Report Card: Saint Mary’s Courage, Notre Dame Scandal Mark Commencement Season

Saint Mary’s College rescinds invitation to Planned Parenthood honoree

Feminist author Jean Kilbourne complains that her invitation to speak at the commencement ceremony of Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, was rescinded by the Catholic college upon learning that she had been honored by Planned Parenthood with their “leadership award.” Kudos to Saint Mary’s!

In the Boston Globe, Kilbourne says she finds the rescinded invitation “chilling”—but apparently not so the organization which kills thousands of unborn babies every day.

Notre Dame to honor ‘dissenting priest’ with Laetare Medal

The University of Notre Dame, which honored pro-abortion Joe Biden with the Laetare Medal last year, announced plans to award dissident Father F. Gregory J. Boyles with the Catholic award, reports The Sycamore Trust, an organization committed to enhancing Notre Dame’s Catholic identity.

The Trust says Father Boyle has done “admirable work in Los Angeles with men and women who have been in prison and with gangs, but he has also repudiated the Church’s teaching on gay marriage as contrary to God’s will and has ridiculed the Church’s bar to ordination of women and its withholding of Communion from Catholics married outside the Church.”

California’s ‘anti-discrimination’ bill would discriminate against Catholics

California bishops are standing in opposition to a so-called “anti-discrimination” bill that would prohibit organizations including Catholic schools from firing workers for having an abortion, in vitro fertilization, or giving birth to a child out of wedlock. The bishops say it would violate the First Amendment freedom to exercise religion and prevent Catholic schools from requiring employees to act in accordance with the tenets of the faith.

David French of National Review calls the bill “flatly unconstitutional” but says that California’s Ninth Circuit Court is not necessarily tethered to the Constitution in its decisions. He, therefore, stressed the importance of defeating the bill before it’s passed. “It’s always better to defeat bills in committee rather than test them in court,” he writes.

Philly Catholic schools rebound

Five years ago, the state of Catholic schools in Philadelphia seemed dismal. But after some difficult decisions, first-rate fundraising, and the implementation of innovative curricula, enrollment has leveled off. Instead of losing $6 million per year, Catholic schools now boast a modest surplus.

  1. Edward Hanway and Samuel Casey Carter, who serve as the chairman and CEO of Faith in the Future Foundation, which oversees the 17 Catholic high schools and four schools of special education in the Archdiocese, compliment the “faith and wisdom” of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who made the resurgence possible.

“By working together, a dismal situation became a win-win for Catholic schools, their students, and the surrounding neighborhoods,” they write.

Esolen: Land O’Lakes Statement a “suicide pact”

On the 50th anniversary of the infamous Land O’ Lakes Statement, which in 1967 changed and corrupted so many Catholic colleges, Providence College Professor Anthony Esolen calls it a “suicide pact” for Catholic education.

He writes at The Catholic Thing:

One searches the statement in vain for the name of Jesus, or for any sense that the Church has an urgent word to speak to a world gone mad; for the world left to its own devices is always going mad, and all the worse when men believe they are building upon a Christian foundation while leaving behind the actual faith, the Church, and Christ. Rather, it is now from the world that the Catholic university will take its direction – the “contemporary” world.

I have been struck dumb with wonder at the perfect record of self-styled progressives when it comes to reading the signs of the times: They are always wrong, and often calamitously so.

University of Mary professor calls for return to classics as ‘guide to real action’

Professor Jesse Russell of the University of Mary argues in Crisis Magazine laments that much of classical Catholic education today is hindered by a “fetishizing of the classics in which they are simply imbibed for their prettiness or profundity, without acknowledging these works as a guide to real action in the world.”

“We must turn to the classics as a model for the life of action not simply the life of the mind,” he writes, adding:

We have forgotten that the legacy of Western education has been forged by men and women who were as much active in sport, battle, and politics as they were at home in the ‘life of the mind’ (a perhaps infelicitous phrase if taken too literally. We forget that the greatest succession of philosophers in the history of world was a passing of the baton between athletes and warriors who were also philosophers.

“In the end, what is missing in Catholic education is the fortitude and boldness that a truly classical education can provide,” he argues.

CUA chooses Peggy Noonan as commencement speaker

Peggy Noonan will be the spring commencement speaker at The Catholic University of America, which is recognized as a faithful Catholic institution in The Newman Guide.

Kathryn Lopez of National Review calls Noonan a “talented writer” and a “beautiful soul” who is “trying to be honest encouragement during confusing times.”

“The Catholic University of America, in its existence – and renewed zeal for its mission in recent years (including the tenure of current president John Garvey’s predecessor, Bishop David O’Connell, now ordinary of the Trenton diocese) – helps this cause,” Lopez writes. “And by highlighting Peggy Noonan as commencement speaker, a lay Catholic woman trying to lead with grace in the world.”

Cardinal Dolan applauds the important work of Catholic colleges

His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan’s message Thursday at St. Francis University in Loretto hailed the importance of Catholic colleges while urging worshipers to keep their focus on one God.

During a Mass, Cdl. Dolan said, “The Catholic university teaches us the dominion not of the visible, but of the invisible, with things like learning and wisdom and art and knowledge and friendship and service.”

University President Father Malachi Van Tassell, TOR, said, “He really encouraged us to keep the faith and focus on what it means to be a Catholic university.”

Two more Catholic colleges to merge?

In what seems to be a burgeoning trend in secondary education, two Catholic colleges in Connecticut are entering into a management arrangement which could lead to an eventual merger. The agreement anticipates a transfer of St. Vincent’s College to Sacred Heart University as either a division of the university or a subsidiary.

St. Vincent’s College President Michael Gargano assured that “the college will maintain its mission to serve the low income, first generation and underrepresented populations started by the Daughters of Charity in 1905; preserve our Catholic identity; and the historical significance of the St. Vincent’s College name will continue.”

LGBT group applauds decay of Catholic colleges

New Ways Ministry, an LGBT advocacy group that opposes Catholic teaching, is applauding Loyola University Chicago’s policies toward affirming “transsexual” students, Marquette University’s reopening of its LGBTQ+ Resource Center, and Georgetown’s designation by Newsweek as a “gay friendly” campus and its willingness to make single-stall restrooms “gender inclusive.” That should be a clear signal that these colleges have taken the wrong path.

Marquette University hosts communist terrorist Angela Davis

Angela Davis, the communist agitator who was involved in terrorism and spent time on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List in 1970, spoke last week at Marquette University’s Al McGuire Center, according to Professor Scott McAdams’ blog. This is the same university that recently forbid conservative speaker Ben Shapiro from speaking.

Marquette called Davis a “brilliant political activist” and a “renowned speaker,” and University President Michael Lovell reportedly called her an “awesome example.”

“This about a woman who is a self-proclaimed Communist, and who bought guns for her fellow black militants in a plot that led to the killing of several innocent people,” writes McAdams. Her views on abortion and marriage “openly contradict Catholic teachings.”

Catholic college drops ‘Crusader’ mascot

Last week, Alvernia University, a Catholic university in Reading, Penn., announced it had dropped the school’s “Crusader” mascot and will remove it from their logo. The move is intended as a respectful gesture, but not everyone agrees.

“More than just the most recent casualty in the Islamic war against the West,” writes Kathy Brown, a Catholic school history teacher, “this strikes at the very heart of Judeo-Christian culture, namely, the Crusaders!”

Georgetown to honor slaves sold by Jesuits

Georgetown University will rededicate two buildings later this month, which previously honored Jesuit priests, in order to honor the 272 enslaved men, women and children sold by Jesuits in 1838.

The Archdiocese of Washington and the Jesuits will conduct a Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition and Hope which will be attended by descendants of the enslaved people. Celebrants will include Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington; Father Robert Hussey, S.J., provincial of the Maryland Province of Jesuits; and Rev. Timothy Kesicki, S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference of the United States and Canada.

Buildings will be named for Isaac Hawkins, the first slave sold by Georgetown, and Anne Marie Becraft, who created a school in Washington, D.C., for black girls in the 19th century and later joined the Oblate Sisters of Providence.

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