The cardinal newman society college guide


The Newman Guide is great, but none of the colleges there have the academic reputation of Notre Dame, Georgetown, or Yale. What’s a person supposed to do who wants a school with an excellent reputation?


I guess it’s a question of setting priorities. Are academics your first priority? Is an orthodox Catholic environment your first priority?

Part of your decision may hinge on what you want to study and what your future plans are. How important is the school’s reputation to your future?

You might also consider the trade-offs involved. If you go to a school that’s lower in the academic rankings, is there any way to improve your situation? If you go to a school that’s not as orthodox, are there ways you can be involved with the Church to nurture that side of things?


Even if a school is not seen as ideal by Newman Society standards, ir certainly should have some semblance (big or small) of solid catholic community on campus which can be employed for support and guidance. Even at secular schools, there may well be a good Catholic student minsitry or Newman Center available. And if courses are not offered in topic from a genuinely Catholic perspective, then it just may be something which you need to make up for by other means. Hopefully, if one is smart enough to attend Georgetown or Notre Dame, he’d be able to figure some of that stuff out, afterall.


I’m not from the US. I’d prefer to go to a good orthodox Catholic uni. I envy those attending Franciscan, Christendom, etc.

Maybe before I would have wanted to attended prestigious schools like the ones you’ve mentioned, when my mindset was more worldly.

But now, a good environment is more important for me. Who cares if I go to a famous school? What’s the use of intelligence if one doesn’t obey God anymore?


Whoa! You’re going way too far!

Going to a public university or a secular private school, or a non-Cardinal-Newman-Society-approved Catholic school doesn’t in any way mean that someone is no longer focused on God.

Most schools, public or private, have Catholic campus ministries so that students can easily go to Mass, meet other Catholic students, participate in a range of activities, etc.

You’re judging millions of people as somehow not obeying God because they are students or alumni of all but a handful of colleges.


Further, even alumni of those institutions are often critical of them.


I’m confused. Are you agreeing with Fin that if you don’t go to a school endorsed by the Cardinal Newman Society that you don’t care about your faith? If so, I disagree.

People go to school and go to work in all kinds of places. Unless they are actively anti-Catholic or anti-Christian they don’t make or break your faith or your relationship with God.


I am constantly being told by my mentors that where you take your Bachelor’s degree doesn’t affect your intelligence or academic record. Supposedly, an AB is an AB (or a BA if you’re in Canada), and going to a prestigious college is often more of a social status thing than an academic one. Perhaps an exception might be Ivy League schools, or the Oxbridge schools in England, which draw the greatest intellectuals in the world to it, most colleges are able to offer a certain standard of education. In theory, an prof. with a PhD can educate undergrad students properly.

At the end of day, academics depend more on individual students than anyone else. Also bear in mind that some of the greatest intellectuals in history went to small colleges, or never went at all.


And that is why your local state college is probably best for undergrad because it tends to be a lot less $$$ than private schools and there is frequently good state financial aid involved.


No, I’m not agreeing (as my first post on this thread illlustrates.) I am saying that, while there is a certain value in attending CNS endorsed schools, it isn’t necessarily the only or best option for everyone. I am, further, noting that sometimes (if not often) students at those schools (who may well be quite orthodox) will note other problems which exist at the institutions. Just because they are seen as “faithful to the magisterium” on stuff doesn’t make them ideal institutions in all ways for everyone.


Oh no, not at all. I’m not judging those who are going to secular universities. Sorry if that’s how you understood it. :ouch:

In fact, I’m impressed and I really admire those Catholics who go to very liberal and secular schools, but are still very devout and faithful.

I’m also trying to say that it is very difficult for me to be in such a secular environment.

I’m actually referring to myself in my previous post. As I’ve said, before I would have dreamed of going to prestigious schools. But now, I think I envy those who go to orthodox Catholic universities.


You can be the one to make a difference- if there isn’t much of a Catholic presence.


You dont need to go to an extremely prestigious school to have a future, you will still get a good job and be taken seriously.


Sorry I can’t sit idle any longer. You want to go to a prestigious school? You want an authentic spiritual life? Then go to Notre Dame. 200 Masses weekly, daily confession and public rosary at the Grotto, single-sex dorms with strict visitation, GREAT retreats on campus, 4 required theo and philo classes, great charismatic dorm Masses, Great traditional Novus Ordo Masses at the Basilica, great Tridentine Mass each week (whatever your preference…they have it), the campus life is centered around Catholic Spirituality, priests in each men’s residence hall (even in many of the women’s), great push for Catholic Social Justice teaching, great volunteer opportunities, great missionary possibilities (10% of graduating seniors become missionaries for first year or two out of Notre Dame - many in underfunded U.S. Catholic schools, many others abroad in the third world), over 100 priests on campus (and some great ones), Basilica of the Sacred Heart (one of America’s greatest and most beautiful), Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, many many many hours of Eucharistic adoration each week in several campus locations, 46 campus chapels (almost all with daily Mass), 85% of student body is Catholic, 53% of all faculty is Catholic (with a major push right now to increase this number exponentially), undergraduate seminary program (at full capacity) as well as Moreau Major Seminary on campus, fantastic and active Right to Life Club, Knights of Columbus, Knights of Immaculata, Fellowship of Christian athletes, Center for Social Concerns, etc…

Check out these websites below to see more about the above opportunities… (this is one of the men’s residence hall’s “faith” section of their webpage - just an example of the rich spiritual student life).

Unfotunately, many people on do not know the true Notre Dame and the beauty of the school’s very rich spiritual life. Hope this helps. I loved it. I grew in my Catholic faith immensely while at ND. And, yes, the graduate programs for theology are tuition-free for Catholic only students who are pursuing service in the Church. Not a bad deal! …especially at a university ranked 19th in the nation academically. Regarding Notre Dame, believe those who have experienced the university first-hand, not those on this site who have never lived a Notre Dame life. We, the alumni, know how “Catholic” Notre Dame is. It is very Catholic. Those who disagree are ignorant of the true Notre Dame. You must experience it first hand to understand. You will love it. …as I’m sure you will also love FUS and CUA…I am sure they too are great in their own distinctive way. I just cannot comment too much since I did not go to those schools, but I have certainly heard positives (and negatives - like any school, no university is perfect). Good luck on your decisions and God Bless.


I’ve got 4 degrees from Notre Dame and was on campus for 10 years and 7 summers. It’s flat out the best catholic/ Catholic college in the world. Grumpily conservative spokesmen complain about various inadequacies. It’s, to use Fr. Hesburgh’s phrase, a 4-square university where everyone learns to understand and tolerate everyone else. It costs a lot. But you get what you pay for. The bishop complains about such things as The Vagina Monologues, but he isn’t speaking ex cathedra. If you want to be a Catholic that “shines in use” (to use Milton’s phrase), study at Notre Dame. Chaucer’s Wife of Bath has her crony tell her new knightly husband:

"Take fire and carry it in the darkest house
Between here and the Mount of Caucasus,
And let men shut the doors and from them turn;
Yet will the fire as fairly blaze and burn
As twenty thousand men did it behold;
Its nature and its office it will hold,
On peril of my life, until it die.

"From this you see that true gentility
Is not allied to wealth a man may own,
Since folk do not their deeds, as may be shown,
As does the fire, according to its kind.
For God knows that men may full often find
A lord’s son doing shame and villainy;
And he that prizes his gentility
In being born of some old noble house,
With ancestors both noble and virtuous,
But will himself do naught of noble deeds
Nor follow him to whose name he succeeds,
He is not gentle, be he duke or earl;
For acting churlish makes a man a churl.

“Gentility is not just the renown
Of ancestors who have some greatness shown,
In which you have no portion of your own.
Your own gentility comes from God alone;
Thence comes our true nobility by grace,
It was not willed us with our rank and place.”

Catholics need to worry about more than following a code and obeying church authorities. There’s no justification in the law.


Grumpily conservative spokesmen complain about various inadequacies.

Are you speaking of the…

… annual Queer Film Festival Notre Dame has which has been protested by the Bishop but that Notre Dame has continued to have in direct disobedience?

…number of theology faculty who flat out refused - and continue too - to take the Mandate?

…fact that Notre Dame supports the widely known dissenter on the Catholic faith (who is a priest there), giving him a weekly column in the newpaper?

…number of speakers it has come who speak on various subjects which are directly opposed to Catholic teaching?

The bishop complains about such things as The Vagina Monologues, but he isn’t speaking ex cathedra.

The Bishop did not “complain”. He specifically asked for the performances to be ended. They were not.

V-Monologues is vulgar, obscene, and anti-Catholic. The script contains graphic accounts of female sexual encounters, one involving the seduction of a young teenage girl by an older woman.

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church’’ Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

Catholics need to worry about more than following a code and obeying church authorities. There’s no justification in the law.

We are called to follow the will of God. The Bishop speaks with authority given him by God. To do as the Bishop commands is to do the will of God. It is a matter of obedience to God not a matter of following laws and codes.

This person is looking for a truly Catholic University that will offer a good education. They are looking for a University that is truly Catholic at the moment. At the moment, Notre Dame cannot claim that because of various events and persons. While I am very happy to see the good things Notre Dame can offer I feel it is decietful to tell this young person these things without also telling them of the very big no-so-Catholic things that are happening at that school.


Daughter of Mary,
I too am an ND grad. I am glad that you at least see the good, actually outstanding, Catholic events that go on daily at Notre Dame. They outweigh the negative by a thousand (literally). The “Queer” film festival is nothing more than a study of films produced by gay filmwriters. Why is it necessary…I have no idea…ask the academics. Is it a big deal? Is it a major part of the university…uhhh…no…never has been…never will be. Is it well attended by the student body…no. Has anyone ever really cared about it? No. More people attend Eucharistic adoration in just one week then ever see this film critic session (which is exactly what it is…an academic critic of films…it’s certanily not pornographic or anything). It was actually renamed because the president of the university (a priest) was concerned that the word “Festival” meant celebratory and he wanted to make sure that members of the university knew that this was certainly not the case. I’m not condoning it per se, but I’m not saying that it’s anti-Catholic…it’s not really anything…just some films being critiqued by a few profs and students. Do I wish the film department would get rid of it? Yes…but mainly because people think that it’s some sort of condoned gay-sex fest, which is laughable that anything like that would ever fly at Notre Dame. I’ll be honest. The student body is not too “gay” friendly. …actually, most of the guys are pretty open about this anti-gay sentiment. This, too, is not a good thing either, because to be truly Catholic we mush love and respect the dignity of all humans…maybe not condone their activities but love them nonetheless. Most ND men (and some women) could work on this. …and I think most on this forum (not necessarily you) could work on this also.

As for the Vagina Monologues…no academic department sponsored even a classroom reading of this play last year. ND will never be a part of the “V-Day” campaign. The president has allowed an academic reading of the play in a classroom setting for academic purposes only (like I said this didn’t even happen last year). It’s a play…a horrible one at that…but how are good Catholics supposed to know how horrible the play is and the ulterior motives of the play if they aren’t allowed to read it for academic purposes? This is why the Church no longer has a “banned books” list. We can’t breed ignorance. We have to read the ignorance of others so we solidify our truths and morality. Notre Dame cannot perform the play in a campus theatre or have fundraising…which makes ND ineligible to be a part of national “V-Day”. This was Fr. Jenkins motive. We must understand that it’s not the reading of the play that’s anti-Catholic…the reading of it just re-affirms our own beliefs. …what is anti-Catholic is the fundraising that sends monies to anti-life women’s organizations who support abortion…and let’s face it…the ulterior motives that an official production really brings to the table are pretty cut and dry. The play undoubtedly tries to make homosexuality and other sexual issues seem “okay”, and it takes the sexuality of the woman and turns it into mere flesh…also very anti-Catholic…and ND will have no part of these two agendas. But, we need to read it in order to know this. Don’t you agree? Have you read the play in order to re-affirm your own faith and your beliefs? I hope so, otherwise you have no argument. Well, Father Jenkins wants to give his students the abiliity to make an argument and defend the theology of the body. It’s no different then you or I reading this play at our own leisure to make our argument against it. A university that censors books is no longer a university…that’s a high school…and a bad one at that! :smiley: A university studies both sides in order to properly defend their own traditions.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but Our Lady’s university is, always has been, and always will be a very devout Catholic institution. …where else are you going to find 200+ Masses each week? :rolleyes: surely not at a secular university…or even at your Ave Maria’s or F.U. of Stubenville’s (although I am sure they are wonderful in their own way as well).

…as for the anti-Catholic speakers at ND? …never heard of any of those. There may have been speakers that supported issues that were not Catholic in thought, but they sure didn’t come to ND to speak on those issues!!! President Bush spoke at Notre Dame. He is certainly not a bastion of Catholic ideals…for crying out loud…the man supports the death penalty!!! …pretty anti-Catholic if you ask me! But, Notre Dame still allowed him to speak on campus…and yes he refrained from commenting on his stance on the death penatly…otherwise it could have gotten pretty ugly. Notre Dame is a pretty Pro-Life campus.


Thank you Domer1997. Your thoughtful, charitable, and measured contribution is very fine. I hope the people who seem to instantly react to hearsay and other insufficient “evidence” will read the truth of what you write.

I’m very happy that you let your fire shine in these dark caves.

There’s no place like Notre Dame. As Fr. Hesburgh said, “you don’t have to go to Medjugorje to see Mary. She lives right here.”

There’s no better place to enroll a Catholic (or anyone else).


Yes…I judge…but I do not pass judgement as in the final judgement. delete…delete…delete…pointless stuff…delete. Ranting…go where you want. Just don’t lie to us about how much smarter you are and more important:D :stuck_out_tongue: .

Univ. PA
Univ. Texas
Texas A&M

Just 3 very good Public schools that have the same statuse as Ivy League Universities…find a parish to be active in and practice the faith. Aggie Land supposedly has a great Cardinal Newman Center. But after working with Aggies for about 6 years now…I would not send my child there. They may have a top notch school in many ways…but I’ve only met a couple of Aggies that are truly intelligent without all the bigotry and I wanted to go there at one time.
Be a true Christian…Serve others, don’t be self-serving.


The people I know that sent their now grown children frankly discut me by acting “poor” but truthfully being uncharitably materialistically manipulative with their social status along with it. ND is a snob school. If that is what you want …then do it. If you want a deep spiritual life…get away to a place that you can empty yourself out. My once Harvard professor told us that there is actually no difference between Harvard studenst and my University…they ask the same dumb questions, give the same dumb answers and score identically on tests, essay and others. He said that the only difference is that they have money to get in those schools. What a way to live…for money and prestige. Still don’t get it.

Just do what you want to do and don’t rub poor people’s noses in it. We’re getting tired of it.

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