REPORT CARD: Center Aims to Rescue New England Culture; Thomas Aquinas College Survives Fires; University of St. Thomas (Minn.) Celebrates Gender Ideology
Article spotlights Newman Society Catholic Education Honor Roll
The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll was featured in an article in The Catholic Sun about its recognition of St. Mary’s High School, which was honored for its “strong integration of Catholic identity throughout its efforts, including the integrity of its mission, and the strength of its community and rich spiritual life.”
St. Mary’s is one of 11 schools nationwide named this year to the Honor Roll. More than 300 Catholic high schools across the country have earned the honor since the program’s inception in 2004.
“The Honor Roll is a helpful tool for families and benefactors in recognizing the quality of a Catholic high school,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “It is external validation that a school is both focused and successful in meeting the high calling of Catholic schools to serve the well-being and salvation of students and to serve the common good.”
Learn more about the Catholic Education Honor Roll here.
Thomas More College Aims to Rescue New England Culture
Thomas More College has launched its Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture, with Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly as a member of its advisory board.
The Center is designed to address the culture’s drift from its Christian principles, or as founding member Dr. Anthony Esolen says: The West is suffering from “massive cultural amnesia.” The Center seeks a revival of Christian culture in New England.
The Center’s founding fellows include Esolen, Thomas More College President Dr. William Fahey, and Catholic journalist and author Philip Lawler.
The Center will host speakers, seminars, and conferences.
Thomas Aquinas College survives California wildfires
Officials at Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., which was recently evacuated due to wildfires, have postponed the semester’s final exams until after the Christmas break. But the campus has thankfully survived, and there have been no injuries to students or employees.
The Newman Guide college is allowing students to retrieve their belongings this week after wildfires ravaged over 50,000 acres and destroyed hundreds of homes. TAC officials expressed “deep gratitude for the prayers of its many friends and for the heroic firefighters who battled all of Monday night (Dec. 4) to protect the Santa Paula campus.”
“The flames in the surrounding area—which, at one point, came up to the very edge of the campus access road—have subsided,” the posted message said, according to The Catholic Spirit. “Please continue to pray for the safety of all those affected by the Thomas Fire as well as for all firefighters and other first responders. St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!”
While there was extensive damage to trees, “no major structures have been harmed,” the college added.
Bishop calls on Catholics to defend Catholic education
Speaking about the ongoing conflict over sexual education curriculum in Alberta Catholic schools, Bishop Emeritus Fred Henry of Calgary called on Catholics to defend Catholic education, according to a report from the Archdiocese of Edmonton.
“There is an ongoing assault on the human person in our society, and it focuses in part on the Bible truth of the book of Genesis: ‘Male and female, He created them,’” the bishop told the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association last month.
The Alberta government denied funding altogether for a sex ed curriculum in line with Catholic teaching on sexuality and gender. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley reportedly said, “We will not use public dollars to have sexual health programs that deny science, that deny evidence, and that deny human rights.”
The bishop had harsh words for government officials demanding that Catholic schools get on the secularist bandwagon.
“The number of so-called experts has multiplied, and they have assumed the role of parents in even the most intimate aspects of education with regard to emotional life, personality and development, rights and duties,” he said. “These experts know everything…and parents must simply listen, learn and adapt.”
Georgetown student group celebrates contraceptive coverage
H*yas for Choice, an unrecognized Georgetown University student group that nonetheless appears to have much sway, is declaring victory following the Jesuit university’s Dec. 1 announcement that its health insurance plans will continue to cover contraception, despite the Trump administration’s religious exemption, according to the student newspaper.
The student group mounted an advocacy campaign encouraging the administration to continue the coverage, including posting an open letter to the office of Georgetown President John J. DeGioia calling for continued contraceptive coverage.
The H*yas for Choice co-president said, “Frankly, what happened was that the policy didn’t change,” but that the administration didn’t make it public because the university is seeking to “avoid that kind of press coverage.”
Student finds dorm life ‘confusing’ at Newman College
A Newman College female freshman who identifies as a male told the student newspaper that dorm life with young men has been “confused.”
“In the housing situation, it has not been as bad as I’ve expected it to be. I wasn’t allowed to have a dorm mate, because [residence life] wanted me to be able to find my own, which has been kind of hard,” she said. “In socializing with a lot of the cis guys on this floor, I haven’t made any friends because when I walk in and start walking toward the first floor, they get confused.”
The student presumably spoke with no sense of irony after explaining that her professors fear for their jobs because of their choice of pronouns. “If somebody tells you their pronouns, then you need to go by those pronouns whether they are [around] or not,” she said. “Respect and open-mindedness is key.”
University of St. Thomas to celebrate gender ideology
The University of St. Thomas in Minnesota is encouraging students to “share messages of support, welcome and solidarity” with the transgender community this week for its “Trans Solidarity Day.”
The university is inviting students to listen to faculty from the departments of English, women’s studies, biology, sociology, psychology, and theology discuss “Gender, Sexuality and the Reality of Creation: Academic Perspectives,” plus a panel presentation.
The day’s events are co-sponsored by the School of Social Work, LGBTQ+ and Allies faculty/staff group, Queer Straight Alliance, and Office for Service & Social Justice in the Center for Campus Ministry, among others.
And next month, The University of St. Thomas School of Law will host an event titled “God Doesn’t Care: The Bible and LGBT Identities are Reconcilable,” sponsored by student group Out!Law.
The university is asking students to attend the “panel of Twin Cities LGBT clergy as they discuss the Bible, its stance on LGBT people and relationships, and how—maybe—things aren’t as irreconcilable as they seem.”
College considers dropping ‘Crusaders’ mascot
College of the Holy Cross is expected to make a decision about changing the nickname of its athletic teams over concerns that “Crusaders” is offensive to Muslims, according to The Washington Times.
The small Catholic college’s trustees will reportedly decide on Feb. 3 after receiving “hundreds” of statements on the issue during an eight-week-long comment period.
“The Crusader name is an undeniable part of the College of the Holy Cross’ history. At the same time, as an institution of higher learning, we acknowledge our responsibility to thoughtfully examine the sensitivities and implications this name may bear,” the college said in a statement.
Simultaneously, the student-run newspaper, The Crusader, is weighing a name change.