REPORT CARD: Univ. of Mary Hits Record Enrollment; Confession for Teachers; Dissenting Priest Disinvited

Univ. of Mary hits record enrollment

The University of Mary’s incoming freshman class is the largest in the Newman Guide college’s history, according to the Bismarck Tribune.

More than 600 new students attended classes this fall at the university’s main campus in Bismarck, N.D., a 13 percent increase from last year. The University of Mary now has more than 3,200 students.

Great news and congratulations for the university’s continued success!

Catholic school principal: ‘We have a program. It’s called Jesus Christ.’

Bullying can have serious and tragic consequences, and many schools are developing prevention programs. A US Catholic article reports on a secular anti-bullying program called SEL, which promotes empathy and has had some success in several public and Catholic schools.

But some Catholic educators believe the answer to bullying is found in Christianity, not a SEL. Gail Hulse, principal at Pope John XXIII School in Evanston, Ill., told the news magazine: “We have a program: It’s called Jesus Christ.” Secular programs, she added, are better for schools where students come a variety of value systems.

“We are all very much on the same page,” she said. “That doesn’t mean we all follow [the teachings of Christ] all the time, but when we mess it up, we have a really clear line of why, what’s not working here, and what we should be doing.”

College president to students: ‘Study hard, but pray harder’

In an interview with The National Catholic Register, the president of Donnelly College in Kansas City, Mo., said that the “main purpose of a Catholic university” should be to help students grow in “grace and wisdom.”

“We’re supposed to be consecrated, without reserve, to the cause of truth,” Monsignor Stuart Swetland said regarding the role of Catholic schools. “We must help students discover who and why they are and instill in them every aspect proper to a robust theological anthology—the vision of the human person—and to the fullness of truth.

“We know that there is no conflict between being a great college or university and being a great Catholic university,” he continued. “A truly great college or university must help provide a unified, holistic vision of the true, the beautiful, the good. To fail to do this leads to confusion.”

His sage advice to all students, even those at secular colleges? “Study hard, but pray harder.”

Msgr. Swetland is the former director of The Cardinal Newman Society’s higher education programs. We applaud his great work at Donnelly College!

Catholic scholar to join Franciscan University of Steubenville Veritas Center

Dr. Ryan Anderson, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, is joining forces with Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Newman Guide college. Anderson will be the first visiting fellow at the university’s Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life.

A statement from Franciscan says Anderson will engage with students and faculty through lectures, classes, and conferences and seminars.

“We are honored that Dr. Anderson will be joining us at the Veritas Center,” said Dr. Anne Hendershott, director of the Veritas Center. “As a young—and very courageous—Catholic scholar who is willing to defend Catholic teachings on life and the sacred meaning of marriage, Ryan Anderson provides an inspiring role model for our students, and a tremendous resource for our faculty.”

Anderson, who has written extensively (and brilliantly) about marriage, bioethics, and religious liberty, said he was “greatly honored” to join the faithful Catholic college.

Archbishop tells teachers told to go to Confession

Speaking at an annual Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, Scotland, advised Catholic schools to place Jesus Christ “at their center” and instructed teachers to go to Confession, attend Sunday Mass, and pray.

“We are good for Scotland if Jesus Christ is at the center of our school communities, and Jesus will be at the center of our school communities if He is at the center of our teachers’ lives,” he said, according to The Greenock Telegraph. “Don’t neglect to nourish your own spiritual lives with prayer, with the Word of God, and with the Sacraments. For you need the Lord’s grace to sustain your vocation as a Catholic teacher.”

‘Putting Christ at the center’ is priority for SF Catholic schools

“There is no greater way that we put Christ at the center than during the Eucharist,” San Francisco’s new Catholic schools superintendent, Pamela Lyons, said while discussing her three-year plan to increase participation in Mass and Eucharistic adoration, improve reverence, augment staff training, and achieve academic excellence.

Catholic San Francisco quoted Lyons saying that beginning in her first year, she will be “challenging the schools to really look at their sacramental life.”

This is incredibly good news for all 24,000 students served by schools in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Chainsaw wielding nun becomes viral hit

One of the most popular photos and videos on social media last week was that of a Catholic school principal—Sister Margaret Ann—who was recorded clearing felled trees from roads with a chainsaw in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Sister Margaret Ann is the principal of Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School in Miami-Dade County.

The Miami-Dade Police Department posted a video and photos to Facebook with the message, “As we recover from #HurricaneIrma, these acts of kindness remind us all that we are #OneCommunity in #MiamiDadeCounty! Thank you Sister and all of our neighbors that are working together to get through this! #MiamiDadeStrong”

Student: Catholic schools mustn’t hide Catholic identity

Catholic statues “should not be erased in the name of diversity at Catholic institutions with people of many faiths,” according to a Georgetown University student’s article in The Washington Examiner.

Referring to a controversy over religious artworks being removed from the Catholic San Domenico School in California, Gabriella Munoz said Catholic identity should never be shuttled in the name of “inclusivity.”

A San Domenico spokesperson said the school wasn’t intentionally watering down the institution’s Catholic identity, but officials were merely concerned that “if you walk on the campus and the first thing you confront is three or four statues of St. Dominic or St. Francis, it could be alienating for that other religion, and we didn’t want to further that feeling.”

School administrators may have had good intentions, but Munoz said it was as if “the school was apologizing for appearing too Catholic”—something like if the French would apologize to tourists about how French that country is.

Theological College rescinds invitation to Fr. James Martin

Theological College, a seminary operating under the auspices of The Catholic University of America, has rescinded a speaking invitation to Jesuit Father James Martin.

Fr. Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor-at-large of America magazine, has become an increasingly controversial figure in the American Catholic Church.

In a statement, Theological College said it had received negative feedback on social media concerning the invitation but that the decision does not show approval with “the comments or accusations that the various social media sites have made over the recent weeks.” College rector, Father Gerald McBrearity, reportedly made the wise decision to rescind the invitation.

CUA’s release stated that the decision was “made independently of the University” and, unfortunately, “does not reflect the University’s policy on inviting speakers to campus, nor does it reflect the specific counsel received from the University and leadership.”

CUA President John Garvey said he disapproved of the decision and universities’ trend to cancel speakers after receiving public pressure, according to The Washington Post.

“Universities and their related entities should be places for the free, civil exchange of ideas,” he said. “Our culture is increasingly hostile to this idea. It is problematic that individuals and groups within our Church demonstrate this same inability to make distinctions and to exercise charity.”

Fr. Martin called his critics “irrational and hateful and hysterical.”

Since when is teaching and defending truth “hateful and hysterical”? Do we want dissident activists to be invited into seminaries for the purpose of confusing future priests about the truths of our Faith?

Assumption College cites ‘safety concerns’ in cancelling speaker

Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., disinvited conservative speaker Charles Murray “due to alleged safety concerns,” according to The College Fix.

The school claimed that the disinvitation was based, not on Murray’s research or statements, but on the fact that the school is ill equipped to deal with any violent protests that might arise. Other colleges have seen violence from protesters when conservative speakers were invited.

Bernard Dobski, the chair of Assumption College’s political science department, said the college’s decision shows that “the mere threat of their tactics is enough to cow us into submission.”

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