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Schools develop six-point plan to secure future

Diocesan science fair Feb. 25

Bringing of the green to FACE fundraiser

Young artists display Feb. 26

At midyear, ACE teachers are settled in, looking ahead

Nine teens who excel

St. Patrick’s opens infant care center in West Contra Costa

Urban school students get lesson in digital filmmaking

Holy Names High School principal reflects on nine years at helm

Moreau Catholic dedicates grotto

School affordability: Progress made but still a long way to go

BYO computer program to begin this fall at SJND

Photos and notes from around the schools

Philly school mergers, closures signal new model of education

Court avoiding cases on firing

Archbishop Chaput encourages Catholic colleges to lead revival

 
placeholder January 23, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 2   •   Oakland, CA
Archbishop Chaput encourages
Catholic colleges to lead revival

WORCESTER, Mass. — Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput encouraged Catholic universities to rediscover the Church’s intellectual tradition and use it to shape society’s future.

“Catholic higher education is heir to the greatest intellectual, moral and cultural patrimony in human history,” the archbishop said in a Nov. 10 address at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass.

The Catholic intellectual tradition, he said, offers a “deeply satisfying answer” to the questions of human life and is “beautiful because it’s true.”

“It has nothing to be embarrassed about and every reason to be on fire with confidence and apostolic zeal. We only defeat ourselves, and we certainly don’t serve God, if we allow ourselves to ever think otherwise.”

The Philadelphia archbishop said that Catholic institutions of higher learning have suffered even more than other Church ministries from secularization that has taken place under the banner of “academic freedom.”

“Instead of Catholics converting the culture, the culture too often bleached out the apostolic zeal in Catholics while leaving the brand label intact,” he noted.

“And the lack of a vigorous Catholic witness . . . applies in a uniquely hurtful way to Catholic higher education.”

He acknowledged several reasons for the decline of Catholic academic life, including economic pressure and the loss of teaching personnel from religious orders.

“But another cause is the discomfort too many Catholics feel with a scholarly tradition that can be made to seem shabby and primitive in an age of scientific doubt,” observed the archbishop.

Instead of seeking to impress the world on its own terms, he said, Catholic schools must recapture the “genius” that once gave life to Western civilization, with its harmony of reason and faith.

This type of education “refuses to separate intellectual and moral formation because they are inextricably linked.” And while honoring all subjects, “ it gives primacy to the disciplines that guide the formation of a holistic view of reality: philosophy and theology.”

Authentic Catholic learning, he noted, also makes an impact outside the university campus because it “aids in the creation of a Christian culture and explains what this means for human thriving.”

This type of cultural renewal is not a luxury, but an urgent need, Archbishop Chaput stressed.

Believers, he said, must use all of the Catholic tradition’s resources to shape the future.

 
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