paul II who himself was a professor and educator deeply committed to an authentic vision of Christian education,” Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, president of Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., told the Newman Society.

“It is a clear and timely response to the secularization of so many Catholic colleges and universities who, in seeking to imitate their secular counterparts, impoverished the Church’s contribution to higher education,” he said.

Dominican Friars Supported in Vocations, Spiritual Formation at Newman Guide Colleges
Friars from the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in Washington, D.C., recently shared their vocation stories with The Cardinal Newman Society and credited much of their spiritual growth and vocational assistance to institutions recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

In recent months, The Cardinal Newman Society has reported on several religious orders with members who graduated from Newman Guide colleges, including the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, the Sisters of Life and the Benedictine Monks of Norcia. Their testimonies indicate that the importance of faithful Catholic education cannot be overstated in producing vocations and moral formation among young people from all walks of life.

Catholic Nursing Programs on Frontline of Pro-Life Battle
With many nurses now facing the ethical dilemmas of participating in abortions and assisted suicides or losing their jobs, the nursing profession needs the concerted efforts of Catholic colleges to reinforce the dignity of every human life, Dr. Suzanne Carpenter, a former nursing professor at Our Lady of the Lake College in Baton Rouge, La., told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

“It is scary to come to the realization that there are nurses in our country who have been told to participate in abortions or lose their jobs,” said Carpenter. “Make no doubt, that unless Catholic colleges with nursing programs on their campuses make the sharing of Catholic teachings a priority, these programs can fall into the confusion of the world.”

Due to the increasing confusion in health care today, it is no wonder nursing students find themselves in these ethical dilemmas, Carpenter pointed out.

Benedictine College Takes Marriage and Family Prep to New Heights
For Catholic colleges to truly change the culture, they must become leaders in equipping their students for faithful and strong marriages and families, David Trotter, director of Ministry and Mission at The Newman Guide-recommended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“A faithful Catholic education communicates the truth and beauty of the reality of love. But many young people today have experienced the dissatisfaction and emptiness from a ‘pleasure-seeking’ love,” said Trotter. “A snap shot of statistics on college aged men and women regarding drug abuse, suicide, binge drinking and sexual assault confirms the importance and urgency for Catholics, especially those involved with higher education, to promote a Culture of Life — one that is rooted in a Love that is self-giving.”

At Benedictine, promoting a Culture of Life begins on campus with student formation and building strong marriages and families.

Special Report: Engineering Programs Flourish at Faithful Catholic Colleges
The expansion of faithful Catholic higher education and the growing options for Catholic families are evidenced in the successful and emerging engineering programs at several colleges recommended in The Cardinal Newman Society’s Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

So we decided to take a closer look at these high-demand engineering programs and how they fit with a solid liberal arts formation. We also spoke with several educators at the colleges to learn more about their respective programs and the benefits of pursuing a degree in engineering at a faithful college.

There can be many tough decisions when selecting a college, but having to choose between faithful Catholic education and a degree in engineering should not be one of them, the educators agreed.

Why Do Colleges Require the Oath of Fidelity?
At the beginning of a new school year, professors at some of America’s most faithfully Catholic colleges take the Vatican’s Oath of Fidelity to protect against scandal and fortify the colleges’ Catholic identity. It stands in stark contrast to the infidelity and confusion emanating from some other Catholic campuses.

Some colleges—like Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., and Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo.—ask all faculty members to take the Oath. At least another 14 Catholic colleges require the Oath from their theology professors, and The Catholic University of America (CUA) requires theology professors to have the “canonical mission,” which is necessary for granting pontifical degrees.

But still, among nearly 200 Catholic colleges in the United States, 17 is a minority.  What inspires these uncommon colleges to require the Oath, and are there any real benefits?

“Theology faculty are asked to the take the Oath of Fidelity, so that they become mindful of the fact that they are witnessing, studying, teaching and handing down truth of which they are not the author,” said Dr. Mark Zia, associate professor of theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “Jesus Christ forever remains the Teacher, and both professor and students are his pupils as they respectfully probe the mysteries of salvation.”

Newman Guide Colleges Rated ‘Best Buys’ in 2015 Rankings
Colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College for their strong Catholic identities and academics also rank well in leading secular guides, including the 2015 editions from USA Today and U.S. News and World Report. The publications look at factors such as affordability, freshman retention rates, student loan default rates and student-to-teacher ratios.

“These rankings prove that students can opt for strong, faithful Catholic colleges without sacrificing secular prestige,” said The Cardinal Newman Society’s Adam Wilson, managing editor of The Newman Guide.

“But we caution against placing too much importance on rankings that ignore the most important elements of a truly good education—elements that are the primary criteria forThe Newman Guide,” Wilson added. “All things considered, we believe The Newman Guide colleges are superior to all other options, because of their holistic approach to academics and the integration of faith in their studies and campus life.”

Theology Sets Faithful Catholic Colleges Apart from Secular Education, Say Scholars
Even as students and alumni anxiously await the outcome of the University of Notre Dame’s ten-year curriculum review, amid fears that required theology courses might be reduced, representatives of faithful Catholic colleges in The Newman Guide say that it is theology that sets a Catholic college apart from its secular counterparts.

 “Since theology is the discipline that has been tasked with leading us into greater knowledge and love of God, it would be absurd to omit this most important study in a four-year curriculum at a Catholic institution,” Dr. Mark Zia, associate professor of theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., told The Cardinal Newman Society. “A ‘religious studies’ department is not enough; only a theology department will suffice.”

The Church’s constitution on Catholic higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae, issued by Saint John Paul II in 1990, states that the study of theology “plays a particularly important role” at Catholic colleges and “serves all other disciplines in their search for meaning.” Ex corde Ecclesiae encourages a strong theological curriculum and even requires every Catholic college to “have a faculty, or at least a chair, of theology” in order to help ensure fidelity to Catholic teaching at the college.

Bishop Dewane: Families Have ‘Right to Know’ Which Theology Professors Have Mandatum
If a Catholic college cannot assure that its theology professors are imparting the truths of the faith, then families should look to more faithful Catholic institutions, suggested Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Fla., in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Sound theology is the heart of Catholic higher education; it helps students direct their learning, explore the beauty of the faith and better understand their relationship with God and the Church. Therefore the Church provides the academic mandatum, an acknowledgment by the local bishop of a “professor’s commitment and responsibility to teach authentic Catholic doctrine and to refrain from putting forth as Catholic teaching anything contrary to the Church’s magisterium,” according to the U.S. bishops’ guidelines.

Referencing Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Vatican’s constitution on Catholic universities, Bishop Dewane noted that professors who have obtained the mandatum help Catholic colleges fulfill their mission. “It says that Catholicism is present and operative at such institutions. More profoundly, the individual professor evidences that desire to teach in communion, to express what the teachings of the Church are,” he said.

Benedictine College Provides ‘Best Summer Ever’ with High School Faith Formation Programs
Students can choose to participate in the week-long Cathedral program or attend a weekend youth conference to grow in their faith over the summer, according to the College.

Benedictine College Offering Full Scholarships to All National Merit Finalists
Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., recently announced that, as part of its Benedictine 2020 strategic plan, National Merit finalists will now receive full-tuition scholarships to attend the College.

Benedictine College to Feature Bishop, Abortion Survivor as Social Justice Week Speakers
The issues of poverty, human trafficking and the right to life will come into focus as Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., hosts its social justice week from March 16-19, according to the College announcement.

Chaplains Indispensable to Well Being of Faithful Catholic Colleges
A recent edition of Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly highlighted the role of Catholic college chaplains and mentioned several from some of the faithful Catholic colleges recommended in The Newman Guide for their faithful Catholic identity.

Abbot Primate of Benedictine Order Gives Special Lecture at Benedictine College
An experienced flute player, Abbot Notker performed Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude by J.S. Bach during his lecture entitled "The Rule of St. Benedict in a Globalized World".

Benedictine College Dedicates New Stadium with Prayerful Medal Ceremony
Campus chaplain, Father Brendan Rolling, OSB, blessed the medals of three saints before placing them in the foundation of the new stadium in hopes that the fields will become not just a place for sport but also a "field of prayers."

Thousands of Students from Faithful Catholic Colleges to Attend 2015 March for Life
Students and community members from the faithful Catholic colleges and universities recommended in The Newman Guide—about 3,000 of them, according to estimates—are traveling to Washington, D.C., this week to participate in the 42nd annual March for Life.

Spiritual Formation Should Be Highest Priority in College Search
With the rising tuition costs in recent years, many people have forgotten that a Catholic college education’s true pay-off is in its spiritual impact and formation, argued Tom Hoopes in a recent Aleteia article.

George Weigel Explains How Catholic Universities Can Help Prepare for 2015 Synod
The Cardinal Newman Society spoke to George Weigel of the Ethics & Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., about his recent article, to discern how Catholic colleges and universities can participate in laying the groundwork in the lead up to the Ordinary Synod in October.

Benedictine College Mourns Loss of Monk Who Brought Marian Consecration to College
Benedictine College in Atchison, Kans., is mourning the passing of one of its Benedictine monks, Father Bruce Swift, OSB, according to The Gregorian Institute. The 82-year-old priest died unexpectedly Christmas morning at St. Benedict's Abbey.

‘Huge Victory,’ ‘Opportunity’ for Religious Colleges in Labor Board’s Ruling
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last week abandoned its longstanding, unconstitutional practice of measuring how religious a college appears to be before exempting it from federal oversight, but opted instead for a new test that considers whether individual employees perform religious functions.

‘Tent Gang’ Prepares Students for March for Life at Benedictine College
The “Tent Gang,” took turns in November and early December sleeping in a tent on campus, “prayerfully sacrificing their time and comfort to raise awareness about the March for Life,” a student wrote.

Students Joyfully Await Birth of Christ at Faithful Catholic Colleges
Throughout the month of December, institutions recommended in The Newman Guide are offering students opportunities to celebrate Advent and prepare for Christmas before returning home at the end of the semester.

Benedictine President Celebrates 10 Years Building ‘One of the Great Catholic Colleges of America’
Benedictine College President Stephen Minnis who is celebrating his ten-year anniversary as president, gave The Cardinal Newman Society an exclusive interview discussing the College's future plans, his time as president, and how the College is working to reverse the national trend of students abandoning their Catholic faith.

Students Have Rave Reviews for Newman Guide-Recommended Catholic Colleges
Students from colleges recommended in The Newman Guide recently appeared as guests on the Ave Maria Radio program “Mast Appeal.” The Society helped to coordinate interviews to give students the opportunity to share their experiences attending faithful Catholic colleges.

Catholic Educators Appeal to Obama Administration for Relief from HHS Mandate
Today a coalition including The Cardinal Newman Society, leaders of Catholic schools and colleges, and the expert attorneys of the Alliance Defending Freedom told the Obama administration that its latest rule still “directly violates the religious liberty of organizations and individuals.”

Colleges in Newman Guide Rank Well with U.S. News and World Report
Colleges recommended in The Newman Guide ranked well in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 edition of Best Colleges. 

Benedictine College Grad Attending Sports Seminar at Vatican
Benedictine College alumna Allison McCormick is currently attending the Pontifical Council of Culture's international seminar "Sport is for Man" in Vatican City. The seminar is being held following the Interreligious Game for Peace called for by Pope Francis.

Washington Monthly Features Colleges Recommended in Newman Guide
Washington Monthly recently released its rankings of four-year colleges and universities across the nation. This year’s 2014 college guide included many colleges and universities recommend in The Newman Guide.

Bishops Plan Renewed Working Group on Ex corde Ecclesiae
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Catholic Education is in the process of identifying and inviting Catholic college presidents and bishops to discuss topics of Catholic education in America in a new working group.

Benedictine College to Display Historic Church Documents
This fall, Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., will display “some of the most historic documents in the world” including several with great import for Catholic history, the College recently reported.

Benedictine College Prof: Catholic Colleges Need Both Academics and Ministry
Benedictine College professor, Dr. Edward Mulholland, writes that the mission of a Catholic college should address both academics and ministry. “Any educational philosophy that does not address both fails fully to embody the Catholic vision.”

Video Shows Seton Home Study Grads Excelling at Catholic Colleges in Newman Guide
The video is accompanied on the program's website by a Cardinal Newman Society special report published earlier this year, sharing the joys and success stories of several Seton families.

Catholic Identity Central to Several Benedictine College Campus Improvements
Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., recently announced the completion of many campus improvements, including several that speak to the College's Catholic identity. Students will return this fall to "find their campus transformed," according to the College.

Catholic College Leaders Gather to Discuss Student Life, Catholic Teaching
Leaders from 10 faithful Catholic colleges gathered at the Franciscan University of Steubenville last week to share and consider ways of better integrating Catholic teaching into programs and services for students.

Helen Alvaré to Deliver Commencement Address at Benedictine College
Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., announced that it will host Vatican consultor and George Mason University law school professor Helen Alvaré as its commencement speaker.

Benedictine College Rallied to Support Dean’s Family in Time of Crisis
The dean of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., recently spoke to students about how the College community was instrumental in helping her family after her son was in a devastating car accident last year.

Benedictine College Names New Tower after Pope Saint John XXIII
“A tower is an architectural feature that symbolizes vision... St. John XXIII was a pope of vision. He saw the problems of the modern world and had the courage to offer a response – the Second Vatican Council.”

Catholic College Presidents Speak in Praise of Canonized Popes
Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell said that the College is rejoicing “at the elevation of these two outstanding popes to sanctity.”

Religious Experience at Catholic Colleges Irreplaceable, Says Writer
"When a school takes the Church’s directives seriously, the result is impressive," said Tom Hoopes,  "Rather than lose their religion, students rediscover their faith on campus or discover it for the first time."

Catholic Business School Leaders Collaborate to Prepare Ethical Graduates
“Ethics cannot be trivialized as the ‘stepchild’ of the business schools,” Dr. Simms told The Cardinal Newman Society. “It must be placed front and center as an anchor for all the other functional departments.”

Benedictine College Hosts Beloved Icon Popularized by Bl. Pope John Paul II
The third class relic was hosted as a part of the College’s events planned in the days leading up to the canonizations of Blessed Popes John Paul II and John XXIII.

Benedictine College to Rename Student Center after ‘St. John Paul II’
College President Stephen Minnis cited several ways Bl. Pope John Paul II has influenced Benedictine College, including through his apostolic constitution on Catholic colleges, Ex corde Ecclesiae.

Newman Society, Catholic Colleges Challenge Federal Labor Board in Possible Landmark Case
The Cardinal Newman Society, joined by several faithful Catholic colleges, today made a strong plea to the National Labor Relations Board, urging it to abide by the U.S. Constitution and stop interfering with religious education.

High Schoolers Meet Friends, Grow in Faith at Benedictine College Summer Programs
Students can choose from a weekend-long youth conference or one of three week-long “Cathedral”(CATHolic EDucation RALly) programs, including Great Books, Youth for Life, and Voice. 

Newman Guide Colleges Named Among Nation’s 100 Best
Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, N.H., and University of Dallas in Irving, Tex., were each chosen as the best four year-liberal arts college in their respective states.

Marquette Univ. Laying Off Many Employees to Minimize Spending, Tuition Increases
In all, more than 100 jobs at the Jesuit University in Milwaukee, Wis., are expected to be dropped in an attempt to minimize tuition increases and spending.

Benedictine Coll. Social Justice Week Focuses on Poverty, Religious Freedom, Pro-Life Issues
Participating student groups include the Benedictine College Hunger Coalition, the Black Student Union, the Sociology Club, Ravens Respect Life and the Knights of Columbus.

Notre Dame Professors, Others Cheer Pope Francis' Call to Catholic Identity
Pope Francis’ words to the University of Notre Dame might have come as a surprise last week, but his message is both encouraging and challenging to the University.

Benedictine College Announces Pro-Life Training Program
After sending eight buses across half the continental United States to lead the March for Life, Benedictine College announced a new program to train teenagers to become leaders in the pro-life movement.

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