Tag Archives: study

The high stakes of Catholic education

Our mission is to study, live and spread the Catholic faith. Each year, the September issue of our magazine is dedicated to Catholic education… not only because September marks the beginning of another academic year, but also because this is a topic of critical importance to the Church. It is of course the mission of our Catholic schools to provide an environment where the truths of the Church (along with the array of other academic disciplines) are faithfully taught to the next generation. Thus we see a very practical means of our promoting the studying and spreading of our Catholic faith.

Tom Monaghan

Along with the expansion of Legatus, this area of Catholic education has been where I have felt called to devote the vast majority of my time and resources since selling Domino’s Pizza more than 20 years ago. We all know that if you want to impact future generations, the battleground is in our schools. I was blessed to receive a faithful Catholic education when I was in grade school; it was a firm foundation for which I am very grateful. While I did not always live my faith the way I should have, the gift of this Catholic education served me as an unwavering guide.

As my time and resources permitted, it was natural that Catholic education became an area of focus. I started by getting involved in the local Catholic high school, and later built a series of private Catholic grade schools. During this time, I received a crash course regarding some of the struggles going on in Catholic education from a well-respected Catholic who was a good friend. For example, I had never heard of the 1967 Land O’ Lakes Conference or the statement issued by these leaders of Catholic universities from across the country. Obviously, this conference did not take place in a vacuum and was in a sense a sign of the turbulent time the Church and our society was going through in the ‘60s. With that said, this conference in many ways opened the doors for secular influences to creep into Catholic universities and a move away from the Church in the name of academic freedom and secular prestige. 

Thankfully, in 1990 Pope St. John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the apostolic constitution for Catholic universities, finally began a renewal of Catholic identity in some Catholic universities. Almost 30 years later, we continue to wrestle with this issue, not only in our universities, but also in our Catholic schools at every level. So, as this new school year begins, I encourage you to pray for our Catholic schools and ask the Lord if there is anything He wants you to do to help them to be places where our future generations are formed according to the Truth.

TOM MONAGHAN is Legatus’ founder, chairman, and CEO.

Education – getting it straight

No one appreciates being patronized or deceived. No matter the situation, we expect truth the first time around. Anything else wastes our trust.

An authentic education —pursuit of truth in a given subject area — is no exception.

Media frequently run features on best-college values, but they use cost as the key variable. Catholic families must tease out where unmitigated truth is found, and where real threats to kids’ faith and well-being lie. Which schools will prepare the student well for his profession, and synergize it with full Catholic witness?

The Catholic Church teaches the purpose of man’s existence is to know, love, and serve God here, to be happy with Him eternally. Since God’s plan for marriage is procreation and education of children, kids must be taught what is essential to get to heaven. It’s the most important thing they can learn.

Yet, the typical parent sees a kid’s release into college as his official consummation with the world — complete with all its electrifying points of departure. In washing their hands of what they see as inevitable ‘falls from grace,’ parents commonly surrender with “What are ya gonna do?” But that cannot be Catholic parents’ collapse — to resign themselves to kids’ regrettable choices, many of which prove irreversible and destructive. God expects parents to be reliable guides in steering kids away from vices and serial mortal sin, toward the things of God. College can be a profligate abyss, or a magnificent enlightenment in Catholic truth, logic, and appreciation for God, regardless of chosen study.

As many kids (and parents) learn belatedly, boundless liberty isn’t the happiness they’d envisioned. Rather, life in Christ actually is.

Statistics bear it out. Studies over the past 20 years show those who practice their Christian faith and pray regularly are less stressed, healthier, happier, more financially stable, more compassionate, and more optimistic than those who don’t. And these findings aren’t from Catholic think-tanks, but from Pew Research and others.

So how should Catholic kids be educated?

St. Alphonsus Liguori, 17th-century doctor of the Church, says Catholic education begins at home, since kids absorb what parents embody. “Vices are not born to children,” he says, “but are communicated and exemplified.”

“To educate a child is to develop his intelligence, direct his reason, inspire him with love for good and horror for evil, form his character, correct him in what is reprehensible … and form him in knowledge, love and imitation of Jesus Christ,” the Christian Brothers say.

God says directly, “Listen to me, my son, and acquire knowledge, and pay close attention to my words. I will impart instruction by weight, and declare knowledge accurately.” (Sir 16: 24-25).

Ultimate and complete truth comes from God, and His teachings ground all fields of study.

Christ’s question thus remains: “What does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul” (Matt 16:26)?

CHRISTINE VALENTINE-OWSIK  is Legatus magazine’s Editor.

Read, read, read

As summer ends and students head back to school, Catholic education is our theme for this issue. I do not think the importance of Catholic education can be overstated, as it is so critical to shaping the minds and hearts of our children and young adults.

Yet, the process of studying and learning is never meant to end! As you know, a part of the induction into Legatus is the pledge to study, live, and spread the faith. Recently, I read To Light a Fire On The Earth by Bishop Robert Barron (with John Allen Jr.) and this quote struck me:

“… Barron’s unwavering belief in the importance of truth is why his standard response to anyone who asks his advice about how to get started as an evangelist is, read, read, read.”

I hope that all legates would put spiritual books on their reading list. At the head of the list I think should be the Bible and Bible commentaries such as the Navarre Commentaries and the series recently done by the faculty of Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit called the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (www. CatholicScriptureCommentary. com).

Also near the top of the list of course would be the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). In fact, we have a badge pin to recognize anyone who reads it from cover to cover. It can be done in little bits at a time and over a period of time.

I have also found that the lives of the saints are often very inspiring to read. However, some that were not originally written in English can be a bit awkward depending on the quality of the translation, so it can be helpful to read a review of the certain translation before purchasing.

There are many good Catholic books coming out every month. Ignatius Press, Tan Books,

Sophia Press, and others are all great sources. You will not find much in secular bookstores, but most are available on Amazon if you do not have a local Catholic bookstore near you.

Many prominent, former Protestants have told me they read themselves into the Catholic Church. We legates are already in the Church, but we can nourish our faith by taking advantage of this vast array of spiritual books available to us. If you have read a good book, let us know about it.

Read, read, read.

TOM MONAGHAN is Legatus’ founder, chairman and CEO.

Study, live and spread the faith

Since I became your executive director almost a year ago, I have come to appreciate the Legatus mission to a much higher degree. Legatus members are special in many ways, not the least of which is in their love for their Catholic faith. That epiphany has prompted me to discuss the Legatus mission in this column.

I have shared some thoughts about what it means to study and live the faith, the first two tenets of the mission statement. These aspects of one’s faith life are central to attain the salvation assured us if we remain vigilant.

But as St. Luke exhorts us: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more” Lk 12:48.

We Legates have been given more. Whatever success we may have achieved, whatever opportunities to serve the Church we may have welcomed, whatever positions of influence we are in … all of these gifts likely constitute more — the more that will demand more from us.

Now consider the last of the three underpinnings of our mission: spreading the faith. The dedication of so many Legates to spreading their faith is truly an inspiration to me. In chapter after chapter, I have come to know, respect and honor Legates who are Jesus Christ to those around them — their families, friends and business associates.

This month’s cover story features the inspirational stories of three members who are living the Beatitudes by feeding the poor. Robert Chisholm (Miami Chapter), Joseph Marmora (Jersey Shore Chapter) and Jeffrey Darrey (Tampa Bay Chapter) are to be emulated. Were they performing these corporal works of mercy prior to joining Legatus? In some cases, Yes. What is important, however, is that they are a positive influence on their fellow Legates, thereby inspiring them to serve the Church and mankind in ways not previously considered.

What is truly moving is the fact that individuals like these three gentlemen represent a broad cross section of Legates in chapters throughout the United States and around the world. On behalf of all Legates, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our members who are responding to St. Luke’s exhortation. You bless us by your example.