Saturday, May 28, 2016

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Newman Guide

The Newman Guide
Catholic College Presidents Hopeful for Resolution in HHS Mandate Challenge
5/24/2016
The presidents of two Catholic colleges involved in the U.S.Supreme Court challenges to the HHS mandate applauded the Court’s recent decision to vacate all lower court rulings and expressed their hope that a positive resolution for religious freedom would soon be reached.

“I am pleased that Supreme Court has offered us a way forward which doesn’t require us to participate in the provision of the services which we find to be morally objectionable,” said Catholic University of America (CUA) President John Garvey in a press release. “We will move forward in our conversations with government officials with the sincere hope that our religious exemption, as well as that of our co-plaintiffs, is ensured.”

Last week, the Supreme Court unanimously vacated all previous lower court decisions in Zubik v. Burwell, a case challenging the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate. The mandate forces Catholic colleges, schools and organizations to provide morally objectionable health insurance coverage for their employees. CUA and Thomas Aquinas College (TAC), along with several Catholic high schools, are co-plaintiffs in the case.


SCOTUS Ruling on HHS Mandate Impacts Catholic Colleges and Schools
5/17/2016
The legal battle will continue for Catholic colleges and schools and other religious nonprofits and institutions challenging the Obama administration’s contraception mandate following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to send the issue back to lower courts.

“We are nearing what seems to be a very happy ending to a terrible chapter in America’s history of religious tolerance,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “Catholics should be very proud of the Little Sisters but also the other courageous organizations who have stood strong against this injustice — including the most faithful Catholic colleges and schools, which figured prominently in the legal and social battles to halt the HHS mandate.”

The eight U.S. Supreme Court justices unanimously vacated the appellate court decisions in their ruling. The case most notably involves the Little Sisters of the Poor, but a number of Catholic colleges and schools are also involved in the legal challenge, standing their ground in defiance of the HHS contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate. Monday’s ruling follows the government’s admission last month that it need not force religious objectors to provide contraception coverage as part of the HHS mandate, and it signals further potential lower court victories for Catholic institutions in the near future.


Finding the Origins of Today’s Dissent in Catholic Colleges
5/13/2016
On April 18, students at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., and at the graduate campus in Alexandria, Va., welcomed a calm and unassuming young priest with closely shaven blond hair to talk about the origins of dissent at U.S. Catholic colleges. The history and the events described during the presentation help to understand the many Catholic identity problems seen on college campuses today.

Father Peter Mitchell, a pastor in the Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., and a historian trained at the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, told the story of how faculty at Catholic colleges rebelled against the Magisterium in the late 1960s in the name of academic freedom. He argued that this explains the context of theological dissent in America today.


Congresswoman Wants to Shame Catholic Colleges for Defending Church Teaching
5/10/2016
A member of Congress from Massachusetts is hoping to use the force of the federal government to brand faithful Catholic colleges as discriminatory against students who experience same-sex attraction or gender identity issues.

Rep. Katherine Clark introduced legislation in Congress recently to force faithful Catholic colleges and other religious institutions of higher learning to publish documents “in a prominent location” on their websites if they request religious exemptions from“gender identity” applications of Title IX — exemptions that were explicitly written into the federal education law to protect religious education.

The bill also requires the Department of Education to publish the same information on its website. But following lobbying from LGBT activist groups, the Department has already voluntarily published a searchable database in April of all colleges that have ever requested religious exemptions to Title IX.


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.


College Students Learn to Battle Catholic Identity Abuses on Campus
4/29/2016
Catholic college students who attended this month’s “Standing Up for Faith & Freedom” seminar in Virginia told The Cardinal Newman Society that not only do they want to see an end to Catholic identity abuses on campuses, but they want to be part of the solution in rebuilding faithful Catholic education across the country.

“Yes, [college students] are fighting an uphill battle,” said Joseph Shaneyfelt, a senior at the Newman Guide-recommended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “In a time when political correctness and fear of ‘offending’ people is running rampant on college campuses across the United States, we need to be first and foremost adamant in saying we are Catholic.”


Newman Society on EWTN: 'The Catholic University as Witness'
4/29/2016
Patrick Reilly, founder and president of The Cardinal Newman Society, will appear on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) program "Franciscan University Presents" next week to discuss the special witness Catholic colleges and universities are called to give.

Reilly will join the show's host Michael Hernon, vice president of advancement at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and panelists Dr. Regis Martin and Dr. Scott Hahn from the Franciscan University Theology Department for a discussion on “The Catholic University as Witness.”

“A Catholic institution of higher education is a place of learning. But it’s also a place of witness,” the episode description states. ”It’s where young people learn how to know their faith and to live it. It’s also where the culture at large can encounter the wisdom of Christ.”


Special Report: Church Leaders Honored by Faithful Catholic Colleges
4/26/2016
Even while at least 11 Catholic colleges have made scandalous choices for commencement speakers and honorees this year (see our separate roundup), colleges recognized in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College by The Cardinal Newman Society will instead highlight their strong commitment to Catholic education by honoring top leaders in the Church and strong role models for their students.

“If Catholic families want to know which Catholic colleges stand with the Church and which do not, a college’s choice of commencement speaker and other honorees is often a public signal of its priorities and concern for its students’ formation,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “We’re proud of the faithful colleges that are such a necessary contradiction to our wayward institutions, and we’re grateful to our Church leaders for demonstrating their support of faithful Catholic education by their presence on commencement day.”


Wyoming Catholic College Picks New President: Dr. Glenn Arbery
4/26/2016
The Newman Guide-recommended Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., announced on Monday that Dr. Glenn Arbery will succeed Dr. Kevin Roberts as the College’s next president.

Arbery served as academic dean and an associate professor of humanities before being named interim president. He has taught literature at three other Newman Guide-recommended institutions: the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Thomas More College of Liberal Arts and the University of Dallas. 

“Having devoted much of my professional life to the cause of liberal education, I’m excited to lead such a stellar institution, and I’m greatly honored, greatly humbled at the opportunity,” Arbery said in a video message accompanying the College’s announcement. He added: “This college will continue to pass on the great tradition of the West, and to provide the coherent, spiritually hopeful education founded on the Rock of the Church, so needed in this world today.”


Encourage, Enact and Enforce: Witnessing to the Church’s Teachings on Chastity During the College Years
4/22/2016
The Church has always taught the beauty of human sexuality and that each person, made in the image and likeness of God, should live chastely, according to his vocation. Although not a recent phenomenon, our society has in many ways become blind to these beautiful teachings of the Church and has espoused a radically new, secular view of the human person. This new philosophy has affected all aspects of the moral life, not only those that involve human sexuality.

The sexual revolution, heralded as liberation in the 1960s, eventually took its toll even in our Catholic institutions of higher learning.


Still No Vote on Religious Freedom Bill Backed by Catholic Educators
4/19/2016
The Daily Signal recently pointed out that almost a year has gone by without a vote since the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) was introduced in Congress. The Cardinal Newman Society, a number of Catholic educators and dozens of religious and public policy organizations signed a letter last February urging House leadership to schedule a vote on the bill.

A representative of the Family Research Council, which sponsored the letter, told the Newman Society that a formal response has yet to be received. The letter was addressed to Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise.


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.


Former Franciscan Univ. President Honored for ‘Courageous Witness to the Faith’
4/13/2016
Father Terence Henry, TOR, former president of Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio and a member of the Board of Directors of The Cardinal Newman Society, will be honored for his service to Franciscan and his “courageous witness to the faith” during the University’s commencement ceremonies this May.

“Committed to life issues, Father Henry directed Franciscan University’s filing of a lawsuit in 2012 opposing the federal government’s mandate that would force provision of health insurance coverage counter to its religious principles,” the University stated in a press release. “In addition, he established the Franciscan University Institute of Bioethics, which provides a solid Catholic response to secular assaults on the dignity of human life, marriage, and other human life issues. While president, he joined students and alumni and attended every March for Life in Washington, D.C.”


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.


An Open Letter to Catholic Educators
4/6/2016
I consider my family a modern day “Pilgrim” story. My husband and I are both Catholic, and raised our four children in a church-going, close-knit family. We did the modern day “soccer parent” stuff: attending all the ball games, all the activities, all the sacraments — all the things that would help our children grow in mind, body and soul.

What we didn’t count on was the culture.

We lived in a very “liberal” part of the country, and when our kids hit teen years and turned to their peers, their peers were following the modern day “culture.” It is a culture that comes across as “loving” and “caring” and “tolerant.” Yet it is a culture that kills.


Newman Society Interviews President of Wyoming Catholic on Decision to Step Down
4/6/2016
Dr. Kevin Roberts, president of Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., announced this week that he will be leaving the College to take position in the public policy arena in Texas. The Cardinal Newman Society spoke with Roberts on Monday about his decision to leave the College, the state of Catholic education and what the future holds.

During the interview, Roberts looked back on some of the successes during his tenure at Wyoming Catholic, a faithful Catholic institution recommended in The Newman Guide for Choosing a Catholic College. And Roberts offered some candid advice to Catholic college administrators and faculty on defending Catholic education and identity on campus, such as instituting faithful policies and personally living out the Gospel.


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.”


NCAA Won’t Punish Catholic Colleges for Title IX Gender Identity Exemptions
3/23/2016
Catholic colleges and universities that requested exemptions from the new gender identity provisions of Title IX in order to protect their religious missions will not receive any backlash from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) — at least for now.

A group of over 80 “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ), sports, religious and youth advocacy groups” signed a letter to the NCAA on March 9 petitioning the athletic association to “take action to divest from all religious based campuses who have requested discriminatory Title IX waivers toward LGBTQ youth.”

“These requests are directly in conflict with the NCAA’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion of all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity,” according to the letter.


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.”


Franciscan Univ. Professor Testifies on Sanctity of Life, Urges Colleges to Increase Pro-Life Support
3/8/2016
As secular progressivism continues its steady envelopment of culture and academia, Catholic colleges must stand firm and dedicate more resources to programs that teach students the sanctity of life, said Dr. Patrick Lee of Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Center for Bioethics, who testified last week before a congressional panel on the fundamental rightto life for all humans at conception.

We know that a human embryo or fetus is a human being in the same way we know that a six-week old infant is a human being: namely, we see the evidence that she is a distinct being, not part of a larger organism, and that she is a complete albeit immature human being, since even though she cannot now perform many of the actions typical of mature human beings, she is growing to the point where she will do so,” Lee told The Cardinal Newman Society.


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.”


Students Speak: Policies Prohibiting Opposite-Sex Dorm Visitation Help Students Grow in Virtue
3/3/2016
Several current students from institutions recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College that prohibit opposite-sex visitation in student residences shared with The Cardinal Newman Society that these policies have a lasting impact on the student culture, cultivating a college environment that supports healthy friendships and encourages students to grow in virtue.

The Newman Society’s recent report on visitation policies at residential Catholic colleges in the U.S. found that the vast majority allow opposite-sex visitation between students in dormitory buildings with few restrictions. Only nine institutions, eight of which are recommended in The Newman Guide, completely prohibit opposite-sex visitation, except for occasional open-house events under close supervision.


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.


Mount St. Mary’s University President Resigns Amid Catholic Identity Concerns
3/1/2016
Mount St. Mary’s University President Simon Newman, who sparked national debate over the future and Catholic identity of the nation’s second-oldest Catholic university, announced last night that he will be stepping down as president of the University effective immediately. Dr. Karl Einolf, the dean of the Richard J. Bolte, Sr., School of Business, will serve as acting president at the University located in Emmitsburg, Md.

“Now is the perfect opportunity for the Mount’s trustees to unequivocally recommit the University to its Catholic identity and reassure families that it will select a president who can both heal and propel forward a most valuable institution,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly in reaction to the news. “Success depends not on shaking the foundations but confidently building upon them, as the Mount has done so well over the last decade.”


SCOTUS Outcome for HHS Mandate Cases Unpredictable, Says Catholic University President
2/25/2016
Whether with eight justices or nine, it is simply impossible to predict how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in the upcoming challenges to the HHS contraception mandate, Catholic University of America President John Garvey told The Cardinal Newman Society, commenting on the potential impact of Justice Antonin Scalia’s passing.

“It’s always a little presumptuous to suppose we can foretell the outcome of a case, or predict the judgment of the members of the Court. So we can’t be sure how Justice Scalia’s death might bear on the result,” Garvey said. Oral arguments are scheduled to be heard before the Court on March 23.


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.


No Social Justice Arguments Should Ever Contradict Church Teaching, Says Catholic Professor
2/24/2016
Catholic colleges and universities have some of the best social justice initiatives fighting hunger, poverty and injustice, but this must always be done in the context of fidelity to the Church and should never act as a free pass to contradict Church teaching, Benedictine College theology professor Dr. Jamie Blosser told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“In the context of a Catholic institution, no argument should ever be used to contradict Church teaching, social justice or otherwise,” said Blosser, who is overseeing the Social Justice Week events being held this week at the Newman Guide-recommended Benedictine Collegein Atchison, Kan. “In any Catholic institution, the Catholic dogmatic and intellectual tradition should be the core set of values which illuminates and guides all learning and scholarship.”


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.


Student-Led Conference at Franciscan to Address the ‘Vocation of Woman’
2/17/2016
An upcoming conference at Newman Guide-recommended Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio will shed light on the unique vocation of women in the 21st century, and the conference’s student organizer told The Cardinal Newman Society that this conversation is increasingly necessary in a culture misled by relativism and radical feminism.

The conference, “Woman: Gift in Culture and Church,” is sponsored by Franciscan and is student-facilitated. The event aims to “cultivate an increased awareness of the vocation of woman in the areas of family, society and culture.” Participants will explore Church teaching and how to respond to “the question of how a Catholic woman of the twenty-first century is called to participate in the temporal order,” according to the conference’s vision statement.


Newman Society Statement on Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md.
2/12/2016
As recently as last year, The Cardinal Newman Society enthusiastically recommended Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. (“the Mount”), in our Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College for its strong Catholic identity. We have repeatedly, and very recently, reported on outstanding teaching and practices at the Mount. Nevertheless, we are carefully observing the developments described in recent media reports (including the selection linked at the bottom of this statement), and we find these to be disappointing and even disturbing. Certain facts seem clear, while other troubling claims are unsubstantiated but repeated by several individuals. We invite Catholics to pray for a good outcome.

The Cardinal Newman Society is currently engaged in our standard annual review of Newman Guide colleges for the next edition of the Guide. Our attention to the Mount is heightened due to the leadership transition (now including not only President Simon Newman, who is less than a year into his position, but also the provost and liberal arts dean) and the recent concerns. Adding to our dismay about information coming from media reports and our own private communications with individuals associated with the University, the Mount has declined thus far to provide the required annual information needed for recommendation in The Newman Guide.


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.


Education Programs at Newman Guide Colleges Place Premium on Moral Teacher Formation
2/4/2016
The Catholic Church has repeatedly stressed the critical evangelizing responsibility that educators have in teaching and witnessing the faith to their students, and institutions recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College have made this responsibility a priority in their education programs.

At Ave Maria University (AMU) in Ave Maria, Fla., students majoring in education are given all the tools they need to “engage in the integral formation of the human person by developing each student’s physical, moral, spiritual and intellectual gifts in harmony,” said Dr. Dan Guernsey, chair of the University’s education department and director of The Cardinal Newman Society’s K-12 programs.


Catholic Colleges and Schools Take Active Role in Struggle Against Pornography
2/4/2016
Recognizing the “widespread problem of pornography in our culture today,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recentlypublished their formal statement “Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography” which calls on teachers, religious educators and others who work with young people to “create an environment suitable for learning chastity” and to be “vigilant over technological access” to pornography. The Cardinal Newman Society spoke with several faithful Catholic colleges and schools about how they are responding to the bishops’ call.

The U.S. bishops make it clear in their statement that pornography is “a grave sin against human dignity” that “dehumanizes the persons depicted” as sexual objects. Pornography use “also has direct connections with sins such as adultery, domestic violence, the abuse of children in child pornography, and sex trafficking,” according to the bishops. “It also can be implicated in contraception use and abortion, given that it promotes and even celebrates promiscuity and a view of sexuality devoid of love or openness to new life.”


Moral Formation, Catechesis at Center of New Teacher Formation Conference
2/2/2016
The Center for Catholic Education at Newman Guide-recommended Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., is responding to the Church’s call for faithful teacher formation programs by offering training for educators, administrators and board members of Catholic schools. The Center’s director, Sister Elizabeth Anne Allen, O.P., told The Cardinal Newman Society that she hopes this training will richly benefit future generations of Catholic students. 

The Center’s new teacher formation conference, called WISE (Witness-Inspire-Serve-Educate), will be held from June 13-16, 2016 on the campus of Aquinas College. Sr. Allen told The Cardinal Newman Society that the conference is a deliberate response to specific issues recently cited by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the World Congress on Catholic Education, including “the Catholic identity of Catholic schools and the formation of those who teach in those schools.”


Catholic Colleges Should Claim Title IX Exemptions, Says Newman Society President
1/27/2016
As Title IX interpretations have expanded to include discrimination policies grounded in gender theory, Catholic colleges should have no qualms about claiming constitutionally-protected exemptions, said The Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly in an interview with National Catholic Register.

“Of course these colleges have no interest in sex discrimination. They have had no problems complying with Title IX,” said Reilly. “But now things are changing, and the Obama administration is pushing the extreme gender ideology that Pope Francis has strongly warned against. The law could be used to force practices that violate our beliefs and even natural law, unless religious educators claim the exemption that Congress gave them to uphold the First Amendment.”


Students Stranded on Turnpike Finally Home, Praised for Defense of Life
1/26/2016
Hundreds of students from the Newman Guide-recommended University of Mary in Bismark, N.D., and Franciscan University of Stubenville in Ohio finally returned home on Sunday after being trapped for over 24 hours on the Pennsylvania Turnpike by a blizzard following the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., last Friday.

Even with the threat of severe weather lingering, students from the two universities, along with thousands of pro-life advocates, descended on the nation's capital on January 22 in support of the right to life. Many hoped by leaving early they could avoid the worst of the weather, but an accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Friday afternoon brought traffic to a halt, leaving over 500 vehicles trapped in a blizzard.


College Professors Who Are Building a Culture of Life
1/21/2016
The Cardinal Newman Society’s reporting in 2015 featured interviews with numerous Catholic professors who, doing their best to build a culture of life, spoke on pro-life topics such as the undercover Planned Parenthood videos, support for Planned Parenthood on campus and the Obama administration’s contraceptive “HHS Mandate.”

The following list highlights seven professors that the Newman Society spoke to in the last year who are helping to advance the pro-life movement, both at their respective institutions and within society. This list is not meant to be exclusive or to be considered as a ranking of any kind.


Newman Society, Pro-Life Groups Call on Media to Fairly Cover March for Life
1/21/2016
The Cardinal Newman Society joined with 16 pro-life organizations, two members of Congress and the Media Research Center (MRC) this week to call on media networks and journalists to offer fair coverage of this year’s March for Life and refrain from any kind of undue censorship.

“Thousands of pro-life school and college students join the March for Life every year, often traveling hundreds of miles in buses to declare themselves the pro-life generation,” said Newman Society President Patrick Reilly in the coalition’s press statement. “Any objective reporter would see the news value in this and be on the ground, getting interviews and reporting on this extraordinary youth activism for ‘traditional’ values.”


Catholic University of America Students to Lead 2016 March for Life
1/19/2016
This year, the Newman Guide-recommended Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., will have the honor of leading the 2016 March for Life — a first-time opportunity for CUA and one which the students are eagerly anticipating, according to Father Jude DeAngelo, university chaplain and director of campus ministry at CUA.

“We’ve been participating in the March for Life for years, but we have never led the March to my knowledge,” Fr. DeAngelo told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview. “It’s quite a privilege and our students are really honored and excited.”

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, reached out to John Garvey, president of CUA, to invite the University to lead the 2016 March for Life.


SPECIAL REPORT: Planned Parenthood Offices Located Near Half of Catholic Colleges, Alarming Pro-Life Leaders
1/19/2016
Half of all four-year, residential Catholic colleges in the U.S. are within five miles of Planned Parenthood facilities, a study by The Cardinal Newman Society has found. Catholic pro-life leaders warn that the close proximity of these Planned Parenthood centers threatens the well-being of students and the culture of Catholic campuses.

Planned Parenthood is, by its mission, directly opposed to Catholic values on sexuality, artificial contraception and abortion. Many of its centers perform abortions and distribute contraceptives.

In its review of 188 four-year, residential Catholic colleges in the U.S., The Cardinal Newman Society found that 92, or 49 percent, are within five miles of a Planned Parenthood facility. Of these, 13 are within one mile or less, 37 are within 1.1-3 miles and 42 are within 3.1-5 miles.


Belmont Abbey College Launches Program Making Education Affordable for Catholic Families and Homeschoolers
1/14/2016
A new educational program at Belmont Abbey College launched this week in a concerted effort to help Catholic families and homeschoolers afford a faithful Catholic college education, Dr. Bill Thierfelder, president of the College, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“As a home schooling father of ten children, I was very aware that many homeschooling families wanted the private Catholic college education that Belmont Abbey College provided but often could not afford it,” Thierfelder said. “While praying, it came to me to create a primarily residential program that would ensure students were well-educated, well-formed and well-prepared at a cost comparable to a public college or university.”

The Bishop Leo Haid Fellowship program, which begins this summer, will save students more than 60 percent on tuition when compared to the average national cost for private colleges in the United States, making the total cost for the first four semesters $20,431.


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.”


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