Maintaining a Catholic university’s mission and identity is a delicate task. But the job isn't only for men and women religious.
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.”
All-girls schools’ obsession with STEM education hurts what they do best.
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.
Arimathea pallbearer ministries teach teenage boys the true meaning of mercy.
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.
The course of grieving is never smooth, but worship gives students a place to process their loss.
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.
It took me six years to realize an all-girls high school helped make me the woman I am today.
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.
Catholic universities teach more than just skills and knowledge; they teach students how to live out their faith in the world.
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.
Popular opinion says science and religion can't mix, but let's not pull out the dunce cap just yet.
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.
If college students aren’t shocked, startled, uncomfortable, and challenged twice a week, they’re doing it wrong.
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.
Gay-straight alliances are a way to show LGBT teens God's love. How do they fare in Catholic high schools?
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.
Is Arrupe College a game changer?
No one was more excited to receive an acceptance letter to Arrupe College than the mother of Jontae Thomas. “She called me,” Thomas recalls. “Don’t you get the notification today?” she asked. Indeed, he did. Thomas called his mother back to share the good news. “She screamed for joy,” he says. But Thomas asked why his acceptance to Arrupe College was so important to her, when he’d also been accepted to other schools.
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