I blush to disclose that the Cardinal Newman Society, hot on the trail of Catholic identity at Catholic colleges in advance of November’s U.S. bishops meeting, is promoting my employer, Benedictine College, as a model in this regard.
This morning, the D.C.-area organization sent a notice quoting Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., telling presidents of U.S. Catholic colleges and universities “Catholic is not just an adjective accidental to who you are … Catholic is the core of your identity, the center of what you are about.”
The U.S. bishops asked colleges to report to their bishops about Catholic identity on campus.
“Benedictine College has responded with a report that hopefully will be a model for other Catholic colleges across the country,” wrote the Cardinal Newman Society.
The report, “Catholic Identity at Benedictine College,” describes something many Catholics in America are only now learning: Kansas is home to an incredible story of a school reinvigorated by its Catholic identity.
“We hope with this report to show why we are the flagship college of the New Evangelization,” wrote Benedictine President Stephen D. Minnis.
The report describes how Benedictine College is the birthplace of FOCUS, has a longstanding dynamic theology department, a Thomas-Aquinas centered philosophy department, and a student life program that is thoroughly Catholic.
There are four daily Masses on campus, twice-daily confession, perpetual Eucharistic adoration and extensive retreats, missions and service to the poor.
Our enrollment has nearly tripled since Pope John Paul II published Ex Corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the Church) his 1990 Apostolic Constitution on Higher Education.
I love that the Cardinal Newman Society is sharing our report with the world. Over at The Gregorian Institute, I run down some more highlights of the document.