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Mar 23, 2023
Why so serious?
"Today, we see the lack of both innocence and mirth in almost everyone over the age of twelve.... It is not their fault, at least not entirely, for they are the children and grandchildren of The Great Seriousness. Today they stand, or, most often sit, with their phones in a solipsistic free fall of detailing their lives for all to see and wondering what everyone thinks of them. If they aren’t doing that, they are following—a most telling word—athletes, actors, entertainers, and politicians with messianic complexes. I cannot think of a better recipe for depression and alienation."
"Why So Serious?" By Robert B. Greving at Crisis Magazine
Mar 16, 2023
Who Killed the Catholic University?
"The education a Catholic university offers is informed by what the Church has learned from millennia spent in contemplation of the God of Jesus Christ. Catholic universities are 'called to explore courageously the riches of Revelation and of nature so that the united endeavor of intelligence and faith will enable people to come to the full measure of their humanity, created in the image and likeness of God, renewed even more marvelously, after sin, in Christ, and called to shine forth in the light of the Spirit.'”
"Who Killed the Catholic University?" by James F. Keating at First Things
Mar 9, 2023
A Man and a School Awaken
"A number of things happened. First, [theology teacher John] Olon woke up. He realized he had been too “cowardly.” While thoroughly orthodox, he says his faith had been too personal. He understood at that moment the students wanted more, that they would respond to more. And he realized the school needed to give it to them. Now on fire, Olon pestered the head of the school and was made chief mission officer."
"A Man and a School Awaken" by Austin Ruse at Crisis Magazine
Mar 2, 2023
The Adventure of Truth
"The Catholic mission of education... remind[s] us of the transcendental qualities of being—that truth and goodness and beauty are united in everything that exists…. And so, when we encounter the beautiful, we have an experience of the good and the true as well. And so, therefore, when we teach, there ought to be something beautiful about it because if it’s not beautiful, there may be something lacking; it may not be the fullness of the truth that we're communicating. And if it’s true, it will also be good.... [T]o engage the will is to help to nurture and cultivate that innate desire."
"Pope Benedict XVI and Catholic Education: Dr. Joe Lanzilotti on the Adventure of Truth" on HeightsCast by The Heights School
Feb 23, 2023
Archbishop Urges Catholic Educators to “Dig Deep” Into Church Teaching on Gender Ideology
“We are heavily influenced by the culture around us,” says Archbishop Alexander Sample of the Archdiocese of Portland, “and many of our own Catholic people may have adopted gender identity theory.” “I want them to read this document—not just the guidelines, but to dig deep into the teaching…. Forty-three percent who identify as transgender are below the age of 25, and I think it is undeniable that social media has had a great influence on them rather than older persons or the wisdom of the Church.”
"A Catholic Response to Gender Ideology Theory Addresses 'Tsunami' of Gender Ideology" by Jim Graves at The Catholic World Report
Feb 16, 2023
Teen Girls Experiencing Record Levels of Sadness and Suicide Risk
Nearly three out of five high-school girls in the U.S. who were surveyed reported feelings of persistent sadness or hopelessness in 2021, a roughly 60% increase over the past decade, new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. Though both high school girls and boys reported experiencing mental-health challenges, girls reported record high levels of sexual violence, sadness and suicide risk, the CDC said. In 2021, 57% of high school girls reported experiencing persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year, compared with 36% in 2011. Thirty percent reported they seriously considered attempting suicide in 2021, up from 19% in 2011.
"Teen Girls Experiencing Record Levels of Sadness and Suicide Risk, CDC Says" by Sarah Toy at Washington Examiner
Feb 9, 2023
The Financial Question of Catholic Schools
Parental freedom of choice in education has been an integral part of Catholic social teaching for more than a century, in a consistent line from Pius XI to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church. This is a fundamental human right and not a function of the largesse of government. It is meaningless to assert that parents are free to choose the most appropriate educational environment for their children—only if they can afford it. A civil right penalized is a civil right denied, pure and simple. Now, let’s be clear: We do not want a single farthing to flow from the government to our schools; we want the money to go to parents, who then determine where they wish to spend that money.
"Catholic Schools Week 2023: The Financial Question" by Peter M.J. Stravinskas at Catholic World Report
Feb 2, 2023
Conviction, Not Numbers
To strengthen the identity of Catholic schools, Pope Benedict calls every Catholic student and educator to ask the fundamental question: “To whom do I belong?” The strength of our institutions, according to Pope Benedict, depends not on numbers but on our conviction. Our belief in Jesus—made tangible in our schools by our commitment to the practice of the sacraments, to moral living, to acts of charity, to respect for creation and more—shines the light of the Gospel in our hallways.
"Catholic Education and the Rise of Disaffiliation" by Editorial Board at Our Sunday Visitor
Jan 26, 2023
What 70% of Americans Believe About Our Schools
A new Purpose of Education Index survey released by the Massachusetts-based national think tank Populace found a radical shift in the way most of us view education and what our children should be getting out of it…. For the study, respondents were given 57 priorities for K-12 education and ranked them using a conjoint analysis that forces them into trade-off scenarios and avoids the distorting effects of social influence. Pre-COVID-19, people ranked preparedness for college as one of the highest priorities for a K-12 education. In this recent survey, it was one of the lowest priorities. The study also showed that 70% believe more things about the educational system should change than stay the same, including 21% who say nearly everything should change.
"Parents Want a Complete Overhaul of the Education System" by Salena Zito at Washington Examiner
Jan 19, 2023
A Revolutionary Idea
"The importance of parents in the life of the school cannot be overstated. As the primary educators of their children, parents bear the responsibility for forming their sons and daughters in all areas of life. The fact that parents welcome us as teachers to partner with them in this all-important endeavor is both humbling and inspiring. With this partnership in mind, we must consider parent communication to be a primary role in our work as teachers. St. Josemaría Escrivá even went so far as to say that parents, not students, should be the primary focus of a school. That is a revolutionary idea. And it makes sense; form the educator and you will form the student. Inform the educator and you will guide them in teaching."
"Communicating with Parents" by Kyle Blackmer at The Heights Forum.
Jan 12, 2023
Anti-Human Beliefs are Destroying Young Lives
[O]ne recent survey indicates that 42 percent of young people aged 18 to 24 have a diagnosed mental health condition, usually anxiety or depression. Thirty-one percent rate their overall mental health as bad, and 18 percent are in therapy. As a recent article in The Washington Post noted, “The CDC found 45 percent of high school students were so persistently sad or hopeless in 2021 they were unable to engage in regular activities. Almost 1 in 5 seriously considered suicide and 9 percent surveyed tried to take their lives during previous 12 months.”
"The Evidence Shows that Anti-Human Beliefs are Destroying Lives" by James Kalb at Catholic World Report
Dec 15, 2022
Is There Room for Catholic Teachers in Catholic Schools?
Surely, the promotion of Christ’s commandment to “love one another as I have loved you” addresses all anti-bullying issues in a truly inclusive manner and, as such, negates the need to invite into Catholic schools such external agencies whose agenda, as outlined on their own website, contravenes and conflicts with Catholic doctrine? And so, as I continue to contemplate (and question) my place as a Catholic teacher in a Catholic school, it is my experience—no, strike that—it is my testimony that there is another powerful agenda at play within the corridors of our schools; an agenda that seeks to colonize the landscape of Catholic schools; an agenda that can only be described as an affront to the inclusivity attested to by Christ in His Greatest commandment.
"Is There Room at the Inn for Catholic Teachers in Catholic Schools Today?" by Sheila Fullerton at Crisis Magazine
Dec 8, 2022
Confused Catholic Schools
Catholic institutions permitting the use of preferred pronouns in line with gender ideology is a “tragic” and “sinful” occurrence that has unfortunately become more common, Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane, Washington, who heads the U.S. Bishops Catholic Education Committee, recently told the Register. As transgender ideology continues to gain popularity with young people, he sees the need for U.S. bishops to be vocal on the issue and firmly articulate the truths of the faith on gender and sexuality.
"USCCB Catholic Education Chair Speaks Out on ‘Confused Catholic Schools’ Embracing ‘Sinful’ Gender Ideology" by Lauretta Brown at National Catholic Register
Dec 1, 2022
Gen Z Loves Big Brother
The dumbing down and politicization of American schooling is so pervasive that the bulk of a generation has internalized a passive posture toward those who call the shots, and they have been conditioned to keep their head down and adopt the groupthink if they know what’s good for them. A basic prerequisite for revolting against tyranny is recognizing it—and recognizing the propaganda machine that perpetuates it and supports it. Today, mainstream sources of information and cultural influence are so limited by the corporate-political ruling class, and the range of acceptable opinion so narrow, that many young Americans no longer possess the ability to see the biases, conceits, and corruptions of their own era.
"Gen Z Loves Big Brother" by Brian Robertson at Crisis Magazine
Nov 17, 2022
There's Going to Be a Price
A Page 1 story in The New York Times [on November 14] acknowledged a number of shocking facts about the long-term impact of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on children and teens who receive the drugs as “life-saving” treatment for gender dysphoria.... In 2021… 42,000 minors were diagnosed with gender dysphoria and “4,780 patients with that diagnosis were put on puberty blockers covered by insurance.” Now, “concerns are growing among some medical professionals about the consequences of the drugs” used by many clinics and physicians to treat children as young as 6 years old.
"‘There’s Going to Be a Price’: 6 Takeaways from Alarming NYTimes Report on Puberty Blockers" by Joan Frawley Desmond at National Catholic Register
Nov 10, 2022
This School Took Away Smartphones. The Kids Don’t Mind.
Not having a phone at school this year has allowed [Yamalia Marks, a 17-year-old senior at Buxton] to make new friends and to savor more moments of her senior year, she says. “I’m a lot happier being on social media less. I think I’ve been a lot more self-aware,” she says, adding that she expects the benefit to carry into her first year of college. “Will I ever go back to having a phone with me all the time?” she wonders. “I don’t know, but I hope not.”
"This School Took Away Smartphones. The Kids Don’t Mind." By Julie Jargon at The Wall Street Journal.
Nov 3, 2022
What Should Guide the Classical Education Movement?
Classical education, in whatever form or implementation it takes, must be informed by the supernatural truth of the Catholic faith. Too often, I fear, “Classical curricula” are really some variant of Renaissance Humanism, which was a more-or-less conscious rejection of the Church and hence a move towards intellectual apostasy. To read, study, and discuss Plato and the Philosopher King, in and of itself, can be intellectually beneficial, but why should there be less interest in kings who were actually saints? Why should the wisdom of Plato be held in higher esteem than the divinely revealed wisdom of Solomon?
"What Should Guide the Classical Education Movement?" by Fr. John Rickert, FSSP at Rorate Caeli
Oct 27, 2022
How to Promote Eucharistic Devotion at Your School
Teaching young people about the Eucharist is important, but as Pope St. John Paul II warned in Catechesi Tradendae, the academic life can become too “intellectualized” without sacramental and Eucharistic devotion. Our students need to know of Christ’s Real Presence in the Mass, but then they need to love and adore Him. At Donahue Academy, a parish K-12 school in Ave Maria, Fla., that I am honored to lead, we have taken several steps to promote Eucharistic devotion…. We turned our most central and visible classroom space into a beautiful Eucharistic chapel, big enough for an entire class to visit. Every day our students walk by the chapel, prompting many to stop in for a visit.
"How to Promote Eucharistic Devotion at Your School" by Dan Guernsey at Cardinal Newman Society
Oct 20, 2022
Destroying Culture Through Amnesia
The folktales that have been repeated throughout the ages don’t just share moral messages. They enable us to abstractly examine the spiritual battles that take place within, as we struggle to choose the paths we ought to embrace at difficult moments in life, often while being lured elsewhere by our vices. The stories endure through time because they share these truths that speak to our souls and to our experiences. We share them with our children to teach them messages that they might easier learn from a book than from painful trial and error. They were as relevant a century ago as they are today because man has the same innate impulses, needs, desires, and temptations throughout the ages. What summons man today is also what beckoned him in yesteryear. Each was made by God and was born after the Fall.
"Destroying Culture Through Amnesia" by Sarah Cain at Crisis Magazine
Oct 14, 2022
Catholic Schools are Booming
The poll found that 74% of Catholic voters are concerned about children suffering from an educational “COVID deficit” caused by the shift to online learning during the pandemic…. Nearly 47% of respondents with children in public school said they have considered, in the past year, moving their children from a public school to a private or parochial school because of concerns about the quality of the education received. A majority of Catholic voters also support parents of K–12 students helping determine what is being taught in schools (64%), oppose biological boys who identify as girls competing against biological girls on school sports teams (76%), and oppose introducing Critical Race Theory (CRT) into the classroom (60%).
"Catholic Schools Are Booming — New EWTN Poll Sheds Light on Possible Reasons" by Zelda Caldwell at National Catholic Register