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Thomas Aquinas College

Thomas Aquinas College
Top 10 Signs of Renewal in Catholic Colleges
5/5/2016
The 2015-2016 academic year was a good one in many ways for Catholic higher education, The Cardinal Newman Society has concluded after reviewing hundreds of news reports about positive signs of strong Catholic identity. These examples show that faithful Catholic education is flourishing on many campuses, forming students morally, spiritually and intellectually, in sharp contrast to the scandals at many wayward Catholic universities.

Representatives from the colleges who spoke with the Newman Society during this school year cited their Catholic mission as the core of what makes their education unique and successful. Instead of a hindrance, fidelity to Church teaching is the key to their growth and success.

Our recap of articles published this year by The Cardinal Newman Society includes new initiatives aimed at stronger marriage preparation, efforts to combat the scourge of pornography, healthy visitation policies in student housing, the defense of religious freedom and more.


Govt. Admits HHS Mandate Alternatives Possible, Good News for Catholic Educators
4/19/2016
The federal government recently admitted in a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that it does not need to force religious objectors to provide contraceptive coverage as part of the HHS mandate, meaning a Court victory for Catholic colleges and schools, and others challenging the mandate, could be in sight, according to Becket Fund for Religious Liberty senior counsel Mark Rienzi.

“The government has now admitted ‘yes, we can get people contraceptives without involving nuns,’” said Rienzi in a recent press call discussing the briefs requested by the Court last month. “That’s a pretty logical point. It shouldn’t have taken five years of litigation to admit that, but it’s good that they have admitted it. And now it’s a pretty easy path to consensus for the Court.”

In a surprise twist last month, the Supreme Court asked both the government and petitioners against the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate to submit additional briefs. The briefs, according to the Court’s request, were meant to explain ways in which the objectionable coverage could be provided to employees while also preserving the religious freedom of employers — including Catholic colleges, schools and nonprofits — seeking to live out their sincerely held beliefs.


Catholic Colleges Must ‘Have the Courage’ to Defend Marriage, Says Bishop
4/11/2016
Catholic colleges and universities must gather their courage and defend their Catholic identity and mission from cultural and legal challenges to the Church’s teachings on the nature and truth about marriage, and on sexuality and gender as well, according to Diocese of Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted.

“I think it is very important that we learn how to present the teaching about femininity, masculinity and marriage in as persuasive a way as possible,” he said in an interview with the Newman Guide-recommended Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif. “I think we need always to make an effort to do that because the truth has power within itself. It does not depend on our energy or on anything else; we must simply have the courage to say the truth. It has its own inner power.”

“In the coming years, our institutions — and we personally — will be challenged on these things,” Bishop Olmsted added, noting the tough road ahead for Catholic education when it comes to defending its beliefs on marriage, gender and sexuality.


Catholic Colleges Prepare Responses to SCOTUS HHS Mandate Request
4/5/2016
The U.S. Supreme Court is seeking alternatives to the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate that would provide coverage for these services while preserving religious freedom, and Catholic colleges involved in challenging the mandate are preparing to respond.

“There are numerous ways for the government to preserve religious freedom without forcing contraceptive coverage on objecting religious organizations and colleges,” Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) legal counsel Quincy Masteller told The Cardinal Newman Society, noting that the Supreme Court justices may now be recognizing the moral dilemma facing religious organizations and colleges.

Last week, the Supreme Court made an unusual request, asking both the government and religious organizations to submit additional briefs exploring possible alternatives to the mandate. The alternatives, according to the Court, should spare religious non-profit organizations from performing any role in providing objectionable coverage while also assuring that those services are available to employees through other means.


SCOTUS Request for Alternatives to HHS Mandate a Hopeful Sign for Catholic Colleges?
3/31/2016
The U.S. Supreme Court’s unusual request of parties in the HHS mandate case to submit alternatives for contraception coverage that avoids forcing religious organizations to cover services in their health insurance contrary to their faith could be an optimistic sign for Catholic colleges and schools looking to preserve their religious freedom, according to several plaintiffs and lawyers involved in the cases.

“This is encouraging news,” said Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) President Michael McLean, according to a press release issued on Tuesday. “It suggests that the justices are looking for a solution that satisfies the government’s policy aims without getting religious organizations, such as the college, involved in furnishing access to morally objectionable coverage.”


Public Called to Join in Prayer and Fasting on Day of HHS Mandate Arguments
3/22/2016
Members of the Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) community will be joined by other Newman Guide colleges in observing a day of prayer and fasting on Wednesday, March 23 — when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the cases against the Obama administration’s HHS contraception mandate — and the public is being encouraged take part in praying for religious freedom.

TAC President Dr. Michael McLean asked that friends of the College and supporters of religious freedom everywhere join students, faculty, staff and alumni in praying for the justices, and for the future of religious freedom in the United States.


HHS Mandate Seeks to Silence Catholic Institutions on Dignity of Human Life
3/21/2016
It is essential that Catholic colleges and schools defend the dignity of all human life when it is challenged, which makes it “particularly egregious that the federal government is trying to silence the few institutions who are,” Helen Alvaré, George Mason University School of Law professor, told The Cardinal Newman Society in comments on the challenges to Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

“If Catholics really believe that the relationship between a man and a woman provides a unique glimpse of the love of God, and if we reflect on the stunning fact that sexual relations make all human children, it seems clear that Catholics have a particular responsibility to educate on the matters challenging the dignity of human life,” she said. But the Obama administration’s contraception mandate threatens the ability of Catholic colleges and schools to fulfill that responsibility.


Catholics Join in Prayer, Fasting Before Supreme Court Review of HHS Mandate Cases
3/14/2016
In the days leading up to March 23, when the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments for the challenges to the HHS contraception mandate, faithful Catholics across the country will unite in prayer and fasting for the protection of religious freedom.

Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington, Va., released a statement encouraging the faithful to join in a novena beginning March 14 and ending March 22, one day before the scheduled oral arguments. “Prayer is the one indispensable element in any undertaking or strategy,” Bishop Loverde began in his statement. “Whatever other elements may be needed, if prayer is not the absolute and essential action, the effort will ultimately be unsuccessful.”


Newman Society’s Wilson Questions Whether Catholic Colleges Have Lost Understanding of Chastity
3/7/2016
Given the growing concern about the “hook-up” culture and sexual assault on college campuses, Catholic colleges and universities need to remember their duty in promoting visitation and dorm policies that encourage chastity and the well-being of all students, said Adam Wilson, The Cardinal Newman Society’s director of communications and managing editor of The Newman Guide, in a recent interview on the Son Rise Morning Show.

“Catholic universities in great part have lost a sense of their duty to help students live out chastity on campus,” he said, speaking on the Newman Society’s recent visitation report. “There are lots of studies out there that have established the hook-up culture as a major problem on American campuses. Some studies have even shown that Catholic colleges are not immune to this problem. In fact, some of them are just as bad as your mainstream secular campuses.”


Thomas Aquinas College, ‘Antidote’ for the Educational Crises of the ‘60s and ‘70s
3/3/2016
When four friends came together in the late 1960s, they had a daring idea: to create a new liberal arts college from scratch that would respond to the growing problems and waning fidelity in Catholic colleges following the Second Vatican Council. The result was Thomas Aquinas College, an “antidote” for the crises of the 1960s and 1970s in Catholic higher education, current president Dr. Michael McLean told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Thomas Aquinas College aims to be a beacon of truth, not only for our students, but for a world that is suffering from a lack of truth,” said McLean. And because of the vision of its four founders, it continues to produce well-educated and faithful students who “are providing a powerful remedy for the confusion that entered into Catholic education in the post-Vatican II era,” he said.


Thomas Aquinas College Still Hopeful as SCOTUS Hearing on Contraceptive Mandate Case Approaches
2/25/2016
In recent weeks, many commentators have speculated on the potential outcomes of U.S. Supreme Court cases following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but Dr. Michael McLean, president of the Newman Guide-recommended Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., told The Cardinal Newman Society that he is still confident about the College’s chances in the HHS contraception mandate case being brought before the nation’s highest court next month.

“Justice Scalia’s death leaves a void on the high court that will be difficult to fill,” said McLean. “However, we at Thomas Aquinas College are confident in the case our attorneys will make against the HHS mandate when they argue before the Supreme Court.” 

Thomas Aquinas College is part of Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Sylvia Burwell, which also includes The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and several Catholic high schools as petitioners. The Cardinal Newman Society and Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., will be affected by the outcome of Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, as both are insured by Christian Brothers Employee Benefit Trust, which also covers the Little Sisters.


Cardinal Burke Speaks at Newman Guide Colleges on Catholic Education’s Impact on the Culture and Family
2/24/2016
Cardinal Raymond Burke has been very outspoken in recent months about the importance of Catholic education in building a strong family culture, and he’s scheduled to give another address on Catholic education and the family this April at The Newman Guide-recommended Northeast Catholic College in New Hampshire.

From the event description: “Northeast Catholic College is pleased to announce that His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke will visit the college on April 4, 2016. His Eminence currently serves as the Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and previously served as the Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.” Following a Mass celebrating the Solemnity of the Annunciation and other events during the day, Cardinal Burke will give an evening address at the College on the theme “Renewing the Family and Catholic Education.”


Prohibiting Opposite-Sex Dorm Visitation Promotes Chastity, Authentically Catholic Campus Culture
2/23/2016
A new Cardinal Newman Society report released this week on visitation policies at residential Catholic colleges in the U.S. found that only nine out of 192 colleges prohibit opposite-sex visitation between students in dorm buildings on the weekends, and only 11 colleges have such a policy for weekday nights. These visitation policies are considered a crucial component of the institutions’ Catholic identities, according to representatives from three of the colleges, by strengthening the college community and fostering mutual respect among students.

“These colleges demonstrate that a culture that promotes chastity can be achieved with appropriate dorm policies as well as educational efforts,” wrote Adam Wilson, author of the report and managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, in Crisis Magazine on Tuesday.


Harvard Admissions Report Recommends Changes Already Found at Many Catholic Colleges
2/22/2016
It’s no secret that the college application process, especially at prestigious secular institutions, has become more of an arms race than an exercise in character building. It’s a fierce competition, and no matter how many personal achievements a student can list, there is likely someone who can list more. Educators recognize the stress this process places on students, and are now taking steps to change how college applications are evaluated.

On January 20, 2016, the Harvard Graduate School of Education along with a coalition of educators, parents, college administrators and guidance counselors came together at the New York Public Library to release a report called “Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions.” The report encourages colleges to focus on values and mission in their application process, and actually follows some of the recruiting and admission practices already in place at many Catholic colleges.


Faithful Catholic Colleges Find New Ways to Tackle Marriage Crisis
2/10/2016
Striving to help their students prepare for healthy and strong marriages, faithful Catholic colleges are making a concerted effort to find ways in which they can integrate Church teaching on marriage and family into the lives of their students, representatives from several Newman Guide-recommended colleges told The Cardinal Newman Society during National Marriage Week.

National Marriage Week, which began on February 7 and is being celebrated through February 14, is a collaborative campaign sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Bishops “to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture,” according to its website.

“It is more important than ever that Catholic colleges teach our young people the truth and beauty of the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage, not only for the salvation of their souls but for the sake of the well-being of our country and the health of our culture,” Anne Forsyth, director of college relations at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., told the Newman Society.


Students at Faithful Catholic Colleges Encouraged to Participate in Lenten Devotions
2/9/2016
The liturgical season of Lent begins this week on February 10, and recognizing the opportunity to help form students in the faith and grow closer to Jesus, colleges and universities recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College have taken an active role in urging their students and communities to engage in the Lenten season by providing opportunities for spiritual reading, retreats, prayer and devotion.

At Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., Stations of the Cross and communal praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet are held every Friday during Lent. Additionally, the chaplaincy office is currently holding meetings to urge students to participate in the Liturgy of the Hours.


SCOTUS Brief: Catholic Colleges Know What They Believe, Not the Courts
1/13/2016
Catholic colleges and schools, not the government or the courts, should determine whether or not their beliefs have been violated, argued Ave Maria University in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court stating the government’s implementation of the HHS contraception mandate is in clear violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

“Under RFRA, the religious adherent gets to define the nature of his own sincerely held beliefs as well as what constitutes a violation of those beliefs. Hence, the proper question under RFRA is ‘whether the HHS mandate imposes a substantial burden on the ability of the objecting parties to conduct business in accordance with their religious beliefs,’” Ave Maria’s brief stated, citing the decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.


Faithful Catholicism Dependent on Catholic Colleges, Says New York Times Columnist
1/12/2016
An address by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat recently published on First Things touched on the formative role that Catholic universities play in shaping the next generation in the faith and argued that many Jesuit institutions have kowtowed to “liberal Catholicism” over the years, thereby neglecting their duty to instill authentic Catholic faith.

Douthat’s address, “A Crisis of Conservative Catholicism,” given at First Things’ 28th Erasmus Lecture this past October, detailed the tension between “conservative Catholicism” and “liberal Catholicism,” which he said often aligns with popular social mores and demands change from the Church on varying cultural issues. The “liberal” view of Catholicism, argued Douthat, has a history of taking root in Catholic universities, with negative consequences for the faithful.


SCOTUS Brief Against HHS Mandate Defends Catholic Education
1/8/2016
A brief filed today by the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in coordination with The Cardinal Newman Society and six other national religious organizations strongly urged the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the sincerely-held religious beliefs of Catholic universities, colleges and schools by invalidating any directive to provide coverage of sterilization, contraceptives and abortifacients in employee health plans as part of Obamacare’s HHS contraception mandate.

The Obama administration’s “HHS Mandate” is the “elephant in the room” threatening faithful Catholic education, said Bob Laird, vice president for program development at the Newman Society. “If our schools can teach the faith and the public good in the classroom but not practice it in the conduct of their own business, then education is merely an ideological shell with no substance.”


Catholic Colleges Prepare for HHS Showdown Before the Supreme Court
1/8/2016
Three Newman Guide-recommended colleges involved in lawsuits against the Obama administration’s HHS contraception mandate submitted their formal briefs this week as they prepare for oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court that could determine the fate of their religious freedom protections.

The government has embraced an unreasonably narrow view of religious freedom which excludes Catholic education and “denies full religious status and protection to clearly religious organizations,” according to Thomas Aquinas College’s summation of thebrief submitted on its behalf. “By concluding that only ‘houses of worship’ but not religious charitable and educational institutions should be considered ‘religious employers,’ the Government betrays a distressingly narrow view of the proper place of religious faith and practice in our society.”


Crisis in Catholic Higher Education Conference: January 23
12/30/2015
The Cardinal Newman Society and the Institute of Catholic Culture (ICC) will present a unique conference on Catholic higher education next month, featuring the presidents of five Catholic colleges who will discuss the crisis in American society “under attack from the secularist agenda” and the solutions found in a faithful Catholic education.

The conference, titled “CRISIS: Catholic Higher Education and the Next Generation,” will take place the day after the March for Life, on Saturday, January 23, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at St. Thomas More Cathedral Hall in Arlington, Va. The public is invited and can register at the ICC’s website.

“There is truly a crisis of faith and identity in much of Catholic education, especially higher education,” said Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “But I expect this conversation with some of the leading lights in faithful education to be very hopeful, and I am especially eager to hear the responses and proposals of the participants.”


Students at Faithful Catholic Colleges Prepare for Christmas with Advent Celebrations
12/10/2015
Throughout the month of December, faithful Catholic colleges and universities recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College planned events and opportunities for students to prepare for the birth of Christ in a variety of ways, including charity functions, music services and prayer gatherings. 

Such activities “remind our students that they are participants in the greater mission of the college and of the Catholic Church,” one Newman Guide college representative told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Ave Maria University (AMU) in Ave Maria, Fla., hosted its annual Celebration of Lights Festival on December 4 to prepare for the Christmas season. 


Marian Devotion and Spirituality Flourish at Newman Guide Colleges
12/8/2015
Our Lady has a special place of importance at many faithful Catholic colleges across the country, and at institutions recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, students are given numerous opportunities to participate in devotions and events dedicated to Mary.

“The Blessed Mother has a special place of veneration in the Catholic Church, and devotion to her is a special mark of the Catholic college,” Anne Forsyth, director of college relations at Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, Calif., told The Cardinal Newman Society.


Why Do Colleges Require the Oath of Fidelity?
9/22/2015
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
9/18/2015
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
9/11/2015
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.


Facing Supreme Court Decision, Thomas Aquinas College Refuses to Compromise Catholic Beliefs
9/1/2015
Last week, Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, Calif., appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for relief from the “HHS Mandate” with The Catholic University of America and the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. But should the Court fail to protect their religious freedom, TAC President Dr. Michael F. McLean told The Cardinal Newman Society that his faithful college is prepared to pay significant fines rather than violate its beliefs.

In an interview with the Newman Society, McLean discussed the pressing need for religious freedom from the sterilization and contraceptive mandate, especially for Catholic colleges that wish to maintain their sincerely held religious beliefs.

On August 25, attorneys for TAC submitted a brief to the Supreme Court, urging the Court to take up the College’s case and refuting the government’s latest arguments against exempting the College from the federal mandate. The College explained why it should be exempted from the HHS mandate and any government requirements that would compel it to go against its Catholic identity and mission by facilitating free contraceptive, abortifacient and sterilization coverage for its employees.


Catholic Colleges Must Listen to Pope Benedict’s Strong Case for Sacred Music, Says Prof.
7/21/2015
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 Education ‘Going to Win’ HHS Mandate Suits, Predicts Becket Fund Attorney
7/8/2015
All the evidence suggests that Catholic schools and colleges are going to win their challenges to the Obama administration’s “HHS mandate,” attorney Mark Rienzi of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty told The Cardinal Newman Society.

In a summary of lawsuits compiled by the Newman Society with information from the Becket Fund, at least 22 Catholic schools and 11 Catholic colleges have challenged the mandate in federal courts. Two of the schools— Pius X Catholic High School in Lincoln, Neb., and Rhodora J. Donahue Academy in Ave Maria, Fla.—are on the Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll of faithful Catholic high schools.

Eight of the colleges are recommended in the Newman Guide, including Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn.; Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fla.; Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C.; The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio; Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Cal.; University of Dallas, Tex.; and Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo.

Winning permanent injunctions against enforcement of the HHS mandate is critical to the protection of Catholic schools and colleges and their ability to faithfully live out their Catholic identity and mission, attested Rienzi, who is also an assistant professor at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. Under the current form of the HHS mandate, most Catholic institutions would be forced to facilitate employee access to full insurance coverage for sterilization and contraceptives, including some that cause abortion. If schools and colleges are not granted relief from the HHS mandate, they will be subjected to severe fines for not participating.


Status of Catholic Education Challenges to HHS Mandate
7/8/2015
As of July 2015, at least 33 Catholic institutions have filed suits challenging the Obama administration’s “HHS mandate,” requiring employer coverage of sterilization and contraceptives (including some that cause abortion) in employee health plans.

In a summary of lawsuits compiled by the Newman Society with information from the Becket Fund, at least 22 Catholic schools and 11 Catholic colleges have challenged the mandate in federal courts. Two of the schools— Pius X Catholic High School in Lincoln, Neb., and Rhodora J. Donahue Academy in Ave Maria, Fla.—are on the Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll of faithful Catholic high schools.

Eight of the colleges are recommended in the Newman Guide, including Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn.; Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fla.; Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C.; The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio; Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Cal.; University of Dallas, Tex.; and Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo.


Professors Say Catholic Colleges Key to Promoting Church Teaching on Marriage, Family
7/2/2015
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage ruling last week, several professors at faithful Catholic colleges told The Cardinal Newman Society that their institutions must serve as bulwarks in defense of marriage and family against an increasingly secularized culture.

Colleges and universities have significant influence over young people, the professors agreed, and are uniquely primed to propagate Church teaching among the nation’s youth. But the situation now faced by proponents of traditional marriage is unprecedented and presents significant challenges.


Catholic College Shuts Down While Faithful Colleges Thrive, Report Finds
6/25/2015
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.


Chart-Topping Monks Found Vocations, Sacred Music at Newman Guide Colleges
6/11/2015
Far away in Norcia, Italy, a small community of 18 Benedictine monks is topping the music charts with its new album of sacred music—and two of them tell The Cardinal Newman Society that it was at American Newman Guide-recommended colleges where they found the inspiration to pursue religious life and to foster a love of music.

With the conviction that beautiful, sacred music is a powerful tool for evangelization and possesses unique capabilities of attracting the soul to the divine, De Montfort Music recently released the monks’ album honoring the Virgin Mary.

“Music has the ability to reach into all kinds of nooks and crannies in the heart and soul that words may not,” said Monica Fitzgibbons, who manages De Montfort Music with her husband Kevin. “It is an experience of the senses,and it is no surprise that the Psalms, for example, have been an attracting force among many different faiths.”


Q&A: Peter Kwasniewski on Sacraments, Curriculum and Moral Formation at Catholic Colleges
6/9/2015
Faithful Catholic colleges have the responsibility and obligation to care for the spiritual and moral well-being of their students, not just their academic well-being, says Dr. Peter Kwasniewksi, professor of theology and philosophy at Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., and one of the recent panelists during a Cardinal Newman Society panel discussion at Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 in New York City.

During last Tuesday’s session, Dr. Kwasniewski was one of the featured panelists, together with Cardinal Raymond Burke, who discussed why liturgy is essential for today’s college Catholics.

The Newman Society caught up with Dr. Kwasniewski following the conference to ask several follow-up questions on the importance of liturgy, sacraments, curriculum and student life issues at Catholic colleges.


Bishop Dewane: Families Have ‘Right to Know’ Which Theology Professors Have Mandatum
5/28/2015
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
4/7/2015
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.”


Thomas Aquinas College Alumna Defends Archbishop Cordileone
3/10/2015
"Lawmakers may vehemently disagree with Cordileone's decision," but "[r]eligious leaders should be free to make such decisions without worrying about interference from the government," Katrina Trinko wrote in defense of the archbishop.


Thomas Aquinas College Leads High Schoolers in ‘Pursuit of Wisdom’ at Summer Program
3/10/2015
The program, which runs from July 19 to August 1, "is a time for forging new friendships, for enjoying the give and take of rational argument, and for pursuing the truth, which civilizes, ennobles, and liberates," the program website stated.


Thomas Aquinas College Hosts Order of Malta for Lenten Retreat
3/5/2015
As part of the day's activities, the group joined TAC students to pray the Rosary and attend Mass together. According to the College, this is the third time that the Order has visited the College in the last three years.


Thomas Aquinas College Receives Large Grant for Concert and Lecture Hall
3/2/2015
Named after the fourth-century martyr and patron saint of music, St. Cecilia Hall will reportedly enhance the College's music programs which are a key aspect to its campus life.


TV Host, Producer Encourages TAC Students to Develop Skills through Liberal Arts
2/27/2015
Catholic television host and producer Daniel Rabourdin recently spoke at Thomas Aquinas College as part of a series of career presentations to help students see the value of their Catholic, liberal arts education and how it can prepare them for any field.


Thomas Aquinas College Education Good Prep for Workplace, Say Alumni
2/18/2015
Three panelists recently spoke with students at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., about their future role as Catholics in the workplace and how the College's liberal arts curriculum can prepare them for any career.


Augustine Institute to Offer Online Summer Course Designed for Catholic Educators
2/12/2015
The Augustine Institute, a Denver-based Catholic graduate school, will be offering a special course for teachers and school administrators designed to help them reflect on the connection between Catholic education and teaching.


Thomas Aquinas Alumni Offering Webinar to Aid Call for Faithful Catholic Educators
2/10/2015
Dr. Andrew Seeley and Michael Van Hecke will gather Catholic educators from across the country for the webinar and lead an online discussion titled "Answering the Call — An Introduction to Catholic School Leadership."


Faithful Catholic College Students Joined Tens of Thousands in West Coast Walk for Life
1/28/2015
The Walk for Life is the largest pro-life demonstration in the Western United States, second in the nation to only the National March for Life in Washington, D.C., and draws large crowds of youth and college students each year.


Thousands of Students from Faithful Catholic Colleges to Attend 2015 March for Life
1/22/2015
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.


Thomas Aquinas College Lends ‘Perfect’ Location for Video Series on Blessed Virgin Mary
1/16/2015
A film crew shot scenes in and around TAC's Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel in additional to other campus locations that will be featured in "The Bible and the Virgin Mary," part of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology's Journey Through Scripture Bible study series.


Faithful Catholic Colleges Set Standard for Next Generation of Catholic Higher Ed.
1/14/2015
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.


Thomas Aquinas College Grad Leads Catholic School, Praises Value of Classical Ed.
1/13/2015
Luke Macik, a TAC alumnus and the former vice president of Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., shared during his "From the Median" radio interview how a classic education, such as the one found at The Lyceum, prepares students for every aspect of life.


Thomas Aquinas President Explains How College Fosters Vocations
1/7/2015
"Thomas Aquinas College is certainly doing something right in fostering this impressive number of vocations," McLean reportedly said, while noting three areas—education, moral life, and spiritual life—which aid students in their discernment.


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