Wednesday, October 07, 2015

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Aquinas College

Aquinas College
Why Do Colleges Require the Oath of Fidelity?
At the beginning of a new school year, professors at some of America’s most faithfully Catholic colleges take the Vatican’s Oath of Fidelity to protect against scandal and fortify the colleges’ Catholic identity. It stands in stark contrast to the infidelity and confusion emanating from some other Catholic campuses.

Some colleges—like Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., and Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo.—ask all faculty members to take the Oath. At least another 14 Catholic colleges require the Oath from their theology professors, and The Catholic University of America (CUA) requires theology professors to have the “canonical mission,” which is necessary for granting pontifical degrees.

But still, among nearly 200 Catholic colleges in the United States, 17 is a minority.  What inspires these uncommon colleges to require the Oath, and are there any real benefits?

“Theology faculty are asked to the take the Oath of Fidelity, so that they become mindful of the fact that they are witnessing, studying, teaching and handing down truth of which they are not the author,” said Dr. Mark Zia, associate professor of theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “Jesus Christ forever remains the Teacher, and both professor and students are his pupils as they respectfully probe the mysteries of salvation.”

Newman Guide Colleges Rated ‘Best Buys’ in 2015 Rankings
Colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College for their strong Catholic identities and academics also rank well in leading secular guides, including the 2015 editions from USA Today and U.S. News and World Report. The publications look at factors such as affordability, freshman retention rates, student loan default rates and student-to-teacher ratios.

“These rankings prove that students can opt for strong, faithful Catholic colleges without sacrificing secular prestige,” said The Cardinal Newman Society’s Adam Wilson, managing editor of The Newman Guide.

“But we caution against placing too much importance on rankings that ignore the most important elements of a truly good education—elements that are the primary criteria forThe Newman Guide,” Wilson added. “All things considered, we believe The Newman Guide colleges are superior to all other options, because of their holistic approach to academics and the integration of faith in their studies and campus life.”

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.

Catholic Education ‘Going to Win’ HHS Mandate Suits, Predicts Becket Fund Attorney
All the evidence suggests that Catholic schools and colleges are going to win their challenges to the Obama administration’s “HHS mandate,” attorney Mark Rienzi of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty told The Cardinal Newman Society.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bishop Dewane: Families Have ‘Right to Know’ Which Theology Professors Have Mandatum
If a Catholic college cannot assure that its theology professors are imparting the truths of the faith, then families should look to more faithful Catholic institutions, suggested Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Fla., in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Sound theology is the heart of Catholic higher education; it helps students direct their learning, explore the beauty of the faith and better understand their relationship with God and the Church. Therefore the Church provides the academic mandatum, an acknowledgment by the local bishop of a “professor’s commitment and responsibility to teach authentic Catholic doctrine and to refrain from putting forth as Catholic teaching anything contrary to the Church’s magisterium,” according to the U.S. bishops’ guidelines.

Referencing Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Vatican’s constitution on Catholic universities, Bishop Dewane noted that professors who have obtained the mandatum help Catholic colleges fulfill their mission. “It says that Catholicism is present and operative at such institutions. More profoundly, the individual professor evidences that desire to teach in communion, to express what the teachings of the Church are,” he said.

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Aquinas College New Hearing on HHS Mandate
The U.S. Supreme Court today gave an important victory to Newman Guide-recommended Aquinas College and its sponsor, the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia, by ordering the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its ruling last year that would force the College and Sisters to comply with the Obama administration’s “HHS Mandate.” 

The order also protects the Diocese of Nashville, the Michigan Catholic Conference, Catholic Charities of Tennessee, and other Michigan and Tennessee charities. 

This ruling—the sixth similar order from the Supreme Court—requires the Sixth Circuit to reconsider the rights of religious nonprofits in light of the 2014 Hobby Lobby decision, which exempted some businesses from the mandate to include sterilization and contraceptives—including some that cause abortion—in employee health plans.

Papal Portrait Artist to Discuss Modern Challenges in Art at Aquinas College in Nashville
During the event Babailov will present Annigoni: Portrait of an Artist, a film documenting the life and work of Pietro Annigoni, a well-known Italian master of realism during the 20th century.

‘G.K. Chesterton’ Returns to Nashville with Visit to Aquinas College
The event will feature the impersonation talents of Chuck Chalberg as the acclaimed Catholic author and apologist, G.K. Chesterton, who will reportedly present a lecture in defense of the faith.

Chaplains Indispensable to Well Being of Faithful Catholic Colleges
A recent edition of Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly highlighted the role of Catholic college chaplains and mentioned several from some of the faithful Catholic colleges recommended in The Newman Guide for their faithful Catholic identity.

Photo Journal: Catholic College and High School Students at 2015 March for Life
Catholic college and high school students from distant corners of the country gathered in Washington, D.C., last Thursday to join the hundreds of thousands of people marching in the 42nd annual March for Life.

Thousands of Students from Faithful Catholic Colleges to Attend 2015 March for Life
Students and community members from the faithful Catholic colleges and universities recommended in The Newman Guide—about 3,000 of them, according to estimates—are traveling to Washington, D.C., this week to participate in the 42nd annual March for Life.

Catholic Support for Space Exploration Rooted in Catholic Intellectual Tradition, Profs Say
In interviews with The Cardinal Newman Society, professors from faithful Catholic colleges illustrated the connection between the Catholic intellectual tradition and recent findings that Catholics are most likely to support space exploration.

‘Huge Victory,’ ‘Opportunity’ for Religious Colleges in Labor Board’s Ruling
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last week abandoned its longstanding, unconstitutional practice of measuring how religious a college appears to be before exempting it from federal oversight, but opted instead for a new test that considers whether individual employees perform religious functions.

Aquinas College Conference to Examine Family in Church and Society
Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., will host the ninth annual St. Thomas Aquinas Forum on the “role of family in the Church, in society, and in God’s plan from the beginning,” the College recently announced. The Forum will take place from February 13 – 14, 2015.

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.

New Aquinas College Nursing Degree Unites Dominican Charism, New Evangelization
Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., recently reached the next “milestone” in its strategic expansion plan as the Tennessee Board of Education approved the College’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

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.

Families Praise ‘Brilliant’ Program Helping Students Get Recruited by Faithful Colleges
“Catholic high school students are enjoying a whole new college search process with ‘Recruit Me,’” reported Aleteia, highlighting the success of the The Cardinal Newman Society’s innovative new Recruit Me project with comments from parents and college admissions directors.

Aquinas College ‘Furthers Catholic Mission’ with Dedication of New Adoration Chapel
Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., opened its new Adoration Chapel with a dedication and blessing on October 22, the College announced. The Cardinal Newman Society interviewed Sister Mary Sarah, president of Aquinas, about the importance of the new chapel for the College.

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

Adoration Chapel a First Step in Growth Plan at Aquinas College (Tenn.)
The plan includes campus expansion, academic program reviews, and enhancement of student and spiritual life in order to "meet the needs of [Aquinas's] changing student population," reports the College on its website.

Court Removes Relief from HHS Mandate Granted to Aquinas College, Other Plaintiffs
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati reversed itself by withdrawing the temporary injunction from the HHS mandate granted last January to Aquinas College.

Aquinas College Students Lay Foundations for Study Abroad Program
The College has reportedly come into possession of a property called the Villaggio Betania, located in the medieval lakeside town of Bracciano, about 30 miles northwest of Rome.

Student Overcomes Obstacles, Grows in Faith at Aquinas College
An adult who went back to school to earn her bachelor’s degree and become a teacher also found a spiritual home in the Catholic Church during her time at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn.

Catholic College Leaders Gather to Discuss Student Life, Catholic Teaching
Leaders from 10 faithful Catholic colleges gathered at the Franciscan University of Steubenville last week to share and consider ways of better integrating Catholic teaching into programs and services for students.

Aquinas College (Tenn.) Confers First Graduate Degrees
Aquinas College will host Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V., of the Sisters of Life as its commencement speaker and Bishop David Choby of Nashville will celebrate the Baccalaureate Mass.

Catholic Author Joseph Pearce Joins Aquinas College (Tenn.)
Formerly a writer-in-residence at Newman Guide-recommended Ave Maria University and most recently, The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, Pearce is the author of more than twenty books.

Charlotte Bishop Calls for Charity amidst Catholic High School Controversy over Talk
Bishop Jugis said that there is “no room in the Catholic Church for such displays of uncharitableness and disrespect” following a Catholic high school meeting with parents about a lecture given by a religious sister.

Newman Society, Catholic Colleges Challenge Federal Labor Board in Possible Landmark Case
The Cardinal Newman Society, joined by several faithful Catholic colleges, today made a strong plea to the National Labor Relations Board, urging it to abide by the U.S. Constitution and stop interfering with religious education.

Aquinas College (Tenn.) Revises Growth Plans, Set to Expand Current Campus
Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., has announced plans to expand its current campus to include a multi-purpose facility with a residential hall, student life center and dining facility.

Religious Orders Remain Committed to Catholic Education
Catholic schools have struggled with the decline of religious men and women in the classroom since Vatican II, but growing religious orders are “teaching the Truth in Christ” to Catholic school students across the country.

College Students Credited as Driving Force in March for Life
Catholic colleges recommended in The Newman Guide are featured for their participation in and efforts surrounding the March for Life in a recent article by The Catholic News Agency.

Catholic Colleges to Have Major Presence at March for Life
This year, thousands of students from Catholic colleges and universities across the United States will join the throngs of pro-life people attending the 41st annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, January 22.

Aquinas College Bringing Catholic Nurses Association to Nashville
Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., has initiated the process to create a local council of the National Association of Catholic Nurses, according to a press release.

Aquinas College Transforming Lives of Homeless Women
Aquinas College (Tenn.) is running courses through a local homeless shelter to assist and counsel women who are reforming their lives after "homelessness, abuse or chemical dependence."

Aquinas College Conference to Explore Evangelization of the Modern Man
The St. Thomas Aquinas Theological and Catechetical Forum at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., will host its annual conference from February 14-15.

Aquinas College, Nashville Dominicans Get Reprieve from HHS Mandate
The HHS mandate, which went into effect on January 1st, may not now be enforced against the College or its owners, the Nashville Dominicans, while the lawsuit and others work through the legal process.

Aquinas College Announces Campus Expansion Amid “Problem” of Needing More Space
Aquinas College released plans to purchase the Welch College campus, which is located less than a mile from the current Aquinas campus.

Nashville Dominicans Offer Virtues Program to Catholic Educators
“Virtues in Practice” is designed for children in grades pre-kindergarten through eight to grow closer to Jesus by imitating His life and virtues. 

Nashville Dominicans ‘Coming to Save the Day’ for Catholic Education
Recent growth in the Nashville order of Dominican sisters is a good sign for the future of Catholic education.

A Fest for Catholic Families and Catholic Education
The Fest highlighted Catholic education with an “Education Village” to reflect the “Fest’s strong belief in the importance of Catholic education for all learners from pre-Kindergarten all the way through adulthood.”

College to Bring Nursing Network in Support of Catholic Values to Nashville
The School of Nursing at Aquinas College in Nashville has taken the first steps towards establishing a local council of the National Association of Catholic Nurses, the College has announced.

"Genesis to Jesus" Program Teaches Bible Essentials to Catechists at Aquinas College
The Catechetics program at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee, recently welcomed the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology to campus for a scripture training program for catechists.

Aquinas College Offers Scholarships to Best Pro-Life Orators
Aquinas College in Nashville is scheduled to hold the Tennessee Right to Life State Oratory Competition on campus on May 4, 2013.

Catholic Colleges Tell Obama Administration: HHS Mandate Continues to Violate Religious Freedom
"Despite assurances from the Administration to the contrary, this mandate would still insist that every employee at Catholic universities and colleges be enrolled in an insurance regiment that includes abortion causing drugs," said Monsignor Stuart Swetland.

New Center at Aquinas College (TN) to Focus on Ethics in Health Care
The School of Nursing at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee, recently announced the founding of the Center for the Study of Human Dignity and Ethics in Health Care.

‘Year of Faith’ Celebrated at Faithful Catholic Colleges
Many Catholic colleges and universities are taking part in the “Year of Faith” proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, with spiritual and academic activities aimed at strengthening faith on campus, according to a new report published by The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS).

Catholic Families Get Help with Exciting New Edition of The Newman Guide
The Cardinal Newman Society today released the 2012-2013 edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College with significant new features, as well as a new companion magazine for Catholic high school students and their parents titled My Future, My Faith.

Another Catholic College Sues to Block HHS Mandate
Aquinas College has joined the Nashville Diocese and six other Catholic organizations in Tennessee in filing suit to block the implementation of the HHS mandate.

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