Hiring for Mission
CHICAGO SUN TIMES, Jan. 10 — Neglected in recent decades, “hiring for mission” has been identified as a way to strengthen Catholic identity, especially at schools that once relied on religious orders to embody and maintain the religious tradition.
Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame University, recently pointed out that 53% of the university’s faculty is Catholic, compared to 85% in the 1970s.
The current figure is “barely above” the majority Catholic goal that Pope John Paul II established in Ex Corde Ecclesiae, his principal teaching document on Catholic higher education.
The journal reported that some of Boston College’s Jesuit leadership has pushed for an effort to hire more Catholics but the faculty has proved “particularly resistant” to the idea.
SACRED HEART UNIVERSITY PRESS, Jan. 4 — In a new book, Promising Practices, 20 bishops and 20 Catholic college presidents described their own positive experiences of collaboration between local bishops and Catholic institutions of higher learning.
The work does not address doctrinal issues and offers no descriptions, for example, of how bishops and college officials might collaborate to strengthen the understanding of Catholic teaching by college students, especially in controversial areas.
Rather, it dwells on how practical educational programs serve as ministry formation and on collaboration to promote social justice programs.
The book was a project of the bishops and college presidents subcommittee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Education.
D-Day for V-Day
CARDINAL NEWMAN SOCIETY, Jan. 10 — The society, which promotes stronger religious identity for Catholic colleges and universities, announced “a significant decline” in the number of Catholic institutions willing to stage the feminist and sexually explicit “Vagina Monologues” on their campuses.
A press release from the organization reported that it has been assured by five Catholic institutions that they will not permit staging of the work, which is often held around Valentine’s Day.
The Newman Society took some credit for the play’s decline as it has protested its production on Catholic college campuses for several years.
“Last year Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort-Wayne-South Bend spoke out against the play at the University of Notre Dame, and Archbishop Alfred Hughes condemned [its performance] at Loyola University of New Orleans,” said the society press release. “Clearly our message is starting to get through.”
The colleges that decided to drop the production include The Catholic University of America, New York Medical College, Seton Hall University, Assumption College and Sacred Heart University.
Profile in Courage
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF ASUNCION, Jan. 9 — Rocco Buttiglione, Italian minister of culture, has been honored by the Paraguayan university for his defense of life, a posture that cost him a high-level leadership position in the European Union.
He is a recipient of one of the university’s Thomas More Awards. The same award was also given posthumously to major figures who died in 2005, Msgr. Luigi Giussani, founder of Communion and Liberation and Spanish philosopher Julián Marías.
Zenit, the Rome-based Catholic news agency, received a Thomas More Award for its contributions to international journalism.
- January 22-28, 2006