Our Catholic Mission

Spring 2024 Edition

Articles in this edition

Teacher Witness Inspires Conversion

Anabelle Pearson described herself as an atheist leading up to her years attending Holy Rosary Academy in Anchorage, Alaska. Through the witness of faithful Catholic educators, she is entering the Catholic Church in 2024 and now says God is not a crutch to get through life but the reason she has life!

When Teacher Witness Goes Wrong

Catholic education speaks as much by witness as by classroom instruction. Therefore, it is out of concern for truth and the formation of students that Catholic education leaders must discipline and sometimes even remove teachers when they lead students astray. To not do so would be to give moral equivalence to error.

Achieving Teacher Witness in a Virtual World

Does a virtual world change how we teach? Ann Brodeur, from Catholic Distance University, says that all good teaching, whether in person or online, is first personal and relational. Brodeur outlines the seven basic habits of intentional (online) learning. These can help any teacher regardless of the setting.

Winter 2023 Edition

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Making Sense of Parents as Primary Educators

Parents must take full responsibility for the education of their children and the choice of whether to employ professionals in that task—and which ones.

Catholic educators, in service to parents, should fully support this role and help parents know and choose the special value of faithful Catholic education.

Forming Students in Collaboration with Families

There is great benefit for Catholic educators to focus on the family’s unique role in education and evangelization and to explore how they can best assist them.

Dan Guernsey, a 30-year veteran of Catholic schools, shares insightful ideas on how one could achieve this.

Parents’ Role in Teaching Human Sexuality

Read about the four guiding principles Catholic educators should abide by when teaching human sexuality.

Supporting Homeschool Families

To complete the renewal of Catholic education, it will take a pooling of assets. Find out how educators can support the growing demographic of homeschooling families.

Fall 2023 Edition

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The Bishop’s Role in Discerning Catholic Identity  

Read about the responsibilities and indispensable role of the bishop in discerning Catholic identity in our schools, homeschools, and colleges.

Father, Shepherd, and Teacher

Bishop Thomas A. Daly, of Spokane, WA. is the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education. In this article, he shares three images of bishops that highlight their role in ensuring the mission of Catholic education. Bishop Daly also alerts his fellow bishops to keep watch over their flock when threats from gender ideology and secularism threaten the souls of children.

Priests Are Needed in Faithful Catholic Education

Father Peter M.J. Stravinskas, president of the Catholic Education Foundation, reminds us of the importance of the Catholic school in the life of the Church, particularly as a vehicle of the new evangelization. However, for schools to be vibrant, priests must be champions of Catholic education. Stravinskas goes on to share additional insight from one of the Church’s newest saints—St. John Henry Newman—a lifelong educator.

Case Studies in Transforming Parish Schools

Two case studies from two different parts of the country show how a parish priest undertook the difficult task of transforming their Catholic parochial school, recognizing that amidst the many challenges the school ultimately belongs to Jesus.

Summer 2023 Edition

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The Core of a Catholic Curriculum

As the lead evaluator of Newman Guide recognition, Dr. Denise Donohue outlines what to look for in a Catholic curriculum and how the curriculum should not only educate but draw students into the heart of the Church.

Newman Guide Education Is So Much More

To achieve Newman Guide recognition a school or college does not just have a better academic curriculum, instead, it has a better and more complete understanding of the human person. This enables them to see students as a unity of mind, body, and spirit.

Celebrating Every Kind of Catholic Education

As Catholic education keeps getting better, we celebrate the very best regardless of form (independent, parochial, diocesan, home). Case in point, we recently awarded Holy Angels Academy in Louisville, Kentucky, Newman Guide Recognition as we helped celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Spring 2023 Edition

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The Future of Faithful Catholic Education

Here are five objectives that Catholic education leaders can keep in mind as they move toward fulfilling the call for courageous renewal.

CNS Launches Newman Guide Recognition for Schools, Graduate Programs

The Newman Guide has helped Catholic families find solid Catholic colleges since 2007. Inspired by this success, we are extending the Newman Guide to include faithful Catholic elementary, secondary, and graduate school options. Read how this ensures your family has a pathway to a seamless, faithful Catholic education.

The Cardinal Newman Society Through the Years

Since 1993, The Cardinal Newman Society has led the growing movement for renewal of faithful Catholic education. Check out some of our past victories and the many initiatives we are pursuing to ensure Catholic education upholds its sacred mission.

Winter 2023 Edition

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Understanding the Ministerial Exception

The term “ministerial exception” has become common parlance for Catholic educators. But there is much about the exception that is misunderstood and remains undetermined. Find out ways your school or college could increase the likelihood of applying this exception.

Five Defenses for Catholic Education

You’re going to court—it’s almost inevitable. Do you know the five key defenses for Catholic education? Individually, they may not be enough, but together they offer powerful protection.

Catholic Student Policies Protect Students, Educators

One way to counter the ever-pressing culture is to produce and implement truly Catholic policies related to student formation and conduct. This will not only avoid conflict and lawsuits but give your school or college credibility when claiming religious freedom.

Fall 2022 Edition

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Eucharistic Literacy: Forming Teachers as Effective Catechists

Eucharistic literacy among students begins with hiring teachers who are literate in the Church’s teaching on the Sacrament of sacraments. But just as ongoing formation is needed in all subjects, so is catechetical formation for all teachers.

Eucharistic Liturgy: A Q & A with Archbishop Cordileone

In this discussion with Archbishop Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, he shares how catechesis is more than what is taught with words but is especially how worship is conducted.

Eucharistic Devotion: How to Promote Eucharistic Devotion at Your School

Here are five ways this Principal promotes Eucharistic devotion at his K-12 school.

Eucharistic Living in College

At college, young people are encouraged to do many things, but at faithful Catholic colleges, students learn how to live a Eucharistic life. What does a Eucharistic life entail? Find out more and share with families of school-age children.

This is a special edition of Our Catholic Mission produced in support of the United States Bishop’s three-year Eucharistic Revival.

Please click on the Eucharistic Education tab at the top of The Cardinal Newman Society’s website. Share the url with your friends and fellow parishioners, encouraging them to join the Eucharistic Task Force or submit a project. 

Summer 2022 Edition

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Classic Literature Rises Above Agendas, Ideology

Dan Guernsey, education policy editor and senior fellow at The Cardinal Newman Society shares how choosing the right literature can be an antidote for today’s pop culture. He also provides a list of do’s and don’ts to ensure that through literature, you are providing a compelling Catholic witness.

What Makes Catholic School Libraries Different?

A Catholic school library is different because the mission of a Catholic school is different. Rather than shy away from this, it is something to embrace, a distinguishing characteristic.

Three Guiding Principles in Choosing Literature

We have assembled Policy Standards on Literature and the Arts in Catholic Education recognizing that literature is an essential tool in the formation of a student’s mind, body, and spirit. If you’re unsure of how to choose literature, it’s as simple as 1-2-3.

Spring 2022 Edition

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Sport Is More Than a Game for Catholic Schools

Sports are an extension of a Catholic school’s mission and should be seen as both evangelical and formative.

10 Ways to Strengthen Athletics in Catholic Education
(Bonus: Anticipated Questions One Might Encounter)

This list is drawn from The Cardinal Newman Society’s “Policy Standards on Formation of the Human Person in Catholic School and College Sports.” It can serve as a guide to ensure sport achieves its true potential.

Catholic Educators Rise to Defend Women’s Sports

Faithful Cardinal Newman Guide colleges joined other religious colleges in standing firm against gender ideology and ultimately in defense of women’s sports by persuading the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to include broad protection for the mission of religious colleges in the Association’s new constitution.

Winter 2022 Edition

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Evangelizing Families Through Catholic School Admissions

Building and protecting a Catholic school’s community—which in itself is essential to the school’s task of forming young people for Christian communion with others and with God—should be a central concern in admissions decisions.

Handling the Tough Cases: Admissions Policies for Nontraditional Families

Dr. Dan Guernsey, education policy editor and senior fellow, explores why some families are not a good fit for Catholic schools, and others require special consideration. He provides guidance on how to treat individual family situations with compassion and courage, for the good of everyone involved.

Crafting Mission-Centered Parent-School Agreements

Strong parent-school agreements can help Catholic families and educators start off on the same page—committed to the integral formation of students for this life and the one to come—while ensuring that parents are well-informed of school policies.

Fall 2021 Edition

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A Pastor Saves His Flock by Catholic Education

“We need to do whatever we can to help parents get their kids out of these corrupt government-run schools,” Father John De Celles tells The Cardinal Newman Society.

Time for an Exodus from Public Schools?

Two expert scholars, Mary Rice Hasson, JD, and Theresa Farnan, PhD, argue that today is a “watershed” moment for Catholics to explore the state of public education. They urge Catholic educators to make available a wide variety of Catholic education options.

Facing Hard Truths About Secular Colleges

Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, reveals why the Ivy League institutions—and all secular colleges—aren’t what they’re made out to be. Since the founding of the Newman Society more than 28 years ago, Patrick has been alerting families and education leaders to the problems in secular (and secularized Catholic) higher education.

Summer 2021 Edition

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On Racism and Cancel Culture

Catholic educators can and should be teaching about race and human dignity, but Critical Race Theory is ideological and divisive and not appropriate to Catholic education.

Catholic Curriculum Standards: Faithful to the Core

Today, at least 28 diocesan school systems and many other Catholic schools across the United States—serving more than 270,000 students—use The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Curriculum Standards to replace or supplement their existing diocesan standards.

Secular Resources Can Be Dangerous to Catholic Education

“Catholic educators teach and do more,” write the Newman Society’s Dr. Denise Donohue and Dr. Dan Guernsey. “This means they must ask more of any material or program imported into the educational environment and be ready to heavily adapt it toward a greater end.” They also must recognize that “some resources will be woefully insufficient, and others may have elements that actually work against the Catholic mission.”

Spring 2021 Edition

Articles in this edition

New Threats to Catholic Education

In just the first months of the Biden administration, Catholic educators have been confronted by serious threats to their freedom to teach and witness to the Catholic faith. In particular, the Biden administration seems determined to force Catholic schools and colleges to embrace gender ideology or close their doors.

Protecting Your Right to Educate

Undertaking a Mission Audit—and implementing strong Catholic standards like those provided by the Newman Society—will go a long way in helping Catholic schools strengthen their mission and defend against legal threats. Just as a general audit helps an organization understand its financial soundness, a Mission Audit will help a religious organization understand how its religious convictions affect its work and how these convictions may face conflict.

Implementing Policies to Strengthen Catholic Identity

The time is now for Catholic educators to ensure that all policies are in order and all practices consistently uphold a strong Catholic identity. Policies should clearly explain moral expectations for employees and students and show how they are rooted in Catholic teaching.

Winter 2021 Edition

Articles in this edition

Getting it Right: Sexuality in Catholic Education

Increasingly, Catholic dioceses, schools and colleges are embroiled in controversy and conflict over sexual matters. To prevent such problems, these situations require pastoral sensitivity and the guidance of clear institutional policies that both uphold and explain the obligations of faithful Catholic education.

Working with Nontraditional Families

Disagreement in the Church regarding nontraditional families—the growing variety of home situations beyond a faithfully Catholic family with a married mother and father—may leave schools more vulnerable to discrimination lawsuits and to vilification by the media, politicians and social activists.

Moral Expectations for Teachers

Moral standards should apply to educators in every subject area, not just religion teachers or theology professors.

Gender in School and College Athletics

“Gender theory is a distortion of the full development of a person and attacks the integrity of the body… It works against a Catholic understanding of athletics and the good of the person and so has no claim on Catholic programing.”

Selected Newman Society resources for Catholic educators and families

Critical Race Theory and Cancel Culture

Standards for Christian Anthropology

Catholic Curriculum Standards

Other topics related to curriculum

Human sexuality policies

Moral standards for employees

Legal issues