Thursday, November 26, 2015

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Student Life

Student Life
Better Education of Church Teaching on Contraception Needed at Catholic Colleges
Educators at faithful Catholic colleges recently told The Cardinal Newman Society that students can greatly benefit from more thorough catechesis of Church teaching on contraception and human sexuality, which appears to be lacking at some Catholic colleges based on the statements and actions of students on campus. 

“Some students come to college with a strong Catholic formation, others are non-Catholic and still others have never given Church teaching on these issues a second thought,” Dr. Richard White, associate professor and chair of the theology department at Newman Guide-recommended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “No matter where they’re coming from, students greatly benefit if the college has courses in the curriculum dedicated to addressing Church teaching on contraception and human sexuality.”

Catholic Colleges Sponsor Chapters of Group Supporting Planned Parenthood
Emmanuel College in Boston recently joined a number of Catholic colleges across the country in officially sponsoring a chapter of Her Campus, an organization that supports contraception and recommends Planned Parenthood to students, despite the potential Catholic identity concerns of being linked in any way to America’s largest abortion provider. 

Any college student can apply to be a campus correspondent with Her Campus and establish remote chapters at their universities, but not all of those chapters get official recognition and funding from their respective universities. In Emmanuel College’s case, the Her Campus chapter “secured its position as an official club on campus” in October, according to the student newspaper The Hub.

‘Coming Out Day’ at Catholic Colleges Risks Betraying the Faith, Harming Students
While many Catholic colleges and universities are using the occurrence of “National Coming Out Day” to sponsor events promoting lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) identities and lifestyles throughout the month of October, such events could actually be harmful to the students and risk betraying the Catholic faith, according to information from the Catholic Medical Association and Courage International, a Catholic apostolate that ministers to persons with same-sex attraction.

“Events like ‘Coming Out Day’ run the risk of equating a person's identity with his or her sexual attractions, which, although they form a significant part of a person's experience, are only one factor in the whole complex reality of what it means to be a human being,” said Father Philip Bochanski, associate director of Courage International, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Promoting events that reduce a person's identity to his or her sexual attractions betrays our Catholic faith in the dignity of the human person, and does a disservice to those it claims to defend,” 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.

Catholic Colleges Must Tell Story of God’s Vision for Marriage, Says CUA Chaplain
In a culture that often discounts the sanctity and permanence of marriage, Catholic colleges are uniquely placed to show students the reality of God’s vision for marriage and family. The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., is one Catholic college that takes great pains to ensure its students are properly formed in this regard.

Modern culture often “presents marriage as a convenience, a good financial arrangement, or simply a lark,” Father Jude DeAngelo, chaplain and director of campus ministry at CUA, told The Cardinal Newman Society. As a response, “our Catholic colleges need to continue to teach the beauty and truth of this profound sacrament.”

It is especially important for young people to fully understand marriage as not just a vocation to holiness, but as the integral framework for Christ’s relationship to the Church, said Fr. DeAngelo.

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.”

Nurturing Faith-Filled Marriages at Mount St. Mary’s University
Marriage is in crisis and on many college campuses young people often lack the foundation they need to appreciate the sacred beauty and responsibility of the vocation of marriage. But Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md.—like many of the other colleges recommended in The Newman Guide for strong Catholic identity—actively supports the Church’s vision of marriage through campus ministry initiatives.

Many young people today only “hear of love from a secular perspective,” which fails to “take into consideration the sacrifice and struggle of day-to-day love,” Brendan Johnson, a campus ministry associate at the Mount, told The Cardinal Newman Society. “Most young people simply aren’t aware of the graces offered in the sacrament of matrimony, or even that they can become great saints within this vocation.”

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. 

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 ‘Antidote to Hook-up Culture,’ Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
Catholic colleges have the opportunity and crucial responsibility to help students embrace a life of virtue, by providing a faithful liberal arts curriculum that is the perfect counter to the “hook-up culture” and environment of “casual sex” that has become stereotypical of modern college campuses, according to World Meeting of Families speaker Erika Bachiochi.

The Cardinal Newman Society interviewed Bachiochi, a legal scholar specializing in Catholic sexual ethics and Catholic social teaching who will give a presentation titled “No Strings Attached? Responding to the ‘Hook-up’ Culture” at the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. The author of Women, Sex and the Church: A Case for Catholic Teaching and a regular contributor to the Mirror of Justice blog has been described by papal biographer George Weigel as “one of the intellectual leaders of the new Catholic feminism in the United States.”

“The best education a Catholic college can offer is one that is robustly dedicated to the liberal arts tradition,” she said. “This sort of classical training in faith, intellect, will and desire provides both the structure and content for the development of the virtues needed for living a life of sexual integrity.”

CUA Promotes Marriage, Family Life in Advance of Pope’s Visit
When Pope Francis visits The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., next month on his way to the World Meeting of Families, he will find a university striving like other faithful colleges to teach Catholic wisdom about marriage and sexuality in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges and confronted by a highly secular society that rejects Catholic values.

Father Jude DeAngelo, OFM, chaplain and director of campus ministry at CUA, spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society and discussed the importance of the University’s outreach to students who may be confused in today’s society.

Fr. DeAngelo said that the social issues raised by the Supreme Court decision “are best addressed by the life-giving message of the Gospel through our preaching” and personal ministry to students. “Our chaplains and campus ministers seek out students who have rejected the Church’s teaching and practice for any reason and try to establish supportive relationships,” said Fr. DeAngelo.

Catholic Colleges Must Take Steps to Instill Pro-Life Values on Campus
Tacit acceptance of abortion is being fostered even at some Catholic colleges, as evidenced by The Cardinal Newman Society’s recent report exposing connections between Planned Parenthood and many Catholic colleges. Given the influence Catholic colleges have over students, these institutions need to take the opportunity to instill pro-life values in students, leaders from pro-life campus organizations told the Society.

“It should come naturally to Catholic colleges to support pro-life groups, enabling them to witness to the Church’s teaching on the grave immorality of abortion as well as being a resource for pregnant and parenting students on campus,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America (SFLA), said.

It is imperative for Catholic colleges to spread the pro-life message, as 46% of abortions are performed on college-aged women and “more than 70% of women getting abortions report some kind of religious faith,” Hawkins reported. Additionally, SFLA has found that “79% of Planned Parenthoods are located within 5 miles of a college campus.”

Atheist Clubs Don’t Belong at Catholic Colleges, Experts Say
As Christian affiliation and Church attendance among young peoplecontinue to decline, Catholic colleges have a unique opportunity to evangelize students on campus and ensure that the Catholic faith is fostered in every student. Yet several Catholic colleges have official student organizations dedicated to atheism or “freethinking,” despite the dangers that such groups might present to students’ faith.

Dr. Douglas Flippen, professor and chairman of philosophy at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., told The Cardinal Newman Society that such clubs conflict with a college’s Catholic identity.

“Any Catholic college or university which admits atheists among its members who have no interest in gaining a Catholic vision of reality, and then allows them to form communities of atheists within the larger community, has simply abandoned the common good peculiar to itself,” Flippen said.

Catholic Colleges Must Regain the Art of Temperate Drinking, Says Author
Catholic colleges need to be mindful of the moral and spiritual state of their students, said Dr. Michael Foley, associate professor of patristics at Baylor University, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Foley, who recently authored Drinking with the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Holy Happy Hour, noted that the statistics surrounding college drinking are becoming too drastic to ignore and that Catholic colleges must go beyond the public safety approaches of their secular counterparts.

“Catholic institutions are rightly trying to address this problem,” he said. “I do not know what the solution to college drinking is, but I do know that there will be no adequate solution without administrators caring about the moral character and immortal welfare of their students’ souls.”

Courage Director Gives Advice to Help Catholic Colleges Address Same-Sex Attraction

Catholic colleges are called to minister to same-sex attracted students with love and support, while emphasizing a commitment to chastity, prayer and the Church’s clear teachings on sexuality and marriage, argued Father Paul Check, director of the Courage apostolate, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Especially in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to legalize same-sex marriage, Catholic colleges should not conflate love with total acceptance and advocacy of same-sex behavior, Fr. Check stressed. He noted that there are ways to offer true love and healing to same-sex attracted students without falling into advocacy. 

It is important to draw the distinction between “love” and “complete acceptance of modern society’s distorted sexual landscape,” Fr. Check explained.

Catholic Colleges Must Listen to Pope Benedict’s Strong Case for Sacred Music, Says Prof.
The availability of well-celebrated liturgy and sacred music should be the norm at all Catholic colleges, not the exception, said Dr. Kurt Poterack, choir director and adjunct professor of music at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va. Poterack spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society regarding Pope Emeritus Benedict’s recent comments on sacred music and what it means for Catholic colleges.

The Pope Emeritus recently received honorary doctorates from the John Paul II Pontifical University of Krakow and from the Academy of Music of Krakow in Poland. The former pontiff took the opportunity to thank the now-saint Pope John Paul II for the profound impact he had in his own spiritual life and also share his own reflections on the benefits of sacred music.

The emphasis on sacred music is certainly something that Catholic colleges should be paying attention to, as it helps students to encounter the living God in liturgy, Poterack stated.

Scholar Urges ‘Continuous Exposure to Beauty’ in Catholic Education
It is critical for Catholic schools to expose students to beauty in the classroom, in liturgy and throughout the campus, as beauty has the unique ability to open students to God’s divine love, said Dr. Margaret Hughes, assistant professor of philosophy at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, N.Y., in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Dr. Hughes, one of the presenters at the Sacra Liturgia USA 2015conference last week in New York City, discussed the role of beauty and liturgy in a talk titled, “The Ease of Beauty: Liturgy, Evangelization, and Catechesis.” The topic of beauty was a consistent theme in this year’s Sacra Liturgia, as its connection to reverent liturgy as well as education is immutable.

“A continuous exposure to beauty throughout an education allows a person to continue to develop throughout his life the habits of attentiveness to and receptivity of the good of existence, so that he is able to delight in that good,” Hughes told the Newman Society after the conference. This receptivity and delight in beauty is “the goal of any appropriate human formation, since humans are ultimately fulfilled in the joy of the Beatific Vision.”

Catholic Education Must Reach Beyond Intellect to ‘Majesty of God,’ Says Baylor Univ. Professor
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
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
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.

Cardinal Burke: Reverent Liturgy Essential to Catholic College Education
Properly and beautifully celebrated liturgy is essential to a Catholic college education, said Cardinal Raymond Burke, who headlined today’s Cardinal Newman Society event at Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 in New York City.

“If in Catholic education the ultimate goal is to know Christ as deeply and as profoundly as possible, then it can’t be otherwise,” he said, recalling the wonderful liturgies on Catholic campuses until recent decades. On many Catholic campuses, traditional and reverent liturgy has given way to misguided innovations and musical variations that are thought to appeal to younger audiences.

Cardinal Burke, patron of the Order of Malta and ecclesiastical advisor to the Newman Society, led off a panel discussion on the need for liturgical renewal in Catholic higher education and ways that Catholic colleges can contribute to renewal of the liturgy in parishes and schools. The event was held at St. Catherine of Siena Church in uptown Manhattan as a special part of the Sacra Liturgia conference, which brought hundreds of priests, seminarians and lay people together to celebrate and promote sacred liturgy.

Cardinal Burke encouraged Catholic colleges to expose students to reverent liturgy including the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. “If this is a form of the Roman Rite it should be accessible to the faithful,” he said. 

He recalled his experience when Archbishop of Saint Louis, Mo., where he instructed the seminary to implement courses on the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and begin celebrating it. “And I believe too, at the universities, that there will be a response [to the Extraordinary Form],” he said.

Franciscan University Students Defend Life at United Nations
This past semester, nine students from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio attended a United Nations conference in New York—the Commission on the Status of Women— to defend the sanctity of life and lobby for pro-life causes. Andrew Koehler, a student attendee, spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society about his experience and encouraged other students to actively defend life on their campuses.

Students and at least five adult advisors—two of which are faculty at Franciscan University— attended the conference in order “to persuade UN delegates to address the real needs and concerns of women from the developing world which strongly embrace the principles of Catholic social teaching on marriage and family,” according to a statement from the University, which is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.

“Our presence as youth is so significant,” said Koehler to the Newman Society. “Often, the youth are associated with radical liberal opinions, [while] opponents of pro-life and pro-family positions are often backed by hundreds of employees and millions of dollars.”

“Our stance against them is very much needed,” he stressed.

St. Norbert College Pro-Life Student Group Counters Gloria Steinem Event with Serrin Foster
In response to the recent scandalous event with pro-abortion speaker Gloria Steinem at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis., the College’s student pro-life group invited Feminists for Life President Serrin Foster to present her speech “The Feminist Case Against Abortion.”

The event was held on campus at the Bemis International Center and followed by questions and a reception. Students reportedly filled the room past seating capacity to hear Foster explain the many reasons why feminists can—and should—protect the unborn. The talk took place on April 30, a week after Steinem’s vehemently pro-abortion “dialogue” with fellow radical feminist Bell Hooks.

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.”

Catholic Colleges Enjoy Advantages in Single-Sex Housing, Private Bedrooms
It is rare today to find even a Catholic college with male-only and female-only dormitories and policies enforcing the privacy of student bedrooms. But officials from such colleges say that they enjoy distinct advantages by encouraging chastity, sobriety, and genuine friendships among their students.

The Cardinal Newman Society recently spoke with officials responsible for student life at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va.; Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif.; and Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., about how single-sex residence halls and visitation policies create a healthy, moral environment for a student’s formative years in college.

“While [the students’] education is the primary mission of the college, we’re also engaged in the ‘formation of the moral character and the fostering of the spiritual life,’” said Amanda Graf, director of residence life at Christendom, citing the College’s mission statement. “By having single-gender halls, students also have a unique opportunity to continue their moral formation distinctly as men and women.”

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.”

CUA’s Rome Expansion, Emphasis on Catholic Identity Draws Praise from Cardinal Pell
Vatican official Cardinal George Pell recently praised the collaborative efforts between The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., and the Australian Catholic University (ACU), as the institutions prepare to open a joint study-abroad center in Rome, according to the National Catholic Register. The Center will reportedly help CUA expand its study abroad program and encourage a true understanding of Catholic identity and education.

The three-continent partnership between the Universities, which The Cardinal Newman Society reported in January, created The Rome Center of The Catholic University of America and the Australian Catholic University, an institution “dedicated to Catholic education,” the Register reported.

Studying in Rome can be immensely significant in the formation of students as “Rome has much to offer, humanly and religiously,” Cardinal Pell, a former ACU board of trustees chairman and current prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat of Economy, reportedly stated. “I wish the organizers every success for the years ahead. It is another fine example of American-Australian cooperation.”

Boston College Convinces Campus Store to Reshelve 50 Shades of Grey despite Student Complaints
The scandalous Fifty Shades of Grey novels are back on the shelves of the Boston College campus bookstore after the Jesuit institution reportedly “urged the company to reconsider its decision” to remove the books following student complaints about their inappropriateness, according to a report from The Boston Globe.

The story of Fifty Shades of Grey is described by Life Site News as “the tale of a sado-masochistic sexual relationship between a young, vulnerable student, Anastasia, and an older billionaire, Christian Grey.” The original novel was published in 2011 and the movie adaptation was released earlier this year. The book’s two sequels were published in 2012, and movies are planned for both. Life Site reported that critics “have described the book as misogynistic, pornographic, exploitative, sexually violent, and anti-romance.”

The Boston College bookstore—run by college bookseller Follet Corp.—removed the pornographic novels from its shelves, according to a report from March 12. When asked why the books were initially removed, bookstore director Tina Plotegher told Boston College’s student newspaper, The Heights, that some students “didn’t believe the University should be promoting a book that goes against Catholic religion.”

Franciscan University of Steubenville Sends 300 Students on Mission Trips
Many students at Franciscan University of Steubenville recently set out to serve local, national and international communities on mission trips. The trips, which are primarily student organized, planned, and funded, aim to bring Christ to everyone they encounter.

Northeast Catholic College Models New Scholarship, Service Program on Bl. Mother Teresa
"The foundation and bedrock of this program is the dignity of every human person, present from conception to natural death, a dignity that comes from having been formed in the image of God," NCC President George Harne said in the College news release.

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.

Belmont Abbey College ‘Centered on Christ’
A recent article in Our State: Down Home in North Carolina highlighted the College’s Benedictine roots, Catholic identity, and relationship with the Benedictine monks.

Fordham Students Encouraging Use of ‘Gender Fluid’ Language
A group of students at Fordham University is requiring students to use “gender fluid” language and corrects those who fail to do so. The Jesuit university has continued to allow such groups to operate on campus despite views contrary to Church teaching on gender identity.

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

Fordham Students Announce ‘Sexual Health Network’ for Contraceptive Distribution
An unofficial student organization at Fordham University, which has been petitioning the administration to forfeit its Catholic identity by allowing student access to contraceptives on campus, among other demands, has plans to launch a “sexual health network” for students.

Catholic Colleges Must Wake Up to the Dangers of Pornography, Says Counseling Expert
Catholic colleges and universities must learn to see pornography for the epidemic problem that it is and begin offering the necessary resources to help students escape the addictive and destructive habit, argued clinical therapist Dr. Peter Kleponis.

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

Almost Quarter of Students Smoke Pot, but Jesuit Univ. Fails to Address Catholic Teaching
Campus policies prohibiting marijuana were recently addressed at Seattle University, where nearly a quarter of students reportedly use the drug. However, Catholic teaching on the immorality of drug use was apparently absent from the discussion.

Annual Service Event Builds Leaders of Faith at Univ. of St. Thomas in Houston
Students, staff, faculty, and family members from the University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston recently gathered for the 11th annual President's Day of Service, the University reported.

Catholic Colleges Must Save Students from Pornography Epidemic, Says Counseling Expert
Catholic colleges and universities owe it to their students to do everything within their power to help combat the destructive effects of pornography, argued Dr. Peter Kleponis in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

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.

Benedictine College to Feature Bishop, Abortion Survivor as Social Justice Week Speakers
The issues of poverty, human trafficking and the right to life will come into focus as Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., hosts its social justice week from March 16-19, according to the College announcement.

Birthday Party for Patron Saint, Catholic Identity Celebration at Thomas More College of Lib. Arts
During the dinner, Dr. William Fahey, the president of TMC, spoke to the undergraduates about the example that St. Thomas More can provide for them as both students and future leaders in the world.

Students Encouraged to Bring Same-Sex Dates to ‘Rainbow Prom’ at Santa Clara University
The Rainbow Prom has been held for the past five years and has reportedly become "one of the most popular on-campus events of the year" with "hundreds of students" in attendance. Last year's prom was titled "Say 'I Do' to Marriage Equality."

Christendom College Building ‘True Community’ with First Friday Adoration
More than half of the undergraduate student body at Christendom College gathered last Friday evening for the first Laudumus Te event of the semester, a new effort that aims to bring together the College community every first Friday for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

New Club Seeks to Unite Students in Faith at Three Indiana Catholic Colleges
A new club created by students from Saint Mary’s College in Indiana is seeking to foster a Catholic “tri-campus friendship” by linking students at Saint Mary’s, the University of Notre Dame, and Holy Cross College through Catholic faith support and fellowship.

Students Protest Pro-Life Conference at Georgetown
The 16th annual Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life, held last weekend by pro-life groups at Georgetown University, was met with protests from the unofficial student group H*yas for Choice, according to The Hoya.

On Feast of St. Thomas, School Leaders Agree: Mass Attendance Yields Academic Success
Students who attend church frequently are more likely to succeed in school, according to a recent study. But this is no surprise for several leaders of faithful Catholic schools, who agree that devotion to God and intellectual pursuits are in harmony.

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

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