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At the annual “Stand Up for Children” gala hosted by Regina Coeli Academy of Abingdon, Penn., last month, prominent Philadelphia-area Catholics celebrated the impact of Catholic education in defense of religious freedom and the family.
The topic of the family was especially on their minds, as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia anticipates the World Meeting of Families and the arrival of Pope Francis in September.
Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, delivered the keynote address and praised the benefits of classical Catholic education at Regina Coeli Academy.
“My talk today is about hope—and I believe that our reasons for celebrating Regina Coeli Academy today are as much about hope for the future as they are about the lives that were touched even just today, as I watched your teachers witness the love that Christ has for your students,” Reilly said.
Today The Cardinal Newman Society and 34 leaders of Catholic schools and colleges joined with a coalition of religious groups led by the Family Research Council (FRC), in a letter urging Congress to protect the tax-exempt status of educational institutions that uphold traditional marriage.
During oral arguments in the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Obama administration seeks the redefinition of marriage, the U.S. Solicitor General suggested that religious colleges and schools could lose their tax-exempt status “if [they] opposed same-sex marriage.”
Rob Schwarzwalder, vice president of policy for the Family Research Council, which organized today’s letter, explained the threat to Christian schools and colleges. If they were to lose their tax-exempt status, the aftermath would be “almost unimaginable,” he told The Cardinal Newman Society, which recruited many Catholic institutions to join the letter. “It would devastate the ability of the Church to function.”
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.”
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