Tuesday, November 24, 2015

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life
Dominican Friars Supported in Vocations, Spiritual Formation at Newman Guide Colleges
Friars from the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in Washington, D.C., recently shared their vocation stories with The Cardinal Newman Society and credited much of their spiritual growth and vocational assistance to institutions recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

In recent months, The Cardinal Newman Society has reported on several religious orders with members who graduated from Newman Guide colleges, including the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, the Sisters of Life and the Benedictine Monks of Norcia. Their testimonies indicate that the importance of faithful Catholic education cannot be overstated in producing vocations and moral formation among young people from all walks of life.

Sisters of Life Praise Faithful, Pro-Life Catholic Colleges for Nourishing Vocations
A faithful Catholic college’s influence on its students can yield extraordinary fruits, in particular, the knowledge and passion to pursue one’s vocation to religious life—and in the case of a student called to the Sisters of Life, a strong pro-life focus is especially important. That’s what two of the Sisters of Life who graduated from colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College recently told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Sister Agnus Dei, a 2006 alumna of The Catholic University of America (CUA), and Sister Mary Louise Concepta, a 1999 alumna of Franciscan University of Steubenville, shared how their college educations helped form their spiritual lives and nourish their religious vocations.

Catholic Colleges Ideal Fit for ‘New Evangelization,’ Scholars Agree
There is no better place for the mission of the Catholic Church to flourish than in faithful Catholic colleges, according to scholars presenting at The Fidelity and Freedom Symposium at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.

Franciscan University hosted the symposium over the weekend to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Church’s constitution on higher education issued by Saint John Paul II in 1990. Speakers included Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, University president Father Sean Sheridan, TOR, and theologian Dr. Scott Hahn, who all agreed that faithful Catholic colleges are a vital and fitting place for the mission of the Church and the New Evangelization.

“I would propose that there is perhaps no other institution within the Church as perfectly suited to advance the Church’s mission of the New Evangelization as a Catholic university,” said Dr. Hahn, the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Professor of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University. A Catholic education “is not just to get a major, and then a diploma and then a job. It’s to develop nothing less than a Catholic worldview.”

Children Need ‘Spiritual Game Plan’ for College, Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
College can be a turbulent time for young men and women, and therefore parents need to do everything within their power to form their children in the faith and send them off to college with a ‘spiritual game plan,’ said Catholic evangelist Curtis Martin in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society leading up to his presentation at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next week.

Martin is the founder and CEO of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), a Catholic missionary organization with more than 450 missionaries serving on more than 110 college campuses across the country. FOCUS utilizes small-group Bible studies, large-group events and one-on-one mentorship to help students discover and deepen their personal relationships with Christ and the Church, equipping them to be lifelong Catholics who transform the culture for Christ. Martin will present on the topic, “What’s ‘New’ About the New Evangelization.”

“I would say that it's absolutely essential for parents to do all they can to form their children in the Catholic faith,” Martin said. “But, to send your child to a university, Catholic or secular, without a spiritual game plan, is to play spiritual Russian roulette with their soul.”

Spiritual Formation Needed at Catholic Colleges, Says World Meeting of Families Speaker
Catholic colleges need to reconnect with the spiritual and moral roots that once made their education so unique, said Father Dempsey Rosales Acosta in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society leading up to his presentation at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

Fr. Dempsey, who is an assistant professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, will present on the topic “Lectio Divina: Praying with Scripture to Connect with the Living God.” His talk will focus on the essential need for prayer within family life—but prayer and a vibrant spiritual life are also needed in higher education, and the World Meeting will be a prime opportunity to remind both families and colleges of this great need, he said.

“To conceive of prayer as an element disconnected or outside of Catholic education at any level would be a grievous mistake. The living connection with God through prayer is what actually gives us the proper reason for everything that we learn and do,” said Fr. Dempsey.

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 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.

Pope Francis Says Families Should Beware of ‘Strange Ideas,’ ‘Ideological’ Teaching in Schools
The forecast in Rome on Sunday called for rain, but the only things descending on the Vatican were crowds of families for the opening of the Ecclesial Congress of the Diocese of Rome, where Pope Francis encouraged parents to remember their essential role as the primary educators of their children, making sure to educate them against the cultural ideas destroying the family.

“Yes, it’s true, there is a rain of families in Saint Peter’s Square,” said Pope Francis as he joyfully greeted the crowds. The Holy Father thanked parents for joining him and for their willingness to be examples of the moral and spiritual life for their children. He stated that the educational task of parents is becoming especially difficult in an increasingly relativistic and secular world.

Faithful Catholic Education Needed to Reclaim Millennial Generation
Christian affiliation and church attendance among young people is steadily declining, which makes faithful Catholic education even more essential in reclaiming the “millennial” generation. This connection was recently emphasized by Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, Conn., who stated that faithful Catholic communities—such as college campuses—can serve as supportive faith environments which are critical to spiritual formation. 

 In his address during the opening remarks of Sacra Liturgia USA 2015, Bishop Caggiano highlighted the modern disconnect between “spirituality” and “religion.” Society “is changing before our very eyes and is giving a daunting challenge to those who wish to be faithful to the Catholic Church,” he stated.

“It seems to me that however we categorize those challenges, they all have a common root,” summed up through the phrase: “I am spiritual, but I am not religious.” Bishop Caggiano noted that this phrase “haunts” him, as it represents a challenge to “the need for that spiritual search to involve you, or me, or any community of faith.” The “community of believers”—manifested through the Church—is being summarily dismissed by a majority of young people.

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.”

Chart-Topping Monks Found Vocations, Sacred Music at Newman Guide Colleges
Far away in Norcia, Italy, a small community of 18 Benedictine monks is topping the music charts with its new album of sacred music—and two of them tell The Cardinal Newman Society that it was at American Newman Guide-recommended colleges where they found the inspiration to pursue religious life and to foster a love of music.

With the conviction that beautiful, sacred music is a powerful tool for evangelization and possesses unique capabilities of attracting the soul to the divine, De Montfort Music recently released the monks’ album honoring the Virgin Mary.

“Music has the ability to reach into all kinds of nooks and crannies in the heart and soul that words may not,” said Monica Fitzgibbons, who manages De Montfort Music with her husband Kevin. “It is an experience of the senses,and it is no surprise that the Psalms, for example, have been an attracting force among many different faiths.”

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.

Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Cordileone Headline Newman Society Events at ‘Sacra Liturgia USA’

Today Sacra Liturgia USA 2015, a sequel to a successful Rome conference on the renewal of sacred liturgy, comes to New York City. The conference includes special sessions with Cardinal Raymond Burke of the Knights of Malta and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, who will discuss the importance of sacred liturgy to Catholic education and its influence on the renewal of liturgy throughout the Church.

The luncheons on Tuesday with Cardinal Burke and Wednesday with Archbishop Cordileone are sponsored by The Cardinal Newman Society, which is also a co-sponsor of the conference.

“There is an exciting and much-needed renewal of sacred liturgy in the Church today, and a growing number of faithful Catholic schools and colleges have a key role in it,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Not only can Catholic education teach students appreciation for reverence and the grace received from the Sacraments, but it can prepare graduates to lead the renewal of liturgy in their parishes and dioceses.”

Pope Francis Weighs In On Role of Teachers, Coaches as Witnesses
Pope Francis last week said that the influence of a Catholic educator “depends more on what he is as a person and the way he lives than what he says,” and even athletics coaches—whom he included as educators—must be “formators” and therefore need their own “solid formation” to prepare forgiving witness to the faith. 

The Pope’s words are especially timely in the United States, as many bishops have been working to better define the Church’s expectations for Catholic school employees, even while some teachers in San Francisco are demanding a right to dissent. 

“[H]ow important it is that a coach be an example of integrity, of coherence, of good judgment, of impartiality, but also of joy of living, of patience, of capacity to esteem and of benevolence to all, especially the most disadvantaged!” Pope Francis stated, according to ZENIT’stranslation. “And how important it is that he be an example of faith!”

Catholic Conference on Homosexuality to Help Educators, Students
Leading up to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September and the Vatican Synod on the Family to be held in October, the Catholic apostolate Courage International has organized a special conference on ministering to people with same-sex attraction and communicating Catholic teaching on homosexuality to schools, students and parishes.

Courage already hosts an annual conference, but this special conference in Plymouth, Mich., on August 10-12—titled “Welcoming and Accompanying Our Brothers and Sisters with Same-Sex Attraction”—is unique in its focus on the questions outlined in the Lineamenta for the Synod on the Family.

The beauty of Courage’s apostolate is that its presence “makes plain to the world that the Church does understand this question and does have a very practical and thoughtful response,” Father Paul Check, executive director of Courage, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

Deep Catholic Roots, Faithful Education Can Help Renew Irish Church, Founders of New College Say
Many Catholics in Ireland are experiencing a crisis of faith, according to reports, but two founders of a new Irish Catholic college are arguing that a new springtime is possible thanks to the country’s rich Catholic patrimony and by means of renewed Catholic education.

Catholic School Launches Campaign to Pray One Million Hail Marys for Pope’s Safety
The prayer campaign quickly spread throughout the school community and now to the St. Charles Catholic and Brother Martin diocesan high schools. More than 730,000 Hail Marys have been recorded so far, the Clarion Herald reported at the time of publication.

Pope: Holiness and Study of Theology Are Inseparable
In a letter to the grand chancellor of the Catholic University of Argentina, Pope Francis reflected on the unique vocation of theologians and how theology and holiness are connected.

Lent Brings Faithful Catholic College Together in Prayer and Sacrifice
Faithful Catholic college communities can build students up in the faith, argued a junior at The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, N.H., in a recent reflection on Lent that was published on the College’s website.

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.

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.

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.

Hypnotism Poses Real Dangers, despite Popularity on College Campuses
Entertainment events featuring hypnotists have gained popularity on college campuses, emphasized by Saint Mary’s College recent hypnotism show, however Catholic documents have indicated that the practice is dangerous.

Mount St. Mary’s Welcoming More than 1,600 Students for Eucharistic Adoration Retreat
Students will gather to listen to speakers, hear music performances, and participate in Mass, Confession, and Eucharistic Adoration.

Study Reveals One Third of Newly Professed Religious in 2014 Attended Catholic Colleges
The recent study also included many other noteworthy facts concerning the relationship between religious life and Catholic education in the United States.

Ohio Dominican Univ. Wowed by Enthusiasm for Youth Conference
Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio, began a new campus program, Encounter Columbus, which exposes students to Adoration, Confession, praise and worship, and Catholic teaching, and is dedicated to inspiring high school and college students with the Catholic faith.

Group of Mothers Offering Prayerful Support to College Kids Continues to Grow
A group founded last year to help mothers give faith-filled support to their sons and daughters in college has been growing rapidly, a representative of the group “Mothers of College Students” told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Teachers Can Awaken Students to Love of Christ, Says Homilist at Annual CUA Mass
The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., recently held its annual community-wide Mass in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas and in celebration of National Catholic Schools Week, the University announced.

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.

Thomas Aquinas College Lends ‘Perfect’ Location for Video Series on Blessed Virgin Mary
A film crew shot scenes in and around TAC's Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel in additional to other campus locations that will be featured in "The Bible and the Virgin Mary," part of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology's Journey Through Scripture Bible study series.

Thomas Aquinas President Explains How College Fosters Vocations
"Thomas Aquinas College is certainly doing something right in fostering this impressive number of vocations," McLean reportedly said, while noting three areas—education, moral life, and spiritual life—which aid students in their discernment.

Christendom College to Host Relic of Pope St. John Paul II
The relic, which was taken directly from the late pontiff during his final hospital stay prior to his death, is being presented as part of a cross-country pilgrimage by the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Education in Truth Builds Confidence, Says Thomas Aquinas College Grad
A 2014 alumna from Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., recently spoke on Ave Maria Radio's "Mast Appeal" program about the College's academics, spiritual life, and how it prepares students to encounter the world.

Registration Opens for Sacra Liturgia USA Conference
Registration is now open for the Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 conference, which aims to support “the Church’s saving evangelistic mission, as well as the continued revitalization of the liturgical life of the Church.”

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.

Timeless Church Architecture Attracting Catholic Millennials, Argue Chaplains
Students are drawn to the "timeless tradition" of the Catholic Church, particularly in the architecture and art surrounding sacred spaces, according to a new study and several Catholic college chaplains recently interviewed by The Cardinal Newman Society.

Presence of Basilian Fathers at UST-Houston to Increase
The priests of the Congregation of St. Basil at the University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston, recently announced the relocation of their formation house from Toronto to the UST campus.

Franciscan Univ. Households ‘Cornerstone of Student Life Experience’
The “household” system has become a unique foundation for student formation, student life, and evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, said Father Gregory Plow in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Household System Brings ‘Amazing Growth’ to John Paul the Great Catholic University
In the fall of 2013, John Paul the Great Catholic University formed the University’s first household. At present, according to a University news release, the program has expanded to include a total of seven households, which have led to unprecedented “growth” among the students.

Students Downplay Role of Faith, Spiritual Life at Catholic College
The faith life at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., plays a limited role of influence in students’ lives, according to a recent article by the editor-in-chief of the College’s student newspaper, The Ionian.

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.

Acclaimed Sacra Liturgia Conference Coming to New York City Next June
Catholic educators will join Catholics from around the world next year as they converge on New York City to take part in a conference aimed at bringing about a renewal of the sacred liturgy in the life of the Church.

St. Gregory’s Univ. Holds Blessing of New Grotto, Statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The statue was reportedly chosen for the University's "strong devotion to the Hispanic heritage" and commitment to the pro-life movement.

Interest in Traditional Liturgy Growing among Catholic Millennials
Young Catholics are continuing to embrace the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, according to a recent article for Crisis Magazine.

Students Joyfully Await Birth of Christ at Faithful Catholic Colleges
Throughout the month of December, institutions recommended in The Newman Guide are offering students opportunities to celebrate Advent and prepare for Christmas before returning home at the end of the semester.

Students Show Growing Appreciation for Traditional Masses, Say College Chaplains
Among Catholic colleges and dioceses across the country there has been an apparent rise in the celebration of the Mass ad orientem, where the priest and congregation face the same direction, traditionally to the east.

Mount St. Mary’s Gives Student-Athletes Opportunity for Spiritual Coaching
Students at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., are taking advantage of the “spiritual coaching” provided by the University’s sports chaplaincy program. The program was recently highlighted in an article for the Frederick News-Post.

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