Towards a Catholic Resurgence in the Media

John Paul Catholic University

Escondido, California

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Panel_13On November 2nd, 2000, while visiting Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, Derry Connolly experienced something that would change his life.

“I saw a campus full of young Catholic students on fire for the Lord. I had never seen that level of excitement about Jesus Christ by so many students on a college campus. Late on that evening, sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the Portiuncula chapel, I felt the Lord placing on my heart the request to build a university, like Franciscan, in San Diego.  My immediate answer to the Lord was ‘NO – Impossible, a university is too big and too expensive. And I don’t know how to do it!’

“During the summer of 2003, three key thoughts came together in my mind. First, I had just finished teaching a class on the start-up process for entrepreneurial high-tech companies to graduate and under-graduate students at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), I was strongly impressed by the passion the UCSD students had to go out and change the world by building successful technology based businesses. Next, I reflected with deep concern on the fact that the Catholic influence on the media was near rock bottom. The New Media industry was rapidly evolving and maturing daily, and was poised to radically change the landscape of the media industry.

“Finally, contemplating the role of Stanford University in the growth of Silicon Valley, I was convinced that a Catholic university, centered on Jesus Christ, in the model of Franciscan University, must be a critical centerpiece to the Catholic resurgence in the field of media. San Diego, long a hub for innovation in new media enabling technology and geographically very close to the creative center of the industry in Los Angeles, was a great place to start.”

John Paul Catholic University was born on September 2nd, 2003. Connolly’s vision for the University was a ‘niche’ Catholic university focused on the culturally influential field of media, with the dynamic spirituality of Franciscan University, and the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of UCSD.

SF-Walk_for_LifeQ. What kind of young person is attracted to your school?

Students tend to have a strong desire for a deep relationship with Jesus. Faith matters. They are entrepreneurial – not afraid of someplace new and small. They come from all across the US – from Vermont to Guam, from Florida to Alaska. They seek an education the fields of Entertainment Media, Entrepreneurial Business and Biblical Theology.

Q. How do students rate their experience of your school?

Most students love their JP Catholic experience – they can’t find an experience like it anywhere. Some don’t fit – small, niche and non-traditional is not everyone’s cup-of-tea. We don’t try to please everyone – we can’t.

Q. Given the scarcity of vocations in America, how is your school doing in this regard?

We have many students responding to God’s call. As we begin Summer quarter, we will have seven Chaldean rite Catholic seminarians, four doing a Masters in Biblical Theology and three doing undergraduate degrees alongside their pre-theology studies. Two graduates will be starting their graduate Theology studies at St John’s Seminary in Camarillo, CA. We also have a pre-theology seminarian from the Eudist religious order. Two of our graduates are in the convent of the Workers in the Vineyard. Many more students continue to discern.

Q. Cost is a huge factor these days as students balk at assuming large debts for undergrad degrees. How is your school addressing this?

We give generous institutional aid. We are proactive in assessing student success and are quick to recommend alternate career options for students that are likely not to benefit from an expensive college education. College is a great investment for many. However, it can be a terrible investment for some.

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Q. How would you characterize the formation of young Catholics these days – as opposed to 20 years ago? Any reason for hope?

Great reasons for hope. The Lord is blessing us with increasingly fine young men and women. That said, formation is very tough – the force of Satan infused through the secular culture is very confusing even to young Catholics from strong families. Formation is a battle, which often times is very tiring to fight. A very high percentage of our graduates tend to become strong Catholic men and women. Christ is truly is hope.

How can I help? Make a decision to help. Fund a scholarship for a student with a great need. Endow a professor. Fund a new program. Create a program resource. Seed fund the process to build a permanent campus.

If you feel called to connect your legacy with that of the University, please contact Derry Connolly, President at 858-653-6740 or email DConnolly@jpcatholic.com

“In True Franciscan Fashion”

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The Steubenville Story

Father Sean Sheridan, TOR, is an interesting guy. In addition to a BA in pharmacy, he’s a lawyer with degrees is both secular (University of Pittsburgh) and canon (Catholic University of America) law.  He’s a late vocation, too, having spent a decade practicing law in Sacramento and Pittsburgh, with a focus on healthcare litigation before joining the Franciscans in 2000. He’s also an expert on the role of a Catholic university; his 2009 dissertation was a canonical commentary on John Paul II’s 1990 apostolic constitution “Ex Corde Ecclesiae,” which deals with the role of the Catholic university in the Church’s mission.

Today, Father Sheridan is the new President of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and he’s taken time out of his busy schedule to give this exclusive interview — an-depth look  at his University, as it stands today.

Q. What was the genesis — the inspiration for the college?

Franciscan UniversityFranciscan University of Steubenville was founded as the College of Steubenville in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. The Diocese of Steubenville had just been formed and its first bishop, John King Mussio, reached out to a religious order to establish a Catholic college in his diocese.  That order asked the bishop for $1 million to accomplish the task. 

Not having the funds, Bishop Mussio turned to the religious order to which I belong, the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular, Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is based in Loretto, Pennsylvania, and which already was running a Catholic college there.  The friars accepted Bishop Mussio’s offer, and in true Franciscan fashion they borrowed $348,000 and to the surprise of many, were able to open the College of Steubenville in under six months.

From our first president, Father Dan Egan, TOR, we find that his vision is in concert with today’s vision for the school.  In a 1946 speech he said, “The College has a two-fold purpose . . . to give those who enroll here a thorough sense of values designed to train men for a full life which occupies 24 hours a day, not simply 8 hours spent in the shop or office. It also aims to contribute to the development and welfare of a man’s nature, recognizing that he has not only a body but an immortal soul.”

The College of Steubenville went through some tough times in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was on the verge of closing due to stiff competition from state institutions and the social unrest of the era. Our fourth president, Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, did an amazing job of rededicating the school to Jesus Christ and turning it into a Catholic university of national prominence that today draws students from all 50 states and many foreign countries.

Father Terence Henry, TOR, took the mantle from Father Scanlan in 2000 and built on that foundation, adding a Catholic bioethics institute and many other academic and student life programs that have bolstered our Catholic identity and our commitment to academic excellence.

In true Franciscan fashion the Friars borrowed $348,000 and to the surprise of many, were able to open the College of Steubenville in under six months.

Q. What has been your experience of the  university?

When I became president in June 2013, I dedicated myself to upholding these foundations. I taught theology here for one year before becoming president, and I can tell you first hand that there is a rigorous pursuit of truth through academic study here.  This comes in every course of study, from accounting to theology and every subject in between.  But we know that academic study, while good in and of itself, is not the supreme goal of our learning.  Our students and faculty know that academic work naturally lead us to the source of all truth – God himself.

And so, in our daily activities, the way we gather as a worshipping community is central to this encounter with God.  In his apostolic constitution, Ex corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II taught that as a natural expression of the identity of the Catholic university, the university community should give a practical demonstration of its faith in its daily activity, with expressions of prayer, and especially the Eucharist, as the most perfect act of community worship.

So the life of prayer is central to our academic life. Each semester, 24/7, students take an hour with the Lord for eucharistic adoration in the Portiuncula Chapel, a replica of one of the chapels repaired by St. Francis early in his public ministry. Our daily Mass attendance is very strong: Over 70 percent of our students voluntarily go to Mass two or more times a week. On Saturday afternoons over 800 students who belong to small faith-sharing groups known as faith households hold Lord’s Day celebrations. We have a monthly Festival of Praise that fills our fieldhouse, and students join in weekly praise and worship, Bible studies, Rosaries, among other prayers and devotions.

In my homily at the Opening of the School Year Mass, I told the students that

“as members of the body of Christ, all that you say, all that you do, must be rooted in God. God is the center of our lives, God is the beginning, God is our source for beginning to understand and embrace the truth.”

PortiunculaOver 70 percent of our students voluntarily go to Mass two or more times a week.

Q. How would you characterize the formation of young Catholics these days, as opposed to 20 years ago?  Any reason for hope?

Young Catholics today are passionately searching in their lives for the truth that can only be found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Many have come to understand that despite what society might promise with regard to finding “happiness” in material possessions, they can only find joy by embracing, rather than running away from, the challenges that living lives of truth might require. As a result, many young Catholics are willing to dedicate their lives to not only pursuing holiness themselves but to assisting others with their pursuit of holiness. Strong catechetical programs such as we offer at Franciscan University prepare young Catholics to be formed and also to form others.

All of these themes tie into what our recent Holy Fathers have called the new evangelization—to catechize properly the baptized so that they might catechize others. There is great cause for hope that the formation of young Catholics will continue to improve as we see their great desire to deepen their relationship with Christ and to demand the formation needed to do so—both personal and as provided in catechetical programs.

Many young Catholics have come to understand that despite what society might promise with regard to finding “happiness” in material possessions, they can only find joy by embracing, rather than running away from, the challenges that living lives of truth might require.

Q. How is your school helping to answer the dire need for vocations?

Franciscan UniversityFirst of all, I would say by the overall spiritual atmosphere that pervades the Franciscan University of Steubenville campus.  Students often tell us how much they appreciate the many opportunities for prayer and the daily interactions with priests and nuns they find here.

We have 20 Franciscan friars teaching and serving in various capacities—an astoundingly high number for any Catholic university today. Our friars are a strong presence on campus. They serve as chaplains to the athletic teams, as advisors to the faith households and other student groups, they provide individual spiritual direction and have many informal interactions with students, such as conversations after Mass and while walking across campus, which help increase awareness of the call to the priesthood and religious life.

We have eight Franciscan TOR sisters who work in campus ministry at the University and at our study abroad program in Gaming, Austria. Add to this the many women’s religious orders who send members here for studies, and it’s clear that our female students have many encounters with religious sisters during which they can learn about these orders and their particular charisms.

In a more formal ways, our Priestly Discernment Program was established in 1985 expressly to encourage vocations. In this program, the men commit to a shared life that includes daily Mass, a Holy Hour, daily communal prayer, regular spiritual direction and weekly talks on the call to the priesthood. This year, six men who graduated from this program entered a major seminary or joined a religious community.

Over the last seven years, more than 76 Franciscan graduates who discerned and prepared for the priesthood through the University’s Priestly Discernment Program have entered seminary or a religious order.

We also have a Third Order Regular Affiliate House in one of our residence halls for men discerning entering the Franciscan Third Order Regular after they complete their studies at Franciscan University.

Of course, not all vocations come directly through these formal programs. For instance, two men not in either of these programs who graduated this year are now Franciscan TOR postulants. We did some research recently and found that in total, more than 400 Franciscan graduates currently serve the Church in the priesthood.

We’re also helping with vocation discernment at the high school level. Franciscan University hosts high school summer conferences that this year reached over 42,000 participants at 18 locations across the U.S. and Canada.  A highlight at each conference is the “vocations call” at the closing Mass where young men and women step forward to be prayed over about a possible religious vocation. Over four thousand youth responded to the vocation call this summer.

According to a study conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 11 percent of all priests ordained in the U.S. in 2013 said they participated in a Franciscan University Youth Conference before entering seminary or religious life, and 11 percent of women in the U.S. who professed perpetual vows in religious life in 2012 said they participated in a Franciscan University Youth Conference prior to entering religious life.

We did some research recently and found that in total, more than 400 Franciscan graduates currently serve the Church in the priesthood.

Q. What kind of young person is attracted to your school?  Where are they from? What kind of student are they?

March for Life 2013 84Franciscan University is a national Catholic university. We draw students from all 50 states and over a dozen foreign countries.  For the incoming class of 2017, the top 10 states were: Ohio, California, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New York, and Indiana.

The top 10 majors chosen by these new students were theology, business, nursing, communication arts,  catechetics, education, biology,  and psychology.

Academically, our students place above the national average. The average ACT score of new freshman students is close to 25, which is 4 points higher than the national average.

Q. What are your students seeking?

What we hear from our students over and over is that they seek a living Catholic culture to immerse themselves in while in college. Our students tell us they want to be around other students who can encourage them in developing a prayer life, to be called on to live a life of holiness but also to be encouraged to study hard—and still have good, wholesome fun, too, I might add.

We have many transfer students who tell us that they felt isolated at the state, private or Catholic university they were attending. When they came here for a visit, especially when they spent a night in one of the residence halls, they found what they were looking for.  They saw how our students had fun—dances, outdoor movies on the grass, socials on the Piazza dei Santi, NCAA athletics, and the like—while they also lived out their faith life. And that appealed to them.

Graule Fall 2007 348We have many transfer students who tell us that they felt isolated at the state, private or Catholic university they were attending. When they came here for a visit, especially when they spent a night in one of the residence halls, they found what they were looking for.

Q. How do students rate their experience at your school?  After 5 or so years? Further out?  

Our recent alumni survey revealed that:

  • More than 90 percent of Franciscan graduates successfully enter the next phase of life—employment, further education, the priesthood, or religious life—within one year of graduation.
  • Ninety-four percent of alumni said they would recommend Franciscan University to a prospective student or parent.
  • Over 91 percent rated their overall Franciscan University experience as an 8 or higher, with 48 percent rating it a perfect 10.
  • Over 90 percent of alumni say they are “very connected” to Franciscan, and have visited campus, attended reunions or University events and read Franciscan Way and other materials sent to them by the University.

Q. Cost is a huge factor these days as students balk at assuming large debt for undergrad degrees.  How is your school addressing this?

Over 80 percent of Franciscan University students receive some form of financial aid that totals more than $11 million each year.  Aid comes in the form of academic and need-based scholarships, military aid, and grants that do not need to be repaid, to various types of loans and work study. Students are also directed to outside scholarships and direct financial aid for which they may be eligible.

During our most recent Capital Campaign $15.6 million was raised for new and existing scholarships. Our newest scholarship, the Spirit of St. Francis Scholarship Fund, benefits students who qualify to attend Franciscan University but have limited income, including those who come from large families.

Our newest scholarship, the Spirit of St. Francis Scholarship Fund, benefits students who qualify to attend Franciscan University but have limited income, including those who come from large families.

About Franciscan University of Steubenville:

  • For more than 11 consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report’s guidebook on “America’s Best Colleges” has ranked Franciscan University in the elite “top tier” of Midwestern universities.
  • Young America’s Foundation rates Franciscan as one of the top 15 conservative colleges in the nation.
  • The Templeton Honor Roll for Education in a Free Society considers Franciscan one of the 13 colleges that are “best in liberal arts education.”
  • Franciscan is one of 22 “faithfully Catholic universities” in the U.S. recognized by the Cardinal Newman Society.
  • Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine has included Franciscan University of Steubenville as one of its “best values” in private higher education, ranking it 55th among the top 100 private universities in the nation.

Ways to Give

You can help Franciscan lead the way in providing a faithfully Catholic education! There are many ways to help support Franciscan University of Steubenville, and all levels of support are greatly appreciated. Every amount makes a big difference.

However you choose to support the mission of Franciscan University of Steubenville, you have our deepest gratitude, and will be included in prayeres offered at Mass as well as holy hours for benefactors and supporters.

Make a tax free donation by clicking here

 

Breathing Catholic in the Shenandoah Valley

Christendom College is a four-year coeducational Roman Catholic Liberal Arts College with undergraduate and graduate programs offered on three campuses in Front Royal and Alexandria, Virginia,  as well as in Rome, Italy. Founded in 1977 in response to the devastating blow inflicted on Catholic higher education by the cultural revolution which swept across America in the 1960s, Christendom’s goal is to provide a truly Catholic education in fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and thereby to prepare students for their role of restoring all things in Christ.

In this exclusive Regina Magazine interview, Christendom’s Director of Admissions Tom Mc Fadden fields our questions about the school and its students.

Q. What was the genesis – the inspiration – for Christendom College? 

A. According to the college founder, Dr. Warren H. Carroll, the purpose and goal of Christendom College is not only to provide a truly Catholic liberal arts education of the highest quality, but to maintain the idea of “Christendom” and to show how “Christendom” works in action, even on a small college campus.

In 1977, Dr. Carroll wrote the following in response to the question, “What is Christendom?”

Our college takes its name from the word which embodies the Christian social and political ideal: a society, a culture, a government in which Christ the King reigns. To help extend His reign, insofar as His grace strengthens us to do so, is the heart of our mission.

We prepare ourselves, first of all, by learning, study and practice. We investigate the character of Christendom in past ages, the enduring principles which must undergird any Christian society, and the particular new applications of these principles for our age in the area of society and government which have been set forth by the recent Vicars of Christ in their social encyclicals. We learn the Christian and Catholic foundations for every field of study we enter and every action we undertake. Above all, we try to build in our own lives, and in our work with fellow Christians, a mini-Christendom, a society, however small, in which Christ does truly reign.

Christendom College aims to be such a Christian society, a microcosm of the social reign of Christ. As such, it will strive to be an example and a model, as well as a center of study on what Christendom is and how it might be built anew even in our secularized age. The education Christendom College provides, primarily for laymen who will spend their lives in the world, will prepare and strengthen them both to maintain themselves and their families in that world, and for the better service to God within it.

“There is no wider Christendom today. The very word, once commonly used to designate our Western civilization, is going out of style and even out of knowledge. Many have never heard it, cannot pronounce it, much less explain and serve what it stands for. At this moment of history, Christendom can exist only in small and self-contained places. But the Christian in such a place never settles for it, never hides in it, for he has a message to bring to the world.”

“There is no wider Christendom today. The very word, once commonly used to designate our Western civilization, is going out of style and even out of knowledge. Many have never heard it, cannot pronounce it, much less explain and serve what it stands for.

Q. What kind of young person is attracted to your school? Where are they from? What kind of student are they? What are they seeking?

A. We attract a wide range of students, from home-educated to public school. From students who are from our state of Virginia to as far away as Africa. From students interested in acting and the fine arts to students who love the competition of our varsity sports. In general, they are students who are attracted to the lasting value of a liberal arts education and hold a deep love for the Faith.

Our varied student body, coupled with the ample opportunities to be active in or lead a wide variety of clubs makes our campus life very rich.

This past freshman class was comprised of 139 students, the largest in our history: 38% are siblings of either current Christendom students or alumni, 14% are legacy students, 45% attended one of the College’s Summer Programs, and from 31 US States, Italy, and Japan. Their average SAT score was 1833 – the highest in 5 years.

 

Q. How do students rate their experience of your school?

A. Here are two testimonies from last year’s graduates:

“My four years at Christendom have given me the best friends I may ever have, an education that is unparalleled in its commitment to Catholicism, and the opportunity to see virtue in action. What we have been given is priceless.”

At graduation, Anne Carroll, the wife of Christendom’s founder Warren Carroll, quoted what our founder used to call “The Watchwords of Christendom,” saying, “Truth exists. The Incarnation happened.”

“This, she said, was what motivated Dr. Carroll to found Christendom, to write the History of Christendom series, and to inspire so many young people to pursue truth in a world that has forgotten it exists.

“Graduation is a bittersweet time. Any senior will tell you that. Every moment is a mix of tears at parting and excitement for the future. It’s also a time of reflection. Five years ago, I came to the Experience Christendom Summer Program as a brand new Catholic. I admit to being one of those kids who came to Christendom very reluctantly. As a convert, what made the most impact on me was the unity of the Christendom community. As a senior, I understand so much more that the unity within the College is not due to the size of the school, the emphasis we put on formation, or the events Student Activities hosts. It comes from each individual member’s commitment to Truth. We are Catholic, united in the person of Jesus Christ Who is Truth itself.

“No institution is perfect. Every student at Christendom, myself included, has his or her complaints. It is necessary, however, to step back from those complaints to recognize that very few college students are given the gift of faculty and staff who applaud their colleagues as men and women of true virtue. To know someone who is truly virtuous is rare, and to be taught or mentored by that person is a gift that, at Christendom, we students have a tendency to take for granted.

“Our professors sacrifice so much for Truth. That alone speaks to the fulfillment of the vision of Warren Carroll. My four years at Christendom have given me the best friends I may ever have, an education that is unparalleled in its commitment to Catholicism, and the opportunity to see virtue in action. What we have been given is priceless. Dr. Carroll’s mission will live on in the faculty, staff, and students of Christendom College. Truth exists. The Incarnation happened.”

-Emiko Funai, Class of 2013

Christendom has given me the strength to recover when I stumble, and fight through this world to reach the next. 

“When I was asked to reflect on my years at Christendom, I thought to myself, “where on earth am I going to start?” That thought kept running through my head, as I tried to think of a way to start. Then it occurred to me: Christendom IS the start.

“In so many ways, Christendom is the starting point of its students’ lives. I am not saying that people did not have lives before or during their time at Christendom, but the real start to their own lives as individual adults begins at Christendom, and is able to flourish because of Christendom. Christendom gives each and every student a true and strong foundation upon which to start his life beyond Christendom, and endure through the many trials and temptations of the world.

“The Good Lord knows my weaknesses and struggles, but Christendom has given me the strength to recover when I stumble, and fight through this world to reach the next. After all, that is what Christendom is for: it gives each person what is necessary to reach eternal salvation, and nothing is more important than that. That is what makes Christendom one of the best colleges in the world.

“Christendom also is the start of many life-long friendships. I have made friends with people who make me a better person, and who give me strength and inspiration in my life, and I know that I will have these friends my whole life. When I look back to how I was four years ago, I thank God for all that I have experienced at Christendom which has helped me to be better prepared for the world. Perhaps I never will be ready for it, but without Christendom, without the foundation that it has provided, I would sink for sure. Through the education, the friendships, and the experiences that Christendom has given to me, I know that I can face the challenges of this world. And for that, I thank Christendom with all my heart.

“Looking back on the last four years, and all the memories made, I can’t help but be excited about what the future has in store. I think I can safely say that these past four years have been the best of my life so far, but I think I can also safely say that the best is yet to come, which fills me with excitement and wonder about what God has planned for me in the upcoming life that Christendom has started for me. So, to Christendom College, the professors, faculty, staff, and students, I thank you for an amazing experience, a fantastic start, and a firm foundation.

“And to the class of 2013: thank you for these past four years. Thank you for the memories, the experiences, and the friendships. You will all remain with me and be in my prayers. God bless each and every one of you, and may He keep you always close and firmly in His Sacred Heart. I love you all, and I will miss you! Ciao!”

-Nate Collins, Class of 2013

Q. Given the scarcity of vocations in America, how is your school doing in this regard?

A.  As of September 2013, Christendom College has helped foster 148 religious vocations amongst its alumni ranks (68 priests, 50 sisters, 2 brothers, 1 deacon, and 27 men currently in seminary). Students entering religious orders and who take final vows of poverty, chastity and obedience are eligible for loan forgiveness from the College. Students who pursue missionary or other lay apostolic work also qualify for some deferments. The college has also seen 358 alumnus-to-alumna weddings over the past 35 years.

As of September 2013, Christendom College has helped foster 148 religious vocations amongst its alumni ranks (68 priests, 50 sisters, 2 brothers, 1 deacon, and 27 men currently in seminary).

Q. Cost is a huge factor these days as students balk at assuming large debts for undergrad degrees. How is your school addressing this?

A. We deliver a high-quality education at an affordable price. That’s why Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine ranks us as the #3 private school in the nation that provides both academic quality and affordability.

Christendom’s tuition, fees, and room/board costs have been set for the 2013-14 year as follows: Tuition = $22,050, Room and Board = $8280, and Fees = $670, Total = $31,000. Christendom’s total cost of $31,000 is one of the lowest of any private, Catholic institutions of higher learning in the US today.

Additionally, Christendom (although we do not accept Federal loans, grants, subsidies, or aid of any kind) does offer its own well-funded financial aid fund from which students are given loans, grants, and academic scholarships. We have our own Financial Aid Form which mirrors the FAFSA form, and from the information provided, we give out loans and grants to students to help cover costs of tuition. The average financial aid package is around $15,000 a year.

 

We offer academic scholarships and on campus employment opportunities to help defray the costs.  Also, something we offer which I believe is unique is our sibling discount. If two siblings attend at the same time, the second sibling receives 25% off tuition. If there are three siblings attending at the same time, the 3rd one receives 50% off tuition.

And lastly, if someone who has received loans from Christendom chooses to join a religious order which takes a vow of poverty, Christendom erases the total amount of the loan.

So, hopefully you can see that although the initial “sticker price” of a Christendom education may seem a bit steep, we have many ways to lessen the costs. The Class of 2012 had an average indebtedness of “only” $25,875 after four years. Again, although this may seem like a lot of money, compared to national figures, it is a bit below the average for a private institution. According to The College Board’s “Trends in Student Aid 2012” report, the average student debt for 2009 graduates of four-year, private colleges was $29,900. And the Christendom students would have been given that loan of $25,875 interest and payment free for the entire four years they attended, as well as given one full grace year of not having to pay anything on the loan and the loan would not accrue interest during that grace year.

If someone who has received loans from Christendom chooses to join a religious order which takes a vow of poverty, Christendom erases the total amount of the loan.

Q. How would you characterize the formation of young Catholics these days – as opposed to 20 years ago? Any reason for hope?

 

A. Today, our youth need to be equipped to handle the philosophical errors which run rampant in our relativistic culture of death. Our education gives them the intellectual tools to do this. Another essential element in the formation of the youth is the development of their character and their spiritual life. Through the campus life, activities, and availability of the sacraments, our students are given an opportunity to “learn Christ” and to learn how to live with Him. This encounter with Christ and a Christ-centered culture gives them a vision on how to restore the current culture and become leaders in our current culture war. While the challenge in combating the current culture is great, there are reasons for hope that can be seen in the youth who attend Christendom and thrive in its culture.

 

While the challenge in combating the current culture is great, there are reasons for hope that can be seen in the youth who attend Christendom and thrive in its culture.

At our 2011 commencement Bishop James Conley (of Lincoln, Nebraska) said of Christendom:

“You are the real change-makers in our culture even though, relatively speaking, you lack the size and endowments of so many larger Catholic institutions of higher learning. Speaking from the heart of the Church with a confident Catholic identity, you are forming talented and creative disciples, equipping them with a Christian vision of life, culture, and history and sending them out well prepared to be leaders in the contemporary world.”

Giving to Christendom College

Our firm stance means that our students rely on you—our generous benefactors—to provide them with financial support that others receive from the federal government. Your support will continue to give our students (many from large, single-income families) the comprehensive scholarship and financial aid assistance program they need, enabling them to receive a formation that prepares them to join—and light—the fight for the Truth.

 

The Cardinal’s School Today

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The Oratory School motto of “Cor ad cor loquitur” (heart speaking to heart) is John Henry Newman’s own, taken from his Cardinal’s Coat of Arms.

“I could add my own motto of ‘a busy boy is a happy boy’!” says the present Headmaster, Clive Dytor MA(Cantab) and MA(Oxon). “Boys need a particular approach to help them achieve their academic potential within their overall personal growth. Girls outperform boys on many levels and a school dedicated to boys-only can concentrate on boys’ strengths – and weaknesses!”

The Oratory School came into being on 1st May 1859. It was founded by Blessed John Henry Newman, at the request of a group of eminent Catholic laymen of the time, in order to provide a boarding school for boys run on English public school principles for the small English Catholic community. Newman was closely involved with the school during its first thirty years, and it remained attached to the house of the Oratory Fathers in Birmingham until 1922, when it moved to what is now the BBC Monitoring Station at Caversham Park, Reading. The Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory handed over control of the School to a Governing Body in 1931, but links with the London and Oxford Oratories, as well as with the one at Birmingham, remain strong. To escape Nazi bombing of city centers during World War II, the School moved in 1942, to settle finally on its present site at Woodcote, South Oxfordshire, some 40 miles west of London.

“We embody and practise today our Founder’s spiritual, moral and educational principles, which are just as relevant at the beginning of the twenty-first century as they were when he imbued his School with them. Each individual is to be valued for his own sake; the system should be there to support the needs of the individual, not vice versa. In this way a person’s dignity and sense of self-worth are respected in the way that they should be; as a result they will be more at ease in the society in which they find themselves and more willing to accept the necessary constraints of that society. Furthermore if each individual is regarded as special, then his special needs and gifts will be given proper respect and attention.

“The pastoral welfare of the boys in the School, the relationships with their families, the continuing contact with past pupils – all these, therefore, are central to the ethos of Newman’s educational vision.”

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