Two Views of Catholic U.
“Donors Wonder if Catholic University Has Reformed” (Aug. 29-Sept. 4) asked whether donors can be sure the Catholic University of America has reformed. I asked that same question back in 1998 when my daughter, Stephanie, was considering Catholic University's nationally renowned school of nursing. Our concerns were answered during open-house visits and she entered as a member of the class of 2003.
A couple of years before her arrival, Father David O'Connell assumed the post of president of Catholic University. From the beginning, it was his goal to restore the university. In his tenure, he has tripled the number of priests assigned to campus ministry. Under the able leadership of Father Bob Schlegeter, these popular priests have made many opportunities available to Catholic University students for truly Catholic spiritual enrichment. I have witnessed the standing-room-only crowds at the Wednesday evening Eucharistic adoration in the historic Caldwell Chapel and the overflow of students attending Sunday evening Mass at St. Vincent's Chapel.
Father Bob, his priests and the many students active in campus ministry have maintained an atmosphere that makes it popular for students to involve themselves in spiritually enriching activities and worship. The benefits they offer will have lifelong effects on these students as they leave Catholic University to make their mark on the world.
At my daughter's graduation Mass, I watched in awe as scores of graduates stood before the congregation in recognition of their commitment to spend a year or more in service to the poor (at little or no pay) and/or to take that year to discern a religious vocation. The seeds being planted at Catholic University are producing a very healthy harvest.
No institution is without its weaknesses — but, under Father O'Connell, Catholic University of America is leading young men and women in the right direction. My daughter went in as a faithful Catholic and left four years later filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit burning even more vigorously inside her. Do donors have to worry whether Catholic University has reformed? Not hardly! I can only hope that my son, Renn, will follow in the footsteps of his sister. He will get a great education, live on a beautiful campus and have the opportunities available to him that will constantly call him to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Owings Mills, Maryland
Regarding “Donors Wonder if Catholic University Has Reformed” (Aug. 29-Sept. 4):
After reading this article I was shaking my head. Catholic University of America is a Catholic school. Right? Parents may send their children there assured they will receive an authentic Catholic education. Wrong.
At one point the article states, “Crys-dale [the associate dean for undergraduate students], like many of the dissenting professors at Catholic University, is listed on the university's expert list, a reference for journalists seeking information on various topics.” For heaven's sake.
The article goes on to state, “Some say a good Catholic education is possible at the Catholic University of America if the student researches the backgrounds and works of the professors and makes wise choices before signing up for classes.” Again I say: For heaven's sake.
Parents are supposed to drop their 17-year-old child off there. This youngster is then supposed to research the background and works of the professors before registering. First of all, why should they have to do this? And second, I would think registration would be long over with before this could be done.
Again, Peter Casarella, associate professor of systematic theology, says, “I have no doubt students can go there and get an authentic Catholic education. The resources are there; it just takes a certain amount of savvy.”
What kind of “Catholic” school is this, where the students must spend hours researching the professors and have “savvy” before they can obtain an authentic Catholic education?
- November 21-27, 2004