Thursday, October 08, 2015

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Christendom College
Students from Faithful Catholic Colleges Attend, Serve at Papal Events
Several colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College have sent students and staff to Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia to attend events surrounding the visit of Pope Francis to the United States.

Today Pope Francis-watchers gather at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., which has eagerly anticipated the Holy Father’s visit to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, adjacent to the University. More than 500 students participated in community service activities as part of the University’s “Serve with Francis Day” on September 13. Many academic lectures and discussions have also revolved around Pope Francis’ call to service.

CUA’s School of Architecture and Planning elected two students todesign the altar for today’s papal Mass in the Basilica. And “[t]he liturgical committee is in high gear at the Basilica, preparing the altar, hanging the crucifix, and preparing tens of thousands of communion wafers,” the University reported yesterday.

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.”

Catholic Scholar Weigel Calls for Repairs to ‘Deficit’ in Catholic Higher Education
The modern Catholic college exists to form and equip students to be missionary disciples and therefore can no longer ignore its responsibility to care for the moral and spiritual well-being of students, according to acclaimed author and theologian George Weigel.

Weigel, author of the Saint John Paul II biography Witness to Hope and distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., gave this year’s opening lecture at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., during which he addressed the responsibility that Catholic colleges have to faithfully fulfill their mission and purpose.

“The Catholic college and university of the 21st century and the third millennium exists to equip disciples for mission. It exists to deepen the human and intellectual formation of witnesses to Christ,” Weigel told The Cardinal Newman Society in a separate interview. Catholic higher education must be world-transforming, he said.

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.

Catholic Education Begins with Family, Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
Catholic families are the first and best educators of their children when it comes to issues of marriage and family, and they have the opportunity to lay a strong Catholic foundation upon which Catholic schools and colleges can build, said Christendom College president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society in advance of his address to the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

O’Donnell, who was appointed by Saint John Paul II as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family, will speak at the World Meeting on the topic, “Rebuild My Church… and Start from the Foundation: Living as ‘Domestic Church.’” He will focus on the challenges of Christian marriage and family and the central role that the family plays in the evangelization of the modern world.

“Catholic education has to start very early,” said O’Donnell. “It shouldn’t just be at college. It should start in the home through mom and dad.”

Catholic Colleges Must Take Steps to Instill Pro-Life Values on Campus
Tacit acceptance of abortion is being fostered even at some Catholic colleges, as evidenced by The Cardinal Newman Society’s recent report exposing connections between Planned Parenthood and many Catholic colleges. Given the influence Catholic colleges have over students, these institutions need to take the opportunity to instill pro-life values in students, leaders from pro-life campus organizations told the Society.

“It should come naturally to Catholic colleges to support pro-life groups, enabling them to witness to the Church’s teaching on the grave immorality of abortion as well as being a resource for pregnant and parenting students on campus,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America (SFLA), said.

It is imperative for Catholic colleges to spread the pro-life message, as 46% of abortions are performed on college-aged women and “more than 70% of women getting abortions report some kind of religious faith,” Hawkins reported. Additionally, SFLA has found that “79% of Planned Parenthoods are located within 5 miles of a college campus.”

Catholic Colleges Must Listen to Pope Benedict’s Strong Case for Sacred Music, Says Prof.
The availability of well-celebrated liturgy and sacred music should be the norm at all Catholic colleges, not the exception, said Dr. Kurt Poterack, choir director and adjunct professor of music at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va. Poterack spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society regarding Pope Emeritus Benedict’s recent comments on sacred music and what it means for Catholic colleges.

The Pope Emeritus recently received honorary doctorates from the John Paul II Pontifical University of Krakow and from the Academy of Music of Krakow in Poland. The former pontiff took the opportunity to thank the now-saint Pope John Paul II for the profound impact he had in his own spiritual life and also share his own reflections on the benefits of sacred music.

The emphasis on sacred music is certainly something that Catholic colleges should be paying attention to, as it helps students to encounter the living God in liturgy, Poterack stated.

Catholic College Shuts Down While Faithful Colleges Thrive, Report Finds
A struggling Catholic college in Massachusetts will close its doors next week, raising concerns about the stability of other small, highly tuition-dependent colleges. But a report from The Cardinal Newman Society finds that some small colleges which maintain a strong Catholic identity and promote it to prospective students are doing quite well. 

Marian Court College in Swampscott, Mass., will close at the end of June due to financial difficulties and low enrollment, reports Adam Wilson, managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. The tuition-dependent College had about 250 students this year and graduated 67 last month, including 41 who were the first to earn four-year bachelor’s degrees after decades of the College providing only two-year associate’s degrees.

Newman Society Panelists Agree, Liturgy Essential to Today’s College Catholics
Catholic colleges must provide opportunities for students to experience the beautiful and well-celebrated liturgy that they are drawn to, according to a panel of academics at this week’s Sacra Liturgia conference in New York City.

Tuesday’s panel on liturgical renewal in Catholic higher education was hosted by The Cardinal Newman Society and headlined by Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the Order of Malta and ecclesiastical advisor to the Newman Society. He was joined by four guest panelists who echoed the Cardinal’s urging for Catholic colleges to expose students to the beauty of properly celebrated liturgy.

The conference brought together over 300 bishops, priests, religious, seminarians, educators, college professors and other lay leaders, and the overarching sentiment was the same: young people desire beauty and truth, and the Church—including Catholic colleges—must not fail provide them with that encounter this time around. The conference was notably populated with many young faces, youth who were brought up through the ranks of faithful Catholic education.

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.

Catholic Colleges Enjoy Advantages in Single-Sex Housing, Private Bedrooms
It is rare today to find even a Catholic college with male-only and female-only dormitories and policies enforcing the privacy of student bedrooms. But officials from such colleges say that they enjoy distinct advantages by encouraging chastity, sobriety, and genuine friendships among their students.

The Cardinal Newman Society recently spoke with officials responsible for student life at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va.; Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif.; and Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., about how single-sex residence halls and visitation policies create a healthy, moral environment for a student’s formative years in college.

“While [the students’] education is the primary mission of the college, we’re also engaged in the ‘formation of the moral character and the fostering of the spiritual life,’” said Amanda Graf, director of residence life at Christendom, citing the College’s mission statement. “By having single-gender halls, students also have a unique opportunity to continue their moral formation distinctly as men and women.”

Christendom College Kicks Off Spring Lecture Series, Highlights Catholicism in J.R.R. Tolkien
According to the College, Tolkien once described his trilogy as "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work." Pearce's lecture will discuss the Catholic symbolism contained in the book and highlight its religious significance.

Christendom Offers Taste of Faithful Campus Life with High School Summer Program
By the end of the week-long experience, participants gain "a new appreciation for the liberal arts, Catholic culture, true friendship, and the beauty of God's creation evidenced in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia," the College stated on the event page.

Christendom Career Talk: Church Needs Faithful Men and Women in Politics
Dr. Manion explained the need for faithful Catholics involved in both national and local government. "We need good, honest people" to stand against political corruption and help in the New Evangelization, he reportedly said.

Christendom Student Gives Five Tips for Homeschoolers Heading to College
Be aware of deadlines, sophomore Athanasius Clark warned students in his article, "From Homeschool to College: 5 Tips for Success." College courses do not have the same flexibility with due dates and exam times that homeschooling often provides, he noted.

Religious Orders Flock to Christendom College for Annual Discernment Weekend
Through presentations and breakout sessions, various representatives will share their experiences and help teach students about discerning one's vocation.

Christendom President to Address Thousands at World Meeting of Families
The three-day programming portion of the event will feature presentations and breakout sessions that address topics such as strengthening familial bonds, the challenges families face in the 21st century, and other family life issues.

Faithful College Leaders Agree, Homeschooling Leads to Success at Catholic Colleges
The experience of these administrators with homeschooled students correlates with a 2013 study which found significant evidence of higher ACT and SAT scores and overall GPAs for homeschooled students who attend a Catholic university.

Christendom College Building ‘True Community’ with First Friday Adoration
More than half of the undergraduate student body at Christendom College gathered last Friday evening for the first Laudumus Te event of the semester, a new effort that aims to bring together the College community every first Friday for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Prominent Thomistic Scholar Gives Lecture on Doctrine of Deification at Christendom
Fr. John Meconi’s presentation, entitled "The Augustinian Roots of Thomistic Deification," addressed St. Augustine's influence on St. Thomas Aquinas concerning ideas of man's deification in Christ.

Liberal Arts Grads Set to Positively Impact the Workplace, Argues Hiring Expert
Students who pursue a liberal arts degree are set to bring joyful and innovative transformation to the workplace, argued hiring consultant Roberta Matuson in a recent Forbes article.

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.

Christendom Alumni ‘Thriving in Journalism’ Thanks to Liberal Arts Curriculum
Student and alumni articles were recently published in news outlets such as The Washington Examiner, Breitbart News, and The National Catholic Register.

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.

Faithful Catholic Colleges Set Standard for Next Generation of Catholic Higher Ed.
A recent PJ Media article compares the compromising of religious mission at many older Catholic colleges with examples of faithful Catholic colleges, observing that the latter institutions are paving the way for the future of Catholic higher education.

Christendom Grad Describes How Experiences with College Led Her to Mission Work
As a lay missionary, Maeve Gallagher will serve for at least two years at the Valley of Angels, a school and home for impoverished children run by the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception Province.

Christendom College to Host Relic of Pope St. John Paul II
The relic, which was taken directly from the late pontiff during his final hospital stay prior to his death, is being presented as part of a cross-country pilgrimage by the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Christendom Student Receives Honor from Bishop for Pro-Life Work
Thomas Hepler, sophomore class president and president of the pro-life campus group Shield of Roses, was recognized along with 45 other individuals at the recent Youth and Campus Ministry Appreciation Dinner.

Christendom Forming Young Catholic Leaders in Ireland Study Abroad Program
At the St. Columcile Institute in County Dougal, students will have the opportunity to study Catholic theology, history, and literature, immerse themselves in the country’s Catholic culture, and participate in excursions to see Ireland’s historic landmarks.

Faithful Catholic Colleges Featured in Kiplinger ‘Best Value’ Rankings
Several colleges and universities recommended in The Newman Guide were recently recognized as “Best Value Colleges” by Kiplinger, a business and personal finance publisher.

Christendom to Host Apologetics and New Evangelization Conference
“Encountering Christ: Apologetics and the New Evangelization” is the title of this year’s biennial summer conference held at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., the College recently announced.

Acclaimed Sacra Liturgia Conference Coming to New York City Next June
Catholic educators will join Catholics from around the world next year as they converge on New York City to take part in a conference aimed at bringing about a renewal of the sacred liturgy in the life of the Church.

New Book on ‘Renewal of Catholic History’ Set to Inspire Next Generation of Scholars
Co-authors of the recently released book, The Past as Pilgrimage: Narrative, Tradition and the Renewal of Catholic History, shared their insights regarding the study of history and the tremendous need to educate and raise up a new generation of Catholic historians.

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.

Catholic Intellectual Bozell’s Legacy Continues at Christendom College
The influence of Catholic conservative L. Brent Bozell, Jr.—whose life was recently celebrated at Christendom College and is chronicled in the biography, “Living on Fire: The Life of L. Brent Bozell, Jr.”—helped spark today’s movement for renewal in Catholic culture and education.

Christendom, Augustine Institute Profs Team Up for Book on ‘Renewal of Catholic History’
The Past as Pilgrimage: Narrative, Tradition and the Renewal of Catholic History, by Christendom’s Dr. Christopher Shannon and Dr. Christopher Blum of the Augustine Institute, addresses the secular bias found among many modern-day historians.

Students Show Growing Appreciation for Traditional Masses, Say College Chaplains
Among Catholic colleges and dioceses across the country there has been an apparent rise in the celebration of the Mass ad orientem, where the priest and congregation face the same direction, traditionally to the east.

Scott Hahn Recommends Graduate Programs in Theology
Dr. Scott Hahn recently spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society about his recommendations and advice for students considering an advanced degree in theology.

Christendom Plans Big Expansion to Mission Trip Program
The Mission Program at Christendom College will launch a new two-month mission experience next summer that will give students and recent graduates a “real taste of missionary life,” according to the Christendom news release.

Christendom Hosting Tribute to Luminary Who Inspired College Founder
The late historian Dr. Warren Carroll founded Christendom College to continue the mission of Triumph, the celebrated Catholic journal of opinion. Christendom is set to host a tribute to the life of Triumph founder and publisher L. Brent Bozell Jr. on Tuesday, November 18.

New Major at Christendom a ‘First Step’ in Expanding Math, Natural Science Offerings
The new major will distinguish itself from similar programs, said Dr. Greg Townsend, vice president for academic affairs, because students will comprehend "the relationship of the subject to the rest of human knowledge."

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.

Sport Offers ‘Opportunity to Love, Sacrifice,’ Says Belmont Abbey President
“Sport, properly directed, develops character, makes a man courageous, a generous loser, and a gracious victor,” said Dr. Bill Thierfelder, quoting Pope Pius XII in a recent address to students at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., according to a College news release.

Newman Guide-Recommended Colleges Rank High in New ACTA Curriculum Ratings
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) recently released its sixth annual “What Will They Learn” list rating the core curricula of colleges and universities across the country. Several institutions recommended in The Newman Guide received high marks.

Belmont Abbey President to Discuss ‘Christian Vision of Sports’ at Christendom
The talk, according to the Christendom news release, is part of the College's Major Speakers program which offers students "cultural, intellectual, and spiritual enrichment."

Students from Christendom College Offer ‘Strong Presence’ at Annual Walk for Life
Students from Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., recently participated in the Annual Walk for Life hosted by the Front Royal Pregnancy Center, the College reported on its website. The students were recognized for their enthusiasm, strong presence, and a significant donation.

Christendom College Launched Scholarship Matching Program
According to a Christendom press release, students accepted into the College may submit a request asking the scholarship committee to review and match other scholarship offers they have received.

Catholic Colleges Are Working to Address Binge Drinking on Campus
Binge drinking is a problem on college and university campuses around the country, and a recent Arlington Catholic Herald article discusses what some Catholic colleges are doing to remedy the situation.

Christendom President Reconfirmed as Pontifical Consultor by Pope Francis
Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, president of Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., will continue his work as a pontifical consultor, the College reported. Pope Francis reconfirmed Dr. O’Donnell’s appointment as consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family. 

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