Thursday, May 28, 2015

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Catholic Education Daily

Catholic Education Daily Articles

Strong Catholic Identity

Strong Catholic Identity
Five Years Since Launch of Common Core, Concerns Remain for Catholic Schools
5/28/2015
Five years after the official release of the Common Core State Standards on June 2, 2010, The Cardinal Newman Society has released two new reports on the experimental reform and remains convinced that the English language arts (ELA) and mathematics standards by themselves are insufficient and even potentially harmful for Catholic schools, which must keep Christ and the Catholic faith as the true core of education.

Even more disconcerting are the many curricula and textbooks that have been labeled “Common Core” but depart from the successful practices and principles of Catholic education, as well as standardized tests adjusted to Common Core standards that have been widely criticized.

“It may at some point be possible to use parts of the Common Core in isolation in Catholic schools,” allows Dr. Dan Guernsey, the Newman Society’s director of K-12 education programs, “but it will be years before we know if it is effective in what it claims to deliver. The first testing on the Common Core just occurred this spring, and we are awaiting first results.”

The Cardinal Newman Society, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and individual bishops have urged Catholic educators to exercise caution with regard to the Common Core, withholding support before it has been thoroughly tested. The Newman Society maintains a website, Catholic Is Our Core, to educate Catholics about the Standards, including the special report, “10 Facts Every Catholic Should Know About the Common Core.”


‘Natural Family Planning’ Course Links Catholic Morals, Medical Expertise at Georgetown
5/28/2015
A course in fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) of natural family planning (NFP) at Georgetown University Medical Center and a resulting organization to inform physicians about NFP/FABMs are two exciting examples of how professors at Catholic institutions can effectively bring Catholic teaching to the medical and scientific world.

The course—one not normally offered to medical students—is leading to increased research and consciousness on the healthful benefits of women and couples utilizing Natural Family Planning as opposed to chemical birth control methods, according to course coordinator Dr. Marguerite Duane. She told The Cardinal Newman Society that the course is making strides in sharing the latest medical research and exposing a growing number of students to the importance of understanding NFP/FABMs.

Titled “Fertility Appreciation Methods in the Learning Years: The FAMILY Planning Selective,” the class was first offered in 2010 and filled to capacity. Since then, it has continued to impact students at the Georgetown Medical Center. 


Teachers ‘Instrumental’ in Developing Students’ Catholic Faith, Says Cleveland’s Bishop Lennon
5/28/2015
Catholic school teachers must be role models of faith and morality for their students to emulate, Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland, Ohio, has told teachers in his Diocese.

In a letter sent to diocesan teachers and administrators and provided to The Cardinal Newman Society by diocesan spokesman Robert Tayek, Bishop Lennon highlighted teachers’ irreplaceable role in inspiring their students to deepen their Catholic faith.

“As a teacher or administrator in a Catholic school, you are engaging a beautiful and uniquely important vocation and ministry of Christ’s Church,” his letter states. “You are instrumental in the development of each and every student as a whole and authentically Catholic person… As such, it is a great honor and privilege to play such a special and important role in the life of the Church through your ministry.”


Bishop Dewane: Families Have ‘Right to Know’ Which Theology Professors Have Mandatum
5/28/2015
If a Catholic college cannot assure that its theology professors are imparting the truths of the faith, then families should look to more faithful Catholic institutions, suggested Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Fla., in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

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

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


Pope Francis Weighs In On Role of Teachers, Coaches as Witnesses
5/21/2015
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!”


Franciscan University Students Defend Life at United Nations
5/19/2015
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.


Catholic Students Prepare for Business Careers, Vocations at Unique Workshop
5/15/2015

With the conviction that a business career can be an important and valuable vocation rooted in Catholic social teaching, the Catholic University of America’s School of Business and Economics and The Cardinal Newman Society co-hosted a “Catholic Business Career Discernment Day” for Catholic college students on May 11.

Students interested in pursuing careers in business were given a chance to hone their networking skills, speak to successful businesspeople, and learn how a business career can be pursued in a faithful Catholic manner. The workshop was attended by students from Ave Maria University, Belmont Abbey College, Catholic University of America (CUA), the College of the Holy Cross, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Thomas Aquinas College, and the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

Newman Society President Patrick Reilly told participants that CUA’s business school was a perfect host and organizer of the event, because of its unique synthesis of faith and business skills, especially in its Master of Science in Business Analysis (MSBA) program for students who did not major in business as undergraduates


Bishop O’Connell: Catholic School Teachers Must Be ‘Recognizably Different,’ Share Catholic Mission
5/13/2015
Catholic schools have a responsibility to bear authentic witness to the faith and be noticeably different from secular schools, said Bishop David O’Connell of Trenton, N.J., in an exclusive interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

“The Catholic school environment, to be authentic and real, demands” that teachers be witnesses to the Catholic faith, said Bishop O’Connell, who as president of The Catholic University of America from 1998 to 2010 did much to strengthen its Catholic identity. “Teachers in Catholic schools should be recognizably different from their secular counterparts.”

The Cardinal Newman Society has been interviewing bishops about Catholic education and the role of teachers, in light of the courageous efforts of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in San Francisco to ensure that his Catholic school teachers are witnesses to the Catholic faith. Last week Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the Newman Society that the purpose of Catholic schools is “to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all the nations.”

Bishop O’Connell stressed the important role that Catholic teachers play as witnesses to the faith. “Catholic teachers in a Catholic school should be faithful Catholics. Non-Catholics should respect the Church’s teachings and the Catholic environment. No one should publicly advocate contrary to those teachings or the Catholic identity/environment of the Catholic school,” he affirmed.


Vatican to Address ‘Educational Emergency’ at World Congress Marking Key Anniversaries
5/11/2015
Marking the anniversaries of two critical Vatican documents on education, the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education is preparing for a World Congress this year to address the growing “educational emergency” in Catholic education.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II Declaration on Christian Education, Gravissium Educationis, issued by Pope Paul VI in 1965, and the 25th anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities, Ex corde Ecclesiae, issued by Saint Pope John Paul II in 1990.

But while the anniversaries call for celebration of the important mission of Catholic education, the Congregation for Catholic Education plans to discuss some of the more critical concerns in education when its World Congress meets in Rome on November 18-21.

“As part of these celebrations, the Congregation aims to re-energize the Church’s commitment to education, by means of this World Congress,” the Congregation states on its website. “In the years following the Second Vatican Council, the Magisterium has repeatedly spoken of the importance of education, and has also invited the Christian community to play its part in education – particularly in the face of today’s obvious, and often critical, ‘educational emergency.’”


Opinion: Archbishop Cordileone, A Good Shepherd to His Teachers
5/8/2015
Since February, the Archdiocese of San Francisco’s Catholic schools have been in the spotlight as Archbishop Cordileone has sought to support and strengthen Catholic schools under his guidance. A part of his effort has been to clarify the expectations of Catholic teachers in his diocese. Toward this end he wanted to ensure that the teachers understood their ministerial role as evangelizers of the Catholic faith and that they were specifically aware of “hot button issues” (most around issues of human sexuality and reproduction) that they should not publicly contradict. These efforts were met with a firestorm of complaint, both from over 75 percent of the high school teachers in his schools, plus the efforts of paid publicists and a full-page open letter to Pope Francis demanding his removal for being “intolerant.” 

This week the Catholic News Agency ran a piece, “San Francisco Archdiocese Praises Teachers, Rejects ‘Inflammatory’ Reports.” In the article, the Archdiocese seeks to emphasize its efforts to listen to the concerns of the teachers and ensure them of their support, its openness to input on these issues, and its assurance that these efforts are not an effort to provide an excuse to fire teachers or pry into their personal lives, and that the archdiocese wants to “heal any rifts that may remain.” This attempt at healing within his flock shows the genuine, forgiving and pastoral heart of this good shepherd. 

Like any good shepherd, he needs to keep all the members of his flock, especially his teachers, safe, secure and flourishing. It is important that they know he loves them, cares for them and respects them so they can better heed his call. He knows what he is doing, loves all his sheep, is well-trained, and has access to specific grace from God to carry out this task. This love also requires speaking the truth to his flock, especially regarding the real dangers surrounding them. It is not hating or shaming the sheep to tell them, “beware there is a cliff over on the left side of the pasture and a pack of wolves on the other side of the fence to the right.”  


Dissident Groups Scheme against Archbishop Cordileone, Catholic Education
5/8/2015
Who are the players opposing Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone?

Catholic dissidents have been opposing the efforts of the San Francisco archbishop to reinforce the Catholic identity of his schools by asking teachers to witness to the Catholic faith, both inside and outside the classroom. But the intentions of Archbishop Cordileone’s critics seem far removed from the best interests of faithful Catholic education.

At the end of April, representatives from Call to Action, DignityUSA, New Ways Ministry, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Catholics for Choice and Human Rights Campaign met in Chicago to strategize how to best oppose Cordileone and other bishops taking similar measures in their dioceses. According to Crux,about 30 participants attended the meeting.

“While trying to portray Archbishop Cordileone as out of touch with San Francisco Catholics, a small band of radical but well-funded organizations from outside the Bay Area is trying to stir up dissent and opposition to a good bishop,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Both their positions and their actions are reprehensible—and ultimately will be unsuccessful in steering the Church away from her own beliefs.”

Call to Action (CTA) claimed that the weekend was an opportunity to meet other groups and discuss “ways to hold our Church accountable to its own teachings” by discussing “working conditions, legal rights and plans for action” for LGBT employees of Catholic schools.No mention was made by CTA, however, about ensuring that Catholic teaching is defended in the classroom and not publicly denounced by its teachers. Instead, the organization is “committed to pushing back against morality clauses and religious exemptions” that protect the identity of Catholic schools.


Commencement Speakers Can Exemplify Colleges’ Catholic Identity
5/6/2015
Every year, Catholic colleges are given a distinctive opportunity in commencement ceremonies to highlight their Catholic identities and missions by selecting commencement speakers who exemplify Christian ideals.

“Honoring faithful Catholic leaders at commencement is an excellent way to signal to graduates what matters most, namely, the importance of carrying the Catholic faith into lives of service to the Church, family and society at large,” said Adam Wilson, managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, which recognizes colleges for their strong Catholic values.

Commencement speakers and honorees who especially highlight a college’s Catholic identity include Church leaders and lay people who are successful in various careers while standing publicly in support of the Catholic faith. They stand in stark contrast to the scandalous commencement choices at eight Catholic colleges previously identified by The Cardinal Newman Society.


U.S. Bishops’ Leader Says Catholic Schools ‘Exist to Proclaim Good News of Jesus Christ’
5/5/2015
The very purpose of Catholic schools is to witness to Christ, said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, this week in an exclusive statement to The Cardinal Newman Society. 

“Catholic schools exist to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all the nations,” said Archbishop Kurtz. “Through Catholic school education, students are daily invited to know Jesus personally, to love Him intimately, and to serve Him wholeheartedly. As Pope Francis reminds us in Evangelii Gaudium, ‘the joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.’” 

The question of evangelization—and to what extent Catholic school teachers are expected to uphold the faith both inside and outside the classroom—has been controversial in San Francisco, where dissenting organizations like Call to Action have been provoking opposition to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s changes to a faculty handbook. But other dioceses nationwide also have been working to improve Catholic schools by focusing greater attention on Catholic identity.


Letters to Archbishop Cordileone Show Waves of Global Support
5/1/2015
In just over a week, more than 7,300 notes of encouragement from Catholics in more than 27 countries have flooded in to The Cardinal Newman Society in support of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. The notes praise the San Francisco archbishop for his unyielding efforts to strengthen Catholic identity in his Catholic schools.

The Cardinal Newman Society is gathering all the notes and delivering them to Archbishop Cordileone so that he can know of the continued support for his efforts.

“Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has been working vigorously to strengthen the Catholic identity of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. His sensible and praiseworthy efforts — such as outlining the expected moral conduct for diocesan teachers — have been met with unfair criticism,” the Newman Society states on the support page.

A recent poll by the San Francisco Chronicle showed that 90 percent of people were in favor of the expectations laid out by Archbishop Cordileone. In their messages submitted to the Newman Society, many supporters affirmed that he is simply defending the beliefs of the Catholic Church, assuring that students are well-formed in the faith and reminding teachers of their unique role in handing on the faith to their students.

In addition to notes from lay and religious within the United States, the support has been surprisingly global. Notes have come in from Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Argentina, Columbia, Brazil, Uruguay, Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Germany, Italy, Spain, Kenya, the UAE, India, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Guam, the Philippines, China and Australia.


Brave Nuns Stand Up for Catholic Teaching, Says Newman Society’s Guernsey
4/24/2015
It was a brave decision by faithful nuns at Marin Catholic High School in San Francisco to stand up for Catholic teaching, according to Dr. Dan Guernsey, director of K-12 education programs at The Cardinal Newman Society, in his recent op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle.

This type of witness is the action that teachers in the Archdiocese of San Francisco should be lauding, especially as Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone attempts to fortify the Catholic identity of his schools.

“This took courage,” Guernsey said. “The faithful nuns that teach at Marin Catholic High School in the San Francisco archdiocese seek to be full and credible witnesses to Christ and his church, teaching Catholic beliefs and making saints in a culture which too often misunderstands and even opposes these efforts.”

On April 17, students at Marin Catholic, without the approval of the administration, arranged for the school to participate in a “Day of Silence” supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. The sisters noticed students wearing stickers, pledging to remain silent and handing out flyers. Not wanting to violate the school’s mission by appearing to support the agenda, the sisters returned to their convent until the situation was sorted out. Some students and fellow teachers, who failed to recognize the motivation behind the nuns’ exit, were reportedly frustrated with their decision.

“It was not the message about protecting gay and lesbian students from abuse or bullying that concerned them,” Guernsey wrote. “[I]t was the event’s sponsorship by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, which works to ‘champion LGBT issues in K-12 education,’ including redefining marriage and opposing religious-freedom protections.”


Majority in San Francisco Supporting Archbishop Cordileone’s Efforts, According to Online Poll
4/20/2015
An online poll posted Friday by the San Francisco Chronicle—a strong critic of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s efforts to fortify the Catholic identity of San Francisco’s Catholic schools—is showing very strong support for the Archbishop’s courageous defense of Catholic teaching. The “weekly poll” is still accepting votes from visitors to the Chronicle website.

The Chronicle—which claims to be the largest circulation daily in northern California—published the poll on Friday, April 17. Readers are invited to respond to the question, “Should Pope Francis remove Archbishop Cordileone from the San Francisco archdiocese?”

As of Monday afternoon, April 20, almost nine out of 10 respondents supported the Archbishop. An overwhelming 77 percent of respondents selected the answer, “No, the archbishop is upholding the values of the Catholic Church.”


Cleveland Diocese Says Updated ‘Teacher-Minister’ Contracts Ensure Faith Formation in Schools
4/17/2015

The Diocese of Cleveland is the latest to take the crucial step of securing the Catholic identity of its high schools by defining faculty as “Teacher-Ministers” and adding more detailed language in teacher contracts.

The Diocese’s spokesman told The Cardinal Newman Society that such steps are not intended to burden teachers, but instead serve to build up the schools’ mission by fully conveying the Catholic faith.

The revised language, “while not adding any new requirements or creating any new burdens on our teachers, spells out clearly the most prominent areas in which the Church’s teachings often conflict with views that have gained a significant level of acceptance in our current secular society,” spokesman Robert Tayek told the Newman Society.

The language was included in the contracts “to more accurately reflect the role of the educator in the faith formation of the students in our schools,” Tayek explained.



Wyoming College’s Decision to Forego Federal Aid Protects Catholic Identity
4/17/2015

Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo., recently became the latest among a small number of American colleges choosing not to participate in the federal student aid program in order to protect their mission from government intrusion.

Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., also does not participate in the federal aid program. Both colleges are recommended in The Newman Guide for their strong Catholic identity.

CNSNews.com interviewed Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly on this development, and he identified some of the threats from the federal government that persuaded Wyoming Catholic to reject the government aid. Although Reilly noted that many Catholic colleges accept federal student aid without compromising their Catholic identity, he agreed with Wyoming Catholic’s apprehension about the future.



Honoring Kenneth Whitehead, Tireless Advocate of Church and Catholic Education
4/16/2015
Kenneth Whitehead, longtime Catholic education advocate, Church affairs expert and former United States Assistant Secretary of Education, passed away on Thursday, April 16, according to his family.

“Ken Whitehead was intelligent, accomplished and influential in the government and in the Catholic Church, as both an academic and a keen observer of Church affairs and Catholic education,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, for which Whitehead served as an advisor on Catholic higher education issues. “But what I will especially remember in my heart are his abundant faith in Christ and love for his family. We are all blessed by his life. May God grant him eternal peace and joy!”

Whitehead has an extensive history of defending Catholic education and promoting the Catholic faith. He was the executive vice president of Catholics United for the Faith from 1972-1980. Whitehead went on to serve in the President Ronald Reagan administration as an education official. He served on the boards of directors for several organizations, including the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and The Review of Metaphysics.



Catholic Colleges Enjoy Advantages in Single-Sex Housing, Private Bedrooms
4/7/2015
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.”


Prominent CEO Carolyn Woo Speaks Out for Faithful Catholic Education
4/1/2015
“When salt loses its flavor, what does it become?”

That’s the question that Dr. Carolyn Woo asks of Catholic colleges, echoing Christ’s warning to believers who allow their faith to become stale. Woo isn’t one of them. Recently, she has had all the zeal of an apostle for faithful Catholic education.

The accomplished educator and nonprofit leader took to the pages of America magazine a few weeks ago to urge the University of Notre Dame to retain its theology requirements for undergraduates, which may be threatened by proposals under consideration as part of the University’s 10-year curriculum review.

“To form leaders of faith, to be the places where the Church does her thinking, to fight against the caricature of God proposed by our secular culture, Catholic universities must offer more than ‘Theology Lite,’” Woo wrote. “In all the efforts to define learning goals for a Catholic university, how about ‘to know God’ as a starter?”


Chicago Student Leader Urges Fellow Students to Help Reform Wayward Catholic Colleges
4/1/2015
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.”


Small Number of Strong Catholic Colleges ‘Heartbreaking,’ Says Conservative Leader
3/31/2015
The fact that most Catholic colleges today still do not fully embrace their Catholic identity is “heartbreaking,” conservative leader L. Brent Bozell III observed in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College recommends just 20 U.S. colleges and another seven online and international programs that have a strong Catholic mission and adhere to Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Vatican constitution on Catholic higher education.

“When you’ve got a nation of 60 million Catholics and less than two dozen true Catholic colleges and universities—I mean, the math doesn’t add up,” said Bozell, founder and president of the Media Research Center and a member of the Newman Society’s board of directors. “It just doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. So many are going in the wrong direction, but only a few are heading in the right direction.”


Cincinnati Superintendent Defends Notion of Catholic School Teacher as ‘Minister’
3/27/2015
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s references to the “ministry” of Catholic education may be controversial in San Francisco, but in other dioceses like the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the same language is already embraced in Catholic schools. In an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society, Cincinnati’s superintendent of Catholic schools provided compelling reasons to understand teachers as “ministers.”


Catholic Schools Must Place Learning in Light of Christ, Says President of Austrian Catholic College
3/18/2015
Dr. Christiaan Alting von Geusau, the president of the International Theological Institute (ITI) in Trumau, Austria, recently wrote an article for Plough magazine, titled “What’s the Point of Christian Education: Preparing Children for the Freedom – and Cost –of Discipleship”. In it he discussed faithful education and explained how stories of persecution and martyrdom can teach children critical lessons.*****Stories of Christian martyrdom show children “the reality of what it means to be a Christian in today’s world” and communicate lessons of discipleship, faithfulness, and formation, argued Alting von Geusau, who also founded the Schola Thomas Morus high school in Austria.

“[W]e must foster in children the desire to pursue the truth with a listening heart, one that applies reason and is guided by a living faith,” Alting von Geusau, asserted in his piece. “Our families, our schools, and our churches should all be places where children receive this kind of formation – an education that sets all we learn and do in the light of Christ.”

Discipleship is primarily a friendship with Christ that serves as a foundation for the rest of one’s life, he explained. Through this relationship students can learn to see others as Christ sees them and to develop virtuous human friendships.


Apostolic Nuncio to Canada Visits Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, Encourages Cultural Witness
3/18/2015
While visiting, the archbishop toured the campus, met with students, held informal discussions, celebrated Mass for the community, attended a luncheon with faculty and staff, and joined the Academy community for dinner.


Franciscan University Announces 21 Dynamic Conferences for Students in 2015
3/18/2015
Thousands of young Catholics have experienced a renewal in their faith by attending one of the many conferences hosted by the Franciscan University of Steubenville.


JP Catholic U. Offers High School and College Acting Workshops, Inspired by Pope John Paul II
3/18/2015
The University's acting emphasis seeks to train actors to serve the New Evangelization through their individual talents and professional careers in the performing arts.


University of St. Thomas in Houston Offers Sports and Music Camps This Summer
3/18/2015
Athletes ages four and older are invited to participate in one of the Celts Sports Camps for basketball, volleyball, or soccer. UST will also offer a variety of quality music camps for students entering grades three through twelve.


Jesuit U. Hosts Event for Group Protesting Efforts to Strengthen San Francisco Catholic Schools
3/17/2015
The University of San Francisco hosted a forum on March 16 sponsored by a group actively petitioning against Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s efforts to fortify Catholic identity in Archdiocese of San Francisco Catholic schools.


Construction Underway on Business School, Univ. of Dallas Shares Catholic Focus of Program
3/17/2015
The program incorporates a whole-person approach to business in order to "reflect the longstanding Catholic intellectual tradition of preparing students for success beyond the classroom and encouraging them to make a difference in the world," the University said.


Catholic Univ. Summer Programs Give High School Students Jumpstart for College
3/17/2015
The summer experience is built to allow students to participate in CUA's engineering, drama, or architecture programs, get a taste for college life, and enjoy recreational activities in the nation's capital.


Franciscan University of Steubenville Sends 300 Students on Mission Trips
3/16/2015
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.


Papal Portrait Artist to Discuss Modern Challenges in Art at Aquinas College in Nashville
3/16/2015
During the event Babailov will present Annigoni: Portrait of an Artist, a film documenting the life and work of Pietro Annigoni, a well-known Italian master of realism during the 20th century.


President of Jesuit Univ. Pro-Life Club Applauds Decision to End Abortion Coverage
3/13/2015
A student from the University of Scranton told The Cardinal Newman Society that he is “proud of the University” for its recent decision to end all abortion coverage in order to uphold its Catholic identity.


Northeast Catholic College Models New Scholarship, Service Program on Bl. Mother Teresa
3/13/2015
"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.


Documentary Filmmaker Praises JP Catholic U. for Training, Faith Formation
3/13/2015
"My Catholic faith sustained me as I interviewed ex-gang members, corrupt politicians, the homeless and poor farmers," Brian Olson, who founded his own art gallery and production company, stated when speaking about his new documentary project.


Catholic College Holds Line on No Abortion Coverage while Planned Parenthood Protests
3/12/2015
In response to the University of Scranton’s decision to fortify its Catholic identity by ending all abortion coverage in insurance plans, Planned Parenthood and Concerned Clergy for Choice staged a protest a few blocks from the University’s campus, according to The Times-Tribune.


Marian Expert to Headline Catholic University’s Blessed Virgin Mary Art Conference
3/12/2015
Co-sponsored by the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), the event will allow students to discuss and explore the influence that the Blessed Virgin Mary has had throughout history.


Catholic School Launches Campaign to Pray One Million Hail Marys for Pope’s Safety
3/12/2015
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.


Christendom College Kicks Off Spring Lecture Series, Highlights Catholicism in J.R.R. Tolkien
3/12/2015
According to the College, Tolkien once described his trilogy as "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work." Pearce's lecture will discuss the Catholic symbolism contained in the book and highlight its religious significance.


Wyoming Catholic Invites High Schoolers for Prayer, Study and Adventure in Rockies
3/11/2015
During the two week P.E.A.K. 2015 camp students will have the opportunity to live on the College's campus in Lander, Wyo., and "pursue wisdom in the three distinct aspects of the WCC mission: in study, in nature, and in prayer," the summer program website stated.


Lenten Lecture Series at Catholic College Looks Ahead to Synod on Marriage and Family
3/11/2015
"It is vital that the Church address these ways of life as a means of reinvigorating the Body of Christ and likewise address current values within society," the news release stated.


Walsh Univ. To Dedicate New State-of-the-Art Laboratory in Honor of Pope St. John Paul II
3/11/2015
Festivities will begin with a Mass of Thanksgiving in the campus chapel followed by a blessing, dedication ceremony, and reception held in the new Saint John Paul II Center for Science Innovation.


Thomas Aquinas College Alumna Defends Archbishop Cordileone
3/10/2015
"Lawmakers may vehemently disagree with Cordileone's decision," but "[r]eligious leaders should be free to make such decisions without worrying about interference from the government," Katrina Trinko wrote in defense of the archbishop.


Univ. of Dallas Gives High Schoolers Chance to Study Abroad in Rome This Summer
3/10/2015
For more than 20 years, the University of Dallas has been hosting summer programs designed for high school students to allow them to experience college life both on its Texas campus and abroad at its campus in Rome.


Thomas Aquinas College Leads High Schoolers in ‘Pursuit of Wisdom’ at Summer Program
3/10/2015
The program, which runs from July 19 to August 1, "is a time for forging new friendships, for enjoying the give and take of rational argument, and for pursuing the truth, which civilizes, ennobles, and liberates," the program website stated.


Ghanaian Bishops Encourage Catholic Schools to Maintain Traditions, Practices
3/9/2015
Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu of Konongo-Mampong in Ghana, along with the other Ghanaian bishops, is defending the Catholic identity of Catholic schools in the face of threats to their religious freedom.


Respect Archdiocese’s Right to Protect Catholic Identity of Schools, Argue Policy Experts
3/9/2015
Catholic schools have a right to ensure that Catholic teaching is being properly maintained in their institutions and the government should not coerce them to do otherwise, argued a recent piece published by The Wall Street Journal.


Lent Brings Faithful Catholic College Together in Prayer and Sacrifice
3/9/2015
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.


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