Thomas More College Expands Way of Beauty Program, Adds Naturalistic Drawing

January 6, 2011

Merrimack, NH (MetroCatholic) - The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts’ announced today that it is partnering with renowned Ingbretson Studio to expand the Way of Beauty Program to include a series of weekly classes in the academic method of naturalistic drawing, which has its roots in the baroque and the High Renaissance, including the known methods of Leonardo da Vinci. This is a significant addition to its college courses and summer programs in sacred art.

This new initiative directly challenges modern art theories and seeks to renew in aspiring artists an appreciation for Catholic principles in sacred and secular art.

“Modern art schools teach that art is to be created for art’s sake, and that inspiration is a feeling or emotional reaction,” said David Clayton, artist-in-residence at Thomas More College and Director of the Way of Beauty Program. “What we are teaching aligns fully with the Catholic tradition.  Both sacred and secular art should lift our soul to God.  It is the good made visible.”

Beautiful art is about conforming to the requirements of another, said Clayton.  “Painting within an artistic tradition begins with disciplined imitation that develops humility in the pupil and an openness to external inspiration.  Artists must look beyond themselves, and follow in the footsteps of the Great Masters in creating art for a good and noble purpose.  This is precisely what we hope to accomplish through our partnership with Paul Ingbretson,” said Clayton.

Students participating in the program will spend one day each week at Ingbretson Studio in Manchester, NH—a fifteen minute drive from Thomas More College’s campus. In addition to the practical method, they will study the philosophy behind academic drawing and painting.

Paul Ingbretson is himself a modern master of the Boston School Tradition, which seeks to combine the truth of impressionist color with good draughtsmanship, sound composition, and skillful paint handling.  His studio is known internationally and has trained some of the best known artists painting today, including Catholic portrait painter Henry Wingate, who teaches at the Way of Beauty Atelier summer program.

Ingbretson was taught in Boston in the 1970s by R. Ives Gammell, who is the teacher, writer, and painter who almost single-handedly kept alive the traditional atelier method of painting instruction.

Through Gammel, Ingbretson can trace a line through the Boston School, to the Paris ateliers of the 19th century, and to the 17th century baroque. His students tread a path taken by such masters as the great American artist John Singer Sargent and the Spanish 17th Master, Velazquez.

Clayton noted that the Program’s partnership with Ingbretson Studios helps the College achieve one of the primary objectives of the Way of Beauty Program—to form a new generation of professional artists that produce art that lifts the soul to God.

“For young people who aspire to be an artist, there is no better place to be than Thomas More College,” said Clayton.  “It is imperative that aspiring Catholic artists obtain a firm understanding of the Western tradition, which Thomas More College provides through its curriculum.  It is further imperative that aspiring Catholic artists receive firm spiritual formation from which they can derive inspiration, which is abundant at this institution.”

“During their four years here,” he added, “students will attend a series of courses in Catholic art and architecture; experience art first-hand during our semester in Rome; produce an icon of their own through our St. Luke Sacred Art Guild, assist me in producing sacred art for our chapel; and further hone their skills through opportunities like the one now available through Ingbretson Studios.”

The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts provides a four-year undergraduate education which develops young people intellectually, ethically, and spiritually in the Catholic tradition and in faithfulness to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.  Thomas More College introduces its students to the central questions of Western Civilization—and to the Church’s response.  It teaches students how to reason, engage in academic discourse, and to write.  Students from Thomas More College are shaped into becoming faithful leaders who will be able to pursue the individual vocations which God has given each of them.

Christendom College Closes to Protest Abortion at March for Life

January 5, 2011

Front Royal, Va. (MetroCatholic) – Christendom College will close its doors on Monday, January 24 and its Student Activities Council will charter buses enabling the entire student body to attend the 2011 March for Life in Washington D.C.
“I think it’s great that Christendom recognizes the importance of the March by closing the entire campus,” says Sophomore Jessica Inzeo.

“It ensures that every student has the opportunity to participate in this national event.”

Senior Margaret Antunes agrees.

“I don’t think any other school does this,” she says. “It is a great bonding experience for all the students as we gather under the Christendom banner in support of the pro-life message.

Antunes says that the student body is so pro-life that even if the school did not close, they would all attend.

“It doesn’t matter,” she says. “If it’s cold and rainy, and even if the school didn’t shut down, we would all go just because of the people we are.

Every year, Christendom cancels classes on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion on demand in the United States, and the College’s entire student body enthusiastically attends the March. In 2009, Christendom students led the March for Life, carrying the lead banner and flags.

The college has attended the March for Life as a community every year since the school was founded over 30 years ago. Its students are active in pro-life work year round, leading prayerful protests at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Washington once a week, as well as taking part in sidewalk counseling and other pro-life activities.

Colleges Nationwide Recruit Homeschool Grads

January 4, 2011

GRAY, Tenn., (MetroCatholic) - As the modern-day homeschool movement confidently marches forward into its fourth decade, colleges and universities are opening wide their doors to welcome its mature, prepared graduates to their ranks. Homeschoolers score an average of 37 percentile points above the national average on standardized achievement tests and typically score above average on the SAT and ACT, statistics that apparently have caught the eye of college admissions personnel. Since 1999, the number of homeschoolers in the United States has increased by 74%, and today thousands of young men and women are graduating from high school — at home.

Colleges are employing a wide variety of strategies aimed at recruiting homeschoolers, including strong representation at homeschool conventions, direct mailing campaigns, and promotions in catalogs, on their websites, and in publications such as The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the nation’s most popular print magazine for homeschoolers. Colleges sponsor “Homeschool College Days” for juniors and seniors, and at Wheaton College, where nearly 10% of the freshman class is represented by homeschool grads, applicants can even be put in touch with current Wheaton students who were homeschooled. Regent University’s website heralds the school as “the right choice for home-schooled students,” and the U.S. Air Force Academy’s website includes guidelines addressed specifically to homeschooled applicants.

A number of institutions have appointed “homeschool liaison and recruitment specialists” to serve incoming freshmen and their families. In her 2009 article titled “‘We Love Homeschoolers!’ Prominent Colleges Jump on the Recruiting Bandwagon,” author Claire Novak, herself a homeschool grad, quoted one such specialist, who said, “As the number of homeschooled students grow, colleges are finding it’s a market you can’t ignore.”

Nearly 30% of Bob Jones University’s current students were educated at home. BJU’s website reports: “As a group, our homeschooled students are among the best students in the entire university student body. They have added a fresh dimension to the body of conventionally schooled students. We consider them a real asset.” Stanford Magazine reported that “among the nation’s elite universities, Stanford has been one of the most eager to embrace them [homeschoolers]. . . .[H]omeschoolers bring a mix of unusual experiences, special motivation and intellectual independence that makes them a good bet to flourish on the Farm.” Savannah College of Art and Design “welcomes home-schooled students and recognizes the outstanding talent and achievements of this diverse group of well-rounded individuals.” And these are just a few examples of the favorable reputation that homeschooled students have earned.

Recent studies confirm the academic success of homeschoolers who attend college. Citing results of a 2010 survey, the Journal of College Admission reports that “homeschool students possess higher ACT scores, grade point averages (GPAs) and graduation rates when compared to traditionally-educated students.”

Seth Back, a homeschooler who took and passed the GED test at age 15 and is currently enrolled at Harvard, is confident that he was “better prepared for certain college situations than students who had been through the public/private school system.” During the past five years, Seth earned a juris doctor degree, passed the California Bar Exam, earned a master’s degree in church history, and studied at Oxford — all while managing his own consulting business. He credits homeschooling with fueling a love of learning and teaching him to take personal responsibility for his education, which included pursuing a wide variety of opportunities for his personal enrichment. He is but one example of the thousands of motivated, successful, visionary students who have benefited tremendously from their home education.

Colleges are looking for young people like Seth. They are excited about the exceptional potential presented by homeschool graduates and are vigorously pursuing their attention.

As college professors nationwide are given the opportunity to influence and further equip homeschool graduates, surely they will be refreshed and encouraged by this new breed of “independent thinkers” who are filling their classrooms. Wise college professors will carefully take advantage of the privilege they are being given in those classrooms — to build on the strong foundation laid by these students’ former teachers: their parents.

About The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine: Soon to celebrate their 10-year anniversary, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is recognized as the premier magazine for homeschoolers. This professional publication offers approximately 200 pages of information, inspiration, and encouragement to homeschooling families around the world in each quarterly issue. View a sample issue here.

St. Thomas University Expands Minority Students Reach Plus Fellows Leadership Opportunities

November 12, 2010

MIAMI, (MetroCatholic) — Miami’s St. Thomas University was once again selected as a National Partner for the Cristo Rey Network that includes 24 Catholic high schools and 6,500 students. The University Partner Initiative, which includes Georgetown and Boston College, seeks to formalize strategic relationships with colleges and universities committed to supporting Cristo Rey Network students. The partnership is regarded as the platform upon which future programs will be built to ensure post-secondary access and success for Cristo Rey Network students.

“This partnership is an important aspect of St. Thomas University fulfilling its mission of Developing Leaders for Life,” says St. Thomas President, Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale. “Cristo Rey students represent the future of this nation and we are honored to partner in the preparation of the next generation of world leaders.  Cristo Rey Network students will be an important addition to our already diverse and talented student body.”

Expanding the leadership mission, new initiatives have been spearheaded through the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows program (NUFP), which mentors undergraduate students wishing to explore and get immersed in the student affairs field. Two STU students - Diego Sanchez and  David Brown - have been selected for the prestigious National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Undergraduate Fellows Program.  Both juniors and members of STU’s Student Government Association, Sanchez and Brown, will be mentored by Dr. Beatriz Gonzalez Robinson and Issac M. Carter, respectively.  Dr. Gonzalez Robinson is Vice President for Planning & Enrollment at St. Thomas and serves and the NASPA-FL Latino/a Knowledge Community Chair and Mr. Carter, Dean of Students for STU, serves and the Chair for the Men & Masculinities Knowledge Community, NASPA-FL. Students and mentors apply as a pair, and if selected are provided the foundation to establish a semi-structured mentoring relationship at their institution. Fellows are also given the opportunity to attend a national conference, participate in paid internships, and participate in the Summer Leadership Institute. The mission of the NUFP is to increase the number of historically disenfranchised and underrepresented professionals in student affairs and/or higher education.

Catholic College Keeps Pro-Abortion Links Up Despite 15,000 Complaints

August 30, 2010

McKinney, TX  (MetroCatholic) — Well over 15,000 students and parents have politely requested that Alverno College, a Catholic college founded by the School Sisters of St. Francis, delete several web site links that channel students to abortion advocacy groups. However, despite the large number of complaints the links remain up and running.

Pro-abortion groups listed include the Center for Reproductive Health, National Organization for Women (NOW), EMILY’s List, and many more.

“You can’t be a true Catholic and at the same time favor abortion,” said TFP Student Action director John Ritchie. “It betrays the very mission of a Catholic institution. So, we’ve decided to intensify our prayers and protest until all the pro-abortion links are gone.”

One of the groups linked to Alverno College’s web site is called Radical Women. This organization bills itself as “a trailblazing socialist feminist organization,” and its web site not only promotes communist ideology and homosexual vice, but also the brutal abortion procedure known as partial birth abortion.

After TFP Student Action started its peaceful protest in June, Alverno College merely removed a few links and posted a disclaimer stating: “The views expressed in these weblinks do not necessarily reflect the views of the Alverno College Research Center for Women and Girls.”

However, according to TFP spokesman John Ritchie, “the disclaimer is just window dressing.”

Two Catholic institutions, Rosemont College and the University of Detroit Mercy, recently took down links to pro-abortion groups that were listed on their web sites. Yet Alverno College has not done so thus far.

TFP Student Action is asking its members to “speak out against this scandal” and sign an online protest addressed to Dr. Mary Meehan, president of Alverno College. The petition is available at: www.tfpstudentaction.org.

Complaint Filed Against Kagan at Supreme Court

July 30, 2010

WASHINGTON (MetroCatholic) — Larry Klayman, the founder of corruption watchdog Judicial Watch and now Freedom Watch public interest law groups, has filed a complaint before the U.S. Supreme Court at the behest of pro-life organization Declaration Alliance, asking that the high court disbar Elena Kagan.

Kagan, while she was an Associate White House Counsel in the Clinton administration, falsified an expert medical report, prepared by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). In this report, ACOG had originally found that partial birth abortion was in fact not medically necessary to save the life of a woman, but Kagan changed the report’s finding to say that it was an appropriate procedure under some circumstances. This altered report was then relied upon by the U.S. Supreme Court in striking down legislation banning partial birth abortion.

In filing the complaint, Klayman issued the following statement:

    “Elena Kagan, a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, has defrauded the U.S. Supreme Court. As a result, her membership to practice before the Court should be revoked and the matter referred to the Criminal Division of the Justice Department. How, then can Ms. Kagan be confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a seat on the high court, when in reality she should not even be allowed to practice in front of it?

    “The rules of legal ethics require her disbarment and I intend to pursue it, to set an example that prospective and sitting judges, or anyone in the legal profession or otherwise, are not above the law.”

Klayman represents the Declaration Alliance, a national non-partisan social welfare organization founded in 1996 by Ambassador Alan Keyes. The details of Ms. Kagan’s misconduct are most exhaustively detailed in a report prepared by the Americans United for Life Action, available online at www.aul.org/featured-images/Kagan-Ethics-Report.pdf

For more information call 310 595 0800 or visit www.declarationalliance.org

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‘Eggsploitation’ Documentary Reveals Secrets of Infertility Industry

July 28, 2010

WASHINGTON (MetroCatholic) — A new documentary, “Eggsploitation,” just released by The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network (CBCN) reveals shocking secrets of the infertility industry. The documentary exposes the “deceptive advertising, large monetary incentives and appeals to altruism” that are used by the infertility industry to entice college women to engage in human egg donation, a practice that the CBCN claims exploits them and puts them at “considerable” health risk. While the documentary is available now, its official debut will be August 9 at The Little Theatre in Rochester, N.Y.

Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Director and Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Beverly LaHaye Institute, applauds CBCN for exposing the infertility industry’s blatant exploitation of women. She said, “Today’s college coeds are told that the procedure is safe, when the reality is decidedly unsafe. No young woman should be used in procedures that jeopardize her own fertility — indeed her own life — in order to line the pockets of those who promote the infertility industry’s human egg trade.”

The Eggsploitation documentary spotlights three women who went through the egg donation process — including high doses of fertility drugs and egg retrieval surgery. The young women’s stories, according to CBCN, are a “wake-up call” for those who are unaware of the complications that can result from the “highly unregulated, multi-billion-dollar” infertility industry. All three of the women in the documentary nearly died from the “complications associated with their egg donation.” One suffered a stroke that left her brain damaged; another developed breast cancer, and the other developed a health problem associated with ovarian hyper-stimulation.

Crouse continued, “The human egg donation industry is shameless in claiming safety for the procedure as they solicit young college women through appeals to their vanity, claiming that the girls’ attractiveness, IQ, or genetic traits warrant a high payment for participation in what they call a ‘humanitarian’ act. CWA appeals to the public to protect the nation’s young women from such exploitation.”

For further information, visit www.eggsploitation.com.

Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.

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CatholicSportsNet to Provide “One-Stop Shop” for Catholic Sports Fans

July 27, 2010

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (MetroCatholic) – Many media outlets cover the booming industry of sports, but only one can lay claim to the sole reporting of Catholic sports – CatholicSportsNet.

Based in Louisville, Ky., CatholicSportsNet (CSN) is a new media company that recently launched its flagship entity – www.catholicsportsnet.com – a website that will serve as a national showcase for on and off the field achievements of male and female Catholic high school, collegiate, and professional student-athletes, teams, coaches, and administrators.

Serving nearly 1,200 high schools, 160-plus colleges, and over 70 million Catholic Americans around the country, CSN will provide up-to-date news, feature articles, student-athlete spotlights, national rankings, recruitment information, and a comprehensive multimedia unit that will include weekly newscasts, interviews, and streaming video.

CSN founder Steve Fehder, a 26-year broadcast veteran and entrepreneur, developed this concept after noticing a tremendous void in the coverage of local and national Catholic sports. A Catholic himself, Fehder believes CSN will satisfy the insatiable appetite of the rabid alumni and fan bases of Catholic schools and their athletic teams.

“What makes CatholicSportsNet unique from any traditional sports site, is that we are 100 percent dedicated to serving the ‘huge niche’ of Catholic sports and that Catholicism will be the underlying theme of all content,” Fehder said. “The tradition, the values, the alumni base, the success of athletes and programs across the country, and the incredible stories are what makes this venture so special.”

Joining Fehder’s team is author, writer, and former Louisville Courier-Journal sports editor Billy Reed. Member of both the U.S. Basketball and Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fames, Reed has written over 800 articles during a 29-year association with Sports Illustrated, and has penned over a dozen books pertaining to topics ranging from Freedom Hall to Paul Hornung to the world-famous Kentucky Derby.

“I’m excited to be a part of this new venture because it will embrace two things that are dear to me – high journalistic principles and positive stories about the sports world,” said Reed, CSN’s senior editorial advisor and consultant. “CSN should be the place to go for anybody interested in what’s happening with Catholic schools and athletes both locally and around the nation.”

CatholicSportsNet has other projects on the horizon, including the development of local and regional Catholic sports sites that will provide hyper-local coverage to the schools and teams of specific cities around the country. In addition, CSN plans to schedule a series of online “webinars” that high school and college athletes, coaches, and fans can attend virtually. They will feature and contain compelling topics and guest speakers who will educate and entertain the viewers.

CSN will offer a wide variety of marketing options for traditional advertisers, in addition to the opportunity for schools to put their campuses, programs, and achievements on display within the CSN College Roadshow – a resource that will give potential students a chance to learn more about educational opportunities at various Catholic institutions.

“From online to on the field, our goal is to be the leader in Catholic sports,” said Fehder. “Our team is extremely excited about the potential of (CSN) and looks forward to connecting with thousands of Catholics who share the same values and passion for sports. As we say at CSN, we are Catholic sports.”

CatholicSportsNet (CSN) is a media company that serves as an aggregator of news and producer of content pertaining to the overall achievements of Catholic high school and collegiate sports teams, student-athletes, and coaches. CSN houses nine employees in Louisville, Ky., in addition to a stable of national contributors and analysts. More information on CSN can be found at www.catholicsportsnet.com

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Legal fund calls on University of Illinois to reinstate Catholic professor

July 13, 2010

Champaign, Ill. (CNA/EWTN News) — In a letter sent Monday to the University of Illinois, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) called for the immediate reinstatement of Dr. Kenneth Howell, a professor who was fired for explaining in a class on Catholicism that the Church teaches homosexual behavior violates natural law. If the university does not reply to the letter by July 16, the legal fund said it will advise the professor to file a lawsuit.

In his Introduction to Catholicism class this past spring, a class that he had taught regularly at the university, Dr. Howell covered the topic of homosexuality, teaching the Catholic Church’s position on same-sex attractions and behavior. As part of this discussion, Dr. Howell sent an e-mail to his class contrasting how utilitarianism and natural law theory would each determine the morality of homosexual conduct.

A student complained that Dr. Howell’s words were “hate speech” in an e-mail to the head of the department, Dr. Robert McKim. Howell was called into McKim’s office at the end of the semester and told that he would no longer be allowed to teach for the University because his e-mail had “violate[d] university standards of inclusivity.”

Travis Barham, litigation staff counsel for the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, wrote a letter on July 12 to several officials at the University of Illinois, including the president, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the head of the religion department.

“In relieving Dr. Howell of his teaching responsibilities, the University is firing him for teaching Catholic doctrine in a class about Catholic doctrine,” Barham said.

He noted that “the University’s only reason for removing Dr. Howell is that other students, faculty, and staff disliked his speech.” However, he continued, the First Amendment “exists precisely to protect controversial ideas from being silenced” and “affords broad protection for a professor’s speech in the classroom.”

In his letter, Barham noted that Dr. Howell has taught in the Department of Religion at the University of Illinois since 2001, and that he has consistently earned excellent marks on his student evaluations.

Throughout the semester, Barham underscored, Dr. Howell emphasized to his class that they did not need to agree with Catholic thought, but simply needed to understand and analyze it to succeed in the class.

In a legal analysis of the situation, Barham explained that “public university professors retain free speech and academic freedom rights in the classroom and on campus.”

Looking at legal precedent, Barham noted that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Illinois, has stated that “the First Amendment protects the right of faculty members to engage in academic debates, pursuits, and inquiries.” Federal courts across the country have agreed with this statement, he said.

“These clearly established First Amendment principles easily encompass Dr. Howell’s lectures and e-mail,” Barham stated. “In a class on Catholic thought, he explained Catholic teaching on sexual morality and answered students’ questions and responded to their objections.”

“According to decades of Supreme Court precedent, the University simply cannot relieve Dr. Howell of his teaching post based on how third parties respond to his speech,” Barham said. “For decades, the Supreme Court has consistently held that university campuses are ‘not enclaves immune from the sweep of the First Amendment.’”

Emphasizing the violation of the right to free speech and academic freedom, Barham called for the University to restore Dr. Howell to his previous teaching position.

“In light of these clear constitutional violations, we demand that you immediately reinstate Dr. Howell and restore to him the teaching responsibilities he has discharged so excellently for almost a decade,” Barham said in the letter. If the University does not respect Dr. Howell’s First Amendment freedoms, ADF will advise the professor “to vindicate his constitutional rights in federal court.”

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Pope Benedict Acknowledges Spiritual Bouquet from Christendom College

June 18, 2010

Front Royal, Va. (MetroCatholicThis week Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged the reception of a spiritual bouquet from the Christendom College community. College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell received a letter from the Vatican’s Office of the Secretary of State, which imparted the Pope’s Apostolic Blessing on all who participated in the bouquet.

The letter stated, “His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gratefully acknowledges the spiritual bouquet sent for his intentions.  He very much appreciates the prayerful support given to him in his ministry to the universal Church.  Upon all who have remembered him in their prayers the Holy Father invokes joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ and cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing.”

While in Rome this spring, O’Donnell presented the spiritual bouquet to Frances Cardinal Arinze. During a meal with the students of Christendom’s Junior Semester in Rome, Cardinal Arinze accepted the bouquet on the Pope’s behalf and promised to personally deliver it.

O’Donnell says that members of the Christendom community have a special devotion and charism for the person of the Holy Father.  “Especially since recently he has been attacked and vilified by the press in a number of ways, it is crucial that we as Catholics express our loyalty and support for him as a priest and as the supreme teacher.”

The bouquet was given as an act of thanksgiving and solidarity during the Year of the Priest. Contributions were collected over an eight-month period on campus and on Christendom’s website. The bouquet enumerated 1,343 Masses, 556 Holy Hours, 2,225 Rosaries, 637 visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and 1,202 Chaplets of Divine Mercy.

“I do hope that this gave him some consolation as he continues to shepherd the church with such courage and fidelity,” O’Donnell says.

Contact: Niall O’Donnell
Title: Assistant Director of Public Relations
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 800.877.5456 ext. 1217
Mobile: 540.692.0186
Web: www.christendom.edu

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