Religious liberty and the well-formed Catholic


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ABSTRACTReligious liberty and the well-formed Catholic - By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J. Editors Service About us Donate Spanish Portuguese Follow us: Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Prayers Sacraments Sacred Arts Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns A Life Worth Living Answering the Tough Questions Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Both Oars In Catholic & Single Catholic Men Guest Columnist Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II In Good Company Indispensable Economics Inside the Church during WWII Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Preparing the way for the Roman Missal – 3rd Edition The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Spirit of the New Translation The Way of Beauty With Good Reason Your Moment in the Mass Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Catholic Womanhood Home » Columns » The Way of Beauty February 08, 2012 Religious liberty and the well-formed Catholic By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J. * By Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J. * In 1937, Robert M. Hutchins, then the president of the University of Chicago praised the Catholic Church as having “the longest intellectual tradition in any institution in the contemporary world.” In the same presentation however, he criticized Catholic institutions for “failing to emphasize that tradition in a way that would make it come alive in American intellectual circles.” He concluded on an encouraging note: “The best service Catholic education can perform for the nation and all education is to show that the intellectual tradition can again be made the heart of higher education.” The Catholic Intellectual Tradition In the Catholic Tradition, reason and faith are friends. The intellect seeks truth; faith seeks understanding. “Reason ambitions the world; faith gives it infinity,” writes A.D. Sertillanges, O.P. Prior to the years leading up to the Protestant Reformation, Christian scholars, many from the Christian East, were philosophers and theologians. The writings of Irenaeus, the Cappadocians, John Chrysostom, Augustine, the two “Greats,” Leo and Gregory for example, remain a thesaurus of wisdom. Preserving the Greco-Roman heritage, the Catholic Church built western civilization. During the so-called Dark Middle Ages, European monasteries and universities, including those in Ireland and Britain, led the way and fostered education, broadly understood. The musical and visual arts, organ building and church architecture, literature, the sciences, farming and agriculture, and foundations of law and economics were part of this pursuit. Young men and women of noble families were educated by monks and nuns. This Tradition has given us luminaries such as Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux, Aquinas and Bonaventure, Hildegard and Julian of Norwich, Dante, Ignatius, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, Matteo Ricci, Pascal, Soloviev, Hopkins, Peguy, LeMaître—to name a few. And what of Catholic artists? In some sectors of Catholic education, this vast treasury has been given short-shrift, only to be taken up and cultivated in secular academies. There is cause for encouragement however. Purpose of Catholic Education Though distinct, reason and faith are integrally developed. Catholic education forms the whole person for life—developing the mind, one’s abilities and attitudes, fostering insight and strengthening character. Secular learning is directed to discipleship in Christ and leadership in society. Not limited to formal studies, Catholic education fosters a love of learning throughout one’s life. Education of the Intellect The Jesuit phrase, cura personalis (care of the individual person), extends to all Catholic education. Every child is God’s masterpiece-in-formation and to this end, Catholic education pursues all possible avenues of the Liberal Arts tradition. The most eager and industrious students are pre-disposed to become Renaissance men and women, a distinction that is still noteworthy in the public square. Catechesis , Prayer and the Moral Life Religious education forms students in the full Tradition that accords with the Church’s Magisterium: dogma, biblical tradition, church history and patristics, liturgy and worship, the documents of Vatican II, personal prayer and the moral life, social justice, care of the earth and world religions. Grace builds on nature. Personal and liturgical prayer energizes the inner life and prepares students for decision-making. The full.......