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Our Lady of Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi, Texas

Located near the Texas-Mexico border, Our
Lady of Corpus Christi has operated as a
small, non-accredited liberal arts program
since its opening in September of 1998, serv-
ing both seminarians and lay students. But a
developing relationship with the University
of St. Thomas in Houston may significantly
help this unique mission-inspired program
recruit more lay students and expand its of-
Although not yet approved by the State
of Texas as a degree-granting college, the quick facts
thoroughly Catholic OLCC has arranged for Founded: 1998
academic credit from UST for five freshman Type of institution: Very small liberal arts
undergraduate courses in 2009-2010. UST in- program seeking status as satellite
tends to expand the program in the second campus of Univ. of St. Thomas
year, with all courses in the pilot program Setting: Urban
taught by UST faculty. In their third year, stu- Undergraduate enrollment: 20 (2009-10)
dents may be able to transfer credits to UST Total Undergraduate cost: $27,130 (tuition,
room and board 2009–10)
degree programs at the university’s main
Undergraduate majors: Three
campus in Houston, leading to a bachelor’s
degree from UST.
Five Key Points
The relationship could develop into
something more permanent. As of August 1. Liberal arts program with established
2009 when The Newman Guide went to print, residential campus.
OLCC was negotiating with UST to become a 2. Presence of SOLT seminarians,
satellite campus of the university. The change religious and priests on campus.
will require approval by the regional accred- 3. Rich spiritual life centered around
iting agency, the Southern Association of Col- one of the largest perpetual Adoration
leges and Schools, and so no target date has chapels in the U.S.
been announced. 4. Opportunities to visit and serve at
“This partnership enables Corpus Chris- SOLT missions.
ti-area college students to take core classes 5. Accredited courses from the University
from a prestigious Catholic university without of St. Thomas, Houston.
leaving south Texas,” announced Dr. Dominic

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Our Lady of Corpus Christi

Aquila, UST’s vice president for academic af- work in SOLT missions, youth ministry and
fairs, regarding the new pilot program. South Catholic schools.
Texas has fewer colleges and universities than The cost of $27,130 for tuition, room and
the wealthier regions to the north. fees in 2009-10 is higher than the projected
OLCC’s unique character also appeals to Texas state average and reflects the economies
students well beyond the local community; of scale at a small institution. But students
about 80 percent of its students have come participating in the UST pilot program are
from outside Texas. The program’s stated eligible for federal loans and grants as well as
purpose of “educating and evangelizing the the usual OLCC financial assistance.
world’s young people and their nations” is
consistent with the missionary work of its
founding religious order, the Society of Our
Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), which
The OLCC Board of Directors has 15 board
intends to remain very much active with
members, eight of whom are religious from
OLCC even if it affiliates with UST. The pro-
the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trin-
gram aims to form young people in an atti-
ity. These include the General Priest Servant
tude of service, with the strength and desire
of SOLT, Fr. Ogie Rosalinas; the General Sister
to be leaders of the “New Evangelization.”
Servant, Sr. Anne Marie Walsh; and the Presi-
For instance, OLCC builds on the SOLT
dent of OLCC, Fr. James Kelleher. The seven
practice of establishing “ecclesial family
lay members of the board are all practicing
teams” of religious, laity and priests to work
Catholics who are committed to the mission
together at a mission. At OLCC, this is re-
of OLCC.
garded as a key aspect of students’ spiritual
A Board of Fellows, comprised of six
personal formation, and a missionary spirit
SOLT members who are also on the Board of
is encouraged among administration, faculty
Directors, has fi-
and staff. The re-
nal authority over
gional headquarters
major decisions,
for SOLT is located
particularly in
nearby, providing
maintaining the
opportunities for
Catholic identity
students to learn
and ensuring that
about and visit oth-
the charism of
er SOLT missions. A
SOLT is fulfilled
week-long mission
in the mission of
trip is incorporated
the college. They
into the academic
have the author-
year to give stu-
ity to make deci-
dents an experience
sions such as the
in missionary life.
appointment of
the president and
OLCC offer majors
construction of new buildings.
in Theology, Philosophy and English. About
Father Kelleher was the founding presi-
20 percent of OLCC students have been home
dent of OLCC, and one of his key accomplish-
schooled, and more than half have come from
ments was the construction of a 250-seat cha-
public schools. Many alumni have gone on to
pel for Eucharistic Adoration. He left to serve

280 The Newman Guide
Our Lady of Corpus Christi

as the SOLT Director of Mission Development,
working to establish and fund new mission From the
teams for Africa, India, Russia and Spain, but
Financial Aid Office
returned as president in 2008 while continu-
ing his missionary efforts. He is known for
“Students are eligible for federal grants
leading large Rosary rallies in the tradition
and loans through the University of St.
of the late Father Patrick Peyton, the “Rosary
Thomas. They are also eligible for aca-
Priest.” Father Kelleher earned a doctorate in
demic scholarships from UST as well as
Sacred Theology at the Pontifical University
needs-based financial aid from Our Lady
of St. Thomas Aquinas (the “Angelicum”)in
of Corpus Christi. Information on eligi-
bility for FAFSA and scholarships is avail-
able from the University of St. Thomas.”
Public Identity
choice of guest speakers for various spon-
“This is Our Lady’s school” is the mantra of sored events has been consistent with a strong
administrators and faculty. Devotion to Mary Catholic identity. Fr. James Flanagan, founder
is seen in the presence of statues around cam- of SOLT, resides nearby and frequently offers
pus, the daily Rosary prayed in the chapel by lectures to the seminarians and lay students
the whole community and vigils on Marian on campus. In 2006, the eloquent preacher Fr.
feast days. John Corapi, SOLT, was the keynote speaker
According to OLCC’s mission statement, for a fundraising dinner. Other prominent
one objective is “Cultivating a love of learning Catholic speakers who have come to OLCC
for its own sake and a life-long pursuit of ever include Boston College philosophy professor
deepening knowledge and understanding of Dr. Peter Kreeft; Dale Ahlquist, president of
the truth of Catholic Faith and Life within a the American Chesterton Society; and retired
Marian-Trinitarian Spirituality.” OLCC lead- Bishop Rene Gracida of Corpus Christi.
ers and faculty promote love for Mary, the The current ordinary of Corpus Chris-
Mother of God, and love for the Church, not ti, Bishop Edmond Carmody, celebrates the
only in the classroom but also “in the way Holy Spirit Mass on campus at the beginning
students and staff walk in their faith side-by- of each school year.
OLCC is committed to adhering to Ex
corde Ecclesiae, and nearly all faculty and staff
are practicing Catholics. While OLCC does not
Under the current agreement with the Univer-
require that all employees be Catholic, it does
sity of St. Thomas in Houston, OLCC fresh-
require that all faculty and staff be respect-
men will be able to take five accredited UST
ful of the views and teachings of the Catholic
courses in fall 2009 and spring 2010. These
Church and not promote dissenting views.
courses fulfill the core requirements of both
The president, vice-president and chaplain
OLCC, which has always offered a strong
participate in the Liturgy of the Hours and
core of theology and philosophy courses, and
daily Rosary alongside the seminarians and
UST, which requires 24 credit hours in the-
ology and philosophy. Other courses are in
Our Lady of Corpus Christi does not have
literature, modern languages (Spanish and
a regular schedule of lecturers; however, their
Chinese, reflecting OLCC’s missionary focus),

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Our Lady of Corpus Christi

history and computer skills. Philosophy courses emphasize the search
The majority of OLCC theology profes- for wisdom and development of a Catholic
sors are SOLT priests, and all have the man- Christian philosophy with a focus on Saints
datum. OLCC also offers theology courses as Augustine and Aquinas.
religious education for the diocese, and this The English program teaches literature,
past spring offered a well-attended night class with the goal of “developing the student in
on the Theology of the Body that was open to human formation, enabling them to learn
students for personal enrichment. The theol- from the experience of those characters pre-
ogy program emphasizes evangelization, and sented in literature and to discover how uni-
students are taught skills for teaching the versal principles actually present themselves
Catholic faith to others. in human experience,” according to OLCC

Message from the President

Dear Parents and Prospective Students:

Welcome to Our Lady of Corpus Christi (OLCC), a Catholic institution
of higher education founded and administered by the Society of Our Lady
of the Most Holy Trinity. We are an academic family dedicated to the trans-
mittal of knowledge and the discovery of truth.

However, OLCC is radically new and creative in many ways. For one,
we are passionately Catholic. Therefore our ultimate goal is communion
with the Trinity. We strive on campus to integrate theology with spiritual-
ity. Furthermore, we pledge to be obedient to Ex corde Ecclesiae.

Secondly, we are missionary! Our vision is the evangelization of the world’s young people
and their nations. OLCC has an international student body. Our graduates will end up working
around the world.

Thirdly, we aim at integral education. We want you to be fully developed human beings
after four years at OLCC. Your education at OLCC occurs both in the classroom and throughout
all facets of student life.

We are very excited about our new relationship with the University of St. Thomas in Hous-
ton whereby we offer St. Thomas accredited courses. We hope you will be inspired to consider
seriously the gift that OLCC can be in your life. Come and experience the miracle of Our Lady
of Corpus Christi!

Sincerely in Jesus and Mary,

Father James Kelleher, SOLT, S.T.D.

282 The Newman Guide
Our Lady of Corpus Christi

literature. haven for students as well as visiting religious
Most of OLCC’s professors are adjunct on retreat, and it is open 24 hours a day.
professors. Sincere efforts are made to hire Off-campus retreats are available to stu-
professors who are practicing Catholics and dents every semester.
faithful to the
Magisterium of
the Church. Stu-
dents have fre- Activities
quent opportu-
nities to interact The small size of
with faculty over the student body
shared meals in means that cam-
the residence hall pus activities
cafeteria and oth- depend largely
er campus activi- on the interests
ties. of the resident
The St. students. A full-
Therese Library time Director
was recently of Student Life
renovated and lives on campus
includes a collec- and coordinates
tion of Great Books. social activities and retreats. A family atmo-
sphere is evident as staff, seminarians, reli-
gious sisters and priests are often found par-
Spiritual Life ticipating in activities with the students, such
as movie nights and impromptu soccer games
A full-time chaplain serves the students and
on the lawn.
staff of OLCC. Mass is offered on campus Sun-
Students are very active in local pro-life
day through Friday, usually in English with
activities, including weekly trips to pray in
some Latin included. Confession is available
front of a local abortion clinic, attending the
for half an hour before Mass and by appoint-
monthly Helpers of God’s Precious Infants
Mass and participation in state and national
On Saturdays, a SOLT community Mass
pro-life marches.
is celebrated at different SOLT parishes in the
Student activities include game nights,
area. The third Saturday of the month, the
movie nights, bowling, camping trips, bon-
priests celebrate a Mass for a pro-life aposto-
fires on the beach and local excursions. Stu-
late. Students are invited and encouraged to
dents organize sporting events including
attend the Saturday Masses with OLCC ad-
soccer, volleyball, frisbee, basketball and
ministration and staff.
At the heart of the OLCC campus is the
magnificent Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration
Chapel, one of the largest in North America Residential Life
with a capacity of 250 people. Here students,
staff and seminarians participate in the Litur- There is one residence hall on campus. Men
gy of the Hours, Rosaries, vigils and the daily and women live on separate floors, and no
sacrifice of the Mass. The chapel has become a visitation is allowed between the men’s and

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Our Lady of Corpus Christi

women’s floors. There is a Resident Assistant ton Museum, a variety of art museums and a
assigned to the women and one assigned to popular minor league baseball team.
the men. The cafeteria and student lounge The Diocese of Corpus Christi is a vibrant
are located in the and active Cath-
basement and olic community.
are where most There are many
student activities retreats, confer-
and visiting take ences and pro-
place. life activities in
Students are which students
encouraged to can participate.
dress modestly. The Corpus
The OLCC Cam- Christi Interna-
pus Handbook tional Airport
states that pants provides service
or skirts, sleeved from major air-
shirts and foot- lines and is lo-
wear should be cated 10 minutes
worn in the cha- from campus.
pel, in the class-
room and at official academic gatherings.
We are told that chastity is promoted
The Bottom Line
through the fostering of healthy friendships
Our Lady of Corpus Christi has a strong Cath-
and dating relationships and the positive
olic identity. The opportunity to interact with
example of the upperclassmen, faculty and
seminarians and religious sisters in class and
through on-campus activities is a tremendous
All on-campus students are part of the
benefit to students in their formation. This is
campus work study program. This is consid-
an environment where students can grow in
ered to be part of the student’s formation in
faith and contribute to all aspects of life on
an attitude of responsibility and service to
campus, while receiving a solid Catholic lib-
eral arts education.
OLCC offers wireless Internet access
The unique influence of the SOLT order’s
campus-wide, in addition to a computer lab.
missionary activity and devotion to Mary will
appeal to many students, and the new pilot
The Community program with the University of St. Thomas
ensures that OLCC students have access to ac-
The campus is located on the edge of the credited courses that can lead to a bachelor’s
city of Corpus Christi, 10 minutes from the degree. A future satellite agreement with UST
downtown bayfront and 25 minutes from the could allow OLCC to expand into more ma-
beaches of Padre Island. Corpus Christi is a jors. The combination of one of the nation’s
medium-sized city of 282,850 people, which top private Catholic universities with the fa-
is large enough to offer a variety of cultural milial charism of SOLT, make this a program
attractions including the Harbor Playhouse, worth serious consideration.
the Texas State Aquarium, the U.S.S. Lexing-

284 The Newman Guide