The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Catholic Education is in the process of identifying and inviting Catholic college presidents and bishops to discuss topics of Catholic education in America in a new working group, a USCCB official has confirmed to The Cardinal Newman Society.
Barbara McCrabb, assistant director for higher education in the USCCB’s education office, said that the working group of presidents and bishops will discuss topics that emerged from the 2011 ten-year review of The Application of Ex Corde Ecclesiae for the United States. A previous working group had existed from 2012 to 2013, but it ended its term a year early due to the untimely death of Bishop Joseph McFadden, who was chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education.
Archbishop George Lucas took over as Chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education in November, and the committee began moving toward reconstituting the working group after its March 2014 meeting. The first working group had strongly recommended that the conversation between bishops and presidents continue, and it requested that resources be allocated toward gathering further data on best practices and their results.
The final report written by the working group summarized the highlights of its five meetings. The meetings included discussions on continuing the dialogue between bishops and presidents toward greater cooperation in advancing the mission of the Church, hiring for mission, forming trustees and faculty regarding Catholic identity, and addressing the need for improved theological and catechetical knowledge among college students.
The initial working group was chaired by Bishop Walter Edyvean and included Archbishop John Vlazny, Bishop Richard Malone, Bishop John Noonan, Bishop David O’Connell, CM, and Bishop George Thomas. The college presidents included Sister Margaret Carney, OSF, of St. Bonaventure University; Father Michael Garanzini, SJ, of Loyola University Chicago; John Garvey of the Catholic University of America; Thomas Keefe of the University of Dallas; Dr. Stephen Minnis of Benedictine College; and Dr. Rosalie Mirenda of Neumann University. Also included were McCrabb and Dr. Michael Galligan-Stierle, director of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
Benedictine College, the Catholic University of America and the University of Dallas are recommended in The Newman Guide for their strong Catholic identity.
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