Monday, December 30, 2013

The Impossible Reform of Catholic Universities

Over the last few years, we have opened up a plethora of problems that plague the Catholic "Educational" system.  Yeah, that word is in quotes for a real good reason.  "Catholic Education" is in the garbage.  The following article from Catholic Cultures' Dr. Jeff Mirus gives the story.  It can pretty much sum up all we talk about here on Non-Faithful...including our repeated calls for the de-frocking of the teaching arm of the Jesuits...Satans friends at the least.  Read the article and then draw your own conclusions.  Abortion provided at a "Catholic" University.  God have mercy on us all.

Jesus Is Lord!
Tim


The Impossible Reform of Catholic Universities

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - send a comment) | December 23, 2013 4:10 PM
It comes as no surprise that the faculty of Jesuit-run Santa Clara University has overturned the President’s decision to eliminate abortion coverage from health insurance there. The vote was 215 to 89, and it throws the decision now to the Board of Trustees. Many onlookers will attribute the faculty vote to the particular failure of the Society of Jesus to uphold the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Catholic Church in recent decades. That certainly is part of the problem, but its roots go far deeper into Catholic higher education than that.
In fact, the roots penetrate to an identity crisis which was already being keenly felt in Catholic universities shortly after World War II, and definitely from 1950 onward. The shape of this crisis was outlined in a 1955 article, later a small book, by Fr. John Tracy Ellis, an historian at the Catholic University of America. Ellis argued that Catholic universities had fallen considerably behind their secular counterparts in “important” indicators like Nobel Prize winners on their faculties. In other words, Catholic faculties did not seem to have a proportionate share of internationally-recognized scholars.
This and similar observations proved to be a catalyst for major faculty “reform” by Catholic university leaders throughout the United States (Fr. Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame, as described in Ralph McInerny’s memoir, I Alone Have Escaped to Tell You (see my review), was an exemplar of this trend). The assumption, to put the matter crudely, was that the Ivy League represented authentic excellence in education, and that Catholic universities had to imitate the faculty-recruitment patterns of the Ivy League if they wanted to compete. No one seems to have considered whether internationally-known scholars were such in part because they tended to be secular voices in a rising culture of secularity, or whether the genuine deficiencies of the Catholic educational experience at that time could have been overcome by a markedly Catholic renewal.
The result was that all major Catholic institutions of higher education rapidly diversified and secularized their faculties over the next generation. And even where sound Catholics remained on these faculties, their institutions gave them a new and very pragmatic vision of what it meant to be a successful scholar—of what sort of distinction was to be both prized and rewarded. This notable shift dovetailed with the public emergence of Modernism among Catholic academics beginning in the 1960s, an endemic failure which came to light as soon as it became culturally advantageous to repudiate traditional understandings of religious faith and morals. It did not take long in most universities for secularized faculty majorities to emerge—a combination of non-Catholics and Catholics who no longer had deep commitments to the Catholic intellectual tradition.
What Can Be Done Is Not Clear
So now we are left with the question of what to do about these faculties. Compared with reforming an administration, which can be done fairly quickly under the right circumstances, reforming a faculty is a long-term process unless one can succeed in mass firings, which under most circumstances is legally impossible. Academic faculties tend to perpetuate themselves, having won considerable authority over hiring. It is at least very difficult for a university administration to reject the candidates selected by faculty search committees. And so the way forward, even for a long term plan of recovery, is not at all clear. In the immediate future, for example, we will see increasing efforts by administrators to move institutions toward authentic Catholic moral standards. And faculties will resist these efforts.
This will be the dominant pattern, I suspect, for the next ten to twenty years. Where a renewed board of trustees puts a decent president in place, and this decent president is determined to initiate reform, we will witness sustained conflict. Over time, the outcomes of the various fights will reveal which strategies work best. As I indicated a few days ago in “Can there be too many good Catholic writers?”, we are blessed with a growing crop of Catholic intellectuals in many different fields who can fill positions as they become available. But positions will come available only slowly for fully Catholic scholars because of the in-built prejudice against orthodoxy and devotion as signs of a parochial, or perhaps even a stunted, mind. What is in fact the key to a superior understanding of all of reality (though admittedly it does not have this effect in every scholar) is actually now regarded as an impediment.
But the Church as a whole must find effective ways to renew her colleges and universities. Such a renewal will place the minds and hearts of countless students within easy reach of truth, students who are now more often led astray, and students in numbers that cannot possibly be reached even by the most admirable of the new and inescapably tiny foundations. I repeat, then, that the vote of the Santa Clara University faculty comes as no surprise. But it does demonstrate the battle before us, which is very likely the next most important battle for Church renewal following the reform of the episcopate and the diocesan seminaries, which has been ongoing over the past twenty years with considerable success.
It will take the power of grace to cut through the intractability of contemporary Catholic universities, which in the main are now organized for spiritual failure. Again, success is not just a matter of finding the right strategy; it is rather a matter of finding the right strategy when it seems that no strategy can possibly work. Precisely because such a reform appears humanly impossible, serious prayer will have to form the very center of the effort. It is, in short, as difficult for a university to be saved as for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. But as Our Lord said of every kind of worldliness, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God” (Mk 10:27).   

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A CHRISTMAS STORY--1881

This hit so hard that it almost flew onto the Blog.  The formatting's not the best, but if it doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you are not alive.
God Bless One and All!
Jesus Is Lord!
Tim


Christmas Eve, 1881

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their
means and then never had enough for the necessities.  But for those who were
genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors.  It was from him
that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from
receiving. 
It was Christmas Eve, 1881.  I was fifteen years old and feeling like the
world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy
me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. 
We did the chores early that night for some reason.  I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the
fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible.  I was still feeling
sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read
Scriptures.

But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside.  I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores.  I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Soon Pa came back in.  It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in
his beard.  "Come on, Matt," he said.  "Bundle up good, it's cold out
tonight."  I was really upset then.  Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for
Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason
that I could see.

We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.  But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens.
Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house.  Something was up, but I didn't know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed.  There in front of the house was the
work team, already hitched to the big sled.  Whatever it was we were going
to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job.  I could tell.

We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load.  Pa was
already up on the seat, reins in hand.  I reluctantly climbed up beside him.
The cold was already biting at me.  I wasn't happy.

When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of
the woodshed.  He got off and I followed.  "I think we'll put on the high
sideboards," he said.  "Here, help me."  The high sideboards! It had been a
bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever
it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came
out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down
from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting.  What
was he doing?  Finally I said something.  "Pa," I asked, "what are you
doing?"

"You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked.  The Widow
Jensen lived about two miles down the road.  Her husband had died a year or
so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight.  Sure,
I'd been by, but so what?

Yeah," I said, "Why?"

"I rode by just today," Pa said.  "Little Jakey was out digging around in
the woodpile trying to find a few chips.  They're out of wood, Matt." That
was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for
another armload of wood.  I followed him.  We loaded the sled so high that I
began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it.

Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house
and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon.  He handed them to me and
told me to put them in the sled and wait.  When he returned he was carrying
a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in
his left hand.

"What's in the little sack?" I asked. " Shoes, they're out of
shoes.  Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he
was out in the woodpile this morning.  I got the children a little candy
too.  It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to
think through what Pa was doing.  We didn't have much by worldly standards.
Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was
still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it.

We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money,
so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy?  Really, why was he doing any of this? 
Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as
quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door.
We knocked.  The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?"
"Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt... could we come in for a bit?"

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in.  She had a blanket wrapped
around her shoulders.  The children were wrapped in another and were sitting
in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat
at all.  Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of
flour.  I put the meat on the table.  Then Pa handed her the sack that had
the shoes in it.  She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out, one pair
at a time.  There was a pair for her and one for each of the children -
sturdy shoes, the best... shoes that would last.

I watched her carefully.  She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears
filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks.  She looked up at Pa like she
wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.

"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said.  He turned to me and said,
"Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile.  Let's get that fire up to size
and heat this place up."

I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood.  I had
a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears
in my eyes too.  In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around
the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her
cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my
soul.  I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had
made so much difference.  I could see we were literally saving the lives of
these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared.  The kids
started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen
looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long
time.  She finally turned to us.  "God bless you," she said. "I know the
Lord has sent you.  The children and I have been praying that he would send
one of his angels to spare us."

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up
in my eyes again.  I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but
after Widow Jensen mentioned it,

I could see that it was probably true.  I was sure that a better man than Pa had never
walked the earth.  I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for
Ma and me, and many others.  The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left.  I was amazed
when they all fit, and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get.  Then
I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord, that the Lord would make
sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to
leave.  Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug.  They
clung to him and didn't want us to go.  I could see that they missed their
Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to
invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow.  The turkey
will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if
he has to eat turkey for too many meals.  We'll be by to get you about
eleven.  It'll be nice to have some little ones around again.  Matt, here,
hasn't been little for quite a spell."  I was the youngest... my two
brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles.  I don't have to
say, may the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will."

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't
even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said,
"Matt, I want you to know something. Your Ma and me have been tucking a
little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for
you, but we didn't have quite enough.

Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make
things square.  Your Ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that
rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey
out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do.
Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children.  I hope you understand."

I understood alright... and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I
was so glad Pa had done it.  Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more.  He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her
three children.

For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered,
and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night.  Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE.
 
MAY THE BLESSINGS OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST BE UPON YOU AND YOURS THIS CHRISTMAS AND THROUGHOUT THE NEW YEAR.

THE BLESSING OF CHRISTMAS

This past week at my Parish, our moderator of Eucharistic Ministers sent around a little something that one of our Ministers apparently wrote...I thought it worthy to post so all could see and read it.

It's not long and really sort of sums up THE Blessing of Christmas.

God Bless All and a very Blessed Christmas.
Jesus Is Lord!
Tim M


THE Blessing of Christmas

As this hectic “season” soon will culminate in the birth of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we need to step back and look at all the wonderful Blessings we have received, not only this year, but throughout our lives.  I know there have been tragedies, disappointments, as well as surprises and joyous things that have happened to us all.  Through it all, we, as Extraordinary Ministers of The Holy Eucharist, have been given a most singular Joy…to offer to our Fellow Parishioners the Body and Blood of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

All of us have had something or someone in our lives that we couldn’t really understand, but did the chore or helped the person anyway.  God says that if you “do it for the least of My brethren, you do it for Me.”  As Catholics and Christians, this should be a “Given”.  But, as you all know, “life” gets in the way” as our Pastor has said many times.

This little piece has been written to bring forth the Joy and Love of Christmas that so many seem to lose during the Christmas season of parties, shopping, distractions and frustrations.  God has given us the Most Perfect Gift---His Son…We as Extraordinary Ministers of The Holy Eucharist have the Joy of passing that love on to all our family at our Parish each time we say “The Body of Christ”—“The Blood of Christ”

God Bless each one of you for all you do.  

Anonymous.   

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Salvation Army USA Clashes With International Group Over Abortion

In 2011 and 2012, the Salvation Army Commander in Europe had said that they don't agree with all of the teachings of The Catholic Church and even Protestant Churches with regard to Abortion.  Now, it seems that their own people here in the US have taken issue with them.

Here is an article from Life Site News that will give the whole story.  We have permission to re-print part of this article, so as a little teaser....


Salvation Army USA clashes with international group over abortion

January 3, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Leaders of the American branch of the Salvation Army have criticized the decision by the international branch of the church to condone abortion in some cases, saying that the new position does not reflect the beliefs of members in the United States.

WorldNetDaily
revealed that American leaders were infuriated by a Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission position paper accepting abortion in the cases of rape, incest or fatal fetal deformity in December.
Major George Hood, chief communications officer for Salvation Army USA, told WND that that the position statement had apparently been developed “through the London office that does not reflect the position we’ve taken in the U.S. on abortion,” and pointed towards the U.S. branch’s own statement, which is unequivocally pro-life."

Please go to the LifeSite News Link  for the rest of the story as it makes for interesting reading.

Merry Christmas to all.

Jesus Is Lord!
Tim M