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Catholic Campus Ministry Yesterday and Today

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  1. Catholic Campus Ministry Yesterday and Today

  2. Ex Corde Ecclesiae ... • The university born “from the heart of the church” • “an incomparable center of creativity and dissemination of knowledge for the good of humanity” • Characterized by that “gaudium de veritate, so precious to St. Augustine, which is that joy of searching for, discovering and communicating truth in every field of knowledge.”— Pope John Paul II.

  3. The Idea of a University “A University is a place of concourse, whither students come from every quarter for every kind of knowledge. … It is a seat of wisdom, a light of the world, a minister of the faith, an Alma Mater of the rising generation. … A university … is not a convent, it is not a seminary; it is a place to fit men of the world for the world.”— John Henry Newman.

  4. But Which Universities? • “… in the early ages the Church allowed her children to attend the heathen schools for the acquisition of secular accomplishments ….” • Now “it has interposed in favour of a pure University system for Catholic youth, forbidding compromise or accommodation of any kind.”— John Henry Newman, 1852.

  5. Catholics and Universities in US • First Catholic university in US: Georgetown, 1789. • First to admit a woman: Duquesne, 1909. • Post Civil War, Catholics at secular schools. Reasons given by students: • Nearby • Affordable • Broad offerings • Great resources • Future connections • Best chance of future $ucce$$

  6. Campus Ministry at Secular Schools • Student initiatives • 1883 Melvin Club, University of Wisconsin • 1892 Newman Club, Univ. of Penn. • Diocesan initiatives • 1907 St. Austin’s Parish, Univ. of Texas; • Bishop Gallagher of Galveston invited Paulists. • Church, classroom building (with classes for university credit), women’s dormitory.

  7. Support from Bishops • Archbishop John Ireland (1901): • “Is due care taken to instruct in their religion the legions of children who, for one reason or another, do not attend or will not attend Catholic schools and colleges?”

  8. Papal Support • Pope St. Pius X, encyclical Acerbo Nimis (1905) • In the larger cities, and especially where universities, colleges and secondary schools are located, let classes in religion be organized to instruct in the truths of faith and in the practice of Christian life the youths who attend the public schools from which all religious teaching is banned.

  9. But Concerns Were Raised ... • Catholic colleges and universities • Msgr. Denis O’Connell, Rector of Catholic University: spread of campus ministry would mean “the Catholic college was destined to disappear.” • Fr. John Conway of Georgetown: “The quasi-recognition of the great non-Catholic universities” would be a “serious blow to Catholic education.”

  10. University of Illinois • Newman Foundation, Fr. John A. O’Brien. • 1922 “Million Dollar Campaign” • Vision: chapel, residence halls, classrooms, library, classes offered for credit. A “Catholic college” for the University of Illinois. • No need for Catholic colleges; secular schools can do technical education better, Catholics just need to supply religious component through a Foundation.

  11. Fr. O’Brien’s Vision • “Catholic education does not mean the teaching of physics … by the Church. … [If] another agency will relieve her of the heavy burden of teaching these [secular subjects]… and an arrangement can be made … whereby the Church can impart thorough courses in religion … the Church has gained, not lost.”— 1925, to KofC

  12. Jesuit Response • 1925, Fr. Herbert Noonan, SJ, former president of Marquette: • O’Brien’s plan “a half-baked substitute” for Catholic higher education. • Editorial in America (10/3/25): • “What the Church wants is Catholic education, not merely education in Catholicism.”

  13. America, 1924-1926 • Fr. Claude Heithaus, SJ: • “Every Catholic student in a Catholic school—that is the wish of the Church.” • Attendance at non-Catholic universities “an unfortunate evil which is only tolerated in the present emergency.” • “Strengthen and expand what we have.” • “Let the dangers of attendance at non-Catholic universities be fully explained.” • “Ban all news of the doings of Catholics at State universities from the Catholic press.”

  14. “A Newman Club, and No More” • Fr. John LaFarge, SJ: • unwise to “pour our millions into the social coddling of Catholics at non-Catholic universities”; • “give the student … a parish church easy of access for Mass and the Sacraments, practical and pointed talks from the altar, and an edifying and learned pastor …. If a Newman Club is needed, let there be a Newman Club, precisely that, and no more, to help and instruct the students, and to preserve some fraternal spirit among the Catholics…. For this no Foundation, no elaborate display is needed.”

  15. And from Some Bishops ... • Archbishop Michael J. Curley of Baltimore • “one of the most dangerous movements in the entire field of Catholic education. It is a sort of veiled attack from within.” • “I sound the warning against this plan. I consider it disloyal to the mind of the Church. I consider it destructive of our whole educational work of three centuries. I find the plan opposed to the mind of the Church, dangerous to the Faith, and dangerous to the minds and morals of youth.”

  16. Arrested Development • Shortage of priests • Scarcity of Funds • Lack of vision John Whitney Evans, The Newman Movement: Roman Catholics in American Higher Education, 1883-1971.

  17. National Structures 1908-1969 • Student groups • Catholic Student Association of America (1908-1918) • 1915 Federation of College Catholic Clubs — became in 1938 National Newman Club Federation (ended 1968) • National Federation of Catholic College Students (1938-1968) • National Newman Chaplains’ Association (1950-1968) • National Newman Apostolate, NCWC (1962-1969): first formal national support of campus ministry.

  18. National Structures 1969- • USCC/NCCB (now USCCB) Division of Campus Ministry (1969-) • Frank J. Lewis Institute • Certification • Advocacy and communication • CCMA (1969-) • NCSC (1982-) • NADDCM (1983-)

  19. Code of Canon Law 1982 • Can. 813 The diocesan bishop is to have earnest pastoral care for students, even by erecting a parish or at least by designating priests stably for this, and is to make provision that at universities, even non-Catholic ones, there are Catholic university centers which give assistance, especially spiritual assistance, to youth.

  20. Empowered by the Spirit 1985 • “Ministry to higher education.” • We “must not remain on the margins of the academic community but must accept the call to bring the light of the Gospel to the very center of that world.” • A ministry of all the baptized • Diocesan support and direction.

  21. ES: Aspects of Campus Ministry • Forming the Faith Community • Appropriating the Faith • Forming the Christian Conscience • Educating for Justice • Facilitating Personal Development • Developing Leaders for the Future

  22. Ex Corde Ecclesiae 1990 • “Catholic Universities are called to a continuous renewal, both as ‘Universities’ and as ‘Catholic’.” • “must be both a community of scholars representing various branches of human knowledge, and an academic institution in which Catholicism is vitally present and operative.”—Pope John Paul II.

  23. Sons and Daughters of the Light1996 Connect young adults with: • Jesus Christ • The Church • The mission of the Church in the world • A peer community.

  24. New Initiatives • Catholic Christian Outreach (1988) • Fellowship of Catholic University Students (1997) • College COMPASS (1999)

  25. Common Features • Evangelization of students • On the front lines • Individual and small group • Peer to peer • Enthusiasm • Orthodoxy • And they’ve ruffled a few feathers … as campus ministry did 100 years ago.