Here is a special Message from Patrick J. Reilly of the Cardinal Newman Society:
I want you to read this powerful testimony from a student at Notre Dame.
By the grace of God, he will graduate next month with his faith intact. But it's been a struggle, even at a Catholic university:
"I almost gave up Catholicism twice while at Notre Dame," he writes in the campus newspaper.
"For two weeks during freshman year, a class I was taking had convinced me that the existence of God was incompatible with rational belief. During the middle of my college career, a traumatic personal experience left me angry, lonely and wanting to give up any faith.
"Reflecting on those experiences, I am sometimes surprised I am still here, will be graduating in a few weeks and am still Catholic."
Deo gratias! But is this what we want from a Catholic education?
I hear often from parents who breathe a sigh of relief that their son or daughter got through college with their faith intact.
And I share their joy. These days, there's cause for relief when a college student is not led astray.
But we should want so much more for our young people!
We shouldn't be content that they simply remain in the Church, especially when attending a Catholic school or college.
We should want them to know and love and serve God in ways that we never did.
We should want them to listen to God's calling, whatever career path they choose...
...to change our culture...
...to restore faith in Christ.
We should want them to be saints!
The Notre Dame senior writes about his recent experience, showing a prospective student around campus:
"She asked me what it was like to be Catholic here, the kind of Catholic who believes in and cares about the Church's teachings, who tries to cultivate a life of prayer, who seeks to root every act in the sacramental life," he writes.
"I told her it was difficult."
But being Catholic shouldn't be difficult at a Catholic school or college! Students should be encouraged to embrace and cultivate and celebrate the Faith.
Pope Benedict told several American bishops last year:
It is no exaggeration to say that providing young people with a sound education in the faith represents the most urgent internal challenge facing the Catholic community in your country.
And this is the challenge that The Cardinal Newman Society has taken on. We're keeping families informed of the good and bad in Catholic education...
...identifying and celebrating faithful Catholic colleges and high schools...
...and helping educators strengthen Catholic identity.
And we need your support.
In this Easter Season, please make a special gift to The Cardinal Newman Society to help us promote and defend faithful Catholic education.
If you'd like to learn more about what we're up to, see our website at CardinalNewmanSociety.org. And then I hope that you will send a contribution.
As part of the growing movement for renewal in Catholic education, you provide hope that future generations will have access to schools and colleges that teach the Faith.
And you are giving parents the peace of mind that their sons and daughters will grow in the Faith while in college... not go astray.
Thank you for supporting The Cardinal Newman Society! We are so very grateful for your generous support for this work.
And may God bless you this Easter Season!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Patrick J. Reilly
P.S. To donate to The Cardinal Newman Society, please click here. Thank you!
[By Mail: Checks can be sent to our address: 9720 Capital Court, Suite 201, Manassas, VA 20110.]
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