REPORT CARD: Notre Dame Honors Ambassador Glendon; Archbishop Advises Students to Shut Phones Off; NY Archdiocese Slams Fordham Event

Christendom College marks 40 years

Christendom College, a Newman Guide college that started with an abundance of faith and a handful of students 40 years ago, is celebrating its anniversary with events throughout the year, including a gala featuring Vice President Mike Pence (invited), former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, Cardinal Francis Arinze, and the Archduke Imre and Archduchess Kathleen of Austria.

“It’s a celebration that shows what can happen when you go forward with faith and try to be faithful to the Catholic tradition,” Christendom president Timothy O’Donnell told the National Catholic Register.

O’Donnell points to the 80 ordinations (with 25 more currently in seminary), more than 50 religious vocations for women, and about 400 marriages among couples who met at Christendom as “evidence of the college’s success.”

Newman Society President Patrick Reilly told Legatus that O’Donnell’s leadership has been important to the College’s success over the last 25 years.

“Just as the key to Catholic education is strong fidelity to the faith, it also relies on leaders who are real witnesses to the faith, and no one does that better than Tim O’Donnell,” Reilly said. “Teaching is his first love. If you look back to great Catholic educators, great leaders of Catholic colleges, they were educators first. And he certainly is.”

Reilly also described Christendom College as “a pacesetter” for setting an example of fidelity and excellence “that is spreading rather rapidly throughout not just higher education, but also elementary and secondary education.”

Notre Dame to honor Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon

Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard professor of law and former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, will receive The University of Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture’s Evangelium Vitae Medal.

Named for Pope St. John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical on life issues, the award honors individuals whose efforts have served to proclaim the gospel of life.

“Glendon is one of the most extraordinary figures in academia and the global public square,” said O. Carter Snead, the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture.

“Through her work as a world-class scholar and teacher, a diplomat, a White House bioethics adviser and an official of the Holy See,” Snead said, “she has provided a joyful, loving and unwavering witness to the dignity of all persons, born and unborn, as created in the image and likeness of God.”

Glendon called the Center for Ethics and Culture “a living witness to the fact that world-class teaching and scholarship not only can but must be integrated with faith in God and respect for the intrinsic dignity of every human life.”

In 2009, Notre Dame selected Glendon to receive its Laetare Medal, but she declined the award due to the university’s decision to honor President Barack Obama that same year.

Questions swirl around Washington’s JPII Institute

Pope Francis’ recent apostolic letter has left students and staff at The Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies and Marriage unsure of their future.

The Holy Father’s motu proprio creates major changes at the institute, which takes on a different name and mission, the National Catholic Register reports.

Pope Francis’ move has sent “shock waves” throughout the Rome-based institution, which includes 10 satellite campuses, including one at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

“The academic year hasn’t started yet in Rome, but it has started here in the U.S.,” said Kurt Martens, professor of canon law at The Catholic University of America. “That could mean that students here who have signed up for a doctorate in theology will now be working toward a doctorate in something else.”

Even faculty members are unsure what the future holds in that they are working for an institution “that no longer formally exists.”

“This is a pope who talks about decentralization and synodality, and yet nobody knew that this was coming,” Martens said. “Wouldn’t you have expected some consultation before this was issued?”

Homeschooling rising and bearing good fruit

Homeschooling is on the rise. The National Center for Education says 3 percent of all school-aged children are educated at home, which is double the number just 10 years ago.

Brian Ray, president of the National Home School Research Institute, told the National Catholic Register that studies show homeschoolers are performing either at or above the level of traditionally educated students.

Ray estimates that more than 3 million U.S. adults have been homeschooled at least one year, with an average being educated at home for six years or more.

Other studies also show that far from being “narrow-minded,” homeschoolers tend to be “more politically tolerant than the others.”

Additionally, curriculums have become more advanced in recent years, opportunities for socialization have been increased, and “hybrid models” have been introduced to allow parents to tailor their child’s education to their needs.

Archbishop to students: Turn off your phone and listen to God

Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez recently told students that they were all “born to be saints” and that praying a little every day can take them a long way.

“God did not just create us and then leave us alone,” he said, according to Angelus News. “That is not who God is. That is not how he works. God is our Father. He wants to help us grow.”

He advised students to take a few moments each day to turn off their phone and “just try to be alone and be quiet with God.” He also advised them to read the gospels—even on their phone with a Bible app.

“I have been telling young people that I have been following a simple program like this since I was their age. And I promise: It works!” he said. “These habits start to change your life. The more we pray, the more we reflect on the gospels, the more we begin to see that Jesus is with us, that he is working in our lives and in the world.”

University of Mary welcomes pro-life leader

Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, will keynote the University of Mary’s annual Prayer Day celebration on Nov. 15.

The University of Mary sent over 600 students to the March for Life in D.C. last year.

Mancini, who has become one of the most recognizable pro-life leaders in the country, will deliver a message of “Pray and Work: Building a Culture of Life” to the event, which begins with a Prayer Breakfast and concludes after Mass in the Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel.

Archdiocese blasts Fordham’s ‘tragic’ human rights failure

Fordham Law’s Leitner Center for International Law and Justice recently hosted a presentation by a representative of the International Planned Parenthood Federation titled “Using the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda to Advance Sexual and Reproductive Rights.”

Ed Mechmann, director of public policy for the Archdiocese of New York, wrote on his blog that the lecture was “tragic” and an “abandonment of a Catholic understanding of law.”

International Planned Parenthood openly boasts of performing over one million abortions worldwide.

“IPPF is likely the single most prolific killer of human beings in the world—a massive violator of the fundamental right to life of every human,” Mechmann wrote. “They work for the oppression of the weakest and most vulnerable among us and seek to eliminate legal protection of an entire class of human beings whose only offense is that they haven’t been born yet.”

For a Catholic university like Fordham to celebrate IPFF, which he described as “an evil organization,” is “perverse in the extreme.”

Mechmann points out that sadly this “is not an isolated event” by the Center for International Law and Justice, but part of a “consistent advocacy for legalized abortion, with never a dissenting voice being heard.”

California bishops rail against NARAL-backed bill

The California Catholic Conference is urging action against Assembly Bill 569—the Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Act—which seeks to prohibit employers, including religious ones, from taking “adverse action against an employee or their dependent or family member for their reproductive health decisions, including, but not limited to, the timing thereof, or the use of any drug, device or medical service.”

The bill, according to California Catholic Daily, has the backing of NARAL Pro-Choice California, which is arguing the bill is necessary to prevent organizations like Catholic schools from firing employees for having abortions or babies born out of wedlock.

Marquette University to Sponsor ‘Pride Prom’

Marquette University, a Jesuit institution, will sponsor “Pride Prom 2018” in April. According to the university’s LGBTQ+ Resource Center:

“Save the Date! We are excited to announce PRIDE PROM 2018 for the first time at Marquette in the AMU Ballrooms on April 14, 2018. This will be an all-ages, family-friendly event and open to the public.”

The appeal to “all ages” is particularly troubling.

The College Fix contacted university spokesman Brian Dorrington, who said, “The programming for this event has not yet been developed as the center only recently sent out a save the date invitation. This student programming is a collaboration with colleges and community resource centers across Milwaukee to bring awareness to the complexities our LGBT community faces.”

Marquette should consider hosting an event to consider the complexities that its Catholic community clearly faces.

Georgetown students and faculty protest AG’s speech

A group of Georgetown law faculty and students last week protested the presence of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who ironically delivered a defense of the right of free speech on college campuses, according to the student newspaper.

Students with the Center for the Constitution hosted the invitation-only speech. Students and faculty kneeled in protest outside the event.

Sessions warned that freedom of expression is in “retreat” on college campuses.

“Protesters are now routinely shutting down speeches and debates across the country in an effort to stop the forces that insufficiently conform to their views,” Sessions said. “This is not the great tradition of America.”

One Georgetown law professor remarked that they had never seen the faculty so mobilized against a speaker. One would hope that pro-abortion politicians would inspire greater outcries from Georgetown faculty. One can hope.

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