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Catholic Education Daily


Catholic University Immerses New Faculty in Catholic Intellectual Tradition

A conference last week at The Catholic University of America (CUA) helped recently hired professors learn more about the Catholic intellectual tradition, the University announced.

Faculty members from various schools at the University, including architecture, arts and sciences, philosophy, law, nursing, and theology, took part in the conference.  According to the University, while many of the faculty that participated in the conference were not Catholic, they were "interested in how they may contribute to the University's Catholic identity."

The first goal of the University's Strategic Plan is to ensure "the continuance and deepening of a strong, mission-based, academically rigorous Catholic identity."  The workshop served to engage new faculty members in this conversation.

Speakers at the conference included Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, CUA President John Garvey, Provost James Brennan, and several faculty members. Other presenters represented an array of research institutes and organizations, including: offices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Cardinal Newman Society's Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education, the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, and nearby seminaries and religious orders.

Cardinal Wuerl spoke to the attendees about how the New Evangelization means believing and visibly living the Catholic faith.

“To stand in the truth is a wonderful experience,” he said. “If you believe and are confident in the truth, then what follows is a whole different way of acting and teaching. Students come here expecting an environment rooted in this ancient tradition of faith. There is a truth, and our task is to bring that truth to the questions of today. We bring a voice that says, out of all the things that we can do, these are the things we ought to do.”

Brennan said that the faculty participating in the conference were previously introduced to key documents such as Ex corde Ecclesiae during their yearlong orientation at CUA.  He said, “They are an informed group who can have deep conversations that can advance everyone’s thinking — including my own thinking — on what our Catholic identity is and how it can grow.”

President Garvey spoke to the group about Catholic identity in higher education.  He said:

“A recovery of a genuinely Catholic approach to higher education begins by re-evaluating the notion that a Catholic college or university ought to strive to be like a secular one. A distinctly Catholic model of education will acknowledge that a comprehensive Catholic education involves both a moral and an intellectual formation inspired by the Catholic tradition.”

The Catholic University of America is recommended at for its strong Catholic identity.

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