Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Benedictine College Launches ‘Catholic Identity’ Publication

It’s called The Gregorian and is edited by my good friend Tom Hoopes. Tom was previously editor of National Catholic Register and now wears several hats at the excellent Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where you can get “a more well-rounded and complete education than that received at Harvard,” according to Kansas City, Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann.

The first issue, described below, comes out Ash Wednesday and is focused on Mother Teresa. I’m subscribing, FREE, today. Here’s the release:

New “Catholic Identity” Publication Launches
The Gregorian from Benedictine College launches Ash Wednesday

You can spend this Lent with Mother Teresa, thanks to Benedictine College’s new free speech digest.

The Atchison, Kan., college is launching the new publication to promote Catholic identity in public life.  The Gregorian speech digest [TheGregorian.com] is edited by Tom Hoopes. The former editor of the National Catholic Register and Faith & Family magazine serves as the college’s writer in residence.

“The crisis of our day is the separation of faith from public life,” Hoopes said. “Our campus regularly features speakers who are courageously living their Catholic identity in the world. Now readers can hear their incredible lessons about how faith and reason can work together in the real world.”

Hoopes says readers can look forward to significant lectures. Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schonborn presented a landmark lecture at Benedictine College last spring semester, “Pope Benedict, Regensburg, and the Controversy of Creation and Evolution.” Last fall,  Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer presented a summary of his book, “New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy.”

Coming to campus soon are speakers such as Dr. Janet Smith, John Allen Jr. and Dr. Robert George of Princeton.

The first issue of The Gregorian focuses on Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in her centennial year. On Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday Aug. 26, Benedictine College dedicated its Mother Teresa Nursing Center and launched its new nursing major, and has spent the academic year focusing students’ attention on the founder of the Missionaries of Charity. The first issue of The Gregorian includes:

· “What Can Mother Teresa Teach the Academy?” by Jim Towey, former counsel to Mother Teresa and former White House aide.

· “As Mother Lay Dying,” by Benedictine College alum Sister Veronica Daniels, OSB, who served as Mother Teresa’s personal nurse in her final year.

· “The Wisdom of Mother Teresa” by Sam Brownback, former Senate pro-life leader and new governor of Kansas.

Benedictine College president Stephen D. Minnis said that The Gregorian is a perfect fit with the college’s emphasis on Catholic identity.

“Benedictine College has seen great success since the publication of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the Holy Father’s document on higher education,” Minnis said. “We have built five new dorms, more than doubled our student body, and built a new Marian grotto that puts love for Mary literally in the heart of our campus. The Gregorian helps teach the lesson we have learned: There is no reason to hide your Catholic identity in public life.”

Dr. Kimberly Shankman, Dean of the College, said she hopes more audiences will hear about Benedictine College’s academic excellence through The Gregorian and the new academic “Gregorian Fellows” program for students.

“Benedictine College’s academic program is already exceptional among Catholic liberal arts universities,” Dr. Shankman said, citing the robust philosophy and theology requirements that make up the heart of the school’s general curriculum. “These new initiatives, we hope, will help expose more people to the unique experience students have here.”

The Gregorian is named for St. Gregory the Great, and hopes to emulate his example of bringing the light of the Catholic faith into his time. As one biography of the saint puts it: “Pope Saint Gregory the Great not only saved the Church in times so frightful that the men who lived in them were sure that the end of the world had come, but he founded the great civilization which has lasted down to our day, Western Civilization.”

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by the Cardinal Newman Society, U.S. News & World Report and First Things magazine. Benedictine prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.