There was a problem sending you an sms. Check your phone number or try again later.
We've sent a link to the Scribd app. If you didn't receive it, try again.
In my own pastoral work with college students, especially where it pertains to reli- gious belief and behavior, I have found Kahn\u2019s observation to be true. Given what is at stake, the choice of a college for one\u2019s child should be an overriding concern of any Catholic par- ent. The university is usually the last place to form the pre-adult Catholic. The important transition between the teen years and young adulthood should be one from dependence to responsible independence in all areas of one\u2019s life, most especially the moral and the spiri- tual.
Character formation, built upon the natural law and perfected with grace, will determine the question of happiness or un- happiness both in this life and the next. There
Through the years many parents have asked my advice on selecting a Catholic col- lege for their child. Their concern about mak-
States once had the largest and best network of Catholic colleges in the world. Millions of Catholic men and women for much of our his- tory received a coherent, faithful education and formation, preparing them to form fami-
lies, serve God, Church, society and country and to value their roles as father or mother, husband or wife above wealth, pleasure or personal realization. These Catholic colleges
Over the last 40 years, in large part due to an eagerness to assimilate, most Catholic colleges and universities have thrown away their heritage, traditions and truth claims, re- sulting in a loss of an understanding of their mission. Pope Benedict XVI, in a June 2007 address in Rome, described our present \u201cedu- cational emergency\u201d as \u201cinevitable\u201d
its creed. In such a society the light of truth is missing; indeed, it is considered dangerous\u2026 to speak of truth, and the end result is doubt about the goodness of life and the validity of the relationships and commitments that constitute it. Hence, education tends to be re-
or capacities for doing, while people endeavor to satisfy the new generation\u2019s desire for hap- piness by showering them with consumer
parents and teachers are easily tempted to ab- dicate their educational duties and no longer even understand what their role, or rather the mission entrusted to them, is.
That mission, as Pope John Paul II told American bishops in 1998, is \u201cthe integral for- mation of students, so that they may be true to their condition as Christ\u2019s disciples and as
ety.\u201d The key word is \u201cintegral\u201d: the formation of the whole human person. Formation, of course, covers lots of ground. It is clear, how- ever, that university education cannot simply
The primary way for the Catholic uni- versity to help undergraduates is by means of a liberal arts education in the Western tra- dition. Through this education, students can learn to think, reason and communicate as
the wider secular world of work, so- cial activity and friendship.
Today, how- ever, with notable exceptions, \u201ccol- lege\u201d has largely become at best a place for excellent pre-professional training and at worst an extend- ed and expensive four-year
tion from reality. The great majority of college students today cannot articulate why they are studying, other than vague references to career or \u201cservice to humanity.\u201d Their uncer-
vision on the part of educational institutions themselves, which mirrors the prevailing culture marked by secularism, utilitarianism and relativism.
quests, leisure time, economic security and the amassing of wealth are the underlying, if unarticulated, goals of life. A relatively few
are living in a polluted atmosphere, and that holiness, commitment, marriage and family, truth, character and virtue should be the ends of an integral education.
what the Church expects of institutions that label themselves Catholic in Ex corde
reprinted in the pages of thisGui d e; read it, and then apply it to the col- leges you research. In Ex corde Ecclesi-
plies her perennial wisdom to the con- temporary scene and provides a
At the heart of a truly Catholic universi- ty will be a sound theology department, since the Catholic Church recognizes theology as the \u201cQueen\u201d of sciences. Apart from consid- erations of academic competence, parents and prospective students need to determine the all-important question of the theology department\u2019s loyalty to the teaching author- ity of the Church. The majority of Catholic colleges have a two- or three-course require- ment in theology for its undergraduates, who presumably will consider the teaching of
Ask the authorities if the criteria of the \u201cInstruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian\u201d of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have been applied to its theology faculty, and if they have taken the oath required of them. A list of the on-cam- pus speakers during the last academic year who dealt with themes concerning Catholic doctrine and morals would also be revealing. Another investigative technique is to probe the knowledge of any recent graduate. A few pointed questions will quickly reveal what he knows and where he stands with regard to the Church and
her teaching. Fi- nally, if the uni- versity harbors any well-known \u201cdissenter,\u201d the case is closed.
A Catholic university should have a philoso- phy of education that emphasizes a well-rounded
liberal arts education centered on a core cur- riculum. Legitimate debate over the exact contents of a core curriculum is to be expect- ed, but certainly a well-rounded program of study of the Western intellectual and cultural tradition includes literature, philosophy and the arts. The university also must recognize the existence of objective Truth and our duty
the belief that our Faith has a truth-claim that is universal in its ambit, there simply cannot be any mission to carry that truth to others. Pope John Paul II made this point in a 1998a d
tribution that authentically Catholic education can make to American culture, is to restore to that culture the conviction that human beings can grasp the truth of things, and in grasp- ing the truth can know their duties to God, to themselves, and their neighbors.\u2026The con- temporary world urgently needs the service of educational institutions that uphold and teach that truth is \u201cthat fundamental value without which freedom, justice, and human dignity are extinguished.\u201d
A Catholic university should teach Cath- olic philosophy, building on the Thomistic foundation of moderate realism. How can
gage our neo-pa- gan, post-modern culture without a
metaphysics, episte- mology and nature? Philosophy alone is not enough, but it is indispensable as a preparation for the- ology.
liberal arts are all essential parts of a Catholic college education. If the university views itself merely as a place that prepares students for a career rather than a place that prepares them for life and gives them a deep appreciation of knowledge as an end in itself in the natural sphere, then it
Spend some serious time with the college catalogs of the schools you investigate. Exam- ine their educational philosophy along with their curriculum and requirements. Be sure to read the colleges\u2019 mission statements. The more you encounter words like belief, matu- rity, conviction, commitment, marriage, fam- ily, evangelization, culture, character, truth
An important concern for the
Catholic student and family will be
the emphasis on religious
practice and formation in a
particular school\u2019s campus life.
Now bringing you back...
Does that email address look wrong? Try again with a different email.