Monday, October 05, 2015

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Catholic Education Daily

Catholic Education Daily Articles


Philadelphia, Springfield Dioceses Protect Catholic Identity with Parent Agreements
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.”

Faithfulness of Catholic Colleges Should Be Defining Difference, Says Franciscan University President
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?
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
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.”

Catholic Scholar Weigel Calls for Repairs to ‘Deficit’ in Catholic Higher Education
The modern Catholic college exists to form and equip students to be missionary disciples and therefore can no longer ignore its responsibility to care for the moral and spiritual well-being of students, according to acclaimed author and theologian George Weigel.

Weigel, author of the Saint John Paul II biography Witness to Hope and distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., gave this year’s opening lecture at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., during which he addressed the responsibility that Catholic colleges have to faithfully fulfill their mission and purpose.

“The Catholic college and university of the 21st century and the third millennium exists to equip disciples for mission. It exists to deepen the human and intellectual formation of witnesses to Christ,” Weigel told The Cardinal Newman Society in a separate interview. Catholic higher education must be world-transforming, he said.

New Book Goes Back to the Basics of Authentic Catholic Education
A new primer on Catholic education will help Catholic educators better understand the Catholic intellectual tradition and build a foundation for morally forming students. The book, Renewing the Mind: A Reader in the Philosophy of Catholic Education, is written by Dr. Ryan Topping, who spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society on how his book will benefit Catholic education.

“It’s no secret that Catholic schools have suffered in recent years in North America, and in most other places,” said Topping, who is also a fellow at The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, N.H. “One way we can rebuild is by helping parents and teachers deepen their understanding of the principles that support their practice.” He hopes that Renewing the Mind “in due time will become a standard text in Catholic teacher-training programs and courses in the philosophy of education across the English speaking world.”

Topping’s book has come at a time when Catholic education is being renewed to better integrate students’ moral and spiritual formation with their academic formation. The sources and works which his reader highlights are directed toward this integration.

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.

Catholic Colleges Praised for Supporting Pregnant Students
Catholic colleges dominate a new list of the “best colleges for pregnant and parenting students,” according to a report released today by Students for Life of America (SFLA). 

“Catholic universities are the majority on this list, because they are living out the teachings of the Church, making their campuses friendly to students who are pregnant and parenting and helping them to accept new life and move forward with their education,” said SFLA President Kristan Hawkins in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. “Children are blessings no matter the circumstances that they may have been conceived under,” she said, “and they deserve every chance at life as anyone else.”

Beth Rahal coordinates SFLA’s Pregnant on Campus Initiative, which works to make campuses more accessible and supportive to pregnant women and parents. “We are happy to see so many Catholic colleges and universities on this list,” she told the Newman Society. “They are shining examples of creative ways to change the culture on campuses to welcome and support women in unplanned pregnancies. This is what being pro-life looks like—helping women and their babies.”

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.

Theology Sets Faithful Catholic Colleges Apart from Secular Education, Say Scholars
Even as students and alumni anxiously await the outcome of the University of Notre Dame’s ten-year curriculum review, amid fears that required theology courses might be reduced, representatives of faithful Catholic colleges in The Newman Guide say that it is theology that sets a Catholic college apart from its secular counterparts.

 “Since theology is the discipline that has been tasked with leading us into greater knowledge and love of God, it would be absurd to omit this most important study in a four-year curriculum at a Catholic institution,” Dr. Mark Zia, associate professor of theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., told The Cardinal Newman Society. “A ‘religious studies’ department is not enough; only a theology department will suffice.”

The Church’s constitution on Catholic higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae, issued by Saint John Paul II in 1990, states that the study of theology “plays a particularly important role” at Catholic colleges and “serves all other disciplines in their search for meaning.” Ex corde Ecclesiae encourages a strong theological curriculum and even requires every Catholic college to “have a faculty, or at least a chair, of theology” in order to help ensure fidelity to Catholic teaching at the college.

Holy Angel University in Philippines Sets Example on Mandatum, Catholic Identity
In a public ceremony held last week at Holy Angel University in Angeles City, Philippines, theology professors took the Oath of Fidelity in the presence of Archbishop Florentino Lavarias and received the mandatum, setting an example for other universities in the largely Catholic country and around the world.

At the ceremony, University President Dr. Luis Maria Calingo expressed his hope that others would replicate its public action, in which Holy Angel joined the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila in declaring conformity to the 1990 apostolic constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae.

“We hope that more Catholic colleges and universities in the Philippines would follow our lead and do the same,” he said.

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

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

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

Pope Francis Will Find U.S. Catholic Education Struggling, But Many Signs of Hope
When Pope Francis arrives in the United States on September 22, he will find Catholic education not only in a crisis of truth and faith but also fighting for survival, Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly writes in a special issue from Inside The Vatican commemorating the Holy Father’s upcoming visit.

However, the renewal begun by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, is already taking hold in America and offers a new sense of hope for those who desire authentic and faithful Catholic education, Reilly explains.

In his article, “The ‘Crisis of Truth’ (and the Renewal) in American Catholic Education,” Reilly details the struggles in Catholic schools and colleges and the response needed to restore faithful education.

New Education Major at Belmont Abbey College Focuses on Moral Formation
A new major at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C., will prepare aspiring Catholic school teachers to guide students in moral formation, first and foremost. The Catholic Educational Studies major is distinct from the College’s Elementary Education major, as it focuses specifically on students who want to teach in a Catholic setting, explained the program’s director, Dr. Laura Campbell, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Campbell said that the major’s focus on Catholic spiritual formation is necessary in today’s educational world. “Students who desire to teach in a Catholic middle or secondary school or in a Catholic parish need to learn about the mission and vision of Catholic education,” she said. “It is not enough to have attended Catholic schools.”

Catholic Colleges Should Aspire to Faithfulness, Not Prestige, Says Newman Guide Editor
Catholic colleges need to be concerned with the Church’s standards of excellence rather than the standards of prestige set forth by their secular counterparts, argues The Cardinal Newman Society’s Adam Wilson, director of communications and managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

His comments echo the arguments of George Weigel, distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and biographer of Saint John Paul II, who recently argued at First Things that the University of Notre Dame and other Catholic colleges need to stop looking to prominent secular colleges in the Ivy League as models of higher education.

“Catholic colleges don’t need to reinvent the wheel or look to the Ivy Leagues as an example of excellence,” argues Wilson. “The Church has already provided fundamental standards to help them fulfill their Catholic mission. Being Catholic is not an obstacle to excellence or prestige; in fact, being faithfully Catholic is precisely why many colleges are exceptional.”

World Meeting of Families Speaker Urges Faithful Catholic Education
Faithful Catholic education is essential to reclaiming a true understanding of marriage and human sexuality and renewing family life in the United States, according to Dr. John Grabowski, associate professor of moral theology and ethics at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C.

Grabowski will speak on virtue at the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, when the Holy Father visits in September. He has taught moral theology at CUA since 1991, was appointed with his wife to the Pontifical Council for the Family by Pope Benedict XVI, and was recently chosen by Pope Francis to be part of the Synod on the Family in October.

“Education in a Catholic sense always has to be about more than passing on information, it has to be about formation of the person in the life of faith in the life of the Christian community,” said Grabowski. “That means we have to be concerned about how are we forming people in virtue and not simply giving them information and preparing them for careers.”

Fostering Appreciation for Life Is ‘Essence’ of Faithful Bioethics Degree Programs
In recent years, rapid technological progress has resulted in biomedical breakthroughs that have made it imperative for society to consider human life issues. Several leaders of bioethics programs at Catholic colleges recently told The Cardinal Newman Society that Catholic higher education has a duty to ensure all levels of medical research maintain respect for life as the highest priority.

“A Catholic university and its students are uniquely placed to articulate the reasonableness of the Christian position—which also can be known through reason or natural law—that every human being has an equal and inherent fundamental right to life,” Dr. Patrick Lee, director of the Center for Bioethics at Franciscan University of Steubenville, told the Newman Society.

“The struggle between a culture of death and a culture of life has intensified in the last few decades,” reads the description of the University’s Center for Bioethics. “Bio-medical technological breakthroughs have made possible what was previously only theoretical, forcing humanity to confront questions about human life and dignity.”

Jesuit University’s Faculty Not Held to Religious Standards, Government Finds
The chain of events stemming from the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) unconstitutional oversight of Catholic colleges has taken a predictable turn, with the latest ruling stating that professors at Seattle University do not perform a religious function within the Jesuit university.

As has been the case with other NLRB rulings against Catholic colleges, the regional Board’s recent unconstitutional interference into the affairs of Seattle University has exposed Catholic identity concerns. This week, the NLRB upheld its decision that the University is not exempt from federal oversight.

“Traditional assumptions about religious freedom in our country are quickly eroding,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “Strong Catholic identity is now the surest safeguard of this fundamental liberty for Catholic colleges and schools. Those institutions that have sold their religious mission down the river for decades now find themselves in a tight spot, but faithful Catholic colleges and schools have the surest footing to protect their freedom.”

Newman Society Report Reveals Planned Parenthood Ties to Catholic Colleges
The Cardinal Newman Society has published a new report exposing engagement between Catholic colleges and Planned Parenthood, calling on Catholic educators to dissolve any associations with the nation’s largest abortion business and to teach students about the dignity of every human life. 

Prompted by the recent videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s abhorrent practices, including the harvesting and selling of aborted baby body parts, reporters Justin Petrisek and Kimberly Scharfenberger searched Catholic college websites for connections to the abortion giant. The results prove that Planned Parenthood is still a corruptive and powerful force, even on Catholic campuses that claim to uphold Catholic values. 

The report, A More Scandalous Relationship: Catholic Colleges and Planned Parenthood, was summarized in a Crisis Magazine article this week by Petrisek and Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. Several media outlets and Catholic websites have picked up the story, including New Oxford Review,, Fr. Z’s Blog, Townhall, New Advent, Church Militant and Spirit Daily.

Catholic University of America to Welcome Pope to Campus for Third Time
Next month, the Holy Father will come to the nation’s capital to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception adjacent to The Catholic University of America (CUA). This is the third time that the University has had the privilege of welcoming a pope.

“We are overjoyed that Pope Francis will not only be coming to Washington but will be on the campus of our pontifical University,” President Garvey said on CUA’s website. “I know that it will be a great thrill for our students, faculty, and staff to see the Holy Father and to know that as he looks out over the congregation during the Mass, he will also be seeing the pathways and buildings that members of our community frequent every day on their way to and from class.”

Pope Francis’ impending visit marks an ideal opportunity to reflect on the last papal visit to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. In 2008, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI visited CUA and presented an address to administrators and educators on the importance of Catholic education.

Gates Foundation Gave $1.2 Million to Loyola Marymount for Common Core Events
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded a day of Common Core pep rallies across California last month, including a $1.2 million grant to Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles. Both LMU and St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, hosted events to get educators excited about the controversial school standards embraced by many public and Catholic schools.

The Loyola Marymount and St. Mary’s College rallies on July 31, titled “Better Together: California Teachers Summit,” were among 33 coordinated events across the state involving more than 15,000 teachers. They gathered to share best practices and learn how to implement Common Core standards in their schools, amid a lot of glitz and glamor—including video presentations from Harrison Ford, John Hamm and Meryl Streep.

The Summit was not only for public school teachers, and at least some Catholic school teachers were present, according to EdSource.

Ex Corde Ecclesiae a Roadmap for Catholic College Renewal, Says Franciscan Univ. President
If Catholic universities truly wish to change the culture, they must embrace the roadmap laid out for them by Saint John Paul II in Ex corde Ecclesiae, said Franciscan University of Steubenville president Father Sean Sheridan, T.O.R., in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Franciscan University will host a symposium in September to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Church’s constitution on Catholic higher education issued by Saint John Paul II in 1990. Fr. Sheridan’s presentation is titled “Embracing the Gift of Ex corde Ecclesiae to Challenge the Culture.”

“If Ex corde Ecclesiae is embraced as a roadmap for guiding Catholic universities for mission, as it was intended to be, the gift of Ex corde to Catholic universities and the Church becomes evident,” Fr. Sheridan told the Newman Society.

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

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

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

Academia Desperately Needs Faithful Catholic Teaching, Argues Acclaimed Sociologist
The academic world needs faithful Catholic teaching now more than ever, especially as colleges become firmly entrenched in mainstream secularization, Father Paul Sullins recently told The Cardinal Newman Society. This October, Fr. Sullins will receive an award for his contributions to social science at the Society of Catholic Social Scientists’ (SCSS) annual conference, which shares and produces faithful Catholic scholarship to evangelize the culture. 

“The Catholic academy today is largely secular, with only a nominal connection to the Catholic faith, with the result that serious, faithful Catholic professors often feel isolated and face significant professional and institutional headwinds in their careers,” Fr. Sullins, who is an emeritus professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America, explained. 

This year, the conference will be held at Newman Guide-recommended Franciscan University of Steubenville, which is also the home turf of the SCSS. “Our purpose is to bring Catholic scholarship and social science to the cause of evangelization,” Dr. Stephen Krason, president of the SCSS and political science and legal studies professor at Franciscan University, told the Newman Society.

Faithful Catholic Schools Depend on Faithful Teacher Prep., Says U. Dallas Education Chair
If faithful Catholic schools are to survive, there needs to be faithful teacher training programs to prepare the next generation of Catholic educators, argued Dr. Janette Boazman, chair of the University of Dallas education department. Boazman spoke to The Cardinal Newman Society about the University’s new Catholic teacher certification program, and how it will prepare teachers to lead students in moral formation.

“Catholic school leaders and teachers have a duty to be models of moral behavior for their students,” said Boazman. “It is their integrity that brings forth their ability to truthfully guide students morally and spiritually, and to minister to others in the educational setting.”

The new graduate-level teacher certification program at University of Dallas is described as being “[r]ooted in church doctrine and educational research.” Current and aspiring Catholic school teachers will be taught “to provide a Christian education that integrates faith into all teaching and learning experiences.”

Faithful Identity Leads to Success for Catholic Schools, Says Newman Society’s Arthur
The best Catholic schools are those that remain true to their purpose and mission, says The Cardinal Newman Society’s Dr. Jamie Arthur, senior fellow and manager of the Catholic Education Honor Roll. That schools remain steadfast in the faith is increasingly important for parents who desire a genuine Catholic education for their children yet find themselves in a society where religious freedom, traditional marriage and the ability for schools to hire according to their mission are all under attack.

One of the latest developments on this front concerns Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s efforts to shore up the Catholic identity of his schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The archbishop has received criticism for adding language in contacts and handbooks which would ensure that teachers cannot publicly oppose Church teaching, but rather assent to authentically hand on the Catholic faith.

Late Cardinal Played Key Role in Catholic Ed. in Lead-up to Ex corde Ecclesiae
Cardinal William Baum, one of the principal players in Pope St. John Paul II’s constitution on Catholic higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae, has passed away at the age of 88 after a long illness, according to Catholic News Service. He died on July 23 in Washington, D.C., at a residence run by the Little Sisters of the Poor.

“Cardinal Baum served as the head of the Congregation for Catholic Education during some of the most pivotal years,” said Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “Ex corde Ecclesiae provided Catholic colleges, for the first time, with clear guidelines for maintaining Catholic identity. Even though it continues to challenge the practices at many Catholic institutions, a cadre of faithful Catholic institutions is setting a new standard for Catholic higher education by putting Ex corde into practice.”

Cardinal Baum, who served as the archbishop of Washington, D.C., from 1973 to 1980, died just weeks short of Ex corde’s 25th anniversary. A cardinal for more than 39 years—the longest tenure of any cardinal in U.S. history—he also served as prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education from 1980 to 1990, the year Ex corde was promulgated, and then head of the Apostolic Penitentiary until he retired in 2001.

‘Be Clear about What You Believe,’ Legal Experts Tell Catholic Colleges, Schools
The first step to protecting the religious freedom of Catholic schools and colleges is to clearly define and enforce their mission and purpose, according to experts recently gathered by the Family Research Council (FRC).

Legal and educational experts took part this week in the FRC’s webinar, “The Court and the Classroom: How the Supreme Court's Redefinition of Marriage Affects Religious Schools.” The event was offered in direct response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which effectively legalized same-sex marriage, and to equip educators with the practical steps needed to defend their religious missions.

Greg Baylor, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), kicked off the event by emphasizing the need for schools to clearly define their missions and their purpose.“ Be consistent and clear about what you believe,” Baylor stated. Many schools might believe that flying under the radar is the way to go in the wake of the Supreme Court decision and ensuing discrimination lawsuits. Catholic schools and colleges should in fact be doing quite the opposite, he said. “Root [your policies] in your theological convictions and then apply them consistently.”

Homeschooled Students Increase as Concerns over Common Core Remain
The latest studies show that an increasing number of students are being homeschooled by their parents in order to avoid Common Core, which is found even in many Catholic schools. There is no question that the link is there and that parents are extremely concerned about how Common Core will affect their children’s Catholic education, said Florida Catholics Against Common Core’s Rolando Perez. 

The Florida Department of Education recently released a report detailing a 9.6 percent increase in children being homeschooled, the largest increase in five years, according to the Herald Tribune. Since 2010, nearly 25,000 additional students in Florida have opted for homeschooling in lieu of public and Catholic school options. 

“There is great concern about the indoctrination, data mining and constant testing that Common Core has brought to schools, including Catholic schools,” said Perez, who along with other concerned parents formed Florida Catholics Against Common Core. The priority for Common Core State Standards seems to be preparing students for future jobs, Perez affirmed. The standards then become utilitarian and distract from students’ moral and spiritual formation by placing too much emphasis on testing and performance.

New Catholic College in London Giving Students ‘Closer Relationship’ with Catholic Faith
Benedictus College, a new Catholic college in London inspired by the writings of Blessed John Henry Newman, is continuing to offer a unique liberal arts experience that is unavailable elsewhere in the U.K., The Cardinal Newman Society learned in a recent interview with the director of the college.

The curriculum at Benedictus is unique because it “proposes a deep immersion in the European cultural tradition with exposure at first hand to medieval and early modern art and architecture” as well as great literature in a “fully integrated course,” said Dr. Clare Hornsby, the director of Benedictus. Works of art are taught alongside texts as guides for understanding the culture and forming “a closer relationship with the Catholic faith,” she told The Cardinal Newman Society.

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.

Fidelity’s Triumph over Dissent: Remembering the ‘Coup at Catholic University’
Students should graduate from Catholic colleges more in love with the Church and the faith than when they first arrived, encouraged Catholic University of America (CUA) President John Garvey. In interviews with The Cardinal Newman Society, Garvey and author Father Peter Mitchell discussed how Catholic colleges lost sight of this fact in the late 1960s, and how Catholic identity is being regained.

Fr. Peter Mitchell’s book, The Coup at Catholic University: The 1968 Revolution in American Catholic Institutions, details the dramatic events that took place at CUA, the nation’s flagship Catholic university, and the unfortunate precedent it set for other Catholic colleges in America during that time. However, in recent years, CUA has returned to its roots and re-strengthened its Catholic identity in many meaningful ways.

“I grew up realizing that there was a lot of dissent in the way the Church’s teaching was taught at a lot of Catholic colleges,” Fr. Mitchell told the Newman Society. The book, he said, was an attempt to uncover that trail and discover what led to the overwhelming dissent still prevalent in so many of today’s Catholic colleges.

Catholic Education ‘Necessary Response’ to Supreme Court Ruling, Newman Society President Tells EWTN
Despite serious challenges facing Catholic education in the aftermath of the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly told Jason Calvi of EWTN News Nightly that Catholics must preserve Catholic education.

“The truth is still the truth and we have to keep teaching it,” Reilly stated in the interview that aired Wednesday. “We have to teach a new generation.”

For those disappointed by the recent Supreme Court ruling on marriage, the outlook is not entirely bleak, Reilly explained. “I think things are very hopeful in a certain respect,” he said. “Catholic education in many ways is a necessary response to the Supreme Court ruling.”

CUA President Teaches Catholic Responsibility to Protect Religious Freedom
Everyone has a role to play in the continued fight to protect religious freedom, says John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., and author of a new teaching aid for Catholic educators to discuss the crucial issues of our time.

Garvey was invited by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to develop the resource, titled “Religious Liberty and the Practice of Charity,” possibly because he has been so regularly involved in matters of religious freedom during his time at CUA, he said.

The USCCB has promoted the teaching aid in advance of Catechetical Sunday, which will be celebrated on September 20. It is a time when U.S. Catholic churches recognize and commission those in the community who will serve as catechists. According to the USCCB, the day also allows Catholics “to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel.”

“Religious freedom is only important in a country where religion is important,” said Garvey, encouraging Catholics not to shy away from defending and witnessing to their faith and morals. All Catholics—especially those involved in education—must find their role in protecting religious freedom if they truly see their faith as important, he said. “The freedom to do that will be important to us because knowing and loving and serving God is important to us, and it is not the business of the government to interfere with our efforts to do that.”

Ave Maria Law Professors Fight ‘Ominous’ Trends, See Growing Need for Faithful Lawyers
Faithful Catholic attorneys and lawmakers are needed now more than ever to defend natural law and Church teaching, said several professors at Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Fla., who are doing just that.“ 

In contemporary American society, the law and the legal profession have become important and sometimes dominant forces in nearly every facet of life and culture,” Eugene Milhizer, dean emeritus at Ave Maria Law, told The Cardinal Newman Society. “As recent Supreme Court decisions demonstrate, the law’s reach includes life issues, marriage and the family.”

This is precisely why faithful legal experts are increasingly needed to address legal matters “from the perspective of the natural law and the Catholic intellectual tradition,” said Milhizer, noting that “this approach has become both counter-cultural and desperately needed.”

Theology Chairman’s Same-Sex Wedding Begins ‘Flood’ of Challenges to Catholic Identity
The Episcopalian marriage of Fordham University’s theology chairman to his same-sex partner, just one day after the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling, begins a new flood of challenges to Catholic identity that most Catholic colleges and universities are unprepared to face, warns Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly.

“Even if a Catholic college leader wants to uphold Catholic teaching on marriage, the persistent embrace of dissent and opposition to the Church at many Catholic universities makes it highly unlikely that the law will now permit them to uphold moral standards for professors,” Reilly said.

“The fact that a theology chairman at a Catholic university apparently waited for the Supreme Court’s ruling to publicly affirm his disregard for Catholic teaching is a sign that the sky has opened, and wayward Catholic universities are about to face a flood of consequences following upon decades of inconsistent Catholic identity.”

Univ. of San Francisco Celebrates SCOTUS Marriage Ruling, Despite Catholic Mission
While the U.S. bishops responded to last week’s marriage ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court by upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church, one Jesuit university chose to publicly celebrate the decision in direct conflict with its Catholic identity and mission.

Over the weekend, the University of San Francisco (USF), a Jesuit Catholic university, used its Twitter and Facebook accounts to celebrate the San Francisco Pride Parade and the recent 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage in the United States.

“I proudly attend a university that supports the LGBTQ community #Pride #USFCA #SF @usfca,” read a tweet from the University. Another retweet featured the USF mascot at the San Francisco Pride Parade, surrounded by several University students.

Professors Say Catholic Colleges Key to Promoting Church Teaching on Marriage, Family
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage ruling last week, several professors at faithful Catholic colleges told The Cardinal Newman Society that their institutions must serve as bulwarks in defense of marriage and family against an increasingly secularized culture.

Colleges and universities have significant influence over young people, the professors agreed, and are uniquely primed to propagate Church teaching among the nation’s youth. But the situation now faced by proponents of traditional marriage is unprecedented and presents significant challenges.

New CUA Provost Stresses Faithful Catholic Hiring for Universities
It is imperative for Catholic universities to hire a majority of faithful faculty in order to properly transmit the faith to students, said The Catholic University of America’s (CUA) new provost, Dr. Andrew Abela, to The Cardinal Newman Society in an exclusive interview.

Dr. Abela spoke to the Newman Society about his new position and his perspective on faithful hiring at Catholic institutions. “We do expect our faculty to support the mission of the University to discover and impart the truth through excellence in teaching and research, faithful to the teachings of Christ and the Church,” said Abela.

“It’s important to hire faithful Catholic faculty because we have, as a Catholic university, a certain view of reality laid out in the Apostles’ and Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creeds,” he explained. “We promote this view of the world by hiring professors who share it.”

Sophia Institute Catechizes, Strengthens Catholic School Teachers
Amid the growing emphasis on Catholic school teacher standards and formation, the Sophia Institute for Teachers is making strides in catechizing and supporting Catholic educators across the country, helping them embrace their vocation as witnesses to Christ.

“Each teacher has a special and irreplaceable role to assist parents in the education of children in their subject area, but most importantly to lead them to joyfully encounter Christ,” Veronica Cruz Burchard, vice president for education programs at the Sophia Institute for Teachers, told the Newman Society.

The Institute has spent the past year running catechetical programs for teachers, hosted in six dioceses across the country. More than 2,500 teachers attended the programs, which are “giving teachers the tools and training they need to develop their students into active and practicing Catholics” as well as “jump-starting their spiritual journey so they will serve as authentic witnesses to Christ.”

Notre Dame Seminar to Equip Catholic Teachers with Truth of Science and Religion
Are science and religion really opposed to one another? A seminar currently taking place at the University of Notre Dame is helping equip Catholic high school teachers to debunk that common myth and offer their students a faithful, integrated approach to faith and science.

The summer seminar, “Science and Religion: Strangers, Rivals, or Partners in the Search for Truth?” is hosted by the University’s Institute for Church Life (ICL) and runs from June 14-19. According to the University news release, “some 90 Catholic high school teachers of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and religion from 23 dioceses from across the country” are attending. The seminar is funded by the John Templeton Foundation, with supplemental funding from the Catholic Extension Society.

“High school teachers have enormous influence over young people and rightly so, and we want to help them maximize that influence by helping them to create an integrated pedagogy at their own school that can renew and perpetuate itself over time,” said John Cavadini, ICL director and professor of theology at Notre Dame.

As such, the primary focus of the seminar is on equipping the teachers. “I admire these teachers very much, they are so dedicated to Catholic education,” Cavadini told the Newman Society. “This seminar is intended to help them.”

Catholic Professors Claim Hostile Environment at Loyola Marymount Univ.
A faculty survey at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, Calif., found that fewer than a third of professors are Catholic—in violation of the Vatican’s minimum requirement of 50 percent—and faculty are under significant duress as a result. 

The “faculty climate survey” commissioned by LMU in July 2014 and obtained by The Cardinal Newman Society reveals “contention” among “conservative” and “progressive” Catholics on staff. The survey report reads, “Conservative Catholics feel they are in an environment that is hostile to what they feel are true Catholic values.” Moreover, recorded faculty comments indicate that the University’s “interreligious point of view is watered down Catholicism and a departure from the Catholic Church.”

A minority of LMU’s faculty reportedly identifies as Catholic. “Of the 299 who chose to disclose their religious preference, 94 (31%) identified as Roman Catholic,” the survey evidenced. This ratio fails to meet the recommendations in Pope Saint John Paul II’s apostolic constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae, which indicates that Catholic universities should maintain a majority of Catholic staff to ensure that the Catholic identity of the institution is not compromised.

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.”

Catholic Education Must Reach Beyond Intellect to ‘Majesty of God,’ Says Baylor Univ. Professor
In Catholic education, students should encounter God not just intellectually but in the liturgical and sacramental life on campus, the wisdom of the saints and the Catholic identity of the college itself, said Dr. Michael Foley, associate professor of patristics at Baylor University and a recent panelist during a Cardinal Newman Society panel discussion on Catholic colleges and the sacred liturgy.

During last Tuesday’s session at Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 in New York City, Dr. Foley, alongside featured panelist Cardinal Raymond Burke, discussed why liturgy is essential for today’s college Catholics. The Newman Society caught up with him afterward for an interview.

“The Faith cannot be reduced to an intellectual exercise, nor can it be equated with social activism or philanthropy,” Dr. Foley told the Newman Society. “It is not enough to make certain that our Catholic youth are well catechized, that they know their Catholic dogma on faith and morals, although that is certainly very important. They need an encounter with the Faith that awakens both their mind and heart to the majesty of God and to the truth of things.”

Bishop Ricken: Teaching in Catholic Schools is Vocation Primarily for Catholics
Teachers at Catholic schools are daily witnesses to Christ and are tasked with integrating the faith into every lesson, said Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, Wis., in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. Because of the unique responsibilities inherent in teaching, it should be understood as a “vocation” and not a “career” that is primarily for Catholics, he explained.

The interview with Bishop Ricken, who chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, is the latest in a series of Newman Society conversations with bishops about Catholic education and teachers. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Archbishop John Nienstedt, Bishop David O’Connell and Bishop Richard Lennon have each offered their input on this important subject, especially in light of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s courageous efforts in San Francisco to ensure that Catholic teachers understand their pivotal responsibility to witness to the faith.

A teacher’s most important quality is the ability “to integrate the Catholic faith in every discipline and be a life-long learner in the faith and disciplines which he or she is teaching,” Bishop Ricken stated. The teacher should also ideally “be a practicing Catholic, holding at least a Bachelor’s degree and teacher certification, and be capable of using a variety of teaching methods and differentiated instruction.”

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.

Vatican Secretary of State Warns of ‘Global Emergency for Education’
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state for the Holy See, continued the Vatican’s warning about a “global emergency for education” at a United Nations event on Wednesday to celebrate the anniversaries of two key documents on Catholic education.  

The conference held at the Paris offices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was organized by the Congregation for Catholic Education to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II Declaration on Christian Education, Gravissimum Educationis, and the 25th anniversary of the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities, Ex corde Ecclesiae. In November, the Vatican will again celebrate the documents with a World Congress in Rome.

Archbishop Cordileone: Catholic Schools Must ‘Re-Sharpen’ Focus on Christ, Sacred Liturgy
Catholic education’s focus on Christ “needs to be re-sharpened” with reverent liturgy, teacher formation and strengthened catechesis, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said in a public dialogue hosted by The Cardinal Newman Society for Sacra Liturgia USA 2015. 

“Keeping the focus on Christ keeps the focus on what the heart and mission of a Catholic school is,” explained Archbishop Cordileone, who has endured criticism from dissenting groups like Call to Action—and strong support from The Cardinal Newman Society and other faithful Catholics—for his efforts to fortify the Catholic identity of schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. “The heart and the mission of Catholic education is evangelization—to help our young people know and love Christ.” 

Archbishop Cordileone, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage and a member of the Catholic University of America’s board of trustees as well as the International Theological Institute’s governing board, responded to questions from Newman Society President Patrick Reilly on the importance of sacred liturgy to Catholic education. Afterwards, he responded to several questions from participants.

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