Tag Archives: college

Assessing false promises of ‘multi-culti’ education

If multiculturalists had kept their promises, school and college curricula would have been enriched by the inclusion of the literature, ideas, values, and history of societies relatively ignored in Western education. As Camille Paglia puts it, “Multiculturalism is in theory a noble cause that aims to broaden perspective in the U.S. which, because of its physical position between two oceans, can tend toward the smugly isolationist.”

Instead, of course, the multiculturalists have used their agenda not only to broaden our knowledge but to denigrate the texts and traditions that form Western civilization. The inclusion of ethnic content was not enough; schools required deep structural change. …

Multiculturalism is much more exclusionary and prejudicial than any form of education the West has ever known. Both curricula and pedagogy are being tailored to serve the political purposes of a bureaucratic elite. This elite, meanwhile, distracts students from noticing the education they are missing with loud protestations of concern for their psychological well-being.

When multiculturalism merged with the therapeutic, the demand arose for a new form of segregation, self-segregation. For example, the designation of “safe spaces” on college campuses, black-only or women-only college events, and lectures about “white privilege” and “toxic masculinity” at freshman orientations. It’s one thing for a grown-up to hear this nonsense being thrown around, but an 18-year-old can be easily intimidated into believing it. …

Those of us beyond those student days encounter these ideas packaged throughout the media from news reporting and political speech to our central forms of entertainment — television, movies, music, magazines, and books. Militant feminist, gay, lesbian, and transgender characters abound, rarely depicted as anything less than serenely happy, and far superior to white males and married women with children.

These duplicitous practices carry messages about morality, politics, traditions, religion, and our nation. Some messages are embedded; others are blatant. Once these messages gain traction, they give birth to what Socrates and Plato called “sophistry,” the reliance on fallacious arguments. …Socrates exposed the fallacies and moral shallowness of the prominent teachers of the 5th century BC. …But the [sophists] risked being publicly humiliated by an encounter with the “gadfly” of Athens.

[This] eventually sparked an outrage that put Socrates on trial for his life and convicted him. … When sophistry is unmasked, it becomes personal. The reaction is not “I see your point” or “I stand corrected” but rather an attack against the person who did the unmasking.

Excerpt taken from How to Keep from Losing Your Mind: Educating Yourself Classically to Survive Cultural Indoctrination, by Deal W. Hudson (TAN Books, 2019), from Chapter 10, “Exposing Untruth: Multiculturalism and the Therapeutic,” pp. 158-161.

DEAL HUDSON is president of the Morley Institute for Church and Culture, and former publisher and editor of Crisis magazine. He taught philosophy for 15 years at three major universities; published print and digital magazines for over 20 years; created the strategy to lead Catholic outreach in four national elections (three winning); and launched the 2015 radio show Church and Culture on the Ave Maria Radio Network.

How youth handle dating, relationships affects maturity into “adulting”

BOSTON COLLEGE PHILOSOPHY PROF ASSIGNS DATING TO HER STUDENTS

Most college professors may give extra credit for completing optional projects or for participating in class.

Kerry Cronin, a philosophy professor at Boston College, will give her students extra credit for asking someone out on a date.

“Most of the students I give this assignment to are excited, but they’re also terrified because many of them have never asked someone out on a date,” said Cronin, who has become a sort of expert on how young adults today view dating, relationships and sexuality, and how all that has been impacted by technology and lax social mores on most residential college campuses.

Cronin, the associate director of the Lonergan Institute at Boston College and a faculty fellow in BC’s Center for Student Formation, will be sharing her insights into how young people today navigate sex and relationships as a speaker at the 2020 Legatus Summit. She recently spoke with Legatus magazine.

What will you be talking about at the Summit?

What I will probably be sharing for the Legatus audience, since I doubt they need dating advice, is an overview of what I see happening with romance, dating, and relationships among their sons, daughters, and grandkids. I’ll be talking a little bit about how we as older adults can help young adults navigate this strange new relationship landscape.

In what ways has the dating landscape changed?

Starting in the 80s, and continuing through the 90s and early 2000s, there was a loss of a lot of important and helpful social scripts. That loss came along with a time of jettisoning in American culture the social scripts that were seen as limiting and restricting. Well, we ended up throwing out the baby with the bathwater, and leaving young adults without a lot of signposts and cultural milestones for “adulting.” And with the Internet and technologies waiting in the wings to take over our lives, that all became problematic, really fast.

What is the “hookup culture” that has often been written about?

I would define a hookup as any kind of physical or sexual interaction with no intended emotional contact, and no perceived intention of a followup. I would say most students assume that any dating relationship pretty much has to start with a hookup. The attitude is, “Hooking up with somebody is no big deal.” It’s become the dominant social script, and most people are kind of situating themselves relative to this culture.

How do students respond to your dating assignment?

They’re excited, but they wonder, “Why?” Because it’s just not even on their radar. They know it’s something that sounds simple, but they hate feeling vulnerable. And these are good-looking, highly successful, achievement-oriented people, so of course I used that to my advantage. I’ll say, “This is part of adulting. You should be able to do this.”

How do dating apps factor into all this?

Young people will often tell me, “Asking someone out in person is really weird. People think you’re weird when you do that.” They have a certain attitude of, “If I’m on a dating app and I swipe right [meaning you find that person attractive], I’ll find out if that person is also swiping right on me.” But you never find out if that person swiped left on you, as in rejecting you. An app like Tinder will only give you positive feedback, no negative feedback. Standing behind the veil of technology helps you to avoid vulnerability

What lessons do you hope your students will take from the dating assignment?

In all areas of your life — work, studies, most of your friendships — the more effort you put in, the more successful you are. But in the case of romantic relationships, that calculus doesn’t always necessarily work. So students tend to be more terrified of “the ask” than the actual date. But, almost to a person, they’re glad they did it, even if in most cases it doesn’t lead to any big romance.

Real Catholic education promotes elevated, eternal ambition

In a day when some smaller Catholic liberal arts colleges struggle to survive amid spiraling education costs, certain others thrive and even grow – all the while remaining true to their Catholic mission and identity. Three such exemplars are the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas; Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Ca; and the University of Mary in Bismarck, Nd 

‘CORE’ VALUES

A University of Dallas education centers on its Core, a rigorous and integrated program that emphasizes the Great Books of Western culture, with common coursework in more than a dozen disciplines ranging from theology and philosophy to Western civilizations, literature, art, languages, and the sciences.

“The University of Dallas is justly celebrated for its Core,” said Dr. Jonathan J. Sanford, UD’s provost and a professor of philosophy. “Our goal is that our students receive an education that enables them to understand the differences between the different disciplines but also, and more significantly, how all knowledge is interrelated since it proceeds from and converges upon the same source: God.”

More than 80 percent of undergrads spend a semester abroad on UD’s campus outside Rome, usually in their sophomore year. It’s an experience referred to as “the Core of the Core,” Sanford explained, “because it is there that our students are enabled to see how all their studies in the Core are anchored in some way in Rome.” Students, he said, return “transformed in mind, body, and spirit.” 

The Core provides an excellent general education that “liberates the mind from ignorance and trains the character to be free from slavery to the passions,” thus equipping students “to do great works in service to God, country, Church and community,” Sanford said. What completes the UD education, however, are the academic majors, which encompass the humanities, the sciences and business. The fruit of this excellence is evident in the high acceptance rates of UD grads in law schools, doctoral programs and med schools, as well in their professional success. 

Unlike some colleges that rightly celebrate the reclaiming of their Catholic identity, the University of Dallas never lost sight of its own since its founding in 1956, Sanford said.

“You might think of us as like a cradle Catholic who keeps maturing in his faith, as opposed to a revert Catholic who had some wayward years and has come back home,” he explained. “The University of Dallas’ early leaders held firmly to their aim to make of us a great university, and to do so as a faithfully Catholic university, and we not only live out but are building on that legacy now.”

 INTELLECTUALLY FREE

 Located along the picturesque California coast, Thomas Aquinas College has long distinguished itself for its Great Books curriculum, its small classes governed by Socratic Method dialogue, and its unwavering fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church. That all now extends to the east coast with the opening of a branch campus this fall in Northfield, MA, just 86 miles west of Boston.

 The establishment of the New England campus “marks a milestone in the life of the college and provides dramatic evidence of the college’s growth and evangelical character,” said Dr. Michael F. McLean, TAC’s president. “We are grateful for the opportunity to make our education available to a greater number of students who are able and willing to undertake our academic program and to graduate more young people who will serve their communities, their country, and their Church.”

 Nearly 60 students will be enrolled in Northfield in August, and hopes are to swell those numbers to 350 or so by 2029, effectively doubling the total student body.

 “When our founders designed the College’s curriculum, they wanted to give students the best possible guides in the study of the various disciplines,” McLean explained. That meant eschewing textbooks and going straight to the source: the original writings of the great thinkers who have shaped our civilization.”

Studying thinkers like Aristotle, Euclid, Shakespeare, our Founding Fathers, and Aquinas himself invites students to grapple with important questions about nature, humanity and God.

“We do not want our students simply to accept what they read,” McLean said. “We want them to think deeply, to ask questions, and to challenge conclusions that do not seem correct, all with the goal of coming to a deeper understanding of what the author is saying, and then of forming a reasoned judgment about whether it is true.”

 This pedagogy is ordered to freedom, which is the purpose of Catholic education, McLean said.

 “One of the aims of the college is to make each student, to the extent possible, a ‘self-mover’ in the life of the mind,” he said. Understanding the principles of each particular discipline and undertaking lively discussions in which they shape, defend, and articulate their views “gives them the power to make truth their own, to become intellectually free.”

 The curriculum “introduces students to the best of the Catholic intellectual tradition and helps them to understand and appreciate the harmony between faith and reason,” McLean added.

 VISION AND INNOVATION

The University of Mary is in the midst of an impressive growth trend of its own. Last fall, it welcomed 533 freshmen to its Bismarck campus, a 22 percent increase from the previous year, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Eight satellite campuses – three in North Dakota, one each in Montana, Kansas, and Arizona, and overseas in Rome and Peru – raised enrollment to some 4,600 students last year.

The university demonstrates confidence in its continued success in forming Catholic professionals for the 21st century workforce. Its YearRound Campus program allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree in 2.6 years or a master’s in four. Its Catholic Studies program, with 160 students last year, is the nation’s largest outside of seminaries. New master’s degrees are offered in Virtuous Leadership and in Catholic Bioethics. And the university broke ground this spring for a new $12 million engineering facility to open in fall 2020.

Those are gutsy initiatives considering the financial and cultural challenges faced by liberal arts colleges today, particularly those with a Catholic identity. Yet “as the beneficiary of a 1,500-year legacy of Benedictine education, we at the University of Mary believe that panicked reactions to the current challenges can be dangerous to a school’s actual survival,” Monsignor James Patrick Shea, the university’s president, wrote recently in Prairie Business magazine.

“As a Catholic university, we gain wisdom from Scripture, and so we remember the book of Proverbs, which says, ‘without vision, the people perish,’” he added. 

The satellite campuses extend a Catholic university education to regions where it might not otherwise be available. One of these, Mary College, operates from an old brick church in Tempe, AZ, offering theology and Catholic studies courses in partnership with Arizona State University. A small program with major ambitions, it’s “an innovative model for Catholic higher education going forward,” Monsignor Shea told America magazine.

Providing a solid education within an authentically Catholic context defines the mission of the University of Mary, said Jerome J. Richter, vice president for mission advancement.

“By sharing with our students the truths and beauty of the Faith in an integrated way, they are able to recognize that life without the Church and its sacraments leads to a life less than what it was meant to be,” Richter said. “The University of Mary provides its students with intentional experiences abroad, in the classroom, and in service, so no matter where they are in the moment, they know they are part of something with eternal meaning and hope.”

These experiences “provide each with a greater meaning, a greater hope, and a greater witness to a full breadth of life,” he added. “That is why we consider ourselves to be faithfully Christian, joyfully Catholic, and gratefully Benedictine.”

GERALD KORSON is a Legatus magazine staff writer.

Beware the brainwashing at Secular U

“Oh, it’s okay, he’s grounded in his faith. And besides, he signed up for a religion course!” 

I heard that reassurance from parents at my parish regarding their son, a solid Catholic kid being shipped off to Secular U. one autumn. I warned them about our universities, pleading that they send him to a serious Catholic college. 

When I asked around Thanksgiving how his college experience was going, they groaned. After listening to their litany about his thorough indoctrination on sexuality and gender, I asked how the “religion” course was going

“It’s awful!” they shouted. “It’s taught by an atheist!”

 Of course, it is. Who did they expect, Thomas Aquinas? 

I could go on and on.

A tearful Catholic mom told me about her six children: all products of Catholic schools, youth groups, and even one “Catholic” college (she put “Catholic” in quotes). All now vigorously support everything from Planned Parenthood to same-sex “marriage” to Facebook’s 71 gender options. “Much worse,” she added, “is that they’re all six clearly anti-Christian.” She notes the conventional wisdom that “things will change” as they get older and have kids. Hasn’t happened. 

She explained in a word where this permanent rebellion occurred: college.

 I could list those six colleges here, but there’s no point. They’re representative of any 600 or 6,000 colleges taking down the culture. If you’re not sending your children to a real Catholic/ Christian college, then you’re risking their souls. And paying for it. 

History’s worst radicals long looked to the universities to sow discord and implant destructive ideas.

“Give me four years to teach the children,” asserted Vladimir Lenin, “and the seed I have sown shall never be uprooted.”

The atheist philosopher/educator Richard Rorty candidly stated that the job of professors like him is “to arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own” and “escape the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents.” Rorty’s message to parents: “We are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable.” 

What a testimony to our universities, where impressionable freshmen are putty in the hands of fundamental transformers who teach them to redefine everything from unborn life to marriage to family to sexual orientation to gender. Those who resist are “bigots” who—in the name of “tolerance”—must not be tolerated.

Tragically, if these professors fail to get hold of these young minds in the K-12 years, they eventually get them in the universities, where the parents pay huge fees for a re-education completely contrary to what they inculcated at home for 18 years. Modern universities are hotbeds for courses like “Queer Citizenship” and “Exploring Homophobia” within programs like (to name just one) the University of Maryland’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Program.

And it isn’t merely cultural extremism that students learn. I’m often asked where the sudden support of socialism among youth comes from. The answer is obvious: education, especially at the university level.

What’s the antidote to this? There’s no easy fix. The vast majority of Americans (Catholics included) will funnel their children into these universities, seduced by prestigious names or scholarships that, nonetheless, can do serious soul damage. But you can at least address your own family.

For recommended real Catholic colleges, see the crucial lists published by the National Catholic Register and Cardinal Newman Society. Think carefully. Ask hard questions. Do research. Don’t be duped by admissions people who insist their college isn’t hostile to your values.

This is serious business. The souls of your children are at stake. 

PAUL KENGOR is professor of political science at Grove City College in Grove City, PA. He is author of over a dozen books, including A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century

Three Rules for Living a Good Life: A Game Plan for After Graduation

Lou Holtz
Ave Maria Press, 96 pages

 

If you’ve heard Lou Holtz speak at a public event anytime in the last couple of decades, you’ll recognize some of the entertaining stories and anecdotes he tells in his brief but highly engaging book. His stories and lessons work because they’re timeless; and although addressed to new college graduates, his advice provides sheer wisdom for us all — not just about faith, but how to apply it. “If you truly want to be happy for a lifetime,” Holtz writes, “put your faith in Jesus Christ.” Give it as a gift to a grad, or keep it by your beside for inspiration… and a good chuckle.

 

Order: Amazon

Entrust kids to schools teaching ultimate Truth, moral law

Parents, as the first educators of their child and participating in the selection of an institution of higher education, are faced with challenges that perhaps their own parents had not faced: Will their teenager embrace the truths of the Church after their college experience? Historically, if a young person selected a Catholic college parents felt confident they would be supporting an educational experience supportive of Church teaching. Current anecdotal evidence suggests this may not always remain the case. Numerous mandates interfere with Catholic higher education’s unique role in preparing graduates to respond to the escalating moral questions of the day. These mandates may be from regulatory agencies, policies concerning academic freedom, legal claims labeling natural moral law as intolerant and discriminatory, and most impactfully, the demands of politically correct cultural relativism.

Catholic higher education has a unique role that extends beyond the education of the next generation. During Pope Benedict XVI’s 2008 address to Catholic educators in the United States, he indicated how education plays a unique role in shaping a society respectful of natural moral law based on ultimate truths: “The Church’s primary mission of evangelization, in which educational institutions play a crucial role, is consonant with a nation’s fundamental aspiration to develop a society truly worthy of the human person’s dignity. … The Church’s mission, in fact, involves her in humanity’s struggle to arrive at truth. In articulating revealed truth she serves all members of society by purifying reason, ensuring that it remains open to the consideration of ultimate truths. Drawing upon divine wisdom, she sheds light on the foundation of human morality and ethics, and reminds all groups in society that it is not praxis that creates truth but truth that should serve as the basis of praxis.” [Benedict XVI, Address to Catholic Educators (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America, April 17, 2008).]

The most effective method of fulfilling this mission is by preparing graduates capable of shaping a society that respects natural moral law. However, society has become hostile, not only to the ultimate truths of natural moral law, but also to those who espouse them. Catholic colleges may find it financially and socially expedient to deemphasize such a mission. In so doing, students may be cheated of an education in ultimate truths consistent with reason, vital to the holistic development of the human person. The question remains: What is a parent, in assisting a college-seeking child, to do?

There are indicators of a Catholic institution’s willingness to fulfill its unique role. These include: the nature of institutional sponsorship; the composition of the institution’s board of directors and their membership in organizations which publicly advocate for positions inconsistent with Church teaching; the public positions taken by board members, the administration, and the faculty; the sources of institutional funding; the nature and number of mandated core courses in religious studies and philosophy; and the institution’s collaborative relationships with other agencies in meeting the educational needs of students. One very telling indicator is how the institution describes itself and its mission in promotional materials. Is its mission defined solely in terms of secular goals or in terms of the foundational goal of enabling students to discern ultimate truths consistent with natural moral law? Perhaps, most importantly, does the institution identify itself as Catholic, or merely as value or faith-based?

Catholic institutions of higher education have remained critical to the scientific, socio-cultural, and moral development of this nation. If parents, with their college-seeking children, are comfortable with what they have learned when assessing these parameters, they have a basis for entrusting the next generation to Catholic higher education.

 

DR. MARIE HILLIARD, MS, MA, JCL, PH.D., RN, is Senior Fellow at The National Catholic Bioethics Center. She has an extensive background in nursing, medical ethics, and public policy (former Director of the CT Catholic Conference). She is a canon lawyer, co-chairs the Ethics Committee of the Catholic Medical Association, is president of the National Association of Catholic Nurses USA, and is a Colonel (Ret.) in the U.S. Army Reserve, where she served as RN for over 20 years. Having published extensively, she has likewise won Catholic Press Association award recognition.

Real Catholic education yields a Truth-seeking thinker

I was a history major in college. One of my history professors loved to tell us that our job as students was to be our own historians. He meant we should not simply read a history book and then believe we understood the topic, without further exploration of what we had read. We should study other books on the same topic and compare what the different authors put forth as explanations. In short, we were to become informed, independent thinkers who made critical judgments of the ways facts were chronicled and evaluated. Just because something is in a book does not make it true. It may be true, or partially true, or totally false. It is up to each student/historian to exert the effort to discover what is reliable, accurate, and reasonable, against what is mere conjecture or outright falsehood.

The professor’s advice applies to more than just studying history. University students should realize that much of what they’ll be taught needs to be analyzed and considered in the light of other facts and approaches. They need to be aware that in many fields of knowledge there is enormous pressure to conform to one set of ideas that reflect the modern secularist outlook. That outlook rejects the notions of eternal truths and natural moral laws. Instead students are confronted with subjectivism. Robert Cardinal Sarah describes this problem in his book God or Nothing: “Subjectivism is one of the most significant traits of our time. Feelings and personal desires are the only norm. Often modern man regards traditional values as archaeological artifacts.” Thus a college student will be told that the reason he should agree with (or at least not criticize) a blatantly immoral lifestyle is that everyone gets to decide what is right or wrong for himself. Making a judgment that certain ways of thinking or acting are wrong and harmful is treated as a violent intellectual assault on someone else’s unquestionable right to do whatever he wants, free from any criticism or disapproval.

Cardinal Sarah continues: “Since the social revolution in the sixties and seventies, it has been common practice to pit individual liberty against authority. Within this context, even among the faithful, it may seem that personal experience becomes more important than the rules established by the Church. If the individual is the central point of reference, everyone can interpret the Church’s message in his own way, adapting it to his own ideas.”

To be a faithful Catholic, especially in today’s university setting, a student must be aware that being a truth-seeking thinker means treating Christ’s doctrine as the basis upon which to judge everything else. Going along with fashionable trends and drinking in politically correct relativism that admits no other way of thinking is a sure formula for drifting away from the Church’s teaching and demands of the Gospel. Going along to get along can easily lead one down the road to denying certain teachings of the Church in the illusory pursuit of showing love and respect to people who reject those teachings. True love and respect for others involves sharing with them the liberating truths of the Gospel as taught by the Church. If they refuse to hear you, you at least have made the effort to help them. They have had the perhaps unusual experience that someone out there does stand firm when the world wants him to be silent and capitulate to the coercive worldview of relativism.

My history professor was a wise man. Being your own historian is a good way to approach the rest of life. For the Catholic student, it means looking at everything we encounter with the mind of Christ and not caving into the demands of a relativistic spirit in which there is no truth, only opinions.

 

FATHER GERALD MURRAY is pastor of Holy Family Church, New York, NY. He holds a Doctorate in Canon Law from Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and appears as commentator on religious topics on TV and radio, including EWTN, Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, NY1, Radio Maria, Relevant Radio, Fox News Radio, and the Voice of America. He writes a monthly column for The Catholic Thing website. He served in US Navy Reserve Chaplain Corps from 1994 to 2005.

When the state exposes Catholic identity concerns

Faithful Catholics are rightfully concerned about how some Catholic colleges and universities have rejected their Catholic identities because so few Catholic college leaders have implemented Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Pope St. John Paul II’s vision for authentic Catholic higher education.

Anne Hendershott

Anne Hendershott

Now, the federal government, through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), has stepped into the void. In a series of rulings that might have been more appropriate coming from bishops, the NLRB has pronounced that a number of Catholic colleges are eligible for unionization because they have “clearly demonstrated that they are not providing a religious educational environment.” Not surprisingly, it has ruled in nearly every case that “the Catholic mission plays no part in the hiring and evaluation of the faculty.”

The NLRB’s new test assessing faculty support for the Catholic mission emerged as a way to circumvent the 1979 Supreme Court case, NLRB v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago. The case denied jurisdiction over lay teachers at a Church-operated school because, the justices ruled, such interference would create a “significant risk” of violating the First Amendment’s free exercise and establishment clauses.

Today, faculty contributions to the Catholic mission cannot be assumed. Beyond a few dozen faithful Catholic colleges and universities, the NLRB knows that most Catholic colleges qualify for unionization because these institutions cannot demonstrate that the faculty are actually expected to uphold and advance Catholic teachings.

In 2015, the NLRB issued a “Certification of Representation” allowing adjunct professors and lecturers at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, Calif., to join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Earlier that same year, adjunct faculty at St. Michael’s College of Vermont voted in favor of joining the SEIU, and the NLRB ordered its regional officials to reconsider labor disputes involving employees at Manhattan College in Riverdale, N.Y., St. Xavier University Chicago, and Seattle University. School leaders had attempted to block unionization, claiming that such efforts posed a threat to their schools’ religious character.

Sadly, some had already sacrificed their religious character. It’s difficult for St. Mary’s to claim that its faculty supports Catholic teachings when the school has honored abortion proponents like Amy Richards, who visited the Catholic campus to positively proclaim her decision to “selectively reduce” two of her three unborn children.

Manhattan College is also an easy target for the NLRB. Religious studies professor Judith Plaskow published a book arguing that “heterosexism is the fundamentally religious endorsed form of oppression.” Two of Seattle University’s philosophy professors published A Brief, Liberal, Catholic Defense of Abortion, in which they argue that performing an abortion on a non-sentient fetus is like removing plant life.”

In each of these cases, the NLRB has judged that the institutions had distanced themselves so far from the authority and teaching of the Catholic Church that they no longer merited government recognition as religious institutions.

Still, there is reason for optimism as earlier this year, Carroll College in Helena, Mont., became the first Catholic college to convince the NLRB that the school “has always been and will continue to embrace and be guided by our mission.” Pointing to the faculty handbook which clearly states that a faculty member can be fired for “continued serious disrespect or disregard for the Catholic character or mission of the College,” the NLRB noted that it would “decline jurisdiction as long as the university’s public representations make it clear that faculty members are subject to employment-related decisions that are based on religious considerations.”

The SEIU is now helping to organize faculty at Loyola University of Chicago. Loyola’s interim president John Pelissero told the faculty that the SEIU was “not consistent with our deeply rooted Catholic intellectual tradition.” That may be difficult to argue as its law school hosts a chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice — an organization dedicated to helping to produce a new generation of abortion advocates.

Father Dennis Holtschneier, president of DePaul University (which also hosts a chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice), recently wrote: “Ultimately, the freedom to determine what is or is not religious activity inside our Church is at stake.” Perhaps it’s time for all faithful Catholics to reclaim the role that the state has attempted to assume in ensuring that Catholic colleges and universities protect what Pope Francis has called the “uncompromising witness” to the Church’s magisterial teachings.

ANNE HENDERSHOTT is an author, a professor of sociology and director of the Veritas Center at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.

How to help your children keep the faith in college

MONSIGNOR MICHAEL BILLIAN: Mother Teresa’s simple advice is gold for youth . . .

Monsignor Michael Billian

Monsignor Michael Billian

I recently heard a story about a businessman who had lost his sense of interior joy. He was struggling to find meaning in his life. Work had taken over, and he was constantly jet-setting from city to city on business, taking precious time from his family and parish life.

On one business trip, he found himself sitting next to Mother Teresa of Calcutta. He couldn’t believe the opportunity! He was quite nervous, but he was sure that if he could get up enough courage to speak to her, she could help him through his spiritual crisis.

Not knowing how to start the conversation, he decided bluntly to ask, “How do I find joy in my life?” Mother said you have to have joy. He interrupted, thinking she didn’t understand the question, “Yes, but that is what I need to find — joy.”

Kindly, she continued, “You must make J.O.Y. your priority in this order — Jesus, Others and You — and only this order. Then you will find the spiritual joy you are looking for and the joy God wants for you.”

As Legates we must all keep this priority order for ourselves and offer this lesson to others by our words and actions — especially to your children and grandchildren as they go off to college.

I’m often asked by parents and grandparents how they can help their children or grandchildren stay close to the Church and the faith while they’re in college. Since I am a university parish pastor now and spent the first 15 years of my priesthood working in Catholic high schools, I have a unique perspective on the important transition from high school to college.

Heeding the advice of Blessed Teresa on the priorities of life regarding J.O.Y. is a good foundation for forming and talking to young people about life as they move into college. When it comes to putting this into practice on a college campus, here are some practical steps to faithfulness you can share with the young adults in your life:

Pray daily and go to Mass. One sure way to keep the faith in college is to stay in communication with God through both private prayer and community prayer, especially the Mass. Even if you only spend five or 10 minutes daily in prayer, it will be a great help. Remember always to allow God to speak to you during this time. That means you shouldn’t do all the talking; allow God to speak to you during quiet prayer. As nice as this private time with God is, He touches us most profoundly through the community. Jesus promised not to leave us alone but to form us into the family of God, the Body of Christ. Therefore, we must commit ourselves to celebrating Sunday Mass each week so that we can hear the Word of God proclaimed within the community of the Church and participate in the Eucharist, the source and summit of our lives.

Join a Catholic campus group. Campuses across the country have FOCUS, Newman Clubs, or Catholic student associations. These groups offer the opportunity to meet fellow Catholics who share your values and are interested in growing in their faith while enjoying the exciting years of college. They often offer the opportunities for retreats, educational programs, prayer experiences and great social events.

Get involved in Christian service. Sharing your gifts and talents with the under-served is a great way of actively answering God’s call to care for your brothers and sisters. By participating in these service opportunities, remember that you do this in answer to Jesus’ call — and not just to be a good humanitarian. While the work is always good, the reason we do the work can raise us to a higher level. It’s also good to spend some time reflecting on the service you do, remembering that you’re answering God when you do this work.

Avoid the temptation of pure independence. You’ll not only have time on your hands, but also have the opportunity to make your own decisions about the time you have. This newfound freedom can be a challenge. It’s easy to embrace independence without realizing that it can be a big temptation to turn away from God and the values that are at the foundation of your life. It’s important to live your new freedom with the support of a good faith life.

By keeping the priorities of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s advice in mind — and following a few practical steps — college students will always enjoy the embrace of God in the Church.

MONSIGNOR MICHAEL BILIAN is the chaplain of Legatus’ Genesis Chapter and pastor of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Toledo, Ohio.