Campus Watch

Education Partners

THE BOSTON GLOBE, March 19 — Despite ongoing consolidation, Boston’s Catholic schools are getting some welcome help from Catholic colleges in the area, Archbishop Sean O’Malley told the newspaper in an extended interview several days prior to being made a cardinal in Rome.

“This year, they put on an ad campaign for the Catholic schools, and are now poised to help … with recruiting efforts for the inner-city schools,” explained the archbishop.

He said such efforts are “important for the entire Catholic school system.”

Catholic at Oxford

INDEPENDENT CATHOLIC NEWS, March 27 — Dominican Father Aidan Nichols has been appointed to the first lectureship in Catholic theology at Oxford University since the Reformation, the news agency reported.

Father Nichols will take up the newly created John Paul II Visiting Lectureship, which was financed by a group of benefactors, on April 17.

The two-year post will cover Catholic theology from the Council of Trent to the present day, and is combined with a fellowship at Greyfriars Hall.

The author of over 30 books, in 2003 the Dominicans named Father Nichols sacrae theologiae magister (master of sacred theology).

Religious History

SACRED HEART UNIVERSITY, March 7 — Religious history and traditions should not be kept out of public school classrooms or textbooks, according to 79% of respondents to a national poll conducted by the Fairfield, Conn.-based university’s Polling Institute.

However, among Catholics, 34% believe textbooks misrepresent their religion, while 35% of Protestants believe their faith is misrepresented.

For a majority, “not only do religious histories matter, but getting them right matters,” said June-Ann Greeley, professor of religious studies at Sacred Heart.

Anti-Diversity Day

LA CROSSE TRIBUNE, March 24 — Viroqua High School officials in Wisconsin chose to cancel Diversity Day activities in March after Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal organization, presented legal precedent requiring inclusion of the viewpoints of Christians and former homosexuals, reported the Wisconsin daily.

The school scheduled sessions for students to present viewpoints of Hmong, Jews, Muslims, American Indians, blacks, homosexuals, Latinos, Buddhists, the physically disadvantaged and the economically disadvantaged, but not Christians or former homosexuals.

Liberty Counsel cited precedent from a federal district court in Michigan that in 2004 ruled unconstitutional a similar exclusion from a school diversity panel.

Standing for Principle

THE BUFFALO NEWS, March 26 — Student Laura Murphy was barred from bringing a female date to this year’s prom at Buffalo’s Villa Maria Academy, a Catholic high school for girls, the New York daily reported.

Despite favorable media coverage and a petition campaign initiated by Murphy, a senior, the Felician Sisters who administer the school remained firm.

“There are some principles we need to stand by,” said Sister M. Ambrose Wozniak, the Sisters’ provincial minister.

New Chief

DETROIT FREE PRESS, March 20 — Marygrove College David Fike has been appointed president of Detroit’s Marygrove College, which celebrated the centennial of its foundation by the Sisters, Servants of Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Fike, who has been the school’s provost since August, will take over for retiring President Glenda Price in July.

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.