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Who Are We? Where Are We Going?

Oct 19, 2023

Who Are We? Where Are We Going? by Msgr. James P. Shea at What We Need Now. When we are clear about who we are and where we are going, we can foster that civilization of love. Because the very same Voice that called us also imparts to us a love that is beyond our own capacity. It is a love that is radically faithful, self-sacrificing, creative, patient, permanent, generous, forgiving. It is a demanding love that asks us to lay down our lives for friend and enemy, to pick up the wounded stranger who tumbles onto our path. It is a love that answers consistently expressed human needs. It is a love of the kind and quality human beings were made to receive. And (by the way) teaching our children about this love is the greatest gift we can give to future generations and the greatest expression of our love for them. Read

Transforming a Parish School by Kelly Solomon at Cardinal Newman Society. Fr. [Lucas] Rossi and a group of committed parents—many affiliated with Belmont Abbey College—set out to clarify the mission of St. Michael’s Catholic School. He strongly desired for students to experience “wonder” and be “shaped by encountering the true, good, and beautiful” through an integrated curriculum.... And so began a three-year transition of the school’s curriculum and training of its teachers to strengthen the school’s academics and Catholic identity…. For some families, the addition of daily Mass was the final sign they needed to enroll at St. Michael’s. In the 2022-23 school year, enrollment was impressively up to about 165 students. Read 


Solving the Unseen Crisis in Catholic Schools: 9 Steps to Free Students from Progressive Harms by Kimberly Begg at Catholic School Playbook. Over the years, too few Catholic educators and parents have known to demand better from Catholic schools. This is beginning to change. Across the country, schools are swapping out a secular culture and curriculum for the Church’s longstanding education tradition, transforming whole school and parish communities and bringing Catholic families closer to Christ. Catholics everywhere are taking notice—and wondering if change is possible at their school. It is possible. And many pastors, principals, and other school leaders are feeling called to be the impetus for that change. But what steps should they take to begin such a monumental undertaking? Read


Seeing Ourselves in the Mystical Mirror by Joseph Pearce at The Imaginative Conservative. If we insist on the facts and nothing but the facts, we are denying ourselves access to the truth. And this is why J. R. R. Tolkien could claim that fairy stories can show us the truth. He claimed in fact, or in truth, that they could hold up a mirror to man, that they could show us ourselves. This is more than a merely factual mirror can do. Let’s begin with the factual mirror; the non-fictional mirror; the prosaic mirror; the non-metaphorical mirror. This is the ordinary physical mirror that we all have hanging in our ordinary physical homes. This factual mirror can only show us the facts. It can only show us the physical surface of things. It cannot show us anything deeper, anything truer. It cannot show us what we are feeling, or what we are desiring, or what we are dreading, or the people whom we know and love or hate. All these things, which are the very “stuff” of truth, are beyond the reach of the factual mirror. Read


Why Franciscan University Needs to Build a Beautiful Chapel by Peter Kwasniewski at Crisis Magazine. Unbeknownst to many outsiders, in 2016 Franciscan University of Steubenville had agreed with McCrery Architects to build a brand-new chapel in the center of campus. This design involved years of planning and was approved by the university president at the time with the guidance of a large committee of well-established theologians and experts in sacred art. The McCrery proposal takes one’s breath away by its sheer stunning beauty, its fittingness for the sacred liturgy, its perfect conformity to the highest ideals of Catholic art, and its harmony with the spirit of Eucharistic reverence that animated St. Francis himself.... The magnificent McCrery plan… was unceremoniously discarded with the arrival of the new president, Fr. Dave Pivonka, in 2019…. Last week, on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Franciscan University of Steubenville announced plans for a $12 million “renovation” of its existing Christ the King Chapel. Read


Protecting Kids Online: Model Legislation by Clare Morell, Adam Candeub, and Michael Toscano at Ethics and Public Policy Center. In the past year, four states—Utah, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas—have passed social-media parental-consent laws based on ideas put forward in a joint report from the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Institute for Family Studies, titled “Protecting Teens from Big Tech” (August 2022)…. In light of recent litigation and other states’ desires to pass similar laws, Clare Morell, Adam Candeub, and Michael Toscano have put together a model bill for states to use…. The underlying approach of their model bill… is to require (1) online platforms to age-verify their users in the respective state and (2) obtain parental consent for a minor to open or operate a social media account if a user is under the age of 18. The goal is to restore parental authority and rights over children’s online behavior. Read


Study Debunks School Choice Critics on Tuition Increase Claims by Lucy Gilbert at The Daily Signal. Critics of school choice often say it leads to higher tuition at private schools, but that doesn’t actually happen, a new study has found. To the contrary, the study by The Heritage Foundation found that school choice significantly held down the cost of tuition of private elementary schools and had no impact on tuition at private high schools…. Over the past 10 years, states that adopted school choice policies had lower rates of tuition increases than states that never had school choice policies. Read


Texas Senate Passes Historic Expanded Public School Funding, Universal School Choice Bills by the Center Square Staff at Just the News. At a school choice event in Austin on Thursday night, Gov. Greg Abbott expressed his commitment to getting the bill passed. "Parents have a God-given right to decide what is best for their child's education," he said. "Texas has an obligation to provide the best possible education for each child. I called Special Session #3 to pass school choice for every family in Texas. Texas will deliver." Read


Throwback Thursday


Msgr. James Shea on Evangelizing in a Post-Christian Society, Belief in the Invisible World, and Utopias by Lauretta Brown at National Catholic Register on May 20, 2023. One of the fundamental problems that we have in the times in which we live is that the modern mind is obsessed with utopias. We have this idea that there's no human fallen-ness, and we can achieve for ourselves, by our own effort, a perfect society. This modern conception of the inevitability of progress, being on the right side of history, this is a utopian delusion, which makes promises that it cannot keep. This is why people are fundamentally so angry, not simply in our political world and our political life, but in the Church, as well…. The Church is at the heart of the human race, and so it's within the Church that the fundamental battle for humanity takes place in every age. Once you know that … then you can be cheerful and resilient because we're fighting the battle every single day. We're meant to do that, and that's how we can become saints in our own time. Read

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