Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily


'Dear Father Jenkins' Campaign Launched by Notre Dame Alumni against HHS Mandate

The past few weeks have witnessed increasing opposition to President Obama's unjust HHS mandate from a number of faithful Catholic colleges and universities.  Belmont Abbey College and now Ave Maria University even have law suits in motion against this assault on religious liberty.  Many Catholic universities and other institutions have followed the US bishops' lead in sounding their opposition. And while the University of Notre Dame continues to be considered as a model Catholic institution by so many Americans, the institution's public response following Obama's February 10 nominal revision to the HHS mandate has been very low key. We just learned about a new initiative launched by Notre Dame alumni to, perhaps, encourage Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins to turn up the University's level of opposition to the HHS mandate.  The alumni started a project called "Dear Father Jenkins".  From the site:
Dear Father Jenkins As students and alumni of the institution that you have given your life to shepherd, we stand behind you as you fight for the protection of our consciences, our Catholicism, and our beloved University. We pray daily, and in a special way this Lenten season, for your strength to stand up - unapologetically and unabashedly— for the mission of Our Lady. Seeking the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes, we petition for your action against the unjust mandate imposed by our government with a series of letters over the next 40 days. "No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of the civil authority." - Thomas Jefferson
As the website indicates, over the course of 40 days a new letter from a different Notre Dame graduate will be posted to encourage more action from Father Jenkins against the HHS Mandate. We asked Rozann Carter, an organizer of the campaign and Creative Director at Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, what spurred them on to start this project:
"The "Dear Father Jenkins" blog was created by young alumni of Catholic universities (four from Notre Dame and one from Ave Maria University) working for Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. After viewing Father Barron' s video commentary on the "Anti-Catholic & Un-American"  HHS Mandate, we felt compelled to use the proven power of social media to make a difference and act as advocates for the Catholic identity of Notre Dame and other Catholic institutions."
If you are a Notre Dame graduate and would like to participate in this campaign, you can join their Facebook page or write and submit your own letter to

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