Tuesday, May 31, 2016

About  Contact  Join  Donate


Catholic Education Daily

Catholic Education Daily Articles

Academics

Academics
Gonzaga Alumni Seek Changes Out of Concern for Students
5/23/2016
While Gonzaga University, a Jesuit Catholic institution in Spokane, Wash., is known around the country for its basketball program, concerned alumni are working for policy changes in hopes that the University will one day be known for having a strong Catholic identity, which they say Gonzaga is currently lacking.

One of the major issues for alumni who are members of the group 1887 Trust is the lack of exemplary witnesses to the Catholic faith among the faculty and staff at Gonzaga, and the subsequent impact on students. Gonzaga parents and alumni formed 1887 Trust in 2013 following a significant uptick in Catholic identity concerns.

“When I attended Gonzaga, I saw some of its faculty stray from teaching the truths of the Church and was saddened that a majority of students would leave the University misguided,” Blair Kelly, who graduated from Gonzaga in 2013, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Kelly said it was disheartening to see faculty in the classroom “reject the rich, 2,000-year-old intellectual tradition of the Church for academic fads and trends that embrace a largely secular view.”


Vatican Education Official: ‘Dialogue’ at Catholic Universities Must Lead to Truth
5/13/2016
When fostering dialogue with other viewpoints, Catholic universities must be clear on the truths of Church teaching, and should strive to lead others to that truth, said Father Bechina, FSO, undersecretary of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education.

“[T]here is no progress in dialogue, no progress toward truth, no intellectual progress, if we do not have clear standpoints,” Fr. Bechina said in an interview with Vatican Radio.

“A good Catholic university should have a clear vision, mission and standpoint which should be grounded in its belief in the Gospel, in Jesus Christ,” he added.

Having clear positions grounded in the Gospel, Catholic universities should “respect that there are other opinions and then engage with them,” Fr. Bechina said, with the goal of “show[ing] that we have good reason for what we [as Catholics] believe.”


Why One Alumnus Removed His Son from the University of San Diego
5/12/2016
It is no surprise that parents are increasingly worried about their children “losing the faith” at many Catholic colleges in the midst of growing Catholic identity concerns and scandals on campus. Even alumni of Catholic colleges, such as Charles LiMandri, a University of San Diego (USD) alumnus and father of five, feel their alma maters are no longer true to their Catholic mission.

“I have had too many parents tell me that their kids went to USD and lost their faith,” LiMandri told The Cardinal Newman Society. A graduate of the class of 1977, LiMandri removed his son from USD out of concern for the University’s dwindling Catholic identity. He now heads Alumni for a Catholic USD, a group dedicated to restoring the University’s Catholic identity and mission. “People need to know what has happened at USD in the hope of eventually changing it, and in the meantime avoiding its potential destructive impact on the spiritual lives of their sons and daughters.”


Top 10 Signs of Renewal in Catholic Schools
5/5/2016
There are exciting things happening in Catholic education, The Cardinal Newman Society has concluded after reviewing hundreds of articles about Catholic elementary and secondary schools published during the 2015-2016 academic year.

A number of schools on the Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll are expanding and have implemented new programs and curricula to further nourish students in the faith while providing an excellent academic education. These changes involve a number of schools rejecting Common Core, including an entire diocese in Michigan. And we were encouraged to see strong defenses of the faith and Catholic identity in diocesan schools from bishops in Nebraska, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Springfield, Ill., in the areas of morality and human sexuality.

The list below shows that while there are still areas of concern in K-12 education, many examples of faithfulness in Catholic education can be found across the country.


Top 10 Signs of Renewal in Catholic Colleges
5/5/2016
The 2015-2016 academic year was a good one in many ways for Catholic higher education, The Cardinal Newman Society has concluded after reviewing hundreds of news reports about positive signs of strong Catholic identity. These examples show that faithful Catholic education is flourishing on many campuses, forming students morally, spiritually and intellectually, in sharp contrast to the scandals at many wayward Catholic universities.

Representatives from the colleges who spoke with the Newman Society during this school year cited their Catholic mission as the core of what makes their education unique and successful. Instead of a hindrance, fidelity to Church teaching is the key to their growth and success.

Our recap of articles published this year by The Cardinal Newman Society includes new initiatives aimed at stronger marriage preparation, efforts to combat the scourge of pornography, healthy visitation policies in student housing, the defense of religious freedom and more.


Diocese: Catholic School Teachers Have Duty to Be ‘Moral Exemplars’
5/5/2016
Fort Wayne – South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhoades’ pre-contract document to his diocesan school teachers deserves high praise for emphasizing adherence to Catholic moral teachings both inside and outside the classroom, said Dr. Denise Donohue, deputy director of The Cardinal Newman Society’s K-12 education programs. Donohue added that the well-cited and detailed document is important for the protection of Catholic identity in the diocese’s schools.

The document states that faculty and staff of Catholic schools are not to publicly reject the moral teachings and laws of the Church. And in no way are they to cooperate, take part in or condone practices contrary to those teachings, including same-sex marriage, abortion, assisted suicide, adultery, in vitro fertilization or gender ideology. Additionally, the mission of Catholic schools is not limited to teachers but includes all “administrators, educators, coaches and moderators,” according to the document.

“It’s important in a world where both adults and children are confused about even their male or femaleness for bishops to promulgate teaching documents, especially documents that focus on man’s proper relationships with others, and most especially with God,” said Donohue.


Forming a Faithful Laity
4/6/2016
Last December, speaking to Catholic school parents, Pope Francis stressed the importance of Catholic education at every level, from childhood through the university.

He emphasized the Church’s traditional understanding of the role of parents, noting, “It is your right to request an appropriate education for your children, an integral education open to the most authentic human and Christian values. As parents, you are the depositories of the duty and the primary and inalienable right to educate your children.”

He has more than once lamented how, due to rising costs and other factors, few children today experience the beauty of the Catholic faith as conveyed by Catholic schools.

One of the important functions of good Catholic schools in our times is, to quote from another talk by Pope Francis, to prevent “these ideological colonizations, that poison the soul and the family.” We can expect additional comments on the family and education this month, when the pope will issue an apostolic exhortation concerning last fall’s Synod on the Family.


Mich. Diocese Shifts to Classical Curriculum, Avoids Common Core
4/1/2016
Educators and parents are increasingly dissatisfied with secular standards that neglect to emphasize virtuous development in K-12 academics, but one diocese in Michigan has responded by making the bold decision to implement a classical, liberal arts curriculum for all diocesan schools. And the diocese’s superintendent of Catholic schools, Mark Salisbury, told The Cardinal Newman Society that the program has been widely well-received by teachers and students and is improving education for the entire diocese.

“We are enthusiastic about our early successes,” Salisbury shared. “Teachers are happy with the results as well. We have improved our ability to teach students how to write well, students are learning and memorizing more poetry” and the curriculum’s integration of Latin studies “has helped students with English grammar, vocabulary and critical thinking skills.” 


Honor Roll School Hosts Conference Examining ‘Foundational Document on Catholic Education’
3/17/2016
Rhodora J. Donahue Academy in Ave Maria, Fla., a Catholic Education Honor Roll 2014 School of Excellence, is preparing to host a conference in May to examine and discuss the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Christian Education, Gravissimum Educationis, featuring a keynote address by The Cardinal Newman Society’s Dr. Dan Guernsey, who called the declaration, “The Church’s foundational document on Catholic education.”

“In the 50 years since its publication Catholic schools have lost about 63 percent of their students (down from 5.2 million in the 1960s to 1.9 million today) and many of the schools that remain have become more secularized,” said Guernsey, director of K-12 education programs for the Newman Society, “With a greater awareness of the growing spiritual and moral dangers in the common culture, both Church leaders and parents are beginning to re-appreciate the value of Catholic education.


Thomas Aquinas College, ‘Antidote’ for the Educational Crises of the ‘60s and ‘70s
3/3/2016
When four friends came together in the late 1960s, they had a daring idea: to create a new liberal arts college from scratch that would respond to the growing problems and waning fidelity in Catholic colleges following the Second Vatican Council. The result was Thomas Aquinas College, an “antidote” for the crises of the 1960s and 1970s in Catholic higher education, current president Dr. Michael McLean told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Thomas Aquinas College aims to be a beacon of truth, not only for our students, but for a world that is suffering from a lack of truth,” said McLean. And because of the vision of its four founders, it continues to produce well-educated and faithful students who “are providing a powerful remedy for the confusion that entered into Catholic education in the post-Vatican II era,” he said.


With Final Accreditation, Augustine Institute Continues Mission to Form Catholics for Evangelization
3/2/2016
The Augustine Institute in Greenwood Village, Colo., received final accreditation for its graduate school this week, a recognition that comes ten years after the beginning of its work to educate faithful lay men and women for the evangelizing task of the Church, Dr. Christopher Blum, academic dean and professor of history and philosophy at the Institute, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“This is a major milestone for us, especially coming in our tenth year of work,” Dr. Tim Gray, president of the Augustine Institute and consultant to the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Catholic Education, said in the announcement on Monday. “As I look ahead to the next ten years, I am thrilled by the prospect of leading the Augustine Institute’s graduate school of theology to more distinguished achievements.”


Vatican Approves of Naming New Research Center in London in Honor of Pope Benedict XVI
3/1/2016
A new research center named in honor of Pope Benedict XVI and dedicated to the study of religion and the social sciences was recently given approval by the Vatican to be called the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society. The Centre was founded last fall at St Mary’s University,Twickenham in London on the five-year anniversary of the pope’s visit to England.

“If we’re sure of the Truth, as it is revealed to us through Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium, then it’s imperative upon us to bring these riches to the surrounding culture. I think this is the clear, personal witness of Pope Benedict XVI,” Dr. Stephen Bullivant, senior lecturer in theology and ethics and director of Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society, told The Cardinal Newman Society.


Three New Classical Schools to Open Using Chesterton Academy’s Catholic Curriculum
2/29/2016
The classical curriculum of Chesterton Academy — a 2014 School of Excellence on The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll— has captivated the attention of parents and educators, leading to an influx of new schools adopting the curriculum across the country. This fall, the Chesterton Academy model will be implemented at three new locations in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

“The classical model is appealing for the simple reason that truth, beauty and goodness are appealing, and these three things are missing from too many schools today,” Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society and co-founder of Chesterton Academy, told the Newman Society. “Our formula is an integrated classical curriculum infused with the Catholic faith and a very pro-family philosophy.”


Newman Institute in Nebraska Seeks to Satisfy Students Hungry for Truth
2/24/2016
Young people today are hungering for the truth and meaning that a strong Catholic liberal arts education can provide, and so the Diocese of Lincoln decided to help college students with a new apostolate that brings the education to them, Dr. John Freeh, newly-appointeddirector of the Newman Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture in Lincoln, Neb., told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Young people everywhere are seeking answers to the problems and challenges of life,” said Freeh. “This is the hallmark of all genuine education, that seeking after truth which does not rest in anything less. This search for truth — the truth about God, about man, about society — is the foundation of the Newman Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture.”


Catholic Liberal Arts College in UK Continues Newman-Inspired Mission, Hosts Unique Summer Program
2/24/2016
Benedictus College in London — a Catholic liberal arts college inspired by the writings of Blessed John Henry Newman — is planning its third annual residential summer school program for students aged 17-25, giving them access to liberal arts formation that is otherwise hard to come by in the United Kingdom, the College’s director told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“This program is unique for liberal arts students as it gives equal weight to material and to intellectual culture, looking at the classical and Catholic tradition across the visual arts and architecture as well as through its philosophical, theological and literary texts,” said Dr. Clare Hornsby, director of Benedictus College. “Students will gain a richness of insight into the culture and contexts out of which these cultures grew, all taking place in London.”


Cardinal Newman’s Life and Work Provides ‘Needed Vision’ for Catholic Schools and Colleges, Says Author
2/22/2016
Sunday marked the 215th birthday of Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman, one of the first great teachers to tackle the modern and utilitarian problems facing Catholic education, and a man whose “words can steer us in the right direction” amid our current educational difficulties, author and educator Paul Shrimpton told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Newman provides a much-needed educational vision today as an attractive alternative to the shapeless, relativistic and uninspiring alternatives of so many contemporary universities,” said Shrimpton, who teaches at Magdalen College School, Oxford, and specializes in the history of education. “His practice and example will appeal to those who value the idea of a liberal [arts] education, those interested in the education of the whole person and those with an interest in the idea of a faith-based college or university.”


Student-Led Conference at Franciscan to Address the ‘Vocation of Woman’
2/17/2016
An upcoming conference at Newman Guide-recommended Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio will shed light on the unique vocation of women in the 21st century, and the conference’s student organizer told The Cardinal Newman Society that this conversation is increasingly necessary in a culture misled by relativism and radical feminism.

The conference, “Woman: Gift in Culture and Church,” is sponsored by Franciscan and is student-facilitated. The event aims to “cultivate an increased awareness of the vocation of woman in the areas of family, society and culture.” Participants will explore Church teaching and how to respond to “the question of how a Catholic woman of the twenty-first century is called to participate in the temporal order,” according to the conference’s vision statement.


Catholic Schools Richly Benefit From Faithful Witness of Priests and Religious on Staff
2/11/2016
Priests and religious who work in Catholic schools play an integral role in Catholic education by witnessing to students the fullness of lives dedicated to Christ, and several religious educators told The Cardinal Newman Society that although fewer schools today are able to hire priests and religious, their vocational witness is crucial to the future of the Church.

“As spiritual mothers and fathers, priests and religious bring a unique dimension to the apostolate of Catholic education,” said Sister Maria Faustina Showalter, O.P., of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. “Just the witness of their lives, profoundly dedicated to the Lord, is a wonderful example to children and students.”


Faithful Catholic Colleges Find New Ways to Tackle Marriage Crisis
2/10/2016
Striving to help their students prepare for healthy and strong marriages, faithful Catholic colleges are making a concerted effort to find ways in which they can integrate Church teaching on marriage and family into the lives of their students, representatives from several Newman Guide-recommended colleges told The Cardinal Newman Society during National Marriage Week.

National Marriage Week, which began on February 7 and is being celebrated through February 14, is a collaborative campaign sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Bishops “to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture,” according to its website.

“It is more important than ever that Catholic colleges teach our young people the truth and beauty of the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage, not only for the salvation of their souls but for the sake of the well-being of our country and the health of our culture,” Anne Forsyth, director of college relations at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., told the Newman Society.


Rep. Lipinski: Get Rid of Anti-Catholic Blaine Amendments
2/8/2016
Catholic schools advocate and co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) recently introduced a House resolution honoring the outstanding work of Catholic schools across the country, and told The Cardinal Newman Society that he supports getting rid of the discriminatory Blaine Amendments found in many state constitutions that keep families from using public funds to choose a Catholic education.

“I certainly think the Blaine Amendments historically were anti-Catholic amendments. Certainly the namesake, Blaine, was back in the late 19th century playing on nativist sentiments and anti-Catholic sentiments in the country, and I think it would be good to get rid of these amendments on the state level,” Lipinksi told the Newman Society.

“We should not be discriminating against any kind of institution based on their faith, on their religion and on their religious practices,” and getting rid of the Blaine Amendments would certainly help to ensure that, he said. “I love Catholic schools. I loved my experience, and I will do anything I can to help them out,” he later added.


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

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


State Catholic Conferences Push Legislators to Prioritize School Choice Programs
2/4/2016
Representatives of several state Catholic conferences, which communicate the public policy interests of the bishops, recently told The Cardinal Newman Society that Catholic schools rely heavily on supportive school choice programs that enable families to choose a Catholic education for their children, but this support is lacking in many states where school choice is not prioritized or is outright battled due to anti-Catholic legislation.

In states where school choice programs are readily available, enrollment in Catholic schools is thriving, based on comments from state Catholic conference representatives. In other states — crippled by legislatures that prohibit government aid to private schools — Catholic school closures are at an all-time high, parents face the financial difficulty of paying public school taxes and private school tuition, and families are overall less able to choose schools that will academically and morally form their children.


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

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

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


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

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


Annual Catholic Classical Schools Conference Sees Continued Growth, Education Renewal
2/1/2016
An upcoming conference for Catholic classical schools, hosted by the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education and the Regina Academies, focuses on the increasing popularity of classical education and serves as a meeting point for like-minded educators eager to join a wave of educational renewal across the country, say conference organizers.

“It’s difficult to be a pioneer in classical education alone,” Dr. Andrew Seeley, executive director of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education, told The Cardinal Newman Society, “but when you discover that there are 70 or 80 other institutions around the country doing the same thing, you realize just how widespread this movement has become.”

The conference, “Catholic Classical Schools Conference 2016: The Sacramental Imagination” will run from July 18-21 on the campus of Neumann University in Aston, Penn.


School Choice Crucial in Making Catholic Education Possible for All Families
1/29/2016
This week, as millions of Americans celebrate National School Choice Week, The Cardinal Newman Society interviewed proponents of school choice solutions that support Catholic schools to discuss financial challenges facing Catholic families, and programs that could aid future generations in accessing Catholic education.

In many dioceses, school choice is an increasingly important issue because it allows Catholic schools to maintain affordability and families to choose Catholic education for their children. Without school choice programs, parents are burdened with paying public school taxes and additional tuition if they want their children to attend private schools. This week alone, 16,140 school choice events are taking place across the country, according to the website for National School Choice Week, which includes participation from 13,224 schools and 808 homeschool groups.


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

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


Loyola Marymount Professor Predicts University Will Lose its Catholic Identity 'Within a Generation'
1/18/2016
Loyola Marymount University’s (LMU) Catholic identity will disappear in a matter of years if administrators continue the current and dangerous trajectory towards secularization by not hiring faithful Catholic professors, according to Dr. Christopher Kaczor, a professor of philosophy at the University.

“It is magical thinking to believe LMU is immune from losing its identity. To do nothing, to continue the status quo of religious indifferentism in hiring, is to eventually join the list of formerly Catholic institutions. Higher education does not need one more flavor of vanilla,” Kaczor wrote in an article on Catholic World Report explaining LMU’s dilemma.

“My prediction is that the process of secularization will be completed within a generation,” he stated.


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

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


Belmont Abbey College Launches Program Making Education Affordable for Catholic Families and Homeschoolers
1/14/2016
A new educational program at Belmont Abbey College launched this week in a concerted effort to help Catholic families and homeschoolers afford a faithful Catholic college education, Dr. Bill Thierfelder, president of the College, told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“As a home schooling father of ten children, I was very aware that many homeschooling families wanted the private Catholic college education that Belmont Abbey College provided but often could not afford it,” Thierfelder said. “While praying, it came to me to create a primarily residential program that would ensure students were well-educated, well-formed and well-prepared at a cost comparable to a public college or university.”

The Bishop Leo Haid Fellowship program, which begins this summer, will save students more than 60 percent on tuition when compared to the average national cost for private colleges in the United States, making the total cost for the first four semesters $20,431.


In Year of Mercy, ‘Hardly Anything More Merciful Than Teaching the Truth’
1/13/2016
Catholic schools and colleges follow in the footsteps of the Apostles in teaching the truth of the faith that “prepares us to live with Jesus forever,” and especially during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, “there is hardly anything more merciful than teaching the Truth to others,” Father Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R., founding member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

“Our Catholic schools and colleges continue this great service of teaching the Truth that the Lord first taught us,” said Fr. Apostoli. “From the very beginning of Christianity, the faith and doctrine Jesus taught, primarily to His Apostles, had in turn to be taught to others.”

This tradition of educating the faithful has particular significance during the Jubilee Year of Mercy.


Undercover Video: Common Core ‘All About the Money,’ ‘I Hate Kids’
1/12/2016
An undercover video released Tuesday by the investigative journalist group Project Veritas shows an executive at one of America’s top textbook publishing companies and two New York state teachers insisting that the Common Core State Standards were created “to sell more books” by textbook publishing companies that are more concerned with profits than the education of America’s children.

“It’s all about the money,” Dianne Barrow, the west coast accounts manager for textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), told undercover reporters posing as political consultants interested in Common Core. “You don’t think that the educational publishing companies are in it for education do you? No. They’re in it for the money. The fact that they have to align the educational standards is what they have to do to sell the books.”


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

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

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


Catholic Education ‘Extends God’s Love’ as a Spiritual Work of Mercy
1/4/2016
Catholic professors and teachers have a distinctive calling during this Jubilee Year of Mercy to educate — or “instruct the ignorant” — as a Spiritual Work of Mercy, carried out by offering students the knowledge of God’s created world and fostering the gift of faith, Sister Anne Catherine, O.P., of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“Education is a work of mercy because it extends God’s love in the world,” Sr. Anne Catherine noted. “It is a mercy for teachers to offer their students solid content knowledge and to teach them skills that will help them go forward and take their place in the world.”

But it is especially important “that teachers help students experience wonder in learning about God’s created world and in discovering how deeply they are loved,” she said.


Vietnam Bishops: First Catholic University Marks New Era of Educational Freedom
1/1/2016
A new era of educational freedom in Vietnam is coinciding with the Jubilee Year of Mercy, as the country’s first Catholic university will officially open in 2016 after several years of negotiation between the Catholic Church and the Vietnamese government.

“It is a work of mercy that we will carry out in the Holy Year with renewed gratitude towards God and with compassion,” Bishop Dinh Duc Dao, president of the Episcopal Commission for Education, told Vatican Insider.

The University will be inaugurated in January and courses will begin in April.


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

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


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

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

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


Theology Professors ‘Dispel Ignorance’ as Spiritual Work of Mercy
12/21/2015
The call to “instruct the ignorant” as a Spiritual Work of Mercy is carried out by Catholic educators as part of the Church’s mission, and reflecting on that work during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Catholic University of America theology professor Dr. John Grabowksi told The Cardinal Newman Society that theology professors have a responsibility to dispel ignorance and the lack of knowledge of Christ by introducing students to Him in the Scriptures, sacraments, liturgy and tradition of the Church.

In the Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee Year, Pope Francis lamented, “Perhaps we have long since forgotten how to show and live the way of mercy.” And as part of its celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the U.S. bishops have invited the faithful to learn more about and live out the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, one of which is “Instructing the Ignorant.”

Education, or to “instruct the ignorant,” is a work of mercy because it responds to a drive and a need that is part of our very makeup as human beings, Grabowski told the Newman Society. “We want to know. We want to pursue truth, especially the truth about God.”


Further Reflections on ‘No Child Left Behind’ Replacement
12/18/2015
Last Friday, The Cardinal Newman Society reported on a short, two-minute interview given to EWTN Nightly News the previous day with positive reactions to certain provisions of the federal government’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law by President Obama last Thursday. The law replaced the deeply problematic No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 which brought about lasting damage to American education by, among other things, increasing federal intrusion into public schools, emphasizing harmful high-stakes testing using unrealistic metrics and laying the ground for the flawed Common Core experiment with national standards.

As promoters of the value of a liberal arts education, we question the value and wisdom of excessive high-stakes testing. The number of mandated tests students have to take will shift from federal jurisdiction to state control under ESSA, with students still being required to take reading and math exams in grades three to eight, and one mandated test while in high school.


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

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

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


The Incredible Shrinking Case for Common Core
12/17/2015
Recent statements by Common Core co-author David Coleman about Catholic education have led to a lot of confusion. What’s this about a Common Core advocate urging Catholic educators to have the “moxie” to preserve their incredible heritage and not to worry about changes to standardized tests? 

I’ll try to explain. Despite Coleman’s support for the Common Core — which I firmly believe to be inadequate and even harmful to Catholic schools — what he said is good for Catholic families. 

Last month, my colleagues and I were dismayed to learn that Coleman, a chief author of the Common Core State Standards, will keynote the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) convention in March. The Cardinal Newman Society has raised serious concerns about the Common Core’s impact on Catholic identity and related changes that detract from Catholic schools’ time-proven curricula and methods. The choice of Coleman as keynote speaker suggests support for the Common Core, when what we most need is a frank conversation among Catholic educators and parents about the Common Core and its unsuitability to Catholic education. 


Final Report from Synod Echoes Vital Need for Families in Catholic Education
12/15/2015
The emphasis on the educative role of families and the supportive nature of Catholic schools are encouraging signs coming from the Vatican’s final English translation of the Synod on the Family report, said The Cardinal Newman Society’s deputy director of K-12 education programs Dr. Denise Donohue.

“It is edifying to see the document reiterate Gravissimum Educationis’s emphasis on the family as the primary place for formation and the role that Catholic schools play in assisting them,” Donohue said, referring to the Church’s declaration on Christian education issued by Blessed Paul VI in 1965.

“The parental role should be strengthened and reinforced by the school through formation and education programs, as stated in the document, that increase knowledge in all areas of life and learning, especially in areas of human love and flourishing,” she said.


New Catholic University in Iraq ‘A Way of Fighting Back’ Against ISIS
12/14/2015
Christians in Iraq have suffered great persecution from radical Islamist terror group the Islamic State (ISIS), but a new Catholic university in Erbil — the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan — recently opened its doors to students, and the Archbishop of Erbil said he hopes that its presence will motivate Iraqi Christians to stay in the region and work towards a better future.

“Our beloved Christian community has so many reasons to leave Iraq today,” said Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil to AsiaNews. “This is why this university is a strong motive to stay. We all have a great responsibility to give them reasons to stay.”

In July, Archbishop Warda told the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference that the university was “a way of fighting back against Daesh [Islamic State] and saying we (Christians) are not going to go away,” according to The Catholic Leader. “We’re not leaving, as they wished we would.”


Editorial: Catholic Schools Should Proudly Keep ‘Catholic’ as Their Core
12/14/2015
Common Core co-developer David Coleman believes that Catholic schools should have the “moxie” to preserve and celebrate their Catholic identity and emphasis on the liberal arts — and The Cardinal Newman Society wholeheartedly agrees, despite our clear disagreement about whether the Common Core fits well within that Catholic education.

The Cardinal Newman Society continues to have serious concerns about the Common Core’s impact in Catholic schools. For that reason, Coleman may seem an unusual choice for a Newman Society interview. We certainly haven’t changed our position.


Reflections on Interview with David Coleman, College Board President and Common Core Architect
12/14/2015
Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in The Cardinal Newman Society’s exclusive interview with David Coleman, president of The College Board (a testing company which provides the SAT and AP exams) and one of the developers of the Common Core Standards. As a critic of certain aspects of the Common Core and its influence in Catholic schools, it was an opportunity to learn about Mr. Coleman’s educational philosophy, his support for Catholic liberal arts education and his clear and emphatic statement that, “A child excellently trained in the traditional liberal arts will do superbly on relevant sections of the SAT and other aspects of Advanced Placement work — rest assured.”

This was indeed a welcome statement. Since the introduction of the Common Core in public schools in 2010, many Catholic school leaders have been sounding the alarm that if Catholic schools did not immediately embrace the college- and career-based Common Core standards, our students would somehow be left at a disadvantage.


EXCLUSIVE: Common Core Architect Says Don’t Abandon Traditional Catholic Education, Students ‘Will Do Superbly’ on New SAT Exam
12/14/2015
David Coleman, president of the company responsible for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and Advanced Placement (AP) exams and a chief architect of the controversial Common Core Standards, told The Cardinal Newman Society in an exclusive interview that students educated in traditional Catholic schools have nothing to fear about the Common Core-driven changes to the SAT and AP exams.

Moreover, Coleman praised religious liberal arts schools, “the beauties and distinctive values of a religious education” and even the new trend toward classical Catholic schools and homeschooling, insisting that the Common Core Standards should not be a reason for Catholic educators to abandon what is unique about a traditional Catholic education.


Benedictine College Committed to Forming ‘Architects of God’s Beauty’
12/11/2015
A new architecture major offered at the Newman Guide-recommended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., will help students fuse Catholic theology with their careers in architecture, and build up the Church by constructing churches, cities and communities that remind people of God’s presence and beauty, Benedictine Academic Dean Dr. Kimberly Shankman told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

“Our hope is that our architecture program can form architects committed to beauty as a sign of God’s presence, committed to developing cities and towns to foster true human community and committed to developing their skills to the highest possible level to put them in service to the Church and the world,” said Shankman.


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

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


Newman Society Urges Focus on Catholic Identity Amid ‘Backlash Over Common Core’
12/9/2015
In a widely published Associated Press (AP) report on the “backlash” against Common Core Standards in Catholic schools, The Cardinal Newman Society’s Dr. Dan Guernsey made clear that the main focus of Catholic education should not be the college and career preparation associated with the Standards, but on getting students “into heaven.”

“Right now, Catholic schools are still trying to figure out how they respond to the Common Core and how deeply they embrace it,” Guernsey, director of the Newman Society’s K-12 program, told the AP.

Guernsey explained that the focus of Catholic education must remain “on the development of students' ‘mind, body and spirit.’”


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

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


«« First « Previous |1 2 3 4 ... 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 | Last ››

Departments

Maximize

More News Categories

Maximize

Subscribe

Minimize

Join Us

Join thousands of Catholic families and individuals standing with The Cardinal Newman Society for faithful Catholic education. Members receive news roundups by email, about weekly.

Start your no-cost membership now!

Minimize

Donate

Our work is possible only through the generosity of countless supporters who share our mission. We have promoted and defended faithful Catholic education for 20 years! Please support our successful work by making a donation today.

Minimize

Stay Connected

Keep up with the latest developments by joining our social media networks:

Facebook

Twitter

Google Plus

Linkedin

Minimize

Connect on Facebook

Maximize

Links to News Sites

Maximize

Links to Blog Sites

Catholic Identity Concerns|Faith in Education|From the Bishops and Vatican|Religious Freedom | Terms Of Use | Privacy Statement
Copyright 2016 by Cardinal Newman Society -- 9720 Capital Ct., Ste. 201, Manassas, VA 20110