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Review: The Purposeful Graduate


In the late 1990s, the Lilly Endowment had the kind of problem we all wish we had: too much money. In keeping with the original religious intentions of the organization’s founder, and in tune with the interests of the group’s leaders at the time, Lilly worried about the increasingly prosaic, utilitarian status of higher education. In post-modern America, the “collapse of cultural authority embedded in American popular norms” had left a vacuum of meaning and purpose regarding higher education.

Review: Building Catholic Higher Education, Part II


Yesterday, I began looking at Building Catholic Higher Education: Unofficial Reflections from the University of Notre Dame by Christian Smith and John Cavadini. I only got as far as Smith’s survey of the relevant official and unofficial statements about Catholic higher education from the university. Today, I will look at how Smith examines the implications for those statements as well as Cavadini’s closing chapter on the role of theology at a Catholic University.

Review: Building Catholic Higher Education, Part I


Higher Education is in a strange place in the U.S. today. Everyone agrees it is important, but the discussions about why it is important, what it should seek to achieve, and how it should be paid for have yielded more questions than answers. This is especially true of Catholic higher education. Two recent books look at some of these issues and, over the next couple of days, I will review them, starting this morning with Building Catholic Higher Education: Unofficial Reflections from the University of Notre Dame by Christian Smith and John Cavadini.  

Links for 04/27/15


The Heartland Institute is becoming the Westboro Church of climate change. The so-called think tank leads the way in denying man-made climate change.They announced they are hosting an event at the Vatican, well, not at the Vatican, but nearby, to persuade Pope Francis not to believe what 97% of the scientific community think is so. Should we tell them that the encyclical is written and being translated as we speak?  

CL Remembers Albacete


Saturday night, I was in New York City to celebrate the memory of Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete with his friends at Communione e Liberazione. They had a wonderful piano and violin duo that began the evening, followed by tributes to Lorenzo by his friends Professor Robert Pollack and documentary producer Helen Whitney. Helen also showed a video that brought together some of Lorenzo's commentary on her shows. They also invited me to speak. Here is the text of my remarks which I reprint here because I hope they speak to people who did not Lorenzo too. 

MSW Responds to Douthat


Ross Douthat’s article in Atlantic sounded an alarm bell he has struck before, the idea that Pope Francis could provoke a schism if his revolutionary impulses turn out to be more than rhetorical devices or symbolic gestures. But, Douthat both underestimates the revolutionary quality of what is transpiring at the Vatican and overestimates the degree to which it might provoke a new schism of any size.

Take for example this paragraph. Douthat writes:


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In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015


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