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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
Oct 6, 2022
How to Encourage a Reluctant Student
[O]ne of the most important motivational factors in helping a student see why he should care about Latin is to show him first that I care about him. Not his grade or performance or even abstractions like his character or vocation. The student in front of me. Do I ask about his games and practices? Do I know how many siblings he has? Is there anything he’s so passionate about he’s trying to teach himself? Each of these and many more questions won’t just reveal quirks or fun facts about my students, they’ll show them that I see Latin as one aspect of their development and education, but that I’m interested in their complete development and education.
"Encouraging Reluctant Students" by Tom Cox at The Heights Forum
Sep 29, 2022
Strong Parents or a Strong State
Today, elementary schools and high schools work to diminish all parental authority. The most obvious example is hiding from parents that their 10-year-old says he or she is not their biological sex. And should a parent tell his or her 10-year-old, “This is not so, you were born a boy and you are a boy” or “You were born a girl and you are a girl,” those parents run the risk of having the child taken away from them, not to mention severe condemnation from doctors, psychotherapists and social workers…. One result of the breakdown of parental authority is that we probably have more child-parent alienation than at any time in American history…. The bottom line is this: when parents don’t rule the home, chaos will rule society. And chaos always breeds tyranny. So, the choice is stark — either we have strong parents, or we will have a strong state.
"Parental Authority is the Basis of Civilization" by Dennis Prager at The Stream.
Sep 22, 2022
How Not to Staff a Catholic School
It is long past the time for bishops to recognize that the ed schools that certify teachers and the state education offices that license administrators are opposed to Catholic doctrine. Schools of education are, in fact, among the most ideological zones of the campus. Please, bishops, stop relying on those adversarial bodies. You don’t need them and your parishioners don’t want them. And if you have school officials working for you who are loyal to those secular institutions, if they really believe that Catholic schools need the affirmation of the state and the university, you should fire them now.
"How Not to Staff a Catholic School" by Mark Bauerlein at First Things
Sep 15, 2022
Playing Make-Believe with Students’ Biological Sexes
Bishop Daly stated: “The Catholic school’s mission is suffering terribly because we are playing make-believe with students’ biological sexes. I’ve found myself thinking more and more about Truth. Is there Truth in that [IAAM] policy? No. We are created man and woman in the image and likeness of God—the notion that we assign it to us is a falsehood. This notion has ripped us apart in our culture, and especially hit hard [are] our young people. When we in the Church deny the youth a clear understanding of our Christian anthropology, we have deeply harmed them. And it is something we will answer for from God.”
"Bishop Thomas Daly: 'We Are Playing Make-Believe with Students’ Biological Sexes'" by Kevin Wells at Crisis Magazine
Sep 8, 2022
54% of Gen Z Youths Doubt God’s Existence
In 2021, Springtide Research Institute asked 10,000 Gen Z youth “which statement comes closest to expressing what you believe about a higher power—whether it be God, gods, or some other divine source of universal energy?” The results were fascinating: A full 54% of these youths expressed greater doubt or disbelief in God’s existence than belief in His existence, and just 23% said that they believed in a higher power and had no doubts…. [C]ompared to Gen X and Millennials, Gen Z is more than twice as likely to doubt or disbelieve in God’s existence and half as likely to believe in God with absolute certainty.
"Walking With Gen Z: Religiously Complex" by Benjamin Eriksen at Catholic World Report
Sep 1, 2022
Why Religious Liberty Matters
All politics, and culture, is a contest of elites. The question is, which elite will dominate the halls of politics and culture? …. The preservation of religious liberty ensures that Christians, and all our various institutions—schools, media, hospitals, and charitable organizations—exist to counterbalance the failing and declining institutions of the entrenched liberal elite…. Anti-Christian liberals see the existence of Christian institutions as a threat to their diminishing hold on power…. Hence the drive to indoctrinate as many students as possible, as young as possible, in the anti-Christian worldview.
"Why Religious Liberty Matters" by Paul Krause at Crisis Magazine
Aug 25, 2022
A More Scientific Approach to Science Education
Unfortunately, much current science teaching tends to begin with theoretical knowledge and then show how observed phenomena are consistent with this knowledge: the theory is fundamental and the purpose of science education is to show how the theory can be used to better understand phenomena. This is backwards. It promotes the habit of surrendering personal intellectual sovereignty to experts, as if reality is not accessible to human reason, and the role of the student is to rely on experts rather than strive for personal understanding. This approach may help to form compliant technicians. But it will be difficult for students educated in this way to become scientists.
"A More Scientific Approach to Science Education" by Michael Moynihan at Heights Forum
Aug 18, 2022
Don't Wait for the Teachers
We as parents need to view ourselves not only as those bearing primary responsibility for catechizing our children in the truths of the Catholic Faith but for providing our children a robust moral and intellectual vision of the good life. We need to make a good-faith effort to communicate to our kids the wonder and splendor of the West’s intellectual and cultural inheritance, one that will provide them not only a thoroughly Catholic upbringing but a thoroughly human one that shapes how they view themselves and the world…. Ultimately, the two catechesis, of our Faith and our civilization, should go hand-in-hand…. And we shouldn’t wait for someone else, be it a teacher or CCD instructor, to do it for us. Otherwise, that time may never come. So, drop Disney and introduce Da Vinci and Dickens. You won’t regret it.
"Don’t Wait for the Teachers" by Casey Chalk at Crisis Magazine
Aug 11, 2022
When the “Harmless” Gets in the Way of the Excellent
A Catholic school library does not seek to provide access to “all kinds of books,” but rather the best and most meaningful books aligned with the school’s mission. Even books that appear to have nothing harmful in them may not make sense to include in the library’s collection if it is unduly attracting students away from the best readings. For example, the cartoon-enhanced book, Ellie McDougal, may be more attractive and less work than Little Women, and the book Captain Underpants may be more enticing than Captains Courageous. But there is no doubt which books are better for our children. When the “harmless” gets in the way of the excellent, it’s not as harmless as first thought. Efforts should be made to steer youth to lasting and meaningful works that have high quality writing and artistry and ideals of enduring value. There are plenty of other options outside of the school and the school library for trite and frivolous reading.
"What Makes Catholic School Libraries Different?" at Cardinal Newman Society
Aug 4, 2022
Religion is a Feature, Not a Flaw
A lot of ink is spilled on the separation of church and state. But much of it is wrong. The phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the United States Constitution, nor are public expressions of faith tantamount to theocracy. The First Amendment exists in part to protect religious freedom while preventing the establishment of a national church. The amendment’s recognition of religious freedom as our first unalienable right also suggests there is something important about religion. In a series of recent decisions, the United States Supreme Court invites us to recall that truth, and recognize that religion is a feature, not a flaw, of our national life.
"Religion is a Feature, Not a Flaw" by Josh Holdenried at First Things
Jul 28, 2022
Education as the Sum Total of its Various Parts
[T]he performative high-school education today’s average eighteen-year-old college freshman has received has not done much to cultivate… intellectual curiosity. Constant cultural and societal bombardment about college as the gateway to a professional career clearly has not helped either. Fortunately, it is extremely difficult to beat the natural desire to know out of a human being entirely…. [But] it is exceedingly tempting for administrators, and a good number of faculty, to delude themselves into believing that the Catholic intellectual component of a student’s education is secured simply by requiring every student to take some fixed number of theology and philosophy courses in order to graduate. This approach misses the fundamental intellectual point of a Catholic liberal education. It conceives of such education not as forming an intellectual whole, but merely as the sum total of its various and diverse required parts. Viewed in this way, the Catholic element in a Catholic liberal education is reduced to being exposed to a handful of Catholic authors and arguments in mandatory courses that have little, if any, substantial relation to the rest of a student’s undergraduate education.
"Catholic Colleges and Universities Owe Students an Apology" by Marc D. Guerra at Catholic World Report
Jul 21, 2022
If Man is Merely Matter, He Doesn’t Really Matter
As with all great poetry, the opening verse of Sassoon’s lament is burgeoning with extra-textual meaning. It asserts that materialist philosophy, in its idolization of physics and its abandonment of metaphysics, had broken the belief in human good. Man was no longer seen as good or evil because he was merely matter, like everything else in the cosmos. And if man was merely matter, he didn’t really matter. Those with power could do with him what they liked. And this is what they did. Powerful men subjected their fellow men to the revolution of industrialism with its “slavedom of mankind to the machine”. And this industrialism gave rise, in turn, to industrialized ideologies, mechanized and determinist, such as Marxism, with its Hegelian certainties about the future, and Nazism, with its Nietzschean belief in the twilight of the gods and the emergence of the superman and the master race.
"The Litany of the Lost" by Joseph Pearce at National Catholic Register
Jul 14, 2022
Culture Wars Come for 'Woke' Catholic Schools
The culture wars over critical race theory, gender theory, and coronavirus protocols that ignited a nationwide movement of parent activism have spread beyond public education. Once seen as a refuge from activist public school teachings and pandemic closures, Catholic schools are in the midst of their own internal struggles of whether to wade into cultural touchstone debates or hold firm to religious teachings. “The reality is these are very troubling times, within and outside the church,” Bishop Thomas Daly of the Diocese of Spokane said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “[It's a] challenge when we have Catholic schools, Catholic bishops, religious orders, and institutions within the church who have, quite frankly, gone ‘woke.’” “When the church goes down the path of ‘wokeism’ ... we are unfaithful to Christ's mission that he's entrusted the church ... [and] we cause [great] harm.”
"Education Culture Wars Come for 'Woke' Catholic Schools" by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner