Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick J. Reilly recently discussed the work of the Society with pro-life leader Steve Peroutka on National Pro-Life Radio in an episode of “Face the Truth, Coast to Coast.” Peroutka has plans to interview representatives from the colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College in the upcoming weeks.
Reilly shared how The Cardinal Newman Society works to “promote and defend faithful Catholic education.” In answering the question of why students should attend a Catholic college as opposed to a secular institution, Reilly noted that Catholic colleges are centered on the “most important things.”
“[College] is an opportunity of four years of your life that you will not get back,” said Reilly. “[It is a time] to stop before going out as an adult into the workforce and into family life; to really learn the faith in an adult way; to learn how the world works.”
Reilly acknowledged that “unfortunately, many of our Catholic institutions have lost a sense of their Catholic identity,” and so The Cardinal Newman Society works to “expose the problems to make Catholic families aware of them.”
Out of the more than 200 Catholic colleges in the United States, 22 are recommended as outstanding Catholic colleges in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.
Reilly noted that the colleges recommended in The Newman Guide are varied. He offered the examples of Wyoming Catholic College and John Paul the Great Catholic University. At WCC, students take a classical education “retreat” from technology for four years, while at JP Catholic students are educated on how to use technology to “evangelize the world.”
“Having strong Catholic identity isn’t as unique as it once was,” Reilly explained, “and so the Colleges [in The Newman Guide] are developing their own niches.”
Reilly shared how some colleges in The Newman Guide have always been faithfully Catholic, others have strengthened their Catholic identity in recent years, and still others have been created in the last decade with strong Catholic identity.
The colleges are evaluated on how they live out their Catholic identity “both inside and outside the classroom from top to bottom” Reilly stated. “If a college is clearly committed to its Catholic identity, then it’s included in the Guide.”
Reilly also said that a number of Catholic colleges have requested to be considered for The Newman Guide, and the Society works with them to improve Catholic identity.
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