US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Dear underserved high school students

Some big-name schools are on the lookout for something special in college applications: care for the common good.

By Elizabeth Huff |
Article Justice

About 33 percent of all college students are Black or Latino, yet at selective four-year schools they make up only 15 percent of the student body. A new report called “Turning the Tide” from the Harvard Graduate School of Education project Making Caring Common seeks to address this. Endorsed by the same selective schools where Black and Latino students are underrepresented, the report calls for increased minority student access to higher education. It is the first step in a two-year campaign that seeks to substantially reshape the existing college admissions process.

Do we need priests to run Catholic colleges?

Maintaining a Catholic university’s mission and identity is a delicate task. But the job isn't only for men and women religious.

By Renée K. Gadoua |
Article Lifestyle

Before Loyola University Chicago introduced Jo Ann Rooney as its 24th president in May of this year, Jesuit Father James Prehn delivered an invocation to a packed campus auditorium: “We pray for our new president, that she will be given the Holy Spirit, (and) for the gifts of fortitude and courage, to lead us in who we claim to be,” Prehn said. “Give her the wisdom and prudence to discern your holy will for Loyola,” he continued. “Finally, give her joy and peace in fulfilling the role of president.”

Don’t make girls study STEM (unless they want to)

All-girls schools’ obsession with STEM education hurts what they do best.

By Sarah Butler |
Article Lifestyle

When I was a junior in high school—a Catholic, all-girls school—I advanced to the regional round of the state science exposition. My parents drove me to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry where I set up my meticulously decorated trifold project board and sat beside it for five hours. The judges came and went, and I gave my spiel. Occasionally a judge would notice I attended an all-girls school, say something like “girl power!” and comment on how my status as female and my apparent science aptitude was encouraging for women everywhere.

High school pallbearers minister to those who die alone

Arimathea pallbearer ministries teach teenage boys the true meaning of mercy.

By Katie Bahr |
Article Justice

It was a beautiful and breezy October morning when high school senior Joshua Gonzalez carried his first casket. Gonzalez was one of six students from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy in Detroit, Michigan to serve as a pallbearer at the memorial service honoring three veterans—U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Joseph Michael Fitzryk, U.S. Army Spc. Ronald Lee LaValley, and U.S. Air Force Spc. Melvin R. Wilbourn. 

Liturgy gives college students a space to heal

The course of grieving is never smooth, but worship gives students a place to process their loss.

By Jessie Bazan |
Article Lifestyle

Not two minutes after transcribing my last interview for this story, my phone rang. An undergraduate student at St. John’s University, where I work, died suddenly just before Holy Week. I had just spent weeks listening to stories of loss from students and ministry professionals across the country. Now here was death, seeping hurt into my own home. My heavy heart grew heavier. I felt helpless.

How a Catholic girls school changed my life

It took me six years to realize an all-girls high school helped make me the woman I am today.

By Kayleigh Fladung |
Article Lifestyle

I wasn’t surprised when my parents told me I would attend an all-girls high school. I had heard my mother marvel about how empowering and impactful an experience it would be and my protests seemed to do nothing to sway her opinion.

How a Catholic university changed my life

Catholic universities teach more than just skills and knowledge; they teach students how to live out their faith in the world.

By Shanna Johnson |
blog Lifestyle

I spent my entire life in public schools, and when I started at Loyola University Chicago, I was unaware that retreats were a regular part of Catholic schools. I will never forget my first day of college: It was hot and sunny and I had to rush to throw my entire life into a tiny dorm room before embarking on a pre-freshman-year retreat.

Along with about 20 other freshmen, I was bussed off to a retreat center in Woodstock, Illinois. On the way, the conversation turned to all the previous retreats my classmates had gone on.

Should Catholics get an F in science?

Popular opinion says science and religion can't mix, but let's not pull out the dunce cap just yet.

By Ruth Graham |
Article Your Faith

When Heather Camm, a chemistry teacher at an all-girls Catholic high school, began designing a new, year-long course in scientific ethics, she knew she would have to address the one issue that could undercut the rest of her lessons. Before she could get to evolution, reproductive technology, nuclear energy, and the origins of the universe, she would have to discuss Galileo.

Are Catholic university students being coddled?

If college students aren’t shocked, startled, uncomfortable, and challenged twice a week, they’re doing it wrong.

By Pamela Hill Nettleton |
Article Justice

I am a professor at a Jesuit university, and when I face 260 young adults in a lecture hall, I now face something I never expected to encounter in a classroom: the belief that students should be protected from wrestling with challenging ideas.

Are Catholic high schools supporting their LGBT students?

Gay-straight alliances are a way to show LGBT teens God's love. How do they fare in Catholic high schools?

By Renée K. Gadoua |
Article Lifestyle

Andrew Perez joined his high school’s gay-straight alliance (GSA) because he believed in Pope Francis’ message of love for all people. His religion class at Xavier High School, a Jesuit boys school in Manhattan, discussed sexuality and the pope’s response. “I was interested to hear Pope Francis say [gay people] are welcomed with open arms,” Perez, now a senior, says. “A lot of [gay people] are under the impression that they are not accepted.” He joined the group because “as a straight male I thought it was important to stand up for a group in my school who may not be comfortable,” he says.