Monday, November 30, 2015

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With many nurses now facing the ethical dilemmas of participating in abortions and assisted suicides or losing their jobs, the nursing profession needs the concerted efforts of Catholic colleges to reinforce the dignity of every human life, Dr. Suzanne Carpenter, a former nursing professor at Our Lady of the Lake College in Baton Rouge, La., told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview.

“It is scary to come to the realization that there are nurses in our country who have been told to participate in abortions or lose their jobs,” said Carpenter. “Make no doubt, that unless Catholic colleges with nursing programs on their campuses make the sharing of Catholic teachings a priority, these programs can fall into the confusion of the world.”

Due to the increasing confusion in health care today, it is no wonder nursing students find themselves in these ethical dilemmas, Carpenter pointed out.
The expansion of faithful Catholic higher education and the growing options for Catholic families are evidenced in the successful and emerging engineering programs at several colleges recommended in The Cardinal Newman Society’s Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

So we decided to take a closer look at these high-demand engineering programs and how they fit with a solid liberal arts formation. We also spoke with several educators at the colleges to learn more about their respective programs and the benefits of pursuing a degree in engineering at a faithful college.

There can be many tough decisions when selecting a college, but having to choose between faithful Catholic education and a degree in engineering should not be one of them, the educators agreed.
At the beginning of a new school year, professors at some of America’s most faithfully Catholic colleges take the Vatican’s Oath of Fidelity to protect against scandal and fortify the colleges’ Catholic identity. It stands in stark contrast to the infidelity and confusion emanating from some other Catholic campuses.

Some colleges—like Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., and Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo.—ask all faculty members to take the Oath. At least another 14 Catholic colleges require the Oath from their theology professors, and The Catholic University of America (CUA) requires theology professors to have the “canonical mission,” which is necessary for granting pontifical degrees.

But still, among nearly 200 Catholic colleges in the United States, 17 is a minority.  What inspires these uncommon colleges to require the Oath, and are there any real benefits?

“Theology faculty are asked to the take the Oath of Fidelity, so that they become mindful of the fact that they are witnessing, studying, teaching and handing down truth of which they are not the author,” said Dr. Mark Zia, associate professor of theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “Jesus Christ forever remains the Teacher, and both professor and students are his pupils as they respectfully probe the mysteries of salvation.”
Colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College for their strong Catholic identities and academics also rank well in leading secular guides, including the 2015 editions from USA Today and U.S. News and World Report. The publications look at factors such as affordability, freshman retention rates, student loan default rates and student-to-teacher ratios.

“These rankings prove that students can opt for strong, faithful Catholic colleges without sacrificing secular prestige,” said The Cardinal Newman Society’s Adam Wilson, managing editor of The Newman Guide.

“But we caution against placing too much importance on rankings that ignore the most important elements of a truly good education—elements that are the primary criteria forThe Newman Guide,” Wilson added. “All things considered, we believe The Newman Guide colleges are superior to all other options, because of their holistic approach to academics and the integration of faith in their studies and campus life.”
Catholic colleges need to reconnect with the spiritual and moral roots that once made their education so unique, said Father Dempsey Rosales Acosta in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society leading up to his presentation at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

Fr. Dempsey, who is an assistant professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, will present on the topic “Lectio Divina: Praying with Scripture to Connect with the Living God.” His talk will focus on the essential need for prayer within family life—but prayer and a vibrant spiritual life are also needed in higher education, and the World Meeting will be a prime opportunity to remind both families and colleges of this great need, he said.

“To conceive of prayer as an element disconnected or outside of Catholic education at any level would be a grievous mistake. The living connection with God through prayer is what actually gives us the proper reason for everything that we learn and do,” said Fr. Dempsey.
The availability of well-celebrated liturgy and sacred music should be the norm at all Catholic colleges, not the exception, said Dr. Kurt Poterack, choir director and adjunct professor of music at Christendom College in Front Royal, Va. Poterack spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society regarding Pope Emeritus Benedict’s recent comments on sacred music and what it means for Catholic colleges.

The Pope Emeritus recently received honorary doctorates from the John Paul II Pontifical University of Krakow and from the Academy of Music of Krakow in Poland. The former pontiff took the opportunity to thank the now-saint Pope John Paul II for the profound impact he had in his own spiritual life and also share his own reflections on the benefits of sacred music.

The emphasis on sacred music is certainly something that Catholic colleges should be paying attention to, as it helps students to encounter the living God in liturgy, Poterack stated.
If a Catholic college cannot assure that its theology professors are imparting the truths of the faith, then families should look to more faithful Catholic institutions, suggested Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Fla., in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Sound theology is the heart of Catholic higher education; it helps students direct their learning, explore the beauty of the faith and better understand their relationship with God and the Church. Therefore the Church provides the academic mandatum, an acknowledgment by the local bishop of a “professor’s commitment and responsibility to teach authentic Catholic doctrine and to refrain from putting forth as Catholic teaching anything contrary to the Church’s magisterium,” according to the U.S. bishops’ guidelines.

Referencing Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Vatican’s constitution on Catholic universities, Bishop Dewane noted that professors who have obtained the mandatum help Catholic colleges fulfill their mission. “It says that Catholicism is present and operative at such institutions. More profoundly, the individual professor evidences that desire to teach in communion, to express what the teachings of the Church are,” he said.
Athletes ages four and older are invited to participate in one of the Celts Sports Camps for basketball, volleyball, or soccer. UST will also offer a variety of quality music camps for students entering grades three through twelve.
"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.
Students, staff, faculty, and family members from the University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston recently gathered for the 11th annual President's Day of Service, the University reported.
"These contributions, as the recent gifts to our endowment, indicate the strong belief of the broader community in the mission of the Center and the contributions it makes," the Center's director, Father Donald Nesti, CSSp, said in the University news release.
The University of St. Thomas in Houston will offer a new master's degree in sacred music starting in the fall of 2015, the University recently announced. The program is reportedly only one of seven in the country and the sole program of its kind located in the South.
An English professor at the University of St. Thomas in Houston was recently named a knight of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great. Pope Francis bestowed the honor on Clinton Brand for his assistance integrating Anglican customs into Catholic liturgy.
Students and community members from the faithful Catholic colleges and universities recommended in The Newman Guide—about 3,000 of them, according to estimates—are traveling to Washington, D.C., this week to participate in the 42nd annual March for Life.
The degree will reportedly form students to become managers and analysts at all governmental levels, prepare them to serve as leaders in both public service and non-profit administration, and exist in the context of UST's Catholic identity.
The priests of the Congregation of St. Basil at the University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston, recently announced the relocation of their formation house from Toronto to the UST campus.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last week abandoned its longstanding, unconstitutional practice of measuring how religious a college appears to be before exempting it from federal oversight, but opted instead for a new test that considers whether individual employees perform religious functions.
Two alumni from the Gulf Region Academy for Catholic Educators program at the University of St. Thomas in Houston recently returned to the program to mentor current students and help them discover what it means to be a Catholic teacher.
Throughout the month of December, institutions recommended in The Newman Guide are offering students opportunities to celebrate Advent and prepare for Christmas before returning home at the end of the semester.
In light of its 20th anniversary, Fr. Nesti, the Center’s founder and current director, spoke with the Society about the Center’s role at UST and how it has grown over the past two decades.
Among Catholic colleges and dioceses across the country there has been an apparent rise in the celebration of the Mass ad orientem, where the priest and congregation face the same direction, traditionally to the east.
Dr. Scott Hahn recently spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society about his recommendations and advice for students considering an advanced degree in theology.
A new book written by faculty members at the University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston gives insights and helps readers understand “the role of women in the Church and in the world,” according to a recent University news release.
Dr. Randall Smith, professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, argued in a recent article for Aleteia that something must be done about institutions that identify as “Catholic,” yet are openly unsupportive of Catholic students, faculty, and Church teaching.
Students from colleges recommended in The Newman Guide recently appeared as guests on the Ave Maria Radio program “Mast Appeal.” The Society helped to coordinate interviews to give students the opportunity to share their experiences attending faithful Catholic colleges.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) recently released its sixth annual “What Will They Learn” list rating the core curricula of colleges and universities across the country. Several institutions recommended in The Newman Guide received high marks.
University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston, Tex., will increase its scholarship funds to $14.8 million starting in the fall of 2015, the University recently announced.
Today a coalition including The Cardinal Newman Society, leaders of Catholic schools and colleges, and the expert attorneys of the Alliance Defending Freedom told the Obama administration that its latest rule still “directly violates the religious liberty of organizations and individuals.”
The University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston, Tex., recently developed a new degree program under the title of Criminology, Law and Society, announced the University. The program aims to ensure that students understand Church teaching on social justice and morality.
University of St. Thomas in Houston philosophy professor Dr.John Hittinger joined a group of 20 academics and scholars to help Pope Francis in his preparation for World Youth Day 2016, set to take place in Krakow, Poland.
“I think there is great synergy with CALL’s mission and the University’s mission with regards to producing leaders of faith and character,” Lee Vigil, director of evangelization at UST said.
Washington Monthly recently released its rankings of four-year colleges and universities across the nation. This year’s 2014 college guide included many colleges and universities recommend in The Newman Guide.
A new program is underway at the University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston to offer the dependents of full-time University employees reduced tuition at Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, the University reported.
The University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston has been rapidly expanding its science, technology, engineering and math programs (STEM), reported the Houston Chronicle last week. The expansion is reportedly a result of both societal need and student demand.
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.
The University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston, Tex. is now offering a Master of Science in Clinical Translation Management, announced the University on its website.
University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston, Tex., recently announced its newest degree programs: a bachelor's and a master's in International Business.
Dr. Rogelio Garcia Contreras, advisor to the Social Entrepreneurship Program at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Tex., recently met Pope Francis during a trip to Rome to participate in the first Conference for Impact Investment titled "Investing for the Poor."
A $15,000 grant recently allowed 92 children from inner city Catholic schools to attend summer music camps at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Tex., reports the University.
“Odis and Carol’s contribution reaches far beyond the University of St. Thomas,” President Ivany said. “Our faith-based, holistic nurses will heal thousands of patients and touch countless lives."
“We are an extension of this great university,” UST Athletic Director Todd Smith said. “We are about graduating champions of faith and character.”
The vision of Pope St. John Paul II in Ex corde Ecclesiae, “stresses that the most comprehensive understanding of reality is achieved when academic ‘silos’ are avoided and knowledge from the various academic disciplines is integrated.”
“Ethics cannot be trivialized as the ‘stepchild’ of the business schools,” Dr. Simms told The Cardinal Newman Society. “It must be placed front and center as an anchor for all the other functional departments.”
The new program of study will be offered beginning in the fall of 2014 at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Tex., and will “prepare Catholic scientists.”
The Cardinal Newman Society, joined by several faithful Catholic colleges, today made a strong plea to the National Labor Relations Board, urging it to abide by the U.S. Constitution and stop interfering with religious education.
The academic programs include “Business Boot Camp,” “Critical Thinking and Logic,” “Life and Genome Summer Camp,” “Summer Institute of Mathematics,” and “Virtue,Character and Community.”
“Religious Freedom, Freedom of Conscience: The Coming Perfect Storm” is the title of one lecture slated to be given by UST professor and Scanlan Foundation Endowed Chair in theology, Dr. Randall Smith.
“We are very fortunate to have Cardinal DiNardo on our Board of Directors and gratefully recognize his contributions to UST and to the entire Catholic community for the past 10 years,” said Dr. Robert Ivany, St. Thomas President.
“The shared values of our two institutions should make transition to the undergraduate engineering program at CUA easier for our cooperative engineering students.”
For the tenth year in a row, the University of St. Thomas and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston held an essay contest for Catholic school students.
This year, thousands of students from Catholic colleges and universities across the United States will join the throngs of pro-life people attending the 41st annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, January 22.
Dr. Robert Ivany will be visiting Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., later this month to speak to prospective students and their parents about "The Value of a Catholic Education" at UST.
University of St. Thomas (UST) in Houston, Tex., says that its Cameron School of Business is educating students to be "leaders of faith and character."
“UST Wordview” is a new TV series “that explores the richness of the Catholic faith."
“I look forward to seeing the students come alive in faith and observe them develop an insatiable desire to share their faith with their peers."
Dr. John Hittinger and Dr. Ted Rebard, both UST professors of philosophy, were in Rome for the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas conference, titled "Believing, Loving and Living Truth."
Katharine Hatcher, an alumna of University of St. Thomas in Houston (UST), is directing a play about the relationship between British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. 
Last semester, senior Brittany Garza initiated a new group for women at the University of St. Thomas in Houston dedicated to help women though "friendship, education and charity," according to the University.
"Despite assurances from the Administration to the contrary, this mandate would still insist that every employee at Catholic universities and colleges be enrolled in an insurance regiment that includes abortion causing drugs," said Monsignor Stuart Swetland.
Father enrolls at University of St. Thomas (Houston) after sitting in on his son's philosophy class.
Fr. Kevin Flannery, S.J., of the Pontifical Gregorian University will deliver this year’s Aquinas Lecture titled “The Capacious Mind of Thomas Aquinas” at The University of St. Thomas in Houston.
The U.S. Department of Education reportedly awarded the University of St. Thomas School of Education in Houston, Texas, a $1.25 million grant over the next five years to prepare graduate students for leadership positions in special education.
The Cardinal Newman Society today released the 2012-2013 edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College with significant new features, as well as a new companion magazine for Catholic high school students and their parents titled My Future, My Faith.
Three colleges that appear in The Newman Guide for their fidelity to Catholic teaching were recently honored by the American Council of College Trustees and Alumni for the strength of their curriculum. Many others received high marks as well.
The criteria used in most college rankings, like the ones newly released by U.S. News & World Report, don’t include some of the most important factors for Catholic families choosing a college.  These include quality of the core curriculum, study in authentic Catholic theology and philosophy, interdisciplinary study, ethical formation, morality of campus life, and more.
“The Vocation of the Christian Philosopher” was the topic of the presentation given by University of St. Thomas (Houston) philosophy professor Dr. John Hittinger at a conference in Vatican City last month.
The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) marked the anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici—released 20 years ago today—with a statement by the distinguished philosopher Dr. John P. Hittinger of the University of St. Thomas, Houston.
Studies abroad related to "shaping leaders of faith and character"
President Ivany: "Caring for the sick complements our unique mission."
The Cardinal Newman Society today praised President Robert Ivany of the University of St. Thomas, Houston, for canceling a faculty and staff invitation for Dolores Huerta, a pro-abortion advocate, who was scheduled to speak on campus.
Seton Hall University is searching for a new dean of its College of Arts Sciences, and commitment to Catholic identity is a factor.
The University of St. Thomas in Houston, Tex., has embarked on a Catholic hiring program, and its recruitment for a school of education dean shows its seriousness.  In a large display advertisement in the Nov. 16 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, UST emphasizes its Catholic identity.

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