REPORT CARD: N.H. Honor Roll School Plans New Affiliate; Notre Dame Needs ‘Major Course Correction;’ Hundreds of Franciscan University Students to March for Life
New Catholic school to open in New Hampshire
A new Catholic school in New Hampshire affiliated with Mount Royal Academy, which was named to The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll for its strong Catholic identity, is scheduled to open next September, according to The Union Leader.
Mount Royal Academy North will serve students from kindergarten to fourth grade. The school’s director, Jill Colby, said the school could even offer a Pre-K if enrollment requires.
Mount Royal Academy Headmaster Derek Tremblay said both schools will “illustrate our common mission: Parents and community members authentically thirsting for a dynamic Catholic education came together to discern God’s plan.”
Notre Dame students urge university to reverse course
A University of Notre Dame student newspaper published an open letter to the university’s president and administration asking, “Is Notre Dame no longer committed to the Catholic values that it testified to holding?”
The letter is in response to Notre Dame’s decision to voluntarily offer an insurance plan that provides contraceptives, after initiating a lawsuit to prevent the Obama administration from forcing it to do so.
“This reversal has left many dumbfounded—shocked that after a long and costly lawsuit in which Notre Dame asserted that it was against its Catholic values to play any part in providing contraceptives and abortifacients to employees and students, it would abruptly reverse course and willingly participate in such action,” the editorial staff of The Irish Rover wrote in December.
Priest: Notre Dame needs ‘major course correction’
The University of Notre Dame needs “a major course correction [if the university] is to remain faithful to the true vision that led the young French priest [Father Edward Sorin, CSC] to establish our school in 1842,” a Holy Cross priest and Notre Dame history professor told a student newspaper.
On the 175th anniversary of Notre Dame’s founding, Father Bill Miscamble, CSC, reminded the university that its founder, Fr. Sorin, was “a priest of deep faith—a true missionary” who “understood that the ultimate purpose of the school he founded was not simply to perform good works, but rather to secure the salvation of souls.
“Rather than winning souls for Christ, Notre Dame has given priority to its own aggrandizement,” Fr. Miscamble wrote in The Irish Rover. “It has been on a quest for success understood in primarily secular terms in which, with depressing frequency, image is chosen over substance, ratings are chosen over principles, and, ultimately, a false prestige is chosen over truth.”
Fr. Miscamble said that Notre Dame is “shunting aside the Catholic moral compass,” while working to retain only a “Catholic gloss,” fit only for “fundraising and marketing purposes.”
Jesuit universities’ New Year’s resolution?
A Georgetown University alumna, Amber Athey, suggested a helpful and succinct New Year’s resolution for Jesuit universities: Be more Catholic.
“While there were plenty of opportunities at Georgetown for the individual to engage in Catholic life, I found that the university as a whole didn’t seem devoted to its identity,” she wrote for Catholic Vote.
Athey pointed to Georgetown’s invitation to have Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards speak on campus (something she called a “cloaked abortion rally”), its decision to continue offering contraceptive coverage, and the plight of Love Saxa, the student group whose existence was threatened because it promotes traditional marriage.
“In 2018, I hope Georgetown will recommit to promoting Catholic ideals on campus,” Athey wrote. “Otherwise, they will continue to lose respect from Catholic leaders and students who expect them to live up to their Jesuit identity.”
Hundreds of Franciscan students are ready to March for Life
Hundreds of Franciscan University of Steubenville students will take part in a holy hour in Christ the King Chapel the night of Jan. 18 before departing by bus for Washington, D.C., for the 45th Annual March for Life.
Students are also expected to attend a 7:30 a.m. Mass celebrated by New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Organized by the university’s Students for Life club, the trip is completely student-led. A number of faculty, staff, and alumni will travel separately, making the Franciscan University group one of the largest at the march.
Sophomore theology and philosophy major Cassidy Roderick, president of Students for Life, said, “The thousands of people marching are a witness to the beauty and dignity of human life, which we, as a university, stand for.”
Hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers will take part in the March for Life in the nation’s capital on Jan. 19, including thousands from Newman Guide-recommended universities and Catholic Education Honor Roll high schools.
Newman Guide college professors question abortion study
A new study may encourage abortion advocates to argue that the grisly procedure has untold societal benefits, but two Newman Guide college professors have called into question the study’s accuracy, as well as its importance, LifeZette reports.
Legalized abortion, as opposed to the widespread use of birth control, is responsible for declining U.S. pregnancy rates, according to the Middlebury College study.
Michael New, an Ave Maria University economics professor, labeled the study “an outlier” and argued emphatically that birth control availability has had a greater impact on pregnancy rates than legalized abortion.
“There’s some reason to be skeptical of it,” said New, who also is an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. “Contraception is much, much more common among women than abortion is.”
Patrick Fagan, director of the Marriage and Religion Research Initiative at Catholic University of America, said that determining whether abortion or increased use of birth control has had the greater impact on pregnancy rates is completely beside the point.
“To me, it’s a false dichotomy, making it an either/or,” he told LifeZette. “I think it’s really a ‘both/and’ … Once you take sex out of marriage, it doesn’t matter which way. You get a massive change in family structure.”