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Catholic Education is Taking Off

Jul 27, 2023

Catholic Education is Taking Off by Mark Bauerlein at First Things. Last week the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education (ICLE) held its annual conference at Duquesne University…. There were tales of failing schools transformed into successful and happy sites, of new schools opened by a passionate few who found that once their doors opened they could not keep up with the demand, of administrators who proclaimed their Catholic commitment without a whisper of compromise or doubt…. ICLE attendees smile because they…. are loved. Here is what Elisabeth Sullivan, executive director of ICLE, told me over lunch. In 2017, the organization claimed only four schools. In summer 2023, it has 225 schools and 60 dioceses. In Pittsburgh, 412 people showed up to attend the talks, while another 1,000 attended through the livestream. The numbers speak for themselves. Read


Report: Leadership of Catholic Colleges Shifting as Religious Vocations Plummet by Daniel Payne at National Catholic Register.  The governance of Catholic higher education in the United States is continuing to shift as fewer and fewer of the faithful enter into religious vocations and a growing number of secular directors take over leadership roles in educational institutions…. Data from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, a Georgetown-affiliated research group that provides social science analysis for the Catholic Church, shows the total number of Catholic religious—identified as monks, nuns, and priests—dropping from over 194,000 in 1970 to just above 50,000 last year. Read  


Technology & the Christian Home by Dr. R. Jared Staudt, PhD at Exodus 990. There is much data to show how kids are negatively impacted psychologically and emotionally from social media. There are also moral concerns with the content shared by their peers and the ideology pushed by corporations. What about their natural development and education? With their heads turned only to screens, they are not thinking, engaging others, and experiencing life in normal and healthy ways. Read


On Tolkien and the Eucharist by William Caddell at the Holy Spirit Prep blog. St. Thomas Aquinas calls the Eucharist the “Bread of Angels” in his prayer before Mass, a personal favorite preparatory prayer of mine. This is the bread of the immortal beings who reside with God in heaven – just as lembas is the bread of the immortal elves. Just as the Eucharist, as the Body of Jesus, is intolerable to demons who flee at His very Presence, so also was lembas intolerable to the evil Gollum. And just as the Queen of the Elves kept store of the lembas, the Queen of Heaven herself, Mary, carefully kept the Bread of Life preparing it for us! She is set apart in her own right as well, which the Church affirms through the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption and the numerous prayers written in her honor. Read


Virginia Finalizes Rule Requiring Parental Consent for School Gender Transitions by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. The Virginia Department of Education honored parental rights in new model policies on how schools should respond to children who claim to identify as transgender. The new policies, which must be adopted by all of Virginia's public school districts, prohibit schools and school staff from accommodating a student's request to use a different name or pronoun at school unless the child's parent provides written permission. The finalized policy released Tuesday also requires students to participate in school athletics programs and use bathroom facilities consistent with their biological sex. Read


Throwback Thursday


My Failed Atheism by Mark Bauerlein at First Things in May 2012. When I read “The desire for God is written in the human heart,” I wanted more. I found too that the Catechism does something deconstruction, cultural studies, and the rest don’t. It takes seriously the other side. It doesn’t shy away from atheism but explains it sympathetically, with love, not spite. The Catechism introduced to me “ways of coming to know God” that involve study and discipline, not a sudden revelation. The idea that faith might not be an instantaneous perception, that God’s presence or absence rests upon more than a blunt apprehension, struck me as a dilating prospect. God is out there, and the Church is the way to him. If I haven’t apprehended him directly and overwhelmingly… that’s the fault of my limited powers of perception, not because there is nothing there to perceive. I entered the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults last fall. Read

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