Campus Watch

Students' Murder Charge

THE NEW YORK TIMES, June 13 — Joseph Lepore, now a student at the University of Delaware, and Sean Ryan, a senior at Seton Hall University, were charged with felony murder and other crimes in connection with a dorm fire at Seton Hall in 2000 that killed three students and injured 53 others.

Prosecutors did not speculate on the students' motives for allegedly setting the blaze in a student lounge. Another Seton Hall student, Santino Cataldo, and several of Lepore's relatives were charged with obstructing the investigation.

The Times article was accompanied by a photo of the crucifixtopped free-standing bell tower that is on the campus as a memorial to those who were killed.

Extra Seminary

THE ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA, May 30 — The Nebraska archdiocese's Institute for Priestly Formation is enjoying a record enrollment of seminarians for its 10-week summer program that began May 26 with 105 students coming from 51 American dioceses.

The program is designed to assist in the spiritual formation of future diocesan priests, especially through the cultivation of a serious life of prayer.

The institute's inaugural session in the summer of 1995 drew only six seminarians.

More Catholic?

THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, June 6 — The trade publication offered how the joining of New York's Fordham University and Marymount College is a model college merger.

Fordham is credited for retaining as much of 96-year-old Marymount's identity as possible, including its name, its status as an independent undergraduate college and its single-sex mission, making Fordham the only Jesuit institution to have a women's college.

The merger might also strengthen Marymount's weakened Catholic identity. At “Fordham's insistence,” the Chronicle reported, “birth control and other contraceptives are no longer distributed at Marymount.”

Orthodox Dean

ARKANSAS CATHOLIC, May 21 — Dr. Sandra Magie, a molecular biologist who became a Catholic in 1984 and went on to become a theologian because of the Church's approach to medical ethics, has been named dean of the School of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, reported the newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock, Ark.

The school includes St. Mary Seminary, making Magie one of a half-dozen women in the United States to head an institution that educates priests. Magie's doctorate in theology is from the Alphonsian Academy in Rome.

“This is exactly the position of authority in the Church that women can fill,” said Mary Catherine Sommers, the director of St. Thomas's Center for Thomistic Studies, in a statement released by the university. Holy Ghost Father Tom Byrne, who taught with Magie at St. Thomas, said the new dean “will be orthodox as well as practical.”

Winning Choice

ST. BONAVENTURE UNIVERSITY, June 9 — The New York university has received a $30,000 grant from the NCAA to launch “Winning Choices,” a series of student-led initiatives to reduce alcohol abuse.

With an athletic theme, the program builds on the fact that some 85% of students participate in organized sports. The university also acknowledged that its students have also shown above-average drinking patterns.