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Shameless Acts of Civilizational Renewal

Apr 28, 2022

The Renaissance of the Classical School by James Hankins at First Things. [P]eople in the classical education movement don’t spend a great deal of time bewailing the condition of schools controlled by progressive teachers’ unions. Too depressing. They find their joy in rediscovering and reviving the great educational traditions of the past, in the chance to teach moral and intellectual virtues, eloquence, love of country, and the traditional arts and sciences. Classical educators know they are participating in a revolution, in shameless acts of civilizational renewal, and they are plainly experiencing the euphoria of all those who enlist in successful movements. There is a certain kid-in-a-toyshop attitude, a sense of astonishment that abandoned, centuries-old techniques of learning are just lying about, ready for someone to pick them up and use them again. Memorizing poetry, what a great idea! Logic and rhetoric? You mean there are ways to teach people how to think clearly, how to express themselves persuasively? Cool! Read Supreme Court Hears Praying Football Coach Case by Katie Yoderat Catholic News Agency. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday that lasted nearly two hours in a case concerning a former high school football coach’s right to pray on the field. Both sides of Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, argue that the case concerns religious freedom — with the ex-coach, Joseph Kennedy, emphasizing his right to religious freedom and his former employer, Bremerton High School, citing students’ religious freedom. Kennedy, a Christian, lost his job as a public school football coach in Bremerton, Washington, for refusing to stop praying at the 50-yard line after games. Read What Makes a School Catholic? Part 3 of 3 by Peter M.J. Stravinskas at Catholic World Report. The Catholic approach to education is holistic, which is to say, that it takes in the entirety of the human person, leaving out no dimension. And, if that is true, that also demands that everyone in the school community must be on the same page. Read ‘Nurture the Desire for Truth, Goodness, and Beauty,’ Pope TellsCatholic Educators at Catholic World News posted at Catholic Culture. “In an age awash in information, often transmitted without wisdom or critical sense, the task of forming present and future generations of Catholic teachers and students remains as important as ever,” the Pope said, as he called on educators to form “the head, hands and heart together ... Catholic education is also evangelization: bearing witness to the joy of the Gospel and its power to renew our communities and provide hope and strength in facing wisely the challenges of the present time.” Read Throwback Thursday Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Catholic Educators at the Catholic University of America on April 17, 2008. A university or school’s Catholic identity is not simply a question of the number of Catholic students. It is a question of conviction – do we really believe that only in the mystery of the Word made flesh does the mystery of man truly become clear (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22)? Are we ready to commit our entire self – intellect and will, mind and heart – to God? Do we accept the truth Christ reveals? Is the faith tangible in our universities and schools? Is it given fervent expression liturgically, sacramentally, through prayer, acts of charity, a concern for justice, and respect for God’s creation? Only in this way do we really bear witness to the meaning of who we are and what we uphold. Read

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