Religious Education

Give Me That Old-Time Evangelization

Recently, The World Over host, Raymond Arroyo, interviewed Cardinal Wuerl about the Synod on the Family and asked the cardinal, in various ways, whether the Synod was changing the Church’s teaching on reception of communion by divorced and remarried Catholics. Cardinal Wuerl identified the Synod as a manifestation of the “New Evangelization.” “We’re seeing different [...]

Challenges and Ambiguities at the World Congress on Education

I write this on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic flying home from the Church’s World Congress on Catholic Education held November 18-21 at the Vatican and Castel Gandolfo. More than 2,000 educators from Catholic schools and universities gathered in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Vatican II’s Gravissimum Educationis and the 25th anniversary of Pope Saint [...]

A Look at San Francisco’s New Teacher Contract

In an August 19 press release, the Archdiocese of San Francisco announced the details of a collective bargaining agreement with its teacher’s union. The original proposal gained national attention when over 75 percent of the high school teachers signed a petition against Archbishop Cordileone’s efforts to add language to employment documents that specifically identified “hot [...]

A “Liturgy Snob” Answers Her Critics

Last week I wrote a piece here on Crisis about good liturgy and its effect on the minds of children. It provoked a number of strong reactions, with some positive and others very critical. This is unsurprising. All liturgy-lovers have heard these critiques before, because they arise as a matter of course whenever liturgical practice [...]

Liturgical Wisdom from the Mouths of Children

This past Yuletide, my husband and I decided to escape the Minnesota winter by taking our family to South Texas. We had a joyfully green Christmas, with our children running wild on the beach while the Gulf of Mexico lapped at our toes. We didn’t miss the snow. Of course, there are always drawbacks to [...]

Protecting Your Child from the Dangers of College Life

A church friend of mine has a daughter going off to college in the fall. When I ran into him recently, I asked how the summertime preparations were going. I expected him to tell me they’d spent an afternoon trying to help her register for classes or a day at Target looking at tiny fridges [...]

What Really Happened at Charlotte Catholic HS

The angry Tweets started before the nun’s talk ended. “My dad doesn’t love me because I’m gay?” followed by a supportive amen chorus, “We got you, man.” Such was the level of debate that began even before the end of Sister Jane Dominic Laurel’s talk to an all-school assembly at Charlotte Catholic High School last [...]

Invest in Catholic Youth: Build Beautiful School Chapels

  Intellege ut credas; crede ut intellegas  (In order to believe you must understand. In order to understand you must believe.)  —St. Augustine A priest once told me that the best place to teach students the faith is in a church. For it is in a church that they can see a physical expression of [...]

St. John Bosco and the Secret of Education

Despite the implementation of the Common Core, it remains the common conclusion that American education is in a state of free fall. Students graduate from high school with little ability to read standard prose and less ability to write at an elementary level. They lack appreciation for the cultural heritage of Western Civilization and cannot [...]

Catholic Sexual Ethics: An Unknown Treasure

Every other year I teach a course on Christian sexual ethics. Turns out, 19-year olds are interested in the subject matter, and despite the early-morning schedule the course suffers from remarkably low rates of truancy—and not because of some innate skill of mine, I wager. The class is always enlivening, with arguments crackling back and [...]

On Pulling Punches from the Pulpit

Casting broad generalizations about the state of American Catholicism is a hazardous business.  Yet from where I sit in the pew, pulpits are experiencing the phenomena of Sherlock Holmes’ hound that doesn’t bark.  More specifically, I am getting a sinking feeling that in this age of ideological political partisanship, bishops and priests are succumbing to [...]

Leaving Home, Leaving Church — A Rite of Passage?

We rural people share a common understanding when it comes to our young: that it is essential for them to leave home after high school, to go away to college or work.  This understanding comes from witnessing the stagnation of those who stay, the narrowed horizons and expectations, the dead-end life goals and plans. Those [...]

Documentation: The Pontifical Center Movement

In 1971 the Sacred Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, John Cardinal Wright, former Bishop of Pittsburgh founded the first Pontifical Center for Catechetical Studies in Middleburg, Virginia at the House of Studies conducted by the Notre Dame Sisters of Chardon, Ohio. His mediating presence in America was in the person of Msgr. Eugene [...]

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