Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.
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I have been familiar with The Cardinal Newman Society for a number of years now. I recall receiving my first bit of correspondence from CNS in the mid-1990s, and thinking to myself, "The work these people are doing is an answer to my prayers!"
What most impresses me about the CNS staff is their willingness to defend Catholic teaching, no matter the cost. We need more lay people like this, courageously standing up for the faith in the public square.
And I have found that when we Catholics, in the spirit of love and charity, declare our faith boldly and with conviction, we are more likely to find kindred spirits. This is how we must comport ourselves if we are to fulfill our Lord's command in the Gospel of John (17:21), Ut unum sint, that all may be one.
This is the spirit (alongside the Spirit) that directs The Cardinal Newman Society. This is why, despite my hectic schedule, I agreed so readily to serve as Co-Chairman of The Cardinal Newman Society's National Advisory Board.
Having spent 45 years of my life as a professor, and knowing how the higher education system works, I can tell you that The Cardinal Newman Society remains the best, most effective group for a) identifying the leading problems at Catholic colleges, b) bringing these areas of concern to public scrutiny, and c) effecting positive change.
Patrick and his band are not sullen, hand-wringing town criers. To the contrary, they are hopeful builder-uppers, doing their part to build up God's kingdom on Earth.
You know about CNS's The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, for which I wrote the Preface. Are you aware that, since the release of this marvelous resource book for Catholic families, the 21 loyal Catholic colleges that are profiled have shown an increase in their enrollments?
Of course, there remains much work to be done. Rome wasn't built in a day; and it didn't burn down in a day either.
I come from a working-class neighborhood in New Jersey. Like many Catholics of my generation, I am proud of the way Catholic colleges and universities were literally built by the brawn of the working poor and financed by the widow's mite, so that future generations would have a chance at an authentic Catholic education.
So when I see nonsense continuing at Catholic colleges, it angers me to no end.
But anger is not enough.
God, in His infinite wisdom, gave mankind intellect and reason. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us Catholics to use these gifts to inform us how to best combat this crisis within the Church.
We must unite ourselves to those who are fighting, effectively, on the side of angels. No one is doing a better job of ushering in the reform and renewal of Catholic higher education than The Cardinal Newman Society.
[Please click here to donate to The Cardinal Newman Society]
As a religious order priest -- one bound by poverty, chastity, and obedience -- I have no personal means to give The Cardinal Newman Society. But as someone who believes in the maxim "Put up or shut up", I've given of my time instead.
However, as we near the end of 2010, CNS approaches that time of year when it counts on good people like you for nearly half of its gifts.
These dollars do more than keep the lights on. They keep programs going, like The Cardinal Newman Society's essential new Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education.
Your dollars keep books being published, staff traveling to trouble spots, press releases being issued, and so on. In sum, your support goes directly to CNS's essential mission.
Now I know we live in difficult financial times. The stock market's performance as of late hardly inspires confidence. And as Pope Benedict XVI has said, "Money disappears, it becomes nothing."
The success of our culture is dependent upon building upon a solid foundation in truth and faith. Our Catholic colleges and universities must provide that foundation for the future.
Given everything that The Cardinal Newman Society has accomplished this year, and all they have planned for 2011, I'm hoping that God has made CNS especially dear to your heart.
My friend, may God bless you -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
Sincerely yours in the Risen Christ,
Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.
Co-Chairman, Cardinal Newman Society
National Advisory Board
P.S. And don't forget to send CNS that check –- take it from me: it will do a world of good!
[You can donate online by clicking here or by sending your check to The Cardinal Newman Society, 9415 West St., Manassas, VA 20110]
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Cardinal Burke Laments ‘Catholic in name only’ Universities
In an address delivered at a Boston dinner for Thomas More College of Liberal Arts on December 4, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura at the Vatican, lauded Catholic universities which are faithful to their identity and criticized ones which have become “Catholic in name only,” according to Catholic News Agency.
In a lengthy discussion of the nature of Catholic higher education, he said that a Catholic university faithful to its identity will help students give an account of their faith and help them resist “the secularist dictatorship which would exclude all religious discourse from the professions and from public life in general.”…
“A Catholic college or university at which Jesus Christ alive in His Church is not taught, encountered in the Sacred Liturgy and its extension through prayer and devotion, and followed in a life of virtue is not worthy of the name,” he told attendees.
Cardinal Burke lamented the fall of many American Catholic colleges and universities that have become “Catholic in name only.”…
The Catholic university is needed more than ever in a society “marked by a virulent secularism which threatens the integrity of every aspect of human endeavor and service,” he said.
“How tragic that the very secularism which the Catholic university should be helping its students to battle and overcome has entered into several Catholic universities, leading to the grievous compromise of their high mission,” he commented…
He questioned why students should be engaged in discussions about the ordination of women as priests when they already have little knowledge of the “consistent teaching” of the Holy Scriptures and Catholic Tradition on the priesthood…
In an e-mail to CNA, St. Thomas More College president William Fahey characterized Cardinal Burke’s speech as “a kind of authoritative gloss on Ex Corde Ecclesiae,” John Paul II’s encyclical on Catholic higher education.
Be sure to read the entirety of the Catholic News Agency report on Cardinal Burke’s address.