Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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Notre Dame Professor Forced to Leave Project Aimed at Faithful Catholic Education
In an unexpected turn of events, University of Notre Dame professor Father Bill Miscamble, C.S.C., has been forced to disassociate himself with a new project recommending Notre Dame professors supportive of the University’s Catholic identity and mission, an unfortunate development which reflects poorly on the University, William Dempsey, chairman of the Notre Dame alumni group Sycamore Trust, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Earlier this month, Fr. Miscamble helped unveil, a website which gives detailed recommendations to students who are seeking an authentic Catholic education during their time at Notre Dame. The website currently features profiles of approximately 100 faculty in the College of Arts and Letters, but as of last week will no longer feature contributions from Fr. Miscamble, a respected and tenured professor of history at Notre Dame.

Faithful Catholic Colleges Lead K-12 Programs to Renewal, Says Scholar
Faithful Catholic colleges are producing a wave of strong Catholic schools across the country, signs of a growing renewal in Catholic education, Dr. Christopher Blum, professor and academic dean of the Augustine Institute, a Catholic graduate school and educational non-profit, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

“For every one renewed Catholic or Christian college, there are dozens of schools and home-schooled cooperatives staffed by its graduates, men and women who have dedicated themselves to the high task of ordering their work by wisdom,” said Blum in his new book, Rejoicing in the Truth: Wisdom and the Educator’s Craft.

“It is an indisputable fact that where colleges and universities go, high schools and middle schools soon follow,” he said.

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

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

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

In Culture Hostile to Marriage, Christendom College Fosters Faithful Unions
Given the current state of marriage in the United States, it is more important now than ever that Catholic colleges continue to communicate the truth and beauty of the Church’s teaching on marriage and family, said Christendom College alumni Jacob and Jessica Meza in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

“The family is meant to be a reflection of God’s love for man,” they said. “It is imperative then that Catholic colleges continue to communicate the beauty of sacrificial, life-giving love in marriage, otherwise our culture will continue to fall further away from understanding God’s love for mankind.”

As the Synod on the Family wraps up its final week in Rome, the Newman Society reached out to several alumni who met their spouses while attending one of the faithful Catholic colleges recommended in The Newman Guide. Across the board, couples noted the incalculable foundation that a strong Catholic education offered them both in their marriage and in starting a family.

Christendom College Builds Strong Marriage and Family Life
When it comes to building strong marriages and families, nothing is more important than faithful Catholic education, said Tom McFadden, vice president for enrollment at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va.

Following the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and with the Synod on the Family currently underway in Rome, the Newman Society spoke with several of the faithful Catholic colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to learn more about their best practices for encouraging faithful families and marriages.

“Many people find their spouse in college. This is a fact. Even if they don’t, the people they meet might influence the type of person they want to meet as a spouse someday,” said McFadden. “Being in the right place, with the right type of people, is important if marriage is something that could be in your future. It is no small thing to get married or choose the religious life, and both are very daunting tasks in themselves.”

Faithful Campus Life Leads Students to Better Marriages at Franciscan University
Over the years, the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio has watched many relationships which started on campus turn into strong Catholic marriages. The secret to this success is due in large part to the University’s student life efforts to encourage faithful marriages and families, said David Schmiesing, vice president of student life at Franciscan University, in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Following the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and with the Synod on the Family currently underway in Rome, the Newman Society spoke with several of the faithful Catholic colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to glean how they are inspiring faithful families and marriages. For Franciscan, strong residence life policies, an emphasis on virtue and the beauty of the Church’s teaching on marriage and family have proved a winning combination.

“Yes, it seems like many of our students do meet here and get married,” said Schmiesing, who oversees the student life department, its 1,600 students in residence halls, athletic programs, presentations and talks given on campus, more than 30 student clubs and other student activities. 

Louis Joliet Society Advocates Catholic Renewal at Marquette University
A group of concerned alumni, parents and associates are pushing for Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., to renew its commitment to Catholic identity after numerous scandals in recent years. The Louis Joliet Society exposes events at Marquette that endanger its Catholic identity, and the group hopes its efforts will spur change and renewal at the Jesuit institution.

The Louis Joliet Society aims to “reignite a genuine reverence for the Catholic intellectual tradition the University was founded to advance, bring clarity to the concept of true Catholic identity and communicate why it is so critical that Marquette sustain this identity in our increasingly secular world,” said Mary Jarvis, a founding member of the group, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

The Newman Society has reported multiple issues and scandals at Marquette University over the years.

Dominican Sisters Credit Newman Guide Colleges in Preparing for Religious Vocations
In Nashville, Tenn., you can hear more than country music—you can hear appreciation for faithful Catholic colleges emanating from the convent of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, who responded to an exclusive Cardinal Newman Society interview published yesterday at Aleteia.

Several of the sisters credited Newman Guide-recommended colleges for helping lead them to their religious vocations, according to the article by the Newman Society’s Kimberly Scharfenberger, titled “From Campus to Convent, Sisters Grateful for Catholic Education.”

The Sisters of St. Cecilia is a Dominican teaching order based in Nashville. The sisters shared how Catholic education played a vital role in leading them to religious life. In particular, they were impacted by the unique opportunities only a Catholic college could provide: a strong foundation in theology and philosophy, encouragement in the spiritual life and positive exposure to various religious orders.

Newman Society Report Reveals Planned Parenthood Ties to Catholic Colleges
The Cardinal Newman Society has published a new report exposing engagement between Catholic colleges and Planned Parenthood, calling on Catholic educators to dissolve any associations with the nation’s largest abortion business and to teach students about the dignity of every human life. 

Prompted by the recent videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s abhorrent practices, including the harvesting and selling of aborted baby body parts, reporters Justin Petrisek and Kimberly Scharfenberger searched Catholic college websites for connections to the abortion giant. The results prove that Planned Parenthood is still a corruptive and powerful force, even on Catholic campuses that claim to uphold Catholic values. 

The report, A More Scandalous Relationship: Catholic Colleges and Planned Parenthood, was summarized in a Crisis Magazine article this week by Petrisek and Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. Several media outlets and Catholic websites have picked up the story, including New Oxford Review,, Fr. Z’s Blog, Townhall, New Advent, Church Militant and Spirit Daily.

San Diego University’s Drag Show Snubs Vatican, Challenges New Bishop
On Thursday, the first full day in office for San Diego’s new Catholic bishop, the Catholic University of San Diego (USD) hosted a “drag show” that the Vatican last year described as “scandalous.”

Attorney Charles LiMandri, who founded Alumni for a Catholic USD and helped file a petition to the Vatican against the University’s annual cross-dressing event, spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society to discuss why USD is continuing to ignore the Vatican and even the recent words of Pope Francis.

Last year, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education responded to the petition submitted by LiMandri and Thomas McKenna, founder and president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family. The Congregation’s letter deemed the drag show a “scandal” and declared its intentions “to act through administrative channels to the competent ecclesiastical authority in San Diego.”

But despite the Vatican’s response, the University held its fourth edition of the event on April 16, Bishop Robert McElroy’s first full day as the bishop of San Diego. The show was titled “Celebration of Gender Expression: Supreme Drag Superstar IV.”

“We have the opportunity and a clean slate with a new bishop and a new president,” LiMandri said. “I am hoping and praying that this is the last drag show at USD.”

“I feel very sorry for the students who are there [at USD] now,” he added, “because they are not only being deprived of the experience of an authentic Catholic education, but they are being given something directly opposite it under the guise of a Catholic education. And that’s very tragic.”

Chicago Student Leader Urges Fellow Students to Help Reform Wayward Catholic Colleges
Catholic colleges that have lost touch with their Catholic identity must be buoyed to action and renewal through their student bodies according to Dominic Lynch, an undergraduate student at Loyola University Chicago who is an exemplar of student leadership in support of faithful Catholic education.

Lynch, a senior political science major at Loyola, sees a unique responsibility to affect change on his campus as a student. Students are “the boots on the ground” and “can have a huge impact on the reform process,” he told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview this week.

“My Catholic background motivates me to do what I can to influence campus events and reform the most obvious breaches of Loyola’s Catholic identity,” said Lynch. “I want to reform my institution because I love it and I see what it can be. I want it to be an authentically Catholic institution that is proud of its Catholic identity—not an institution hiding its Catholicism under a bushel.”

Small Number of Strong Catholic Colleges ‘Heartbreaking,’ Says Conservative Leader
The fact that most Catholic colleges today still do not fully embrace their Catholic identity is “heartbreaking,” conservative leader L. Brent Bozell III observed in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College recommends just 20 U.S. colleges and another seven online and international programs that have a strong Catholic mission and adhere to Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Vatican constitution on Catholic higher education.

“When you’ve got a nation of 60 million Catholics and less than two dozen true Catholic colleges and universities—I mean, the math doesn’t add up,” said Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center and a member of the Newman Society’s board of directors. “It just doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. So many are going in the wrong direction, but only a few are heading in the right direction.”

Notre Dame’s Compromised Legacy on Life Issues Depends on Faculty, Alumni Say
The University of Notre Dame has had a more-than complicated history with right-to-life issues. The pro-Catholic identity alumni group Sycamore Trust recently observed that the University’s pro-life character depends on ensuring a majority of pro-life faculty on campus, but studies have shown minimal support for the issue among professors.

Theologian Who Claimed Church Teaching Changes to Deliver Prominent Gonzaga Lecture
Dr. Jeannine Hill Fletcher, a theology professor at Fordham University who has suggested that Church teaching on homosexuality can change, will headline Gonzaga University’s 39th annual Flannery Lecture on March 19, despite the expressed concerns of alumni.

Catholic Boarding Schools a Remedy for Boys in Today’s Culture, Argues Writer
"A revival of Catholic boarding schools for high-school age boys is central to this solution, for it allows life and education to be liturgical, imparting the great impetus, the truest direction, and the richest culture—which is the foundation of a happy life," Fitzpatrick proposed.

Documentary Filmmaker Praises JP Catholic U. for Training, Faith Formation
"My Catholic faith sustained me as I interviewed ex-gang members, corrupt politicians, the homeless and poor farmers," Brian Olson, who founded his own art gallery and production company, stated when speaking about his new documentary project.

Thomas Aquinas College Alumna Defends Archbishop Cordileone
"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 Hosts Order of Malta for Lenten Retreat
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.

Univ. of Dallas a ‘Welcoming Place for Religious Vocations,’ Says Alumna
Rachel Daly, who graduated from the University of Dallas in 2014 and worked as a journalist for The Cardinal Newman Society over the summer, joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal (CFR) in New York City as a candidate last fall.

Catholic Univ. Eagerly Awaiting Lecture from Alumnus Cardinal Tagle
Cardinal Tagle will speak on the 50th anniversary of Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, on March 2. The lecture is sponsored by the School of Theology and Religious Studies.

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.

Jesuit Universities Should Fortify Catholic Identity, Not ‘Rebrand’
The efforts of many Jesuit universities to “rebrand” and water down their Catholic values is resulting in a widespread issue of misleading unsuspecting parents and students, argued Jim Infantine, the president of the Gonzaga University alumni group 1887 Trust.

Thomas Aquinas College Education Good Prep for Workplace, Say Alumni
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.

Authentic Masculinity, Femininity in Focus at 10th Annual Edith Stein Conf. at Notre Dame
The project's mission is to address "various issues of gender, sexuality, and human dignity by exploring what it means to be authentic women and men," according to the website.

Celebration Honoring CUA-Grad Archbishop Sheen to Draw Students Closer to the Saints
Sister Maria Frassati Jakupcak, co-chair of Sheen Legacy Committee at CUA, related that the University chose to celebrate Archbishop Sheen this semester because this March marks the 75th anniversary of his first appearance on television.

Thomas Aquinas Alumni Offering Webinar to Aid Call for Faithful Catholic Educators
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."

Catholic Colleges Must Motivate Alumni to Stand for Religious Freedom
Catholic colleges and universities should rally their alumni networks to defend religious freedom, argued David French, senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Liturgy and New Evangelization Conference to Feature Franciscan U. Profs, Alumni
Dr. James Pauley and Dr. Petroc Willey, along with alumni Jim Beckman and William Keimig, will present at the Liturgical Catechesis and the New Evangelization Conference in Mundelein, Ill.

Notre Dame Trustees Elect Fr. Jenkins to Third Term as President despite Catholic Identity Concerns
The University of Notre Dame recently announced that Father John Jenkins, C.S.C. has been elected by the Board of Trustees to serve a third five-year term as president of the University, despite the many instances of Catholic identity abuse that have occurred during his tenure.

Liberal Arts Education Proves Solid Foundation for Doctor, Thomas More Alumnus
"I think every medical student should have a background in the liberal arts," John Martin said. He explained how his philosophical studies led to a deep understanding of science and nature and provided the necessary insight and context for his medical studies.

Notre Dame Grads Offer LGBTQ Scholarship, Ask Students about Activism Experience
The two recipients of the new scholarship will receive $2,500 from GALA, but must "identify within the LGBTQ community," according to the scholarship application which can be downloaded from the GALA website.

Bishop Zubik: Catholic Schools Are Crucial to Church’s Evangelizing Mission
Bishop David Zubik of the Diocese of Pittsburgh recently spoke about the impact and influence that his Catholic education had on him, noting that Catholic schools are essential to carrying out the Church’s mission of evangelization, according to The Pittsburgh Catholic.

16th Annual Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life at Georgetown Set for This Week
The Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life will be held this Saturday, Jan. 24, at Georgetown University, on the heels of the March for Life in Washington, D.C. This year’s keynote speaker will be Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston.

Notre Dame Students Attend 2015 March for Life
Approximately 700 students, faculty, staff, and alumni from the University of Notre Dame are participating in the 42nd annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., today, according to a University news release.

Most Catholic College Alumni in U.S. Senate Support Abortion Rights
An analysis of the current U.S. Senate reveals that, of senators who attended Catholic colleges and universities, most have either voted or taken a public position in support of abortion rights, despite unchanging Catholic teaching on the dignity of human life.

Notre Dame Should Have Canceled ‘White Privilege’ Course, Says Prominent Alumnus
The University of Notre Dame’s spring semester course preparing students for a “white privilege conference”—which features speakers opposed to Church teaching—should have been called off, said William Dempsey, chairman of the Sycamore Trust.

Former CUA President Bishop O’Connell Recovering from Amputation Surgery
Bishop David O’Connell of the Trenton Diocese, who has devoted a great deal of his priesthood to Catholic higher education, is recovering from a surgery which required the amputation of his foot, ankle and part of his lower leg, according to Catholic Sentinel.

Thomas More College ‘Way of Beauty’ Program Alum Wins Architecture Award
An alumnus of the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts “Way of Beauty” program, who also graduated from the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame, was recently honored for his architectural design, the Way of Beauty blog reported.

Fr. Rutler: Catholic Schools, Colleges Faithful to Magisterium Are ‘Models for Renewal’
Amid widespread secular influence on many Catholic educational institutions, Catholic schools and colleges dedicated to Catholic teaching are making an impact and will hopefully inspire renewal in other Catholic institutions, argued Father George Rutler.

Thomas Aquinas College’s 60th Alumnus-Priest Praises Faithful College Formation
Father Matthew Busch, an alumnus of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., was recently ordained as the College’s 60th alumnus-priest, according to the College. Fr. Busch shared how the College helped form and prepare him to live out his priestly vocation.

Faithful College Grads Mentor Catholic Teachers in ‘Living Authentically Catholic Life’
Two alumni from the Gulf Region Academy for Catholic Educators program at the University of St. Thomas in Houston recently returned to the program to mentor current students and help them discover what it means to be a Catholic teacher.

Student Thanks Walsh Univ. for Formation Leading to Creation of Charity
Daniel Widder, a recent graduate from Walsh University, founded a project dedicated to assisting orphan children in Ukraine. Widder recently spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society about “Change for Ukraine” and how his Walsh education prepared him for his charitable work.

Thomas Aquinas College a Great Foundation for Studying Architecture, Says Alumnus
Anthony Grumbine, an alumnus and design associate at Harrison Design in Santa Barbara, Calif., spoke to students about the state of architectural studies and pursuing careers in the architecture field.

Students Give Thanks for Humanities at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
Marlene Schuler, a recent graduate of The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (TMC) in Merrimack, N.H., interviewed several current students about the humanities curriculum ingrained in the College for a new article on the TMC website.

Thomas Aquinas College Alumni Brothers Create New Video on Miles Christi Order
Miles Christi: Soldiers of Christ in America is a one hour documentary that features Miles Christi, an order of Argentinian priests dedicated to helping Catholic laity seek holiness in their daily lives.

Fordham Alumni Discuss ‘New Theological Perspectives’ on ‘Sexual and Gender Diversity’
Fordham University’s alumni services office recently presented a discussion on “Sexuality and the Church,” The Fordham Observer reported. The discussion explored “new theological perspectives, especially with regard to sexual and gender diversity,” according to an event page.

Thomas Aquinas College Graduates Lead Faithful Catholic Schools
The Cardinal Newman Society recently spoke to four graduates of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., about their experiences at the College and how an education in the liberal arts shaped them to be the educational leaders they are today.

Head of Univ.'s Presidential Search Committee Chaired Org. That Gave Thousands to Planned Parenthood
The Cardinal Newman Society recently learned that the person chosen to lead the search for Loyola Marymount University's new president has served as board chair for an organization that has given more than half of $1 million to Planned Parenthood.

St. Michael’s College Features Alumnus Senator Who Opposes Church Teaching
St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., recently featured an interview with U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy in its alumni magazine and on its website, despite Leahy’s record of opposing Church teaching on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

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.

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