Friday, August 28, 2015

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World Meeting of Families Speaker Urges Faithful Catholic Education
8/25/2015
Faithful Catholic education is essential to reclaiming a true understanding of marriage and human sexuality and renewing family life in the United States, according to Dr. John Grabowski, associate professor of moral theology and ethics at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C.

Grabowski will speak on virtue at the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, when the Holy Father visits in September. He has taught moral theology at CUA since 1991, was appointed with his wife to the Pontifical Council for the Family by Pope Benedict XVI, and was recently chosen by Pope Francis to be part of the Synod on the Family in October.

“Education in a Catholic sense always has to be about more than passing on information, it has to be about formation of the person in the life of faith in the life of the Christian community,” said Grabowski. “That means we have to be concerned about how are we forming people in virtue and not simply giving them information and preparing them for careers.”


Gates Foundation Gave $1.2 Million to Loyola Marymount for Common Core Events
8/14/2015
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded a day of Common Core pep rallies across California last month, including a $1.2 million grant to Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles. Both LMU and St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, hosted events to get educators excited about the controversial school standards embraced by many public and Catholic schools.

The Loyola Marymount and St. Mary’s College rallies on July 31, titled “Better Together: California Teachers Summit,” were among 33 coordinated events across the state involving more than 15,000 teachers. They gathered to share best practices and learn how to implement Common Core standards in their schools, amid a lot of glitz and glamor—including video presentations from Harrison Ford, John Hamm and Meryl Streep.

The Summit was not only for public school teachers, and at least some Catholic school teachers were present, according to EdSource.


Homeschooled Students Increase as Concerns over Common Core Remain
7/23/2015
The latest studies show that an increasing number of students are being homeschooled by their parents in order to avoid Common Core, which is found even in many Catholic schools. There is no question that the link is there and that parents are extremely concerned about how Common Core will affect their children’s Catholic education, said Florida Catholics Against Common Core’s Rolando Perez. 

The Florida Department of Education recently released a report detailing a 9.6 percent increase in children being homeschooled, the largest increase in five years, according to the Herald Tribune. Since 2010, nearly 25,000 additional students in Florida have opted for homeschooling in lieu of public and Catholic school options. 

“There is great concern about the indoctrination, data mining and constant testing that Common Core has brought to schools, including Catholic schools,” said Perez, who along with other concerned parents formed Florida Catholics Against Common Core. The priority for Common Core State Standards seems to be preparing students for future jobs, Perez affirmed. The standards then become utilitarian and distract from students’ moral and spiritual formation by placing too much emphasis on testing and performance.


CUA President Teaches Catholic Responsibility to Protect Religious Freedom
7/9/2015
Everyone has a role to play in the continued fight to protect religious freedom, says John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., and author of a new teaching aid for Catholic educators to discuss the crucial issues of our time.

Garvey was invited by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to develop the resource, titled “Religious Liberty and the Practice of Charity,” possibly because he has been so regularly involved in matters of religious freedom during his time at CUA, he said.

The USCCB has promoted the teaching aid in advance of Catechetical Sunday, which will be celebrated on September 20. It is a time when U.S. Catholic churches recognize and commission those in the community who will serve as catechists. According to the USCCB, the day also allows Catholics “to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel.”

“Religious freedom is only important in a country where religion is important,” said Garvey, encouraging Catholics not to shy away from defending and witnessing to their faith and morals. All Catholics—especially those involved in education—must find their role in protecting religious freedom if they truly see their faith as important, he said. “The freedom to do that will be important to us because knowing and loving and serving God is important to us, and it is not the business of the government to interfere with our efforts to do that.”


Notre Dame Seminar to Equip Catholic Teachers with Truth of Science and Religion
6/18/2015
Are science and religion really opposed to one another? A seminar currently taking place at the University of Notre Dame is helping equip Catholic high school teachers to debunk that common myth and offer their students a faithful, integrated approach to faith and science.

The summer seminar, “Science and Religion: Strangers, Rivals, or Partners in the Search for Truth?” is hosted by the University’s Institute for Church Life (ICL) and runs from June 14-19. According to the University news release, “some 90 Catholic high school teachers of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and religion from 23 dioceses from across the country” are attending. The seminar is funded by the John Templeton Foundation, with supplemental funding from the Catholic Extension Society.

“High school teachers have enormous influence over young people and rightly so, and we want to help them maximize that influence by helping them to create an integrated pedagogy at their own school that can renew and perpetuate itself over time,” said John Cavadini, ICL director and professor of theology at Notre Dame.

As such, the primary focus of the seminar is on equipping the teachers. “I admire these teachers very much, they are so dedicated to Catholic education,” Cavadini told the Newman Society. “This seminar is intended to help them.”


Catholic Education Must Reach Beyond Intellect to ‘Majesty of God,’ Says Baylor Univ. Professor
6/11/2015
In Catholic education, students should encounter God not just intellectually but in the liturgical and sacramental life on campus, the wisdom of the saints and the Catholic identity of the college itself, said Dr. Michael Foley, associate professor of patristics at Baylor University and a recent panelist during a Cardinal Newman Society panel discussion on Catholic colleges and the sacred liturgy.

During last Tuesday’s session at Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 in New York City, Dr. Foley, alongside featured panelist Cardinal Raymond Burke, discussed why liturgy is essential for today’s college Catholics. The Newman Society caught up with him afterward for an interview.

“The Faith cannot be reduced to an intellectual exercise, nor can it be equated with social activism or philanthropy,” Dr. Foley told the Newman Society. “It is not enough to make certain that our Catholic youth are well catechized, that they know their Catholic dogma on faith and morals, although that is certainly very important. They need an encounter with the Faith that awakens both their mind and heart to the majesty of God and to the truth of things.”


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.


Newman Society Panelists Agree, Liturgy Essential to Today’s College Catholics
6/5/2015
Catholic colleges must provide opportunities for students to experience the beautiful and well-celebrated liturgy that they are drawn to, according to a panel of academics at this week’s Sacra Liturgia conference in New York City.

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

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


Five Years Since Launch of Common Core, Concerns Remain for Catholic Schools
5/28/2015
Five years after the official release of the Common Core State Standards on June 2, 2010, The Cardinal Newman Society has released two new reports on the experimental reform and remains convinced that the English language arts (ELA) and mathematics standards by themselves are insufficient and even potentially harmful for Catholic schools, which must keep Christ and the Catholic faith as the true core of education.

Even more disconcerting are the many curricula and textbooks that have been labeled “Common Core” but depart from the successful practices and principles of Catholic education, as well as standardized tests adjusted to Common Core standards that have been widely criticized.

“It may at some point be possible to use parts of the Common Core in isolation in Catholic schools,” allows Dr. Dan Guernsey, the Newman Society’s director of K-12 education programs, “but it will be years before we know if it is effective in what it claims to deliver. The first testing on the Common Core just occurred this spring, and we are awaiting first results.”

The Cardinal Newman Society, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and individual bishops have urged Catholic educators to exercise caution with regard to the Common Core, withholding support before it has been thoroughly tested. The Newman Society maintains a website, Catholic Is Our Core, to educate Catholics about the Standards, including the special report, “10 Facts Every Catholic Should Know About the Common Core.”


Common Core Turns Five
5/28/2015
G.K. Chesterton once wisely suggested that a child should not be subjected to an educational philosophy younger than he is. Such wisdom would relegate the Common Core to preschool—and a public preschool at that, but certainly not America’s Catholic schools.

In a saner world the Common Core State Standards, which were first unveiled in June 2010, would just be coming out of beta testing in a small-scale study to determine their efficacy. If data proved they were significantly successful, then various states would begin to consider adapting the proven elements into their own standards.

Of course, this is not what actually happened. When the Common Core was first unveiled during the height of the “great recession,” states in pursuit of federal funding quickly signed onto the untested Common Core—for some of them, sight unseen. Forty-six states signed on to the Common Core, with only Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia refusing to jump on the band wagon. Many Catholic dioceses in the Common Core states followed suit, wanting to ensure consistency with state standards and national tests.


‘Natural Family Planning’ Course Links Catholic Morals, Medical Expertise at Georgetown
5/28/2015
A course in fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) of natural family planning (NFP) at Georgetown University Medical Center and a resulting organization to inform physicians about NFP/FABMs are two exciting examples of how professors at Catholic institutions can effectively bring Catholic teaching to the medical and scientific world.

The course—one not normally offered to medical students—is leading to increased research and consciousness on the healthful benefits of women and couples utilizing Natural Family Planning as opposed to chemical birth control methods, according to course coordinator Dr. Marguerite Duane. She told The Cardinal Newman Society that the course is making strides in sharing the latest medical research and exposing a growing number of students to the importance of understanding NFP/FABMs.

Titled “Fertility Appreciation Methods in the Learning Years: The FAMILY Planning Selective,” the class was first offered in 2010 and filled to capacity. Since then, it has continued to impact students at the Georgetown Medical Center. 


Prominent CEO Carolyn Woo Speaks Out for Faithful Catholic Education
4/1/2015
“When salt loses its flavor, what does it become?”

That’s the question that Dr. Carolyn Woo asks of Catholic colleges, echoing Christ’s warning to believers who allow their faith to become stale. Woo isn’t one of them. Recently, she has had all the zeal of an apostle for faithful Catholic education.

The accomplished educator and nonprofit leader took to the pages of America magazine a few weeks ago to urge the University of Notre Dame to retain its theology requirements for undergraduates, which may be threatened by proposals under consideration as part of the University’s 10-year curriculum review.

“To form leaders of faith, to be the places where the Church does her thinking, to fight against the caricature of God proposed by our secular culture, Catholic universities must offer more than ‘Theology Lite,’” Woo wrote. “In all the efforts to define learning goals for a Catholic university, how about ‘to know God’ as a starter?”


Catholic Schools Are ‘Vehicles’ of Pro-Life Movement, Say Pro-Life Leaders
3/27/2015
With a growing emphasis on the Church's pro-life teachings in Catholic education and demand for pro-life curricula, Catholic schools have the opportunity to become indispensable “vehicles” in the pro-life movement, said The Cardinal Newman Society’s Dr. Jamie Arthur.


Bishop Points to Concerns with Common Core Standards, Says He Cannot Endorse Them
3/16/2015
Bishop Liam Cary of the Diocese of Baker in Oregon has responded to growing alarm regarding the Common Core State Standards and their impact on Catholic education.


Catholic Education Must Develop a Love of Singing, Liturgy in Students
3/6/2015
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry contended in a recent Patheos article that Catholic education has a unique duty to impart a love of art and beauty to students and that this could be accomplished through encouraging enthusiastic involvement in liturgical singing.


Wyoming Catholic College Features Strong Academic Curriculum with New ‘Mini-Site’
2/20/2015
The new online section is designed to help WCC "better describe and share the academic environment found" at the College, according to its announcement.


Vatican Education Prefect: Church Needs Faithful Catholic Schools
2/19/2015
True and faithful Catholic education is necessary today given the crises of values and family life, explained Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, in a recent address in which he argued for the importance of authentic Catholic schools.


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.


Archbishop Stresses Teachers’ Duty to Promote Church Teaching, Discusses New Contracts
2/10/2015
Catholic school teachers are uniquely placed to impact the moral formation of students and provide clarity on Church teachings amid the confusion of secular society, taught San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in a recent address to Catholic high school teachers.


Liberal Arts Education Proves Solid Foundation for Doctor, Thomas More Alumnus
2/5/2015
"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.


Common Core a Dangerous Distraction to Catholic Identity, Says Newman Society President
2/4/2015
Rather than the Common Core, "the key standard for Catholic schools ought to be providing a very good Catholic education that teaches and forms young people in the faith," Reilly stated.


Business Students at CUA to Study Compatibility of Capitalism with Catholic Teaching
1/30/2015
A new program at The Catholic University of America’s School of Business that seeks to integrate Catholic social doctrine and business practices will focus on exploring the “compatibility of capitalism and Catholicism,” Timothy Busch wrote in The Wall Street Journal.


Liberal Arts Grads Set to Positively Impact the Workplace, Argues Hiring Expert
1/29/2015
Students who pursue a liberal arts degree are set to bring joyful and innovative transformation to the workplace, argued hiring consultant Roberta Matuson in a recent Forbes article.


Faculty Concerns Mount for Notre Dame’s Catholic Curriculum
1/23/2015
Several faculty members expressed their concern to the National Catholic Register that theology courses at Notre Dame would not be given priority during the review.


Christendom Alumni ‘Thriving in Journalism’ Thanks to Liberal Arts Curriculum
1/21/2015
Student and alumni articles were recently published in news outlets such as The Washington Examiner, Breitbart News, and The National Catholic Register.


Homeschooling Experts Affirm Parents’ Primary Educator Role despite Government Oversight
1/20/2015
Government should support, not usurp, the role of parents as primary educators of their children, agreed two Catholic homeschooling experts in an interview with the Newman Society about the current state of regulations imposed on families that elect to homeschool.


Ontario Catholic Schools Required to Adopt Curriculum Encouraging Sexual Immorality
1/19/2015
Catholic schools in Ontario, Canada, will be unable to opt out of a mandatory sexual education curriculum that will allegedly encourage immoral sexual activity and teachings contrary to the Catholic Church, according to Life Site News.


Classical Art, Literature Unlock Door to Wonder in Catholic Education
1/15/2015
A fruitful Catholic education relies on the integration of classical literature and art, wrote Sister Joan Roccasalvo in her recent column. Asserting that the virtue of wonder is necessary for education, Sr. Roccasalvo praised art and literature’s ability to elevate the mind.


Notre Dame Should Have Canceled ‘White Privilege’ Course, Says Prominent Alumnus
1/15/2015
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.


Archdiocese Creates Office of Catholic Identity to Strengthen Catholic Schools
12/15/2014
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco is introducing a new, first-of-its-kind archdiocesan office that will work with Catholic high schools to ensure and strengthen their Catholic identity, according to Catholic San Francisco.


Notre Dame Offers Course Preparing Students for Anti-Christian Conference
12/15/2014
The University of Notre Dame is offering a course for the upcoming spring semester that includes in-class preparation for a conference with indications of anti-Christian sentiments.


Students Give Thanks for Humanities at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
11/26/2014
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.


Updated Catechism for Adults Gives Access to Church Teaching Online
11/21/2014
The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis recently released an online version of the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, available in both English and Spanish. It is recommended as a resource in education, adult faith formation and parish programs.


Increase in Homeschooling Linked to Common Core Implementation
11/20/2014
Evidence shows that parents are choosing to homeschool their children in order to escape the Common Core State Standards, two leaders in the Catholic homeschooling field told The Cardinal Newman Society.


Thomas Aquinas College Graduates Lead Faithful Catholic Schools
11/19/2014
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.


Ave Maria Univ. Hopes New Science Programs Will ‘Bear Witness to the Truth’
11/14/2014
Dr. Michael Dauphinais, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Ave Maria University, spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society in a recent interview about the six new academic programs added at the University, bringing the total number of majors offered to 29.


Univ. of Dallas Celebrates 20 Years of Rome Summer Program for High Schoolers
11/10/2014
To celebrate 20 years of high school summer programming in Rome, the University of Dallas will lower the price of its three summer programs for 2015, the University recently reported.


Liberal Arts ‘Crucial’ for Students, Says Duke President at Notre Dame Forum
11/7/2014
The liberal arts are “crucial for each student’s education,” Duke University president Richard Brodhead recently stated in a talk given to the University of Notre Dame’s forum on curriculum change, according to The Observer.


New Mexico Court Rules ‘Students Can’t Be Barred’ Because of Faith
10/31/2014
A New Mexico textbook lending program serving students in both public and private schools was challenged on the grounds that it was potentially violating New Mexico’s Blaine Amendment, which forbids government aid to private or religiously affiliated schools.


Newman Guide-Recommended Colleges Rank High in New ACTA Curriculum Ratings
10/29/2014
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) recently released its sixth annual “What Will They Learn” list rating the core curricula of colleges and universities across the country. Several institutions recommended in The Newman Guide received high marks.


Sophia Institute Press Helping Catholics ‘Relearn the Importance of Catechesis’
10/24/2014
Charlie McKinney, president of Sophia Institute Press spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society about Sophia’s reprinting of the exhortation, Catechesi Tradendae, its importance in Catholic education, and the vital role of the witness of teachers.


New Criminology Degree at UST-Houston ‘Grounded in Catholic Tenets of Social Justice’
10/23/2014
The University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston, Tex., recently developed a new degree program under the title of Criminology, Law and Society, announced the University. The program aims to ensure that students understand Church teaching on social justice and morality.


‘Miracle’ Move Fuels Hopes of Future Expansion for John Paul the Great Catholic Univ.
10/21/2014
John Paul the Great Catholic University recently completed its first year at its new campus location in Escondido, Calif. “It’s a miracle from God,” University President Dr. Derry Connolly told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview about the relocation.


New Latin American Studies Certificate Supports Catholic Identity at CUA
10/17/2014
The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., is offering a new certificate program in Latin American and Latino Studies. According to the University report, the program is of great import for CUA’s Catholic identity due to the growing significance of Latin America in the Church. 


World Meeting of Families Catechesis a ‘Wealth of Knowledge’ for Catholic Education
10/8/2014
The Catechesis “is a wealth of knowledge that can be used in Catholic education in many ways—but even more foundationally, it touches on the joy of Catholic education,” an organizer of the meeting told The Cardinal Newman Society in an exclusive interview.


Professors Critique Diminishing Catholic Component of Gonzaga’s Core Curriculum
10/1/2014
According to Gonzaga philosophy professor Douglas Kries, the Gonzaga administration has decided to re-vamp and implement a new core curriculum for fall of 2016 that would decrease the number of Catholic or Christian religion classes from three to just one.


Newman Society: Gates Foundation’s ‘Heavy-Handed Interference in Catholic Education’ Invites Scrutiny
9/29/2014
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s efforts to push the Common Core in Catholic schools “will only raise more questions” about the standards, said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick J. Reilly in an interview with Breitbart News.


Bill Donohue: Common Core Proponents Strong-Arming Catholic Schools
9/25/2014
Catholic League president Bill Donohue wrote in an article today, “[W]e do object to the tactics being used by paid advocates [of Common Core] to whip Catholics into line.”


Colleges in Newman Guide Rank Well with U.S. News and World Report
9/23/2014
Colleges recommended in The Newman Guide ranked well in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 edition of Best Colleges. 


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