Campus Watch

‘Great Challenge’

NEWS.COM.AU, Nov. 25 — “This is the great challenge: … to give life to a true Catholic university, one that excels for the quality of its research and teaching and, at the same time, for its faithfulness to the Gospel and to the Church's magisterium.” So said Pope Benedict XVI during a visit to Rome's Sacred Heart University.

In reference to the graduates of Catholic universities, he pointedly asked: “How do they leave? What culture did they find, assimilate, develop?”

Citing longstanding tradition, he said Catholic education revolves around the hope of higher learning fused with formation in faith in God and the pursuit of the logical connection between faith and reason.

Abortion Survivor

GALWAY ADVERTISER, Nov. 25 — Gianna Jessen, a 28-year-old woman who survived a saline abortion when she was seven months in utero, was prevented from speaking at Ireland's largest university, University College Dublin.

“Ultrasound,” the pro-life student group, sponsored Jessen's tour of Irish colleges, where she was mostly welcomed by large and supportive crowds.

On the morning of Jessen's talk at UCD, however, Ultrasound was told that insurance it had been instructed to obtain for the event was not sufficient, and that the talk could not go ahead.

Missing Homework

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, Nov. 24 — Hales Franciscan High School, a Chicago boys’ basketball powerhouse, has been barred from competition and could be stripped of its 2004-2005 state title.

The failure to complete basic paperwork — due since 2003 — has meant the loss of recognition by the Illinois Board of Education. Hales is the only historically black, all-male Catholic college-prep school in Illinois.

The paperwork included checking boxes indicating whether the school's policies were in writing and whether it was open 176 days.

Hales will seek special permission to keep playing until the issue is resolved.

Hoya Example

FEMINISTS FOR LIFE, Nov. 23 — Representatives of Georgetown University were honored with Feminists for Life's Elizabeth Cady Stanton Award for holding the first Pregnancy Resource Forum in 1997.

The forum has inspired similar events at a host of other Catholic and non-Catholic colleges across the country.

The Georgetown forum — now an annual event — led the university to set aside endowed family housing near campus, establish Hoya Kids Day Care, establish an assistance hotline for pregnant students, and to train counselors to address pregnancy and parenting resources.

Tops in Mobile

MOBILE REGISTER, Nov. 24 — Jesuit Father Gregory Lucey, president of Spring Hill College in Mobile, was honored as 2005 Mobilian of the Year during a banquet on the college campus.

The priest was awarded the title by the Civitan Club of Mobile, which annually recognizes a local citizen who has contributed to Mobile's economy, education or cultural development.

The honor is not for “just one individual,” Father Lucey said. “I represent the men and women who are Spring Hill College today, and I stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.”

This year mark's the 175th anniversary of the Jesuit-run college.

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.