Crisis in Catholic Higher Education Conference: January 23

UPDATE: Due to the threat of severe weather, the January 23 conference was cancelled.

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The Cardinal Newman Society and the Institute of Catholic Culture (ICC) will present a unique conference on Catholic higher education next month, featuring the presidents of five Catholic colleges who will discuss the crisis in American society “under attack from the secularist agenda” and the solutions found in a faithful Catholic education.

The conference, titled “CRISIS: Catholic Higher Education and the Next Generation,” will take place the day after the March for Life, on Saturday, January 23, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at St. Thomas More Cathedral Hall in Arlington, Va. The public is invited and can register at the ICC’s website.

“There is truly a crisis of faith and identity in much of Catholic education, especially higher education,” said Newman Society President Patrick Reilly. “But I expect this conversation with some of the leading lights in faithful education to be very hopeful, and I am especially eager to hear the responses and proposals of the participants.”

“Many Catholics today in their 50s, 60s or 70s commonly ask the question, ‘What about the children?’” said Deacon Sabatino Carnazzo, executive director of the ICC, which brings many prominent lecturers to the Diocese of Arlington and offers videos of the lectures to Catholics worldwide. “With the current cultural crisis taking place,” he said, Catholic schools should be “teaching students the most important aspect of education, and that is the truth found in Jesus Christ.”

Fortunately, many faithful institutions — some of which will be represented at the conference — are countering a secularized academic culture and are “in many ways providing the last best hope for authentic Catholic education,” said Deacon Carnazzo.

All of the conference speakers are presidents of faithful Catholic colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. Confirmed speakers and topics include:

Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, president of Christendom College in Front Royal, Va.: “Catholic Higher Education, the Church’s View.”

Dr. Michael McLean, president of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif.: “Catholic Education and the Order of Learning.”

Dr. George Harne, president of Northeast Catholic College in Warner, N.H.: “The Human Person, Culture, and the Promise of Catholic Higher Education.”

Dr. Kevin Roberts, president of Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo.: “False Egalitarianism: Problems with American Education.”

Rev. Sean Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio: “Catholic Higher Education and the New Evangelization.”

Attendees will have opportunities to interact with the college presidents, and the conference will provide a space for participants to network and discuss viable solutions to the Catholic education crisis.

“This conference is not just for parents and grandparents concerned about the next generation’s education,” Deacon Carnazzo noted. “All of us should be interested in making a salvific education available to students.”

“Every Catholic needs to be engaged in the conversation about the renewal of Catholic education,” agreed Reilly.

The conference is free and open to the public. Each talk will be about 40 minutes long, and lunch will be provided with a request for free-will donations. Registration is required. Interested participants can find more information and register at the Institute of Catholic Culture’s website.

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