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Recovering Catholic Identity and Education

Nov 16, 2023

Recovering Catholic Identity and Education by Christian Bergmann at Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. There have been some attempts to argue for the Christian faith purely on the basis of philosophical reflection. ‘That’s mad,’ Prof [John] Haldane says. What matters for Catholicism is not just the content of the faith, what it is we believe—given the sheer number of Church councils defining various articles of faith, that obviously matters very much—but also the ‘source’ of truth…. ‘For the Christian, faith and joy do not depend on human estimations of how things are going, but are religious responses of trust in God, and joy at the prospect of salvation. It is these that must be brought into the work of meeting the challenges and seeking the opportunities surrounding Catholic education.’ Read


Catholic Schools, the Communion of Saints, and the Eucharist by David Bonagura, Jr. at Catholic World Report. In November, Catholic schools celebrate Masses for All Saints and Thanksgiving Day. They should also offer a requiem Mass for all the departed students, alumni, and teachers. Through this Mass, current students can learn natural and supernatural lessons. Of the former, in an individualistic age obsessed with the present, they will see that they are members of a community greater than themselves, that the past and our departed elders are worthy of our respect, that they themselves can contribute to their school’s life and traditions for years to come. Of the supernatural, students learn the rarely taught reality of the communion of saints, as well as the reality of Purgatory, and how our prayers can help the poor souls, who become real when understood as students who sat in the same desks as the current ones sit in. Read


Catholic Trade School in Southern CA Forms, Educates the Whole Person by Jim Graves at Catholic World Report. Students of the two-year program will be introduced to all the trade skills necessary to build a home. They work on projects at the retreat center itself and also receive spiritual formation, which includes daily Mass and the study of classic works of philosophy and theology. The daily schedule begins with morning prayer in the retreat center’s chapel, followed by breakfast and work at the center. Mass and lunch are followed by study, dinner and evening prayer, with time for socializing in the evening, followed by lights out at 11 p.m. Read


The Vatican Does Not Understand the Church in the United States by Jayd Henricks at What We Need Now. Here in the United States, there is a measurable increase in vocations to many dioceses and orthodox religious communities from twenty years ago. We have evangelization initiatives that exist nowhere else in the world…. We have small Catholic colleges and universities that are actually forming students unapologetically in the faith, as well as vibrant student centers on secular campuses. The bishops have largely reformed the seminaries... We have charitable organizations that take care of the most vulnerable and marginalized in our society…. We have Catholic schools serving Catholics and non-Catholics alike, providing an alternative to the woke education that is now common in public schools. We have a vibrant Catholic press that is forming the faithful through books and media that simply doesn’t exist anywhere else. Read


A World in Need of Re-Enchantment: A New Leader at Wyoming Catholic College, interview of Kyle Washut by Julian Kwasniewski at The Imaginative Conservative. We live in a world in need of re-enchantment; but re-enchanting love is rekindled in the hearts of people one at a time. To reclaim that sense of loving delight in God and the world, we need to give our students a break from the busyness and distraction that surrounds daily life, let them digitally detox, and let them have the time to look and see the goodness of the created world and have the freedom to delight in it. Read


A Drag Show at Notre Dame by Merlot Fogarty at First Things. This situation is different from academic freedom debates at other universities due to Notre Dame’s Catholic identity and mission. While campuses across the country are forced to consider the harm of speech and the “heckler’s veto,” Notre Dame must choose between prioritizing its mission or offering complete license to its faculty to pursue any event, so long as it relates to a course in some distant manner. The university is claiming that academic freedom requires a classroom arena that university authority cannot intrude on, thus giving non-Catholic and Catholic faculty alike complete discretion in teaching and presenting their viewpoints. If Notre Dame focused on hiring faculty committed to pursuing the truth and supporting the Catholic tradition of the university, “academic freedom” in practice would not require Notre Dame to defend abortion doulas, sex workers, and drag shows. Read


Fresh Start: Loudoun County Elects Entirely New School Board After Years of Turmoil by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. Voters in Loudoun County, Virginia, elected an entirely new slate of school board members on Tuesday, closing the door on a tumultuous chapter for the school district that thrust the region into the national spotlight. The Tuesday election was the first since the northern Virginia county became the epicenter of the parental rights movement that formed in the wake of COVID-19 school closures in 2021…. Loudoun served as the catalyst for voter concerns when parent Scott Smith, whose daughter was raped [by a male identifying as a female] in the girl's bathroom of a district high school, was arrested at a June 2021 school board meeting. The board had been considering policy 8040, which would allow students to use bathrooms based on their claimed gender identity rather than their biological sex…. A victorious Youngkin and newly elected state Attorney General Jason Miyares vowed to investigate what actions the school board took after the rape of Smith's daughter... Read


Throwback Thursday


Catechesi Tradendae, Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II, 1979. Jesus taught. It is the witness that He gives of Himself: "Day after day I sat in the temple teaching." …. It is also what His enemies note for the purpose of drawing from it grounds for accusation and condemnation: "He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judaea, from Galilee even to this place." …. [T]he majesty of Christ the Teacher and the unique consistency and persuasiveness of His teaching can only be explained by the fact that His words, His parables and His arguments are never separable from His life and His very being. Accordingly, the whole of Christ's life was a continual teaching: His silences, His miracles, His gestures, His prayer, His love for people, His special affection for the little and the poor, His acceptance of the total sacrifice on the cross for the redemption of the world, and His resurrection are the actualization of His word and the fulfillment of revelation. Hence for Christians the crucifix is one of the most sublime and popular images of Christ the Teacher. Read

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