The Importance of Choosing a Catholic College - By Jack Moore, Principal
     Last June, the fifth and sixth grade class went on a field trip to Emmittsburg and ran into noted writer and spiritual director Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.  After hearing the story of his miraculous story of recovering from being hit by a car, we asked him what advise he could give to the students.  He quickly responded by advising them to go to a “good Catholic” college, and “not one of those catholic in name only”.  This comment caught me off guard.  Of all the wonderful suggestions Fr. Groeschel could have given our students, I didn’t expect this one.  So, I pondered it for a while and did some research.
    In my search, I came across a Society dedicated to just that – finding “good” Catholic colleges.  The Cardinal Newman Society has a guide for students and parents entitled, 'The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College: What to Look for and Where to Find It.'  The Newman Guide recommends 21 Catholic colleges and universities which “most faithfully live their Catholic identity and provide a quality education”.  Each college profile examines the school's history, governance, Catholic identity, curriculum, student life and community.
     Colleges range from Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, the nation's second oldest Catholic college, to Wyoming Catholic College of Lander, Wyoming, which opened in September 2007.  The Guide's editor, Joseph Esposito, said, "These colleges and universities represent a unique perspective on higher education. They are all impressive institutions, offering a wide range of choices from a Great Books curriculum to a degree in motor sports management. But what sets them apart from others is the day-to-day living of their Catholic identity.”  Esposito, the Cardinal Newman Society's director of research, is a former Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs at the US Department of Education. He also has been a full-time writer for Catholic publications and an adjunct history professor.
     The recommended colleges are grouped into three categories: "Joyfully Catholic," "Born from the Crisis" and "Fighting the Tide."  The first group, Joyfully Catholic, is characterized by a Catholic identity that permeates all areas of campus life; the second includes institutions founded or expanded in the last few years; and the third group represents older colleges and universities that have succeeded in renewing and strengthening their Catholic identity.  These colleges are: Christendom College, The College of Saint Thomas More, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Magdalen College, Thomas Aquinas College, The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, University of Dallas, and the University of St. Thomas (Houston, Texas). 
     The "Born from the Crisis" colleges are: Ave Maria University, Holy Apostles College & Seminary, John Paul the Great Catholic University; Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, Southern Catholic College and Wyoming Catholic College.
     The "Fighting the Tide" colleges are: Aquinas College (Nashville, Tennessee), Belmont Abbey College, Benedictine College, The Catholic University of America, DeSales University, Mount St. Mary's University and St. Gregory's University.
The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College: What to Look for and Where to Find It will be available at bookstores nationwide beginning on November 1.

TEACHING - AN APOSTOLATE  - By Jack Moore, Principal

Teaching, for the faculty and parents, must be viewed as an apostolic work since the high office of the teacher is to form Christ in the student, and to be the chief agent in unifying secular and religious knowledge through his Catholic philosophy of life. The possession of a teaching credential is encouraged, although it is not required.

“Perfect schools are the result not so much of good methods as of good teachers...who cherish a pure and holy love for Jesus Christ and His Church.”  (Pius XI, The Christian Education of Youth)

The administration and faculty should:
1. Recognize the first right and duty in education belongs to the parents;
2. Be knowledgeable of the philosophy and goals of the school and serve to implement the aims of the school;
3. Be competent academically and professionally with an understanding of youth and a love and commitment to the apostolate of teaching;
4. Encourage students to reach their maximum potential through the stimulation of thought, the acquisition of knowledge and the relating of all education to the news of salvation.
5. Demonstrates and develops in the student a devout loyalty to the Holy See;
6. Offers a complete education in which all subjects will be taught in the light of the Faith; the intellectual, physical and social education of the students will be integrated with their religious and moral instruction;
7. Develops in the student a realization of Catholicism as a way of life whose truths affect attitudes and actions in daily experiences;
8. Demonstrates and develops in the student a respect for and intelligent obedience to all duly constituted authority;
9. Fosters a display of refinement in manners, speech and dress in accordance with Christian ideals;
10. Promotes the dignity of human life and the partnership of the human body with the immortal soul;
11. Develops the spirit of Christian charity as commanded in the words of Jesus, “ thy neighbor as thyself”;
12. Develops and practices a life of prayer and worship, finding in the life           
of Christ and in the examples of Mary and the saints models of a 
Catholic way of living.

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Aquinas Academy
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