Campus Watch

Hit Piece

THE BOSTON GLOBE, Aug. 28 — A second Globe article critical of the Cardinal Newman Society helped demonstrate the need for an independent organization to call Catholic colleges and universities to a more serious commitment to Catholic identity and teaching.

In reference to Boston College law professor Charles Baron, who was criticized by the Newman Society for signing a legal brief in support of removing Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, the Globe reports almost in passing that Baron “has written in favor of physician-assisted suicide.”

The article — which includes no third-party defenders of the society — also includes the definition of heresy, which the paper's sources say, is a “rare” occurrence in Catholic higher education.

Had they been contacted, other experts might have pointed out that “the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt … of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith,” does happen at Catholic institutions with some frequency, though usually by simply not teaching the truth or only including it as one among many versions of “truth.”

Rise in Vocations

IRELANDONLINE, Aug. 24 — Vocations are up in Ireland, and officials are saying the legacy of the late Pope John Paul II has played a role. Only eight ordinations took place in all of Ireland this year

For the second year in a row, St. Patrick's College, the national seminary in Maynooth, has seen a rise in the number of students — the first increases in two decades — as 19 began the school year there in late August, bringing enrollment to 75 from 63 last year.

Father Kevin Doran, national vocation coordinator, said the intense media attention to John Paul's life, death and message produced a “heightened awareness” of vocation in many.

Death of a Founder

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Aug. 26 — Msgr. Alfred Horrigan, the founding president of Bellarmine College, now Bellarmine University, died Aug. 25. He was 90.

In 1949, Archbishop John Floersh chose Msgr. Horrigan — a philosophy professor at what is today Spalding University — to found Bellarmine, Louisville's only men's Catholic college, and he remained as president for 24 years.

Msgr. Horrigan oversaw the merger with Ursuline College, creating a co-ed student body.

Slow Start

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS, Aug. 5 – John Paul II High School in Plano, Texas, projected to open with 900 freshmen, sophomores and juniors, instead reported an enrollment of some 300 just prior to the first day of class on Aug. 15.

Advocates had “pushed for a Catholic high school north of Dallas to meet the demand of the growing Catholic population,” reported the Dallas daily.

Officials attributed the lower-than-expected enrollment at the first Catholic high school built in the Dallas area in 35 years, to a few factors, including an overestimation of how many of the 600 students turned away annually from other Catholic high schools would become John Paul II students. They expect enrollment to rise as the state-of-the-art school becomes known.

Marriage T-shirts Okay

SACRAMENTO UNION, Aug. 17 — Students at a high school in Rohnert Park city recently won the right to wear pro-marriage T-shirts after being told by school officials that such statements were not permitted. Working with staff attorneys at Pacific Justice Institute, an evangelical Protestant organization, the students' T-shirt message in favor of traditional marriage included a quote from the Bible.

After institute attorneys sent a letter to school officials explaining the students' First Amendment rights to wear expressive clothing, school officials made no further attempts to discourage the T-shirts.

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.