Campus Watch

Enrollment Up

THE AUSTRALIAN, Jan. 14 — Sydney’s Seminary of the Good Shepherd enrolled 14 seminarians this year, taking to 41 the total number studying for the priesthood, reported the national daily.

Its numbers have been increasing over the past three years since its worst-ever year, 1996, when only four new men entered. At Corpus Christi College in Melbourne, 10 new seminarians this year brought its total to 41, an increase of six over the previous year.

The Corpus Christi dean of students, Father Paul Stuart, said the profile of the students is getting younger and more orthodox.

New Roles

CONTRA COSTA TIMES, Jan. 5 — De La Salle Christian Brother Ronald Gallagher assumed the presidency of St. Mary’s College in California on Jan. 1, reported the San Francisco-area daily.

He replaced Brother Craig Franz, who will become president of St. Mary’s University of Minnesota on June 1.

The change in leadership comes after a year in which the Catholic college was battered by the loss of $120 million in pledged donations related to an alleged swindle that victimized a leading St. Mary’s benefactor.


THE WASHINGTON TIMES, Jan. 18 — Despite the widely reported fact that The National Cursive Handwriting Test — a 75-year-old tradition — was recently canceled because of a lack of entries, educators throughout the country defended the importance of learning to write well as a key communication tool.

Advocates cite evidence of a direct link between the process of learning to write and developing the ability to read fluently, and to think more fluidly.

“When you first look at cursive writing, it’s like trying to interpret a foreign language. Working at it — and practicing it yourself — though, helps you to read it,” said Dixie Stack, director of curriculum at Maryland State Department of Education.

Top Honor

FRANCISCAN UNIVERSITY, Jan. 3 — Joseph Varacalli, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at Nassau Community College in New York, has been awarded the 2004 Pope Pius XI Award by the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, which is based at the Steubenville, Ohio, university.

Previous winners include Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard University and James Hitchcock of St. Louis University.

In his book Bright Promise, Failed Community, Varacalli examines why American Catholics have been relatively ineffective in shaping American public life.

Death of a President

STAR TRIBUNE, Jan. 13 — Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet Mary William Brady, a former president of the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, died earlier this month at age 98, ending a 70-year association with the college.

She was one of a group of nuns “who built the school into the nation’s largest Catholic college for women, earning her doctorate from the University of Chicago in a time when the sight of a black habit on campus drew double takes,” reported the Minnesota daily.

Sister Mary William was president from 1955 to 1961, a period that coincided closely with her brother William’s tenure as archbishop of St. Paul.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.