The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cardinal Newman Society in Support of Catholic Education

If you read this blog, even occasionally, you know that I have an interest in the renewal of Catholic higher education and the re-establishment of Catholic identity at Catholic colleges and universities. And because of this, I was especially pleased to hear that the Cardinal Newman Society has launched a major effort to support Catholic educators and bishops who are concerned about the state of Catholic higher education today.

According to a press release by the Society, this effort is the focus of the Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education under the leadership of Dr. David House. The Center will study the best practices of Catholic institutions and encourage collaboration by sharing the results with other schools. In its release, the Society went on to say,
"The Center´s work focuses on issues of practical importance to college leaders and bishops in three key areas: institutional mission, academic quality and student life. Some of the topics for 2010 include measures for self-assessing Catholic identity; the implementation of Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Vatican´s guidelines for Catholic colleges, on the document´s 20th anniversary; defending Catholic colleges against government threats to religious liberty; core curricula at Catholic colleges; and students´ spirituality and sexual activity on Catholic campuses."
Significantly, the newly formed Center has the active support of the Vatican, and one of its key advisers is Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome. Apart from the Pope himself, the Apostolic Signatura is the highest judicial authority of the Church, the supreme tribunal with the mission of ensuring justice in the Church is administered properly.

All in all the Center is a worthy undertaking. Let's pray that it receives the support of both our bishops and the leadership of our Catholic colleges and universities. And pray too for the cause of the canonization of John Henry Cardinal Newman (see photo), a cause led by Archbishop Burke.

And lest I forget, if you visit the Center's website, you can sign up for their email newsletter and keep informed on their activities. It's free.

The Cardinal Newman Society also publishes its Newman Guide To Choosing a Catholic College, an excellent publication that is also available online at The Newman Guide. If you're the parent or grandparent of a Catholic high school student, this guide should be required reading. And here's a link to a video overview of the Guide: Guide helps U.S. Catholics choose colleges.


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