Monday, February 08, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily

Catholic Education Daily Articles

Strong Catholic Identity

Strong Catholic Identity
Education Programs at Newman Guide Colleges Place Premium on Moral Teacher Formation
2/4/2016
The Catholic Church has repeatedly stressed the critical evangelizing responsibility that educators have in teaching and witnessing the faith to their students, and institutions recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College have made this responsibility a priority in their education programs.

At Ave Maria University (AMU) in Ave Maria, Fla., students majoring in education are given all the tools they need to “engage in the integral formation of the human person by developing each student’s physical, moral, spiritual and intellectual gifts in harmony,” said Dr. Dan Guernsey, chair of the University’s education department and director of The Cardinal Newman Society’s K-12 programs.


Catholic Colleges and Schools Take Active Role in Struggle Against Pornography
2/4/2016
Recognizing the “widespread problem of pornography in our culture today,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recentlypublished their formal statement “Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography” which calls on teachers, religious educators and others who work with young people to “create an environment suitable for learning chastity” and to be “vigilant over technological access” to pornography. The Cardinal Newman Society spoke with several faithful Catholic colleges and schools about how they are responding to the bishops’ call.

The U.S. bishops make it clear in their statement that pornography is “a grave sin against human dignity” that “dehumanizes the persons depicted” as sexual objects. Pornography use “also has direct connections with sins such as adultery, domestic violence, the abuse of children in child pornography, and sex trafficking,” according to the bishops. “It also can be implicated in contraception use and abortion, given that it promotes and even celebrates promiscuity and a view of sexuality devoid of love or openness to new life.”


School Begun by Parents Boasts Strong Catholic Identity with All-Lay Faculty
2/3/2016
Mount Royal Academy (MRA) in Sunapee, N.H., one of the Schools of Excellence on The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll, was founded in 1994 with a unique model of offering a faithful Catholic education: a laity-only staff. More than two decades later, the school is thriving and boasts a strong Catholic identity.

“Catholic schools face a great crisis, in that the presence of religious orders in schools has sharply declined,” Ronald Fussell Jr., associate superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Manchester, told the National Catholic Register in a recent article. “It is refreshing to see a school like MRA, which is run entirely by lay educators and leaders, embrace its Catholic identity.”

In 1994, parents in rural New Hampshire were faced with a problem: They wanted a faithful Catholic education for their children, but there were no diocesan schools nearby. So they decided to start one themselves.


Faithful Catholic Educators Echo Pope’s Words, Build Schools Around the Eucharist
2/3/2016
While many Catholic schools can boast about their academics, a truly faithful Catholic education is one that sees the school as centered on the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist, and knows that its purpose is to lead its students to heaven, educators from Schools of Excellence on The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll shared in interviews.

“The most important purpose of a Catholic school is to bring the students closer to Jesus Christ so that they can live out their Catholic faith in the world and attain eternal life,” Dr. Anne Carroll, principal of Seton School in Manassas, Va., told the Newman Society. “The closest a person can get to Jesus Christ in this life is in the Eucharist. For a school to be truly Catholic, it is therefore very important that the school offer the students frequent opportunities to attend Mass, receive the Eucharist and make visits to the Blessed Sacrament.”


Moral Formation, Catechesis at Center of New Teacher Formation Conference
2/2/2016
The Center for Catholic Education at Newman Guide-recommended Aquinas College in Nashville, Tenn., is responding to the Church’s call for faithful teacher formation programs by offering training for educators, administrators and board members of Catholic schools. The Center’s director, Sister Elizabeth Anne Allen, O.P., told The Cardinal Newman Society that she hopes this training will richly benefit future generations of Catholic students. 

The Center’s new teacher formation conference, called WISE (Witness-Inspire-Serve-Educate), will be held from June 13-16, 2016 on the campus of Aquinas College. Sr. Allen told The Cardinal Newman Society that the conference is a deliberate response to specific issues recently cited by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the World Congress on Catholic Education, including “the Catholic identity of Catholic schools and the formation of those who teach in those schools.”


College Professors Who Are Building a Culture of Life
1/21/2016
The Cardinal Newman Society’s reporting in 2015 featured interviews with numerous Catholic professors who, doing their best to build a culture of life, spoke on pro-life topics such as the undercover Planned Parenthood videos, support for Planned Parenthood on campus and the Obama administration’s contraceptive “HHS Mandate.”

The following list highlights seven professors that the Newman Society spoke to in the last year who are helping to advance the pro-life movement, both at their respective institutions and within society. This list is not meant to be exclusive or to be considered as a ranking of any kind.


Catholic University of America Students to Lead 2016 March for Life
1/19/2016
This year, the Newman Guide-recommended Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., will have the honor of leading the 2016 March for Life — a first-time opportunity for CUA and one which the students are eagerly anticipating, according to Father Jude DeAngelo, university chaplain and director of campus ministry at CUA.

“We’ve been participating in the March for Life for years, but we have never led the March to my knowledge,” Fr. DeAngelo told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview. “It’s quite a privilege and our students are really honored and excited.”

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, reached out to John Garvey, president of CUA, to invite the University to lead the 2016 March for Life.


SPECIAL REPORT: Planned Parenthood Offices Located Near Half of Catholic Colleges, Alarming Pro-Life Leaders
1/19/2016
Half of all four-year, residential Catholic colleges in the U.S. are within five miles of Planned Parenthood facilities, a study by The Cardinal Newman Society has found. Catholic pro-life leaders warn that the close proximity of these Planned Parenthood centers threatens the well-being of students and the culture of Catholic campuses.

Planned Parenthood is, by its mission, directly opposed to Catholic values on sexuality, artificial contraception and abortion. Many of its centers perform abortions and distribute contraceptives.

In its review of 188 four-year, residential Catholic colleges in the U.S., The Cardinal Newman Society found that 92, or 49 percent, are within five miles of a Planned Parenthood facility. Of these, 13 are within one mile or less, 37 are within 1.1-3 miles and 42 are within 3.1-5 miles.


New University Seeks to Bring ‘Divine Mercy’ and Healing to the Culture
1/15/2016
In a new effort to bring healing and mercy to those suffering and in need, the Institute of Psychological Sciences (IPS) in Arlington, Va., recently launched a new online graduate degree program in counseling and has expanded to become Divine Mercy University, Director of Communications Jessie Tappel told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“In choosing the name Divine Mercy University, and providentially launching during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we were looking for a name that fits with our mission,” Tappel said. “We wanted a way to describe the response necessary in a wounded world. It is important with our Catholic identity that we communicate our mission in the name of our university.”


Faithful Catholicism Dependent on Catholic Colleges, Says New York Times Columnist
1/12/2016
An address by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat recently published on First Things touched on the formative role that Catholic universities play in shaping the next generation in the faith and argued that many Jesuit institutions have kowtowed to “liberal Catholicism” over the years, thereby neglecting their duty to instill authentic Catholic faith.

Douthat’s address, “A Crisis of Conservative Catholicism,” given at First Things’ 28th Erasmus Lecture this past October, detailed the tension between “conservative Catholicism” and “liberal Catholicism,” which he said often aligns with popular social mores and demands change from the Church on varying cultural issues. The “liberal” view of Catholicism, argued Douthat, has a history of taking root in Catholic universities, with negative consequences for the faithful.


Opinion: Major Issues We’re Following in Catholic Education in 2016
1/4/2016
The Cardinal Newman Society’s reporting in 2015 highlighted numerous issues — positive and negative — impacting faithful Catholic education in the U.S., and we expect many of these issues to continue trending into 2016.

In the past year, Newman Society reporters covered cultural and institutional threats to faithful Catholic education, including the U.S. Supreme Court marriage ruling, problems with Common Core, Planned Parenthood’s close ties to Catholic colleges, ongoing HHS mandate lawsuits threatening religious freedom and scandalous commencement speakers at Catholic colleges. Yet, many faithful Catholic colleges and schools have responded with vigor to the current challenges and demands of our modern society.

Below, in no particular order, are 10 important issues that we will be following in our news coverage throughout 2016:


Year of Mercy a Reminder That Catholic Education Should Bring Students to Christ
12/31/2015
The Year of Mercy should be a constant reminder for Catholic colleges this year to not only provide a faithful Catholic education but to make sure that that education is ultimately an encounter with Christ, Ave Maria University President Jim Towey told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

“The Catholic college, if it does its job well, leads students in the pursuit of truth, the fullness of which resides in Jesus Christ,” said Towey. “Whether it’s in biology or business, students are invited to encounter Christ, and at a Catholic college that encounter should be facilitated in each and every aspect of operations — student life, residence life, even in the cafeteria.”


Crisis in Catholic Higher Education Conference: January 23
12/30/2015
The Cardinal Newman Society and the Institute of Catholic Culture (ICC) will present a unique conference on Catholic higher education next month, featuring the presidents of five Catholic colleges who will discuss the crisis in American society “under attack from the secularist agenda” and the solutions found in a faithful Catholic education.

The conference, titled “CRISIS: Catholic Higher Education and the Next Generation,” will take place the day after the March for Life, on Saturday, January 23, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at St. Thomas More Cathedral Hall in Arlington, Va. The public is invited and can register at the ICC’s website.

“There is truly a crisis of faith and identity in much of Catholic education, especially higher education,” said Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “But I expect this conversation with some of the leading lights in faithful education to be very hopeful, and I am especially eager to hear the responses and proposals of the participants.”


Catholic Identity at Colleges Cannot Be Ranked by Secular Benchmarks
12/18/2015
A recent Newsmax list of “top” Catholic colleges illustrates the confusion that can arise when attempting to rank Catholic colleges by mixing matters of the faith with secular standards, such as academic statistics, and should serve as a reminder that a college’s Catholic identity must be of paramount concern, argued The Cardinal Newman Society’s Adam Wilson, managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

The Newsmax guide ranked 40 “traditional Catholic and Jesuit colleges in America,” and noted in the description of the guide that some students prioritize faith as “the defining factor in deciding where to earn an education.” However, the description goes on to list “subjective criteria” used in compiling the rankings “such as legacy and influence, along with quantifiable measurements like class size, student-to-faculty ratio, and student retention rates.”

While these aspects can be helpful in discerning which college to attend, Wilson warned that they could not accurately reveal a college’s Catholic identity.


Belmont Abbey College on Title IX: Legitimizing Gender Identity ‘Spiritually Harmful’
12/16/2015
Following charges of “discrimination” from a national LGBTQ activist group, Belmont Abbey College defended its request to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for a Title IX exemption in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society, saying the ED’s broadening of Title IX to include “gender identity” threatened the College’s religious mission and would force the College to advocate practices that are “spiritually harmful.”

“A policy which would legitimize gender identity issues, particularly according to the interpretation put forward by employees of the Department of Education, would, first of all, abdicate the responsibility of the college community as a whole to act in accord with its fundamental identity as a community which publicly identifies itself as in communion with the Catholic Church,” Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B., chancellor of the College, told the Newman Society.

He added that, based upon the “essential characteristics” of a Catholic college outlined in the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic universities Ex corde Ecclesiae, such a policy “would abdicate the college's responsibility as an educational and intellectual community to contribute the insights of Catholic faith and reflection to the public discussion on the issues of gender identity … would contradict fidelity to the Christian message as it comes through the Church” and “would abdicate responsibility to serve the transcendent goal of life by advocating practices which, according to the Church's teaching, are spiritually harmful.”


‘No Child Left Behind’ Replacement ‘Great News’ for Catholic Schools
12/11/2015
President Barack Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on Thursday, overhauling the No Child Left Behind legislation of 2002 that expanded the federal government’s influence in local education — a move that is “great news” for Catholic schools said The Cardinal Newman Society’s Dr. Dan Guernsey.

“Any time we can get the federal government to back off, even a little bit, from education, that is a good thing. Education belongs, under the principle of subsidiarity, as close to the parents and community as possible,” Guernsey, director of the Newman Society’s K-12 programs, said in an interview with EWTN News Nightly on Thursday night. “Especially that they are backing off of testing is great news for us.”


Students at Faithful Catholic Colleges Prepare for Christmas with Advent Celebrations
12/10/2015
Throughout the month of December, faithful Catholic colleges and universities recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College planned events and opportunities for students to prepare for the birth of Christ in a variety of ways, including charity functions, music services and prayer gatherings. 

Such activities “remind our students that they are participants in the greater mission of the college and of the Catholic Church,” one Newman Guide college representative told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Ave Maria University (AMU) in Ave Maria, Fla., hosted its annual Celebration of Lights Festival on December 4 to prepare for the Christmas season. 


Marian Devotion and Spirituality Flourish at Newman Guide Colleges
12/8/2015
Our Lady has a special place of importance at many faithful Catholic colleges across the country, and at institutions recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, students are given numerous opportunities to participate in devotions and events dedicated to Mary.

“The Blessed Mother has a special place of veneration in the Catholic Church, and devotion to her is a special mark of the Catholic college,” Anne Forsyth, director of college relations at Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, Calif., told The Cardinal Newman Society.


How Can Catholic Colleges Celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy?
12/7/2015
The Jubilee Year of Mercy inaugurated by Pope Francis is an ideal time for all Catholic colleges to reintroduce students and the greater college community to the transformative power of God’s love, Father Nathan Malavolti, TOR, vice president of pastoral care and evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

The Jubilee of Mercy begins on December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and concludes on November 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The “motto” of the Holy Year is “Merciful like the Father.”  “We want to live this Jubilee Year in light of the Lord’s words: Merciful like the Father,” said Pope Francis. “The Evangelist reminds us of the teaching of Jesus who says, ‘Be merciful just as your Father is merciful’ (Lk 6:36).”


Newman Guide Colleges Named for Our Lady Attribute Strong Catholic Identity to Blessed Mother
12/6/2015
In anticipation of the Feasts of the Immaculate Conception on December 8 and Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12, The Cardinal Newman Society spoke with three Newman Guide-recommended Catholic universities named after the Blessed Mother to see how they are honoring her and the influence Our Lady has had on their universities.

Representatives of these universities agreed that not only has the Blessed Mother been a part of their history, but she has been a constant reminder and inspiration for strong Catholic identity.

“The Immaculate Conception is not only the patronal feast of the United States but also of our campus,” Mount St. Mary’s University Chaplain Father Brian Nolan told the Newman Society. “She inspires us and encourages us to imitate her trust, surrender and love for others.”


Regina Academies Announces New Education Track Amid Increasing Demand for Classical Education
12/3/2015
A new classical education track called the Regina Chesterton Academy at Cardinal O’Hara High School was recently announced as the fifth venture of the Regina Academies, a group of Catholic classical schools that have seen great success in Pennsylvania and indicate a growing demand for classical models in K-12 education.

“The classical model of education is once again rising and flourishing across the country as a vibrant trend in Catholic education,” said James Growdon, executive director of the Regina Academies, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. “It is being remembered and pressed into action as a preferred antidote to the failed educational experiments of the last seventy-five years.”


Universities Will Find Success in Faithful Teacher Formation, Curriculum, Says Congress Presenter
11/24/2015
Teacher formation and a strong, value-oriented curriculum are critical to the success of good Catholic universities, especially in a culture that can be exceedingly motivated by self-interest, Dr. Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, rector of the University of Navarra in Spain, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview conducted during the recent World Congress, “Educating Today and Tomorrow: A Renewing Passion,” in Rome.

“In a Catholic university we are supposed to be also good Catholic professors, so why not emphasize the need to explain, to know and to live his or her faith,” Sánchez-Tabernero told the Newman Society.

As one of the presenters during the University sessions of the World Congress hosted by the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education last week, Sánchez-Tabernero spoke on the need to train faculty and offer continued faith formation as professors rise through the ranks of a university.


Scott Hahn: Studying Sacred Scripture of ‘Critical Importance’ for Catholic Schools and Colleges
11/18/2015
Commenting on the 50th anniversary of Dei Verbum, the Second Vatican Council’s dogmatic constitution on divine revelation, biblical scholar Dr. Scott Hahn told The Cardinal Newman Society that it is "of critical importance for Catholic schools and colleges to focus on teaching Sacred Scripture" in the classroom. 

"The power of the Word of God to transform our lives cannot happen, it cannot be realized, if people don't know [the Word]." said Hahn, the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, chair of biblical theology and the new evangelization at the Newman Guide-recommended Franciscan University of Steubenville. 


Catholic Social Scientists: Facts About Unborn Life are Clear, Defund Planned Parenthood
11/12/2015
The Society of Catholic Social Scientists (SCSS) called for an end to federal funding of Planned Parenthood in a recent statement, with the group’s president urging other Catholic academic groups to follow suit, following the release of a series of undercover videos that shocked the public and led to investigations of America’s largest abortion business for potentially illegal activity.

The recent revelations of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the harvesting and selling of aborted baby organs and body parts “must finally awaken us to the horrific reality of the actions of this government-supported organization,” the SCSS statement read.

Dr. Stephen Krason, president of the SCSS and political science and legal studies professor at the Newman Guide-recommended Franciscan University of Steubenville, spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society about academic groups’ responsibility to speak out about such issues.


New Chicago Superintendent of Catholic Schools Puts Faithful Identity at Forefront of Mission
11/12/2015
For the new superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago, a faithful Catholic identity is the most important element of any Catholic school and should be given top priority.

Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago announced Dr. Jim Rigg as the appointed superintendent of Catholic Schools for Chicago in August. Rigg, who began his new position in October, spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society about his plans for helping the archdiocese foster and nourish its schools and students.

“Our children are growing up in a world that is increasingly filled with confusing and conflicting messages,” he said.


College Presidents: Embracing Ex corde Ecclesiae Strengthened our Catholic Colleges and Identity
11/11/2015
For the past 25 years, the principles of the Catholic Church’s apostolic constitution on higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae, have been implemented with mixed success in the U.S., as evidenced by the many abuses of Catholic identity reported by The Cardinal Newman Society, but recent interviews with presidents of Newman Guide-recommended colleges confirm that those principles can be successfully implanted and reap tremendous benefits for the colleges and students when administrators embrace the document’s norms.

“Ex corde Ecclesiae continues to have a central importance in the world of Catholic higher education for it was issued by St. John Paul II who himself was a professor and educator deeply committed to an authentic vision of Christian education,” Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, president of Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., told the Newman Society.

“It is a clear and timely response to the secularization of so many Catholic colleges and universities who, in seeking to imitate their secular counterparts, impoverished the Church’s contribution to higher education,” he said.


Focus on “Success” at Liberal Arts Colleges Shouldn't Exclude Virtue
11/10/2015
A true liberal arts education has the responsibility to teach students wisdom and virtue, yet far too many liberal arts colleges get swept up in focusing on “success,” imparting to students elitist notions of worldly standards, said the former liberal arts dean of Mount St. Mary’s University in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Too often, colleges today shirk [their] authority” to impart wisdom, said Dr. Joshua Hochschild, who was the dean of the Mount’s College of Liberal Arts and is currently an associate professor of philosophy. “Instead of trying to shape and redirect the immature desires and interests of students, colleges submit to and try to satisfy those desires and interests.”

Hochschild explained that college education is “an odd business,” because although the college should aim to please its “customers,” or students, they must also bear in mind that “the customers, by definition, are asking a very fundamental question: what is worth being interested in?”


Educators: Common Core Standards Incompatible with Catholic Education
11/5/2015
Administrators from Schools of Excellence on The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll recently told the Newman Society that Common Core State Standards pose a significant conflict to Catholic curricula, and found the standards severely wanting in crucial areas of faithful Catholic education such as intellectual and moral formation.

“Regardless of the standards employed, Catholic identity must be at the core of instruction and pedagogy, implemented by faithful administrators and teachers who understand the importance of their role in the formation of students,” Jamie Arthur, senior fellow and manager of the Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll, pointed out.

The Newman Society has documented numerous concerns about the controversial Common Core State Standards through its Catholic is Our Core program.


Newman College Ireland Finds Temporary Campus, Continues Evangelizing Mission
11/4/2015
A new Catholic college in Ireland, founded on the educational principles of Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman, has procured a temporary campus in Northern Ireland and is beginning the work of evangelizing an increasingly secularized Irish people.

“As young people graduate from Newman College with a full knowledge of the Church and culture, having lived a life consistent with Catholic moral teaching for four years, they’re going to be the leaven in society in so many ways,” Nick Healy, co-founder of Newman College and former president of Newman Guide-recommended Ave Maria University, told The Cardinal Newman Society. “Some will become priests or religious, others professionals, mothers and fathers with good families — the faith naturally expands from there.”


Faithful Catholic Colleges Lead K-12 Programs to Renewal, Says Scholar
11/3/2015
Faithful Catholic colleges are producing a wave of strong Catholic schools across the country, signs of a growing renewal in Catholic education, Dr. Christopher Blum, professor and academic dean of the Augustine Institute, a Catholic graduate school and educational non-profit, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

“For every one renewed Catholic or Christian college, there are dozens of schools and home-schooled cooperatives staffed by its graduates, men and women who have dedicated themselves to the high task of ordering their work by wisdom,” said Blum in his new book, Rejoicing in the Truth: Wisdom and the Educator’s Craft.

“It is an indisputable fact that where colleges and universities go, high schools and middle schools soon follow,” he said.


New ‘Virtuous Leadership’ MBA Program Counters Crisis in Business Leadership
10/30/2015
Catholic colleges have been concerned with the importance of virtue and character since the beginning of the university system, and this is what makes them best equipped to still form strong leaders today, University of Mary president Monsignor James Shea told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview about the launch of the University’s new Virtuous Leadership MBA program this week.

“We know that virtue is indeed something that is missing in American public life and business life. Our culture has become in some senses a breeder of ‘small-souled’ people,” said Msgr. Shea. The virtuous leader however “looks very different from many of those who aspire to or who are in positions of leadership today” because they place their character and greatness at the service of others, he said.

“Hold up any person who aspires to a position of leadership. Hold up a Donald Trump, hold up a Hilary Clinton, and then ask questions about greatness and humility. I think that’s almost an extraordinary litmus test,” Msgr. Shea pointed out.


Dominican Friars Supported in Vocations, Spiritual Formation at Newman Guide Colleges
10/29/2015
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.


Cardinal Burke Urges Genuine Catholic Education to Renew Culture
10/29/2015
Cardinal Raymond Burke last week gave us yet another trove of wisdom to contemplate, just as the Synod on the Family came to a close. This time, it was about Catholic education, and it came with a stern warning. 

In prepared remarks last week given to representatives of Voice of the Family, Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, warned parents about the threats to their children from wayward Catholic schools while arguing that faithful Catholic education at home and in schools is needed to transform the culture.


CUA President: Only Catholic Schools ‘Permeated by Faith’ Are Worth Supporting
10/27/2015
Reflecting on the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s Declaration on Christian Education, Gravissimum Educationis, John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., stated that while Catholic schools “remain an essential tool for Christian education,” they are only worthy of support by the faithful if they are “permeated by faith.”

“Do parents — as the declaration teaches — still have a ‘duty of entrusting their children to Catholic schools wherever and whenever it is possible and of supporting these schools to the best of their ability and of cooperating with them for the education of their children?’” Garvey asked, writing in the National Catholic Register. “I say Yes — with a caveat.”

“When Catholic schools provide a community and a curriculum permeated by faith, they will remain an essential tool for Christian education and are worthy of the support of the faithful,” Garvey wrote.


Benedictine College Takes Marriage and Family Prep to New Heights
10/26/2015
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
10/23/2015
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.


Virtue Program Brings Guidance, Moral Formation to Catholic Schools
10/22/2015
A unique moral formation program is helping students and teachers to understand virtues in a practical way at hundreds of schools and parishes across the U.S., reinforcing the schools’ Catholic identity.

Sister John Dominic, O.P., a member of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview that she developed the program, “Disciple of Christ: Education in Virtue,” to aid teachers in instructing students on the important role that virtue plays in morality.

“On a scholarly level, there’s been a resurgence of the importance of virtue in living a moral life,” said Sr. John Dominic, who is also the principal of Spiritus Sanctus Academy in Ann Arbor, Mich.


Catholic Education: Antidote to ‘Ideological Colonization’ in America
10/22/2015
In a recent essay for First Things, we encouraged the Synod of Bishops to promote Catholic education as both an evangelistic opportunity and a cultural antidote to ideological colonization.

Here we encourage all Catholics to support the education of the next generation of Catholics, as a communal responsibility, particularly in light of the challenges of ideological colonization.

Faithful, well-formed Catholics are essential to the Church’s evangelizing mission. And Catholic education offers an unparalleled opportunity to evangelize (and catechize) the next generation — a generation increasingly disconnected from God and religious practice, and vulnerable to harmful ideologies.


Archbishop Miller: Strong Catholic Families Make Strong Catholic Schools
10/16/2015
Stronger families make for stronger Catholic education—this means that the Church’s continued emphasis on the family cannot be separated from faithful Catholic education, according to Vancouver Archbishop Michael Miller, C.S.B.

In an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society, Archbishop Miller, who served as secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education from 2003 to 2007, reflected on the relationship between family and education, as well as the Church’s emphasis on family leading to the World Meeting of Families and the current Synod on the Family.

“Stronger families make for better Catholic education. Weaker families weaken the fabric,” said Archbishop Miller. “It’s crazy for us to expect great Catholic education when our family system is weak. They work in direct proportionality, not inverse. So the stronger the family, the stronger the school, the weaker the family, almost inevitably the weaker the school.”


Christendom College Builds Strong Marriage and Family Life
10/16/2015
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
10/14/2015
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
10/14/2015
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. 


Independent Catholic Schools Association Celebrates 20 Years
10/9/2015
The National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools (NAPCIS), which promotes faithful Catholic education among its members, celebrated its 20th anniversary this past year. The organization has thrived over the past two decades through its commitment to connecting independent schools across the world and offering support. 

“Our schools share a common vision and mission, which is the salvation of souls and academic excellence,” said Eileen Cubanski, executive director of NAPCIS, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. “Every decision our schools make is focused on those two goals.”

“Twenty years ago, we saw the number of Catholic homeschooling families and Catholic independent schools growing exponentially,” Cubanski explained. These schools had unique visions for inculcating the Catholic faith to respond to the growing interest.


Sisters of Life Praise Faithful, Pro-Life Catholic Colleges for Nourishing Vocations
10/1/2015
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.


Philadelphia, Springfield Dioceses Protect Catholic Identity with Parent Agreements
9/28/2015
In recent months, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois have released versions of a “family-school agreement,” which they hope will aid in strengthening both Catholic families and the Catholic identity of diocesan schools.

“These types of documents can act as both barriers and gates for entry into the school,” said Dr. Denise Donohue, deputy director of The Cardinal Newman Society’s K-12 education programs. “These types of agreements, which primarily address issues of morality and human sexuality, are quick attempts to address the issue of poorly catechized adult Catholics. They are also proactive attempts to address those who might have underlying agendas.”


Catholic Colleges Ideal Fit for ‘New Evangelization,’ Scholars Agree
9/24/2015
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.”


Students from Faithful Catholic Colleges Attend, Serve at Papal Events
9/23/2015
Several colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College have sent students and staff to Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia to attend events surrounding the visit of Pope Francis to the United States.

Today Pope Francis-watchers gather at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., which has eagerly anticipated the Holy Father’s visit to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, adjacent to the University. More than 500 students participated in community service activities as part of the University’s “Serve with Francis Day” on September 13. Many academic lectures and discussions have also revolved around Pope Francis’ call to service.

CUA’s School of Architecture and Planning elected two students todesign the altar for today’s papal Mass in the Basilica. And “[t]he liturgical committee is in high gear at the Basilica, preparing the altar, hanging the crucifix, and preparing tens of thousands of communion wafers,” the University reported yesterday.


Faithfulness of Catholic Colleges Should Be Defining Difference, Says Franciscan University President
9/22/2015
Catholic colleges will prove their faithfulness and strong Catholic identity by embracing what the Church has asked of them, according to Father Sean Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. Yet other Catholic colleges are floundering in their Catholic identity largely due to their failure to recognize the gift and wisdom of Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Church’s constitution on Catholic higher education.

Franciscan University hosted a symposium over the weekend to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ex corde Ecclesiae, issued by Saint John Paul II in 1990. Fr. Sheridan’s presentation, titled “Embracing the Gift of Ex corde Ecclesiae to Challenge the Culture,” discussed the document as a “roadmap” that should be embraced by all Catholic colleges as evidence of their faithfulness and proud Catholic identity.

“We as a Catholic institution are supposed to be different than the secular institution down the road. We are supposed to be known for who we are, our identity as Catholic, as faithful in the way in which we present the academic endeavors in which we engage,” Fr. Sheridan said. “Catholic ideals ought to permeate all activities of a Catholic university.”


Why Do Colleges Require the Oath of Fidelity?
9/22/2015
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
9/18/2015
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.”


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