Category Archives: Uncategorized

Father Fights to Have Child Exempted from Religious Studies at Catholic High School

According to a story in the Toronto Star, father Oliver Erazo is considering taking legal action in order to obtain a full exemption from religious courses and programs for his son at Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario.

Erazo admits that he and his wife originally chose the school because of academics, and its proximity to their home – not for its religious orientation.

Under the Canadian Education Act’s open-access legislation, students are free to avoid religious instruction if that is the parents’ desire.

While Erazo’s son, Jonathan, a 10th grade student, received a one-year exemption from liturgies and religious classes, he must remain at home during those times. Erazo wants his son to be able to work in the school library or office during that time.

“You can’t extricate the faith,” said Bruce Campbell, Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board spokesman. “It’s woven throughout the fabric of the school. I think what he’s looking for is a public school.”

“I think the only thing they (the board) would understand is a court order,” said Erazo, who has secured the pro bono assistance of attorney Nathaniel Erskine-Smith.

Priest Stresses the Importance of Identity at Canada’s Catholic Colleges

Father Stan Chu Ilo, assistant professor of theology at University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, writing for Canada’s The Catholic Register, recently reflected on his experience of attending post-secondary school at Catholic universities in three different countries.

Not only does he reflect on his own experiences, both as a student, and in working at Catholic universities, but he also suggests the direction he believes Canada’s Catholic institutions of higher education should be going.

The entire educational environment should permeate with religious flavour so that administrators, teachers, staff and students see their university experience as a divine encounter for faith formation. The pluralistic Canadian milieu offers great opportunities but immense challenges in the way we conceive, live, propagate and defend our Catholic identity through Catholic education. Pope John Paul II once observed that a faith that does not become culture is no faith. The Canadian Catholic academy is called to embrace with joy and seriousness the questions Canadian culture poses to our faith.

Later, he discusses the crisis of Catholic education.

The first reality is that Catholicism no longer plays a decisive role in the shaping of the moral, ethical and spiritual vision of contemporary Canadian society, nor is it a strong moral voice or force in the public square. The second reality is a frightening decline in church attendance and the practice of the faith, which has affected Church finances and vocations. This has limited the ability of the Church to invest in Catholic education and social services as in the past.

Father Ilo’s solution? Embracing and strengthening a Catholic college’s Catholic identity and mission, especially in the face of increasing secular partnerships.

Catholic higher education needs to reinvent itself in order to survive. Most Canadian Catholic colleges and universities are already in full partnership with secular universities, offering joint degrees and programs which help with the financial burden. However, these partnerships must be constantly evaluated so that Catholic identity and mission are not sacrificed. The priorities and mission of Catholic colleges and universities often fail to correspond with that of secular universities. That is a change from the past, when Catholic universities flourished and their governance, academic programs, identity, mission and priorities were defined by an ecclesial vocation, rather than by a partnership with secular universities.

 

Michael Schwartz, Former Advisor to Cardinal Newman Society, Died Sunday

Michael Schwartz, a steadfast advocate for the Catholic Church and pro-family policies in Washington, D.C., and a good friend of The Cardinal Newman Society, reportedly died Sunday after a tough battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Schwartz served more than a decade as chief of staff to pro-life Senator Tom Coburn after many years at the Free Congress Foundation. He was instrumental to the founding of The Cardinal Newman Society in 1993 and served on the Advisory Board for many years. On January 25, Schwartz was recognized for his lifetime of pro-life leadership by the National Pro-Life Religious Council.

According to an announcement from the Capitol Hill group Faith and Law:

It is with sadness that we inform you that Michael Schwartz went home to be with the Lord. After a year-and-a-half battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Mike finished his race today.

Mike, Chief of Staff to Senator Tom Coburn, was a devout Catholic who loved the Lord deeply. He was active teaching adult catechism in his home parish. Mike fought valiantly for the unborn from the advent of legalized abortion in America. He was an avid reader of the most rigorous books and essays, reading a book or two each week. He relished discussions about God, the Supreme Court, and politics. He was a friend of the high and mighty and the lowly and powerless alike. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather.

See, below, Senator Coburn’s tribute to Mike on the Senate floor.

John Paul the Great University Film Professor May Have Ad Aired During Superbowl

John Paul the Great University film professor Nathan Scoggins and his team created an ad called “Fashionista Daddy,” a Top 5 finalist for Doritos ‘Crash the Super Bowl’ commercial competition. Students and alumni at John Paul the Great were heavily involved in the production of the commercial. The winning ad will play during the Super Bowl.

John Paul the Great University has a special commitment to state-of-the-art technology and software to prepare students for futures in business, filmmaking, and other “new media,” with a firm grounding in the liberal arts and faithful Catholic theology.

Take a look at the hilarious commercial:

Fashionista Daddy has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN and Yahoo TV’s Favorite.

The Cardinal Newman Society promotes John Paul the Great Catholic University in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.

Al Gore to Speak at Dominican University

Former Vice President Al Gore, an abortion rights and homosexual “marriage” advocate will speak at Dominican University on February 13 as part of the University’s 2013 Institute for Leadership Studies (ILS) Spring Leadership Lecture Series.

Gore, chairman of The Climate Reality Project, the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, and co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize is a radical and outspoken abortion right supporter. In fact, in his run for President of the United States in 1999 Gore reportedly said, “I will always, always defend a woman’s right to choose. Every time Congress has tried to play politics with that fundamental personal right — imposing gag rules, and attaching anti-choice language to any bill they can think of — we have stood up to them and stopped them. If they try it again, we’ll stop them again. And if they try it after the year 2000, with your help, I’ll stop them. That hard-won right will be safe with me as your President.”

In 2008, Gore endorsed homosexual “marriage,” saying, “Shouldn’t we be promoting faithfulness and loyalty to one’s partner regardless of sexual orientation?”

The speaker series is sponsored by the Dominican’s Institute for Leadership Studies as part of its Leadership Lecture Series. Past lecturers include Nancy Pelosi, MSNBC host Chris Matthews, and Caroline Kennedy.

Loyola Chicago Prof Requires Students to Attend Radical Van Jones Lecture

Several students at Loyola University in Chicago reported in a video published at Breitbart that they were “required” by their “environmental sustainability” professor to attend a January 23rd lecture by gay marriage supporting Van Jones.

The event was labeled a “2013 MLK Celebration” in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. In his lecture, Jones talked little about the environment but at length about what he called the “ugly and unequal” founding of our country. He called students to a “new patriotism.”

Nancy C. Tuchman, the Executive Director for the Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola, spoke to Breitbart regarding the requirement that students attend the Jones lecture.

We don’t want them to just follow in their parents’ footsteps, or just do whatever their parents told them to do, or vote whatever direction, they were told to vote, we want them to think about stuff and look at stuff and make their own decisions.

I do not think the provost was wrong in saying that this guy has done fabulous stuff for society in a very selfless way, and maybe he goes too far, but he has done stuff that has been valuable to humanity, and you can’t deny that.

And you might say you don’t like what he’s talking about when he’s throwing pot shots at our founding fathers. Okay, there’s probably a lot of stuff that maybe I wouldn’t about him either. I think what the provost was trying to say was, here’s a guy that has really devoted his life to trying to affect change in a really positive way, for humanity.

I think that’s really one of things that we try to do at Loyola is get students to look at how they can devote a part of their life when they leave here. How can they feel responsible for humanity, for the common good, not just for going out and getting a really great job where they can make millions of dollars, and exploit people.

You can read the entire story at Breitbart.

Businessman Says Catholic Education Needs Both Financial and Mission Reform

In an interview with National Catholic Register editor in chief Jeanette De Melo, businessman and entrepreneur Frank Hanna III talks about the state of Catholic education. Hanna served as co-chair of the President George W. Bush Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. He has established three new Catholic schools and has been a consultant on several Catholic educational projects in dioceses throughout the country. Hanna is CEO of Hanna Capital, LLC. Last summer he spoke on “Catholic Education in the Next America: Where Do We Go From Here?” at the Napa Institute.

According to the National Catholic Education Association’s 2011-2012 annual report, in the last 12 years, 1,942 Catholic schools were reported closed or consolidated. The number of students educated in Catholic schools declined by 23.4%.

Hanna said that there needs to be both financial and mission reform to tackle Catholic education. On the issue of examining financing, and the inability of many families to afford a Catholic education for their children, Hanna said:

I think it is worth exploring whether parents should receive the subsidy from the parish or the diocese, rather than the school. In other words, parents who are tithing or who are parish members would receive something of a voucher that they can use at any Catholic school, thereby putting more control into the hands of the parents. Rather than subsidizing schools, we would instead be giving financial help to those parents who need it, and reconsidering whether parents who actually don’t need financial help should still be paying tuition that is subsidized. This is one example of the kind of financial modeling that we might reform.

In addition, Hanna noted that a “reform of mission” is necessary.

At the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves: Are we really committed to this project of the Catholic formation of our children?.

First, you define your mission very clearly. In the case of Catholic education in the Church, we say: Our mission as the Church is to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ and to raise our children in the faith so that they can spread the Good News.

It is a biological necessity of any species that it raises its young to learn what they need to know to then be adults. We are not teaching our faith to most of our young baptized Catholics, and so there is no way they can spread the Good News to future generations if we don’t teach it to them.

Once the mission is defined, we have to make it a very high priority.

If we indeed start to focus, we would conclude that, after the providing of the sacraments, Catholic education is the most important priority we have, and until we are fulfilling our duty in this regard, otherwise well-intentioned priorities must be set aside. As long as we are not feeding our children the faith, we are failing in our most fundamental duty.

Whenever a Catholic school does not have as its pre-eminent objective leading children to Christ, and whenever it’s not doing a good job of it, it brings down the reputation of all Catholic schools. And that, too, is a difficult thing for us to face, but it’s a reality.

 

Bishop Joseph McFadden Describes Catholic Schools as Centers for New Evangelization

In a statement commemorating Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 27 – Feb. 2, Harrisburg, Pa. Bishop Joseph McFadden, Chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Education Committee acknowledged the vital work of Catholic schools and described them as centers for New Evangelization.

“Catholic schools are centers for the New Evangelization for families of a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and diverse cultures,” said Bishop McFadden. “The unique atmosphere of our Catholic schools is a space and place where the New Evangelization can reach out to parents and children in a way that is respectful of the human person, presents the teachings of the Church, and supports family life.”

Bishop Joseph McFadden

Bishop Joseph McFadden

“Catholic schools have a rich history in supporting the work of on-going evangelization of the Catholic community in the United States,” he said. “For more than two centuries Catholic bishops, pastors and parents have educated children in parish and private schools with the intention of offering the life giving Word of the Gospel in an environment that shows respect for the human person, the virtues of good citizenship and academic excellence.”

Catholic schools in the U.S. educate over 2 million students every day. There are 151,395 teachers in over 6,841 K-12 schools.

Bishop McFadden said that “based on public school per pupil cost, Catholic schools save the nation more than $20 billion dollars a year.”

“99% of Catholic high school students graduate each year, 84% of those students go on to graduate from a four-year college,  and 15% of students are from non-Catholic families,” added Bishop McFadden.

Priest Teaching Atheist Course Aims to Change Catholic Theology and Traditions

Regis College at the University of Toronto is hosting an eight week course on atheism called “Responding to 21st-Century Atheism” with the goal, according to  instructor Fr. Scott Lewis S.J., not being necessarily preparing students to evangelize but to feel “less threatened and more willing to view the challenges of modernity and science as an opportunity for religious traditions to change and grow.”

In an exclusive interview with The Cardinal Newman Society, Fr. Lewis said, “Our theology cannot remain unchanged – it can and must develop in new directions.”

The course description states that a number of faculty of Regis College, including Fr. Lewis, will “explore responses to the challenges presented by contemporary atheism. Eight lectures will discuss the role of Scripture, tradition, theology, psychology and pastoral studies to address the questions about human living posed by today’s culture and climate of disbelief.”

Fr. Lewis said that “preparing people to evangelize is not my concern at the moment.”

In an email exchange, where he was asked about his ambitions for the course, he wrote:

Atheism is one of the most important issues of our time. It is growing and there is a new militancy to the movement. Unfortunately, intolerance, bigotry, and close-minded attitudes abound on both sides of the issues and it is hoped that theists and atheists will be more able to be more respectful of one another and willing from the other side. I felt that a school of theology is the perfect place to address the issues of atheism in our culture.  I am surprised and disappointed that Catholic (and other) theological faculties have been slow to respond.

I would like students to appreciate the breadth and depth of the problem. There are no quick fixes or easy answers. But most of all, I would like them to feel less threatened and more willing to view the challenges of modernity and science as an opportunity for religious traditions to change and grow. We have nothing to fear from truth.

Preparing people to evangelize is not my concern at the moment. My ultimate aim is a respectful dialogue between atheists and non-believers. We need to understand atheism in all its forms and the intellectual basis for it. Evolutionary science is probably the biggest challenge to theism, but psychology, other sciences, as the problem of suffering and injustice also rank high on the list. There are important findings and insights in scientific fields that cannot be ignored or explained away – they are a challenge and invitation to reexamine how we envision God, creation, humanity, and the relationship between them. Our theology cannot remain unchanged – it can and must develop in new directions.

Reportedly, the class has over 150 students.

John M. Rist to Deliver 3rd Annual Aquinas Lecture in Philosophy at Ave Maria University

Professor John M. Rist, the Chair of the philosophy department at the Catholic University of America and author of fifteen books including What is Truth? From the Academy to the Vatican and Real Ethics: Reconsidering the Foundations of Morality will give the Third Annual Aquinas Lecture today at Ave Maria University.

The talk will be entitled “Must Morality Be Dependent on God?”

Professor Rist was educated in classics at Trinity College, Cambridge. He taught Greek at University College in the University of Toronto from 1959 to 1969, and from 1969 to 1980 was a professor of classics at the University of Toronto. He taught from 1980 to 1983 as Regius Professor of Classics at the University of Aberdeen, and returned to the University of Toronto, where he was professor of classics and philosophy from 1983 to 1996, with a cross-appointment to St. Michael’s College from 1983 to 1990. In 1997, Rist became professor emeritus of the University of Toronto in 1997. He has been part-time visiting professor at the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum in Rome since 1998.

In 1976 Rist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 1991 he was elected a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. In 1995 he was the Lady Davis Visiting Professor in Philosophy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Among Rist’s books are: Man, Soul and Body: Essays in Ancient Thought from Plato to Dionysius(1996), Augustine: Ancient Thought Baptized (1994), The Mind of Aristotle (1989), Platonism and Its Christian Heritage (1985), Human Value: A Study of Ancient Philosophical Ethics (1982), On the Independence of Matthew and Mark (1978), The Stoics (1978), Epicurus: An Introduction (1972), Stoic Philosophy (1969), Plotinus: The Road to Reality (1967), and Eros and Psyche: Studies in Plato, Plotinus and Origen (1964).

This year’s Aquinas Lecture is fittingly given on the very feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas. The two previous Aquinas Lecturers were AMU alumna Professor Therese Scarpelli Cory (Seattle University), and Fr. Ron Tacelli (Boston College).

For more information, click here.

Judge Dismisses CUA’s HHS Challenge on Timing Grounds

Another challenge to the Department of Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate has been dismissed by a federal judge who decided that it’s too early to hear the lawsuit as the Obama administration has promised changes to the mandate to satisfy concerns about religious freedom.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, a President Barack Obama appointee, dismissed the case filed by The Archdiocese of Washington, The Catholic University of America, Consortium of Catholic Academies, Archbishop Carroll High School, and Catholic Charities of D.C. reportedly saying, “If after the new regulations are issued, plaintiffs are still not satisfied, any challenges that they choose to bring will be substantially different from the challenges in the current complaint.”

The Affordable Care Act requires that employer-supplied health-care plans cover contraception. The archdiocese and 42 other Catholic organizations, including the University of Notre Dame and The Catholic University of America, filed lawsuits last year arguing that the mandate violates freedom of religion guaranteed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Religious nonprofits have not been forced by the government to violate their conscience yet because the Obama administration  extended a “safe harbor” clause to religious non-profits that delayed enforcement of the mandate on them until at least after Aug. 1.

“While  we are disappointed by the decision, we are not discouraged in the   least because the judge based her dismissal solely on procedural  grounds; she  did not rule nor make any judgments on the merits of our  case,” a Catholic University spokesperson told The Washington Times.

The University of Notre Dame recently saw its lawsuit dismissed on similar grounds. Belmont Abbey College saw its lawsuit dismissed late last year only to see an appellate court reinstate it. Many expect the Administration to announce a change to the mandate in coming months.

There have been over 44 lawsuits against the mandate and over 130 plaintiffs.

EWTN to Televise Mass from The Catholic University of America

EWTN will reportedly be televising the annual Mass in honor of St. Thomas Aquinas at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in association with the Dominican House of Studies and the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA).

The Mass on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 12:10 p.m. will be held in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Crypt Church. Prior Provincial Very Rev. Brian Martin Mulcahy, O.P. will be the celebrant and homilist this year.

Students from nearby Archbishop Carroll High School and St. Anthony Catholic School will also participate.

“Two years ago we began the practice of inviting the National Catholic Educational Association, which comprises Catholic elementary and high schools throughout the country, to tune into our Mass of the Holy Spirit that is broadcast nationwide by EWTN,” said Catholic University President John Garvey in a release. “We thought it was a wonderful way for all of us to open the new academic year.

“While our 6,841 Catholic schools all across the country will be marking Catholic Schools Week with many local school and diocesan events, this national liturgy will serve as a powerful reminder of the ties that bind us together as Christ-centered places of learning,”  said Karen Ristau, NCEA president, in a release. “In this digital age, it is exciting to think that our Catholic school students from across the country can be brought together to celebrate the Mass of St. Thomas Aquinas.”

National Catholic Schools Week, founded in 1974, is a joint project of NCEA and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Franciscan University President to Step Down at End of Academic Year

Father Terence Henry, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Father Terence Henry, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Franciscan University of Steubenville announced today that Father Terence Henry, TOR, will leave the office of president at the end of the academic year in May.

“Being president of Franciscan University for a single day would have been a huge honor and one of the most memorable moments in my life, but to have been entrusted with guiding its mission since 2000 is an awesome privilege and blessing for which I am thankful to God,” said Father Henry.

Inaugurated on October 4, 2000, Father Henry succeeded Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, as the fifth president of the University. Since then, Father Henry has led Franciscan University through more than 12 years of milestones including the most successful fundraising campaign in University history, the creation of a new liberal arts core curriculum, an increase by 389 students in undergraduate enrollment, the establishment of the Institute of Bioethics, the Catechetical Institute, and the Center for Leadership, the expansion of campus acreage to more than double, and the reintroduction of varsity athletics.

“When I became president, our philosophy and theology departments were already world renowned, and they have continued to grow through the founding of our Bioethics Institute and Catechetics Institute. Now, other academic disciplines have begun attracting national attention, especially in the sciences with faculty and student research on seizure disorders and rare diseases,” Father Henry said. “These priorities emerged as the University asked itself how we could best serve the needs of the Catholic Church. I am confident that Franciscan University’s next president will continue to lead from the heart of the Church.”

Father Nicholas Polichnowski, TOR, chairman of Franciscan University’s Board of Trustees, explained the timing of the change saying that within religious life, leaders are rotated periodically as a matter of course.

“Being a university president has become an increasingly difficult task. With presidents serving only six years on average, we are grateful to Father Henry for giving 13 years in generous service to Franciscan University,” Father Polichnowski said.

Father Polichnowski, the minister provincial of the Franciscan Friars, TOR, Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which founded Franciscan University in 1946, also said the next president will be chosen from among the priests and brothers of the 139-member province.

“The Board of Trustees will begin the selection process immediately, and we expect the new president to start in June. Father Henry will receive his new assignment at that time,” Father Polichnowski said.

Father Henry, who just returned from his annual trip to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life, will close out his tenure with a busy semester including speeches on religious liberty at two Legatus chapter meetings. He has also accepted an invitation to give a major address at an international meeting of young Catholics discussing how to renew society through the Gospel at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

“As I’ve traveled throughout the world, I frequently hear about the importance of Franciscan University in the life of the Church and I’ve seen it firsthand as I’ve met alumni serving in dioceses, parishes, and bringing their faith into every career and vocation imaginable,” Father Henry said. “It’s humbling to witness how beautifully they and our faculty, staff, students, and benefactors live out the Lord’s call to St. Francis to ‘Go, rebuild my Church.’”

He added, “This University and all those I’ve worked with and come to know as president have a special place in my heart. I will carry Franciscan University and all those who serve its tremendous educational mission in my prayers.”

New Nun Tells How Faithful Catholic Education, Latin Mass Aided Her Discernment

A recent study commissioned by the U.S. bishops demonstrates the importance of Catholic education in people’s choosing to enter a religious order. Christendom College alumna Sr. Mary Jordan (Ida Friemoth, ’05) clearly attests to this in a piece she wrote that is now appearing on Christendom College’s website. Since its founding in 1977, there have been0 66 priests and 44 sisters who can point to Christendom as being instrumental in their choice of vocation, according to Christendom’s website.

Sr. Mary made her Solemn Profession of vows as a Dominican nun last year at the Monastery of St. Jude in Marbury, AL. Thankfully, she took the time to reflect on her time at Christendom College, and how it affected her discernment to the religious life:

My time at Christendom was very influential in forming me intellectually, spiritually, and culturally, and preparing me to discover God’s Will for my life here as a cloistered Dominican nun. I chose to attend Christendom because I desired to learn Truth, especially the truths of Thomistic philosophy and theology, and knew that at Christendom I could count on being taught according to the mind of the Church. During the course of my studies, I realized ever more fully that not only philosophy and theology, but all the classes fit together in presenting a coherent and lived Catholic worldview.

This education is of great value to me here in the monastery in two ways. First, the solid foundation in the thought of our Dominican Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, is an incomparable preparation for our doctrinal study as Dominican nuns, and even more so for understanding and living the virtuous life. Second, the broader foundation that a truly Catholic liberal arts education provides is an invaluable asset to the community as a whole. To know and to be able to enunciate the doctrine of the faith and its basic philosophical underpinnings is very rare in the world today, and is of great help in grasping, maintaining, and defending the essentials of the cloistered contemplative vocation.

students

Another area in which my experience at Christendom directly led into my vocation is that of the liturgy. Never before had I experienced the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered in Latin, or been exposed on a consistent basis to the beautiful and formative riches of the classical polyphony and Gregorian chant regularly sung by Christendom’s Schola, Choir, and entire community. The reverence and sense of the sacred of the College chaplains also made a deep impression on me. When I first visited this monastery, I walked down the hall to the chapel for Vespers, completely unaware that the nuns sang the major hours of the Divine Office in Latin using their traditional Dominican chant. When I heard the nuns singing in Latin my heart soared; God was using the liturgical formation I received at Christendom to point out to me where He wished me to be His.

students Sister Mary Jordan, OP, with Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi and clergy, including recently ordained alumnus Fr. Fred Gruber (’06).

The cultural and social life of the College also played a role in preparing me to embrace this vocation. Through the example and support of friends, l joined the Legion of Mary, made St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, and began praying the Divine Office, all of which helped prepare me for my vocation as a Dominican nun. This is not to mention the good times of companionship and fun we shared in the context of the College community with its mix of faith, academics, and campus events. I remember one of my first days as a freshman, taking a walk with two new friends out to “Kelly’s field.” As we stood amid the tall grass, the Angelus rang from the College chapel. One of us led the prayers, and we genuflected there in the grass at the verse, “The Word was made flesh.” This is such a simple thing, but indicative of the culture which so many Christendom students strive successfully to create. Living this culture amid virtuous friendships helped me grow as a person and prepared me to embrace this solidarity on a spiritual level in the religious life, where we come together in the monastery to live as “one mind and heart in the Lord,” as our Rule of St. Augustine states.

students Sister Mary Jordan pronounces her vows in the hands of Mother Mary Joseph, OP.

Finally, although I studied at Christendom hoping to learn “what went wrong” with the culture in order to be able to “go out and fix it,” so that culture might again dispose men to holiness, I have discovered in the monastery the truth of what Peter Kreeft once said: that perhaps the most powerful warriors in the fight between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death are the contemplatives spending hours a day in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Those who are called to live in the world, working to restore all things in Christ in the family, workplace, or apostolate, are doing important and crucial work for the kingdom of God. Yet it is the life of prayer and sacrifice that is at the heart of every active work. Both are needed.

Every day the nuns here take turns keeping an Hour of Guard, praying the Rosary before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament as Our Lady’s Guard of Honor. Someone is always there, in the chapel; interceding for the world. I learned at Christendom that the highest use of anything is to dedicate it to God. This is the reason for my vocation—to belong solely to God, on behalf of those with a mission like Christendom, and on behalf of the whole world.

G’Town Law Students for Reproductive Justice Holding Auditions for “Vagina Monologues”

Georgetown University’s Law Students for Reproductive Justice held auditions for the vile play Vagina Monologues last week, according to the university’s law school website. The auditions took place in the Gewirz Student Center on campus.

The obscene play distorts human sexuality by placing sinful activity in a favorable light, including lesbian activity and masturbation. It seems to take delight in reducing sexuality to the satiation of selfish pleasure and even declares a lesbian rape of a teenage girl her “salvation” which raised her into “a kind of heaven.”

The Cardinal Newman Society reported last year that nine Catholic colleges and universities hosted the depraved play in 2012. That was the lowest number of Catholic institutions to host the play in a single year. That was down from a high of 32 in 2003.