Friday, May 06, 2016

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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.


Conference Supports Priests as Indispensable to Faithful Catholic Education
4/19/2016
Catholic schools used to rely heavily on the involvement of priests as educators and administrators, but their presence in the classroom has dwindled over the years. An annual conferenceput on by the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) seeks to reinforce the necessity of involving priests in Catholic education, and organizers are already seeing successful results.

“Catholic education ought to be seen as the primary engine of Pope John Paul II’s ‘new evangelization,’” remarked Father Peter Stravinskas, executive director of CEF, in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society. “Being a Catholic school teacher is not a job but a vocation, an apostolate.”


Single-Sex Dorms, Culture of Chastity Needed to Discern Marriage in College, Say Notre Dame Students
2/23/2016
Part of the joy of attending a Catholic college is the opportunity to discern a possible call to marriage and family life, but students at the University of Notre Dame told The Cardinal Newman Society that colleges must make sure their dorm and visitation policies facilitate a vibrant and chaste Catholic environment to make discerning that call possible.

The Newman Society released a report this week entitled “Visitation Policies at U.S. Catholic Colleges and Universities” that reviewed the policies regulating student visitation at the 191 residential Catholic colleges in the United States. In an effort to gather feedback on the positives and negatives of these policies and where students think they can be improved, the Newman Society spoke with several students who attended last month’s Edith Stein Project Conference at Notre Dame.


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.”


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.


Dominican Friars Supported in Vocations, Spiritual Formation at Newman Guide Colleges
10/29/2015
Friars from the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in Washington, D.C., recently shared their vocation stories with The Cardinal Newman Society and credited much of their spiritual growth and vocational assistance to institutions recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

In recent months, The Cardinal Newman Society has reported on several religious orders with members who graduated from Newman Guide colleges, including the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, the Sisters of Life and the Benedictine Monks of Norcia. Their testimonies indicate that the importance of faithful Catholic education cannot be overstated in producing vocations and moral formation among young people from all walks of life.


Benedictine College Takes Marriage and Family Prep to New Heights
10/26/2015
For Catholic colleges to truly change the culture, they must become leaders in equipping their students for faithful and strong marriages and families, David Trotter, director of Ministry and Mission at The Newman Guide-recommended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., told The Cardinal Newman Society.

“A faithful Catholic education communicates the truth and beauty of the reality of love. But many young people today have experienced the dissatisfaction and emptiness from a ‘pleasure-seeking’ love,” said Trotter. “A snap shot of statistics on college aged men and women regarding drug abuse, suicide, binge drinking and sexual assault confirms the importance and urgency for Catholics, especially those involved with higher education, to promote a Culture of Life — one that is rooted in a Love that is self-giving.”

At Benedictine, promoting a Culture of Life begins on campus with student formation and building strong marriages and families.


In Culture Hostile to Marriage, Christendom College Fosters Faithful Unions
10/23/2015
Given the current state of marriage in the United States, it is more important now than ever that Catholic colleges continue to communicate the truth and beauty of the Church’s teaching on marriage and family, said Christendom College alumni Jacob and Jessica Meza in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

“The family is meant to be a reflection of God’s love for man,” they said. “It is imperative then that Catholic colleges continue to communicate the beauty of sacrificial, life-giving love in marriage, otherwise our culture will continue to fall further away from understanding God’s love for mankind.”

As the Synod on the Family wraps up its final week in Rome, the Newman Society reached out to several alumni who met their spouses while attending one of the faithful Catholic colleges recommended in The Newman Guide. Across the board, couples noted the incalculable foundation that a strong Catholic education offered them both in their marriage and in starting a family.


Catholic Colleges Must Tell Story of God’s Vision for Marriage, Says CUA Chaplain
10/16/2015
In a culture that often discounts the sanctity and permanence of marriage, Catholic colleges are uniquely placed to show students the reality of God’s vision for marriage and family. The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C., is one Catholic college that takes great pains to ensure its students are properly formed in this regard.

Modern culture often “presents marriage as a convenience, a good financial arrangement, or simply a lark,” Father Jude DeAngelo, chaplain and director of campus ministry at CUA, told The Cardinal Newman Society. As a response, “our Catholic colleges need to continue to teach the beauty and truth of this profound sacrament.”

It is especially important for young people to fully understand marriage as not just a vocation to holiness, but as the integral framework for Christ’s relationship to the Church, said Fr. DeAngelo.


Christendom College Builds Strong Marriage and Family Life
10/16/2015
When it comes to building strong marriages and families, nothing is more important than faithful Catholic education, said Tom McFadden, vice president for enrollment at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va.

Following the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and with the Synod on the Family currently underway in Rome, the Newman Society spoke with several of the faithful Catholic colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to learn more about their best practices for encouraging faithful families and marriages.

“Many people find their spouse in college. This is a fact. Even if they don’t, the people they meet might influence the type of person they want to meet as a spouse someday,” said McFadden. “Being in the right place, with the right type of people, is important if marriage is something that could be in your future. It is no small thing to get married or choose the religious life, and both are very daunting tasks in themselves.”


Nurturing Faith-Filled Marriages at Mount St. Mary’s University
10/14/2015
Marriage is in crisis and on many college campuses young people often lack the foundation they need to appreciate the sacred beauty and responsibility of the vocation of marriage. But Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md.—like many of the other colleges recommended in The Newman Guide for strong Catholic identity—actively supports the Church’s vision of marriage through campus ministry initiatives.

Many young people today only “hear of love from a secular perspective,” which fails to “take into consideration the sacrifice and struggle of day-to-day love,” Brendan Johnson, a campus ministry associate at the Mount, told The Cardinal Newman Society. “Most young people simply aren’t aware of the graces offered in the sacrament of matrimony, or even that they can become great saints within this vocation.”


Faithful Campus Life Leads Students to Better Marriages at Franciscan University
10/14/2015
Over the years, the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio has watched many relationships which started on campus turn into strong Catholic marriages. The secret to this success is due in large part to the University’s student life efforts to encourage faithful marriages and families, said David Schmiesing, vice president of student life at Franciscan University, in a recent interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Following the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and with the Synod on the Family currently underway in Rome, the Newman Society spoke with several of the faithful Catholic colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to glean how they are inspiring faithful families and marriages. For Franciscan, strong residence life policies, an emphasis on virtue and the beauty of the Church’s teaching on marriage and family have proved a winning combination.

“Yes, it seems like many of our students do meet here and get married,” said Schmiesing, who oversees the student life department, its 1,600 students in residence halls, athletic programs, presentations and talks given on campus, more than 30 student clubs and other student activities. 


Sisters of Life Praise Faithful, Pro-Life Catholic Colleges for Nourishing Vocations
10/1/2015
A faithful Catholic college’s influence on its students can yield extraordinary fruits, in particular, the knowledge and passion to pursue one’s vocation to religious life—and in the case of a student called to the Sisters of Life, a strong pro-life focus is especially important. That’s what two of the Sisters of Life who graduated from colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College recently told The Cardinal Newman Society.

Sister Agnus Dei, a 2006 alumna of The Catholic University of America (CUA), and Sister Mary Louise Concepta, a 1999 alumna of Franciscan University of Steubenville, shared how their college educations helped form their spiritual lives and nourish their religious vocations.


Dominican Sisters Credit Newman Guide Colleges in Preparing for Religious Vocations
9/11/2015
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.


Chart-Topping Monks Found Vocations, Sacred Music at Newman Guide Colleges
6/11/2015
Far away in Norcia, Italy, a small community of 18 Benedictine monks is topping the music charts with its new album of sacred music—and two of them tell The Cardinal Newman Society that it was at American Newman Guide-recommended colleges where they found the inspiration to pursue religious life and to foster a love of music.

With the conviction that beautiful, sacred music is a powerful tool for evangelization and possesses unique capabilities of attracting the soul to the divine, De Montfort Music recently released the monks’ album honoring the Virgin Mary.

“Music has the ability to reach into all kinds of nooks and crannies in the heart and soul that words may not,” said Monica Fitzgibbons, who manages De Montfort Music with her husband Kevin. “It is an experience of the senses,and it is no surprise that the Psalms, for example, have been an attracting force among many different faiths.”


Bishop Conley Attributes Ordinations to Faithful Catholic Education
6/10/2015
Faithful Catholic families and education are responsible for the growing number of vocations in the United States, according to Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Neb., who recently ordained eight men to the priesthood for his Diocese.

“Today’s ordination is a testament to the Providence of God,” said Bishop Conley in his homily. “It is a testament to families who formed these young men in the faith. It is a testament to our Catholic schools. This is indeed a joyous occasion.”

Bishop Conley is not alone in his admiration for Catholic schools, joining a growing list of bishops who have applauded faithful Catholic education in recent weeks. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul-Minneapolis, Minn.; Bishop David O’Connell of Trenton, N.J.; Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland, Ohio; andBishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Fla., have all shown their support for Catholic education—an issue of increasing importance, given recent attacks against Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s defense of Catholic school identity in San Francisco.


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


Study Reveals One Third of Newly Professed Religious in 2014 Attended Catholic Colleges
2/2/2015
The recent study also included many other noteworthy facts concerning the relationship between religious life and Catholic education in the United States.


New Serbian Law Enables Catholic Church to Establish and Run Schools
1/21/2015
A new law enabling the Vatican to establish and run Catholic schools in Serbia has been agreed upon and adopted by the Serbian parliament, according to InSerbia News.


Thomas Aquinas President Explains How College Fosters Vocations
1/7/2015
"Thomas Aquinas College is certainly doing something right in fostering this impressive number of vocations," McLean reportedly said, while noting three areas—education, moral life, and spiritual life—which aid students in their discernment.


Thomas Aquinas College’s 60th Alumnus-Priest Praises Faithful College Formation
12/30/2014
Father Matthew Busch, an alumnus of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., was recently ordained as the College’s 60th alumnus-priest, according to the College. Fr. Busch shared how the College helped form and prepare him to live out his priestly vocation.


Schools Are Places of ‘Charity and Creativity’ Says Pope Francis
12/1/2014
In an address given in honor of the “Year of Consecrated Life,” Pope Francis encouraged those committed to the consecrated life to continue living their charisms through maintaining places of “charity and creativity,” such as schools, according to ZENIT’s translation of the message.


Mount St. Mary’s Gives Student-Athletes Opportunity for Spiritual Coaching
11/26/2014
Students at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., are taking advantage of the “spiritual coaching” provided by the University’s sports chaplaincy program. The program was recently highlighted in an article for the Frederick News-Post.


Vocations Continue to Pour from Thomas Aquinas College
10/31/2014
Two alumni from Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Paula, Calif., recently became the 61st and 62nd College graduates to be ordained to the priesthood, announced the College.


Bishop Conley Affirms Parents’ Vocation to Educate Children in Holiness
10/16/2014
Parents are entrusted with “a responsibility to ensure that their schooling choices won’t undermine” the cultivation of their children’s souls, according to Bishop James Conley of the Lincoln Diocese in Nebraska.


Notre Dame Alumnus Laments ‘Careerist Culture’ at University
9/24/2014
Michael Bradley, managing editor of Ethika Politika and a recent University of Notre Dame graduate, recently wrote a piece for The Irish Rover, an independent student publication, criticizing the “careerist culture [that] infests Notre Dame."


Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict Demonstrate Importance of Education
8/29/2014
Earlier this month, Pope Francis spoke about education with the bishops of Seoul during his visit to South Korea, while Pope Emeritus Benedict celebrated Mass with his former students.


New Principal: Catholic Education is Mission of Church
8/25/2014
Central Catholic High School in Bloomington, Ill., which received special recognition for “Excellence in Catholic Identity” in the 2012 Catholic High School Honor Roll, is welcoming a new principal for the 2014-15 school year.


Pro-Life Culture at Christendom Bears Fruit at Pregnancy Center
8/19/2014
“Where the rubber hits the road.” These are the words used by Christendom College alumna Mary Brand (’98) to describe her local crisis pregnancy center, and others like it.


Catholic Studies Program Founder at UST in Minnesota Retires after 21 Years at Helm
8/14/2014
Don Briel, founder of the Catholic Studies department at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minn., is retiring after 21 years in charge of the groundbreaking program.


Christendom College Celebrates Ordination of 70th Alumnus to the Priesthood
6/4/2014
“Christendom College’s holistic educational and spiritual formation has helped foster 149 religious vocations during its 37-year history: 70 priests, 49 sisters, 5 deacons, 3 brothers, and 22 men currently in seminary.”


Abortion Rights Party Line a Discouragement to Students, Say Canadian Catholic Educators
6/3/2014
The members of a Catholic school board in Ontario, Canada, are warning that Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau’s requirement that fellow party members support abortion rights may prevent students from interacting in public life.


Franciscan University Youth Conferences Help Foster Religious Vocations
5/30/2014
A new study shows that 14 percent of those ordained to the priesthood this year had attended at least one Franciscan University of Steubenville summer youth conference before entering seminary.


Christendom Grad, Mount St. Mary’s Seminarian to Be Ordained Deacon
5/29/2014
Noah Morey grew up homeschooling in Seattle with his seven siblings—one of whom is a Benedictine priest and another of whom is a Discalced Carmelite nun.


Christendom President Gives Keynote at National Religious Life Meeting
4/29/2014
Dr. Timothy O’Donnell offered a talk entitled, “Building the Civilization of Love through the Sacred Heart.”


Religious Communities Visit Thomas Aquinas College
4/14/2014
In the past, approximately 10% of the College’s graduates have entered the priesthood or religious life.


100-Year-Old Priest Befriended College Students through Sports
3/4/2014
"I was noted for going to all the games," Fr. Kostka told the Standard. "I don't regret that at all - that's the only contact you have with some students."


Thomas Aquinas Coll. Students Told to Share Their Gifts, Magnify Truth at Career Forum
2/26/2014
Thomas Aquinas College students in Santa Paula, Calif., heard from successful Catholic professionals who “place the fruits of their success in service of Christ, His Church, and His mission in the world.”


Wife and Mother, Olympian and Catholic: Exclusive Interview with Rebecca Dussault
2/20/2014
It was 2006 and Rebecca Dussault was living in one of the villages at the winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.  Every day, she and her team—her husband and son—headed off to daily Mass...


Mothers of College Students Form Prayer, Support Groups
2/20/2014
The transition to college is not always easy for students and their mothers, says a parishioner at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Vienna, Va.


Magdalen Students Pray, Discuss Vocations in 'Sodality of Mary'
1/24/2014
The College of Saint Mary Magdalen has a feature on its website about the Sodality of Mary, a group of female students who meet for prayer and spiritual discussions on a regular basis.


College Student Debt Delays Vocations, Families
1/17/2014
The article cites a study done by Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), which found that one-third of all inquirers for religious life had an average student debt load of $28,000.  


Pope Francis Set to Declare Jesuit Priest a Saint
12/11/2013
Vatican Insider is reporting that Pope Francis is set to declare 16th century Jesuit, the Rev Peter Faber, a companion of St. Ignatius Loyola, a saint.


Franciscan University Honors Order of Sisters Founded on Campus
12/10/2013
Franciscan University of Steubenville bestowed its 2013 Founders' Award on the Franciscan Sisters TOR of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother.


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