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Debt, the Vocation Killer [Catholic Caucus]
National Catholic Register ^ | March 11, 2007 | Tim Drake

Posted on 08/07/2007 10:10:52 AM PDT by fr maximilian mary

You think you know what factors pose a barrier to religious vocations? Think again. A group met in Chicago last month to discuss an emerging and growing barrier to vocations — financial debt, particularly that acquired from student loans.

The Chicago-based Institute on Religious Life organized — and the Arlington, Va.-based Fraser Family Foundation sponsored — a diverse gathering of grant-makers, college presidents and vocation directors at Marytown Feb. 20-22 to examine the growing problem. As most religious orders will not accept someone with debt, it places many vocations in jeopardy.

Brother Matthew Ball of the Franciscans of the Immaculate at St. Francis Hermitage in Maine, N.Y., said that his debt nearly led him to abandon his vocation. A graduate of Ohio University, Brother Matthew had educational debts totaling $30,000 when he approached various religious orders inquiring about the possibility of entering. Debt prevented him.

“I was ready to drop my vocation because of the debt. I figured that if too many huge walls were in the way that maybe God wasn’t calling me,” said Brother Matthew. “I was ready to give it up, but had one more phone call to make.”

Before giving up his vocation, Matthew Ball’s final call was to the Franciscan Friars in December 2005.

“I spoke with the vocation director, Father Joseph,” said Brother Matthew. “Near the end of the call I said, ‘Everything sounds great, but I have one more thing for you. I have an education debt of $30,000.’”

“Father Joseph responded, ‘Is that all? You’ve got to have faith! Our Lady has all the money you need for your vocation,’” said Brother Matthew. Father Joseph put the young man in touch with the Fraser Family Foundation, a private foundation set up to help aspirants relieve their educational debt. Ball received the foundation’s final grant, enabling him to enter the community last summer.

The need is great. “One of every two aspirants will have had student debt at one time,” said Corey Huber, executive director of the Fraser Family Foundation. “One of every four aspirants will have debt in excess of $25,000.”

That’s a problem particularly for religious orders.

“It’s a very real problem. As more and more girls come out of college and seek religious life, it will become more of an issue for them,” said Sister Mary Emily Knapp, vocation director of the Nashville Dominicans. “For some young women it delays entrance.” Of the order’s 13 postulants this year, debt was an issue for two of them.

“This is an important and challenging problem emerging in the Church,” said Michael Wick, executive director of the Institute on Religious Life. He likens the problem to the rich young man in the Gospel who couldn’t follow Christ. “Instead, it’s the debt-laden young person who can’t follow Christ.”

At least two Catholic colleges have programs in place to provide debt relief for those pursuing religious life — Christendom College, in Front Royal, Va., and Magdalen College in Warner, N.H.

At Christendom, the college has always had a policy that if a graduate takes final vows with an order that has canonical status with the Catholic Church, his loan will be canceled. Magdalen’s policy, while not official, has helped to defer and forgive loans on a case-by-case basis. Both Christendom and Magdalen are able to do so because they do not receive federal funds and are able to make their own loans.

“As a lay organization, we’ve been tithing our 10% through our vocations,” said Tom McFadden, director of admissions at Christendom. “It’s the idea that if we take care of God, he will take care of us.”

To date, approximately 60 men and 40 women alumni of Christendom have entered religious life. Magdalen has seen approximately 30 religious vocations among its graduates.

Leaders agreed that more universities need to come to the table to develop ways to address this crisis.

New Ways

Attendees also agreed that another response, of last resort, includes creating charitable funds that can assist aspirants with significant debt. Two such funds have already been created in recent years to address the issue.

Corey and Katherine Huber of Alexandria, Va., began issuing grants to aspirants in 2004, following Corey’s retirement from America Online.

“I had a lot of extra money floating around and our pastor told us of a young man who was interested in religious life but had a huge debt-load,” said Huber. “Our pastor asked if we could help this guy out.”

The obstacles they faced in providing that help eventually led the Hubers to create the Fraser Family Fund and Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations. As a public charitable organization, the program allows individuals to make charitable contributions for the purpose of tackling the debt problem.

The Eagan, Minn.-based Laboure Society, founded by entrepreneur and management consultant Cy Laurent, is similar, yet has a unique difference.

Laurent shares the vocation story of aspirants they help. Laurent then works with the aspirants to help them develop lists of family, friends and others from whom they can solicit charitable contributions. The Laboure Society then acts as the intermediary, allowing individuals to make tax deductible donations to a central pool of funds that are used to help candidates reduce their debt before entry into religious life. To date, Laurent has assisted 82 candidates who are currently in formation — 16 to the priesthood, 59 sisters and seven religious brothers.

While the need is great, professional fundraisers don’t see the barrier as a significant problem.

Michael Browne is managing partner of Lincoln, Neb.-based Labadie Communications, a database marketing group. Browne is convinced that the money is there, it’s just a matter of communicating the need to benefactors.

“Over the next 45 years, older generations will leave $41 trillion to their heirs, government and charities,” said Browne. “If donors knew that potential vocations were being turned away because of money, they would react. There’s never been a better time to face a problem such as this.”

Tim Drake is based in St. Joseph, Minnesota.


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Prayer
KEYWORDS: catholic; debt; priesthood; religiouslife; seminarians; vocations
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Ave Maria!

If you know anyone who wants to do something concrete about vocations, the young men and women are waiting. Check out the website of Mater Ecclesiae. I just went to the profession of one of their grantees, Sr. Marianna, O.P. ("Nashville Dominicans") and one of our Brothers, Br. Matthew Ball, is one of their grantees and is about to enter Novitiate Sept. 7th.

1 posted on 08/07/2007 10:10:54 AM PDT by fr maximilian mary
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To: Frank Sheed; NYer

ping


2 posted on 08/07/2007 10:11:24 AM PDT by fr maximilian mary ("Imitate Jesus, love Mary as your Mother." Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: fr maximilian mary

God blessed me very richly even before I began discerning a call to the priesthood; because of the circumstances He put me into, I have no debts going into seminary. That said, some dioceses are willing to work with seminarians to deal with debt; a friend of mine is also discerning, but his dad has insisted that he work to pay off his debt before applying to the diocese.

I think one important thing that can be done is to impress upon young people that debt does not need to be an impediment to discerning a vocation. Thank you for posting this and getting the word out.


3 posted on 08/07/2007 10:20:52 AM PDT by GCC Catholic (Sour grapes make terrible whine.)
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Vocation bump.


4 posted on 08/07/2007 11:14:19 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: fr maximilian mary

Do the Knights of Columbus help? I know that our local chapter has an account called a Seminary Burse but they’ve never used any of the money for anything in 7 years.


5 posted on 08/07/2007 11:23:05 AM PDT by tiki
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To: Pyro7480; monkapotamus; ELS; Theophane; indult; St. Johann Tetzel; B Knotts; livius; k omalley; ...

Vocations bump!


6 posted on 08/07/2007 11:25:39 AM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: tiki

In my former council in Indiana, we had two seminarians from our parish that we made sure to raise money for.

They had a State program named S.O.S. (save our seminarians) that money was available from.


7 posted on 08/07/2007 11:36:36 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae. R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.)
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To: tiki
Do the Knights of Columbus help? I know that our local chapter has an account called a Seminary Burse but they’ve never used any of the money for anything in 7 years.

Our council picks one or two seminarians from the local area every year and provides a cash donation to help cover out-of-pocket expenses, but nothing substantial enough to completely cancel college loans, etc.

8 posted on 08/07/2007 11:37:42 AM PDT by CT-Freeper (Said the frequently disappointed but ever optimistic Mets fan)
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To: fr maximilian mary

My son is in his 2nd year at Franciscan U. in Steubenville OH, (he’s a pre-theologate, discerning the priesthood. diocesan, most likely) and we are wrestling with this very problem right now! Circumstances (too involved to insert here) are such that he is having trouble qualifying for student loans this year. He is working with the financial aid counselor at FUS on various options, but I thought I might ask here too: Does anyone know of organizations that give student loans specifically to pretheologates? I think the diocese (Manchester NH) will do something once he gets to major seminary, but it’s going to be difficult until then, unless our specific circumstances change. Any ideas are much appreciated. Thanks!


9 posted on 08/07/2007 11:41:15 AM PDT by firerosemom ("Don't make Me come down there..." --- God)
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To: tiki
Dear tiki,

“Do the Knights of Columbus help?”

The Order provides dozens of scholarships each year for seminarians. These are limited to $2,500 per year, and can be renewed for up to four years. Going back a couple of years (the last year for which I could find data), the Knights were supporting about 130 or so seminarians throughout the United States and Canada.

More directly, local Councils often “adopt” seminarians and provide them with small stipends, usually about $500 per year, while they’re in the seminary. I believe that each seminarian is limited to a maximum of $2,000 per year.

It’s not a huge sum, but I know that our former pastor told us that he received these stipends when he was in the seminary, and it helped him out. As well, the seminarians that my own Council has supported have been appreciative.

Sometimes, Councils also provide other gifts to seminarians. I think that one year, our Council bought our seminarian an inexpensive laptop computer (about $750, I think).


sitetest

10 posted on 08/07/2007 11:45:14 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: firerosemom
Since your son is leaning toward diocesan priesthood, he should check with your diocesan Vocations Office if he hasn't already. They may have some funds available; alternately, they may be able to make contacts with local Knights of Columbus chapters or someone else that may be able to provide some assistance.

Some dioceses will pay some or all of pre-Theologate studies; my home diocese pays the full amount, and asks to be reimbursed half if the seminarian does not go on to be ordained.

11 posted on 08/07/2007 11:49:13 AM PDT by GCC Catholic (Sour grapes make terrible whine.)
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To: fr maximilian mary

I’ve had a loooooong day.

I thought that it said: Debt, the Vacation Killer [Catholic Caucus] and was wondering how Catholic vacations are killed by debt as opposed to the Protestant ones.


12 posted on 08/07/2007 11:59:53 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae. R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.)
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To: MarkBsnr

LOL!


13 posted on 08/07/2007 12:03:37 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: fr maximilian mary

Neither a borrower nor a lender be
Do not forget,
Stay out of debt.


14 posted on 08/07/2007 12:04:09 PM PDT by ichabod1 ("Liberals read Karl Marx. Conservatives UNDERSTAND Karl Marx." Ronald Reagan)
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To: MarkBsnr
I’ve had a loooooong day. I thought that it said: Debt, the Vacation Killer [Catholic Caucus] and was wondering how Catholic vacations are killed by debt as opposed to the Protestant ones.

LOL!

I guess my vacations should be alive and well, since as a Franciscan I not only have no money, but no debts! (But our Order doesn't take vacations--there's no vacation from your vocation!)

15 posted on 08/07/2007 12:08:25 PM PDT by fr maximilian mary ("Imitate Jesus, love Mary as your Mother." Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: tiki

RE: your local KofC seminary burse and not helping anyone for 7 years... If they have the burse and no one specific to help, maybe they should consider helping the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations (see link in post 1). They are helping concrete individuals and have had to turn some applicants away due to lack of funds.


16 posted on 08/07/2007 12:10:55 PM PDT by fr maximilian mary ("Imitate Jesus, love Mary as your Mother." Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: firerosemom
Ave Maria!

I graduated from the pre-theologate program at Franciscan University in 1991. Assure your son of my prayers.

If he is considering the Diocesan priesthood, often the Diocese can help and rally behind their vocations. What is more, unlike religious vocations, Diocesan priests can pay off their own loans once ordained, since they have a salary. The trouble with religious vocations is that they make a vow of poverty; therefore, religious orders won't accept candidates with outstanding debt. This is where the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations can be a vocation saver/promoter.

If your son can get through the program, even at a slower pace, I think either a group like Mater Ecclesiae or his future Diocese would help.

Obviously, there is no substitute for prayer. God bless...

17 posted on 08/07/2007 12:19:07 PM PDT by fr maximilian mary ("Imitate Jesus, love Mary as your Mother." Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: firerosemom

You should double check with the Diocese. Boston picks up the bill for the Seminarians, and McCormack being a former Boston guy may do likewise.

He’d still have out of pocket expenses, but if you contact the New Hampshire State Council once he is accepted they’ll “hook him up”, if not and he ends up at St. John Seminary in Boston, let me know, I’ll tell Brighton Council and he’ll have a check in no time.


18 posted on 08/07/2007 1:01:04 PM PDT by Cheverus
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To: fr maximilian mary

Very interesting information - thanks!


19 posted on 08/07/2007 2:56:19 PM PDT by Tax-chick (All the main characters die, and then the Prince of Norway delivers the Epilogue.)
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To: fr maximilian mary; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
Father Joseph put the young man in touch with the Fraser Family Foundation, a private foundation set up to help aspirants relieve their educational debt.

Thank you, Father, for the ping! According to their web site: We Are Not Accepting Applications.

Grant Program Status

The Fraser Family Foundation's Mater Ecclesiae grant program is closed and will remain closed to new applicants. The grant program has been transfered to the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations. When the MEFV's St. Joseph Student Debt Relief Grant Program is accepting applications. Please see the MEFV's website for details.

Please continue to pray for the success of the new MEFV. Fiat Dei voluntas.

20 posted on 08/07/2007 4:47:15 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer

That’s unfortunate that they can’t afford to take on new applicants; but all the more incentive to pray that souls will help them with the needed funds. I know the couple that started the Foundation and it is a labor of love (they get nothing for the work they do, that is, on the temporal plane—but feel they are rewarded most amply for their work in seeing young men and women respond to their call). So a prayer for the success of their mission. God bless...


21 posted on 08/07/2007 5:13:48 PM PDT by fr maximilian mary ("Imitate Jesus, love Mary as your Mother." Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: fr maximilian mary

**The need is great. “One of every two aspirants will have had student debt at one time,” said Corey Huber, executive director of the Fraser Family Foundation. “One of every four aspirants will have debt in excess of $25,000.”**

This has to be in undergraduate degrees from secular colleges?? Correct?


22 posted on 08/07/2007 6:04:27 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: sitetest

YLI, Young Laides Institute, is also a national level women’s group that offers scholarships.

Congratulations to the Knights of Columbus. I know they do a lot of helping along the way.


23 posted on 08/07/2007 6:06:22 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: fr maximilian mary; nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; ELS; Pyro7480; ..
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

24 posted on 08/07/2007 6:08:30 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Dear Salvation,

College is expensive.

Even a year at Christendom, tuition, room, and board, is $24,000 per year. It’s just not tough to run up the debt.

Even state schools have gotten more expensive. Here in Maryland, the University of Maryland, College Park, is about $17,000 for tuition, room, and board for IN-STATE students! My understanding is that freshmen are required to live on campus.


sitetest

25 posted on 08/07/2007 6:16:02 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: fr maximilian mary

Father,

EVERY seminarian should become a Knight. The RSVP Program is Order-wide:

http://www.kofc.org/about/activities/church/vocations/index.cfm

Just as every Catholic man who is a fireman, policeman or in the Military should be Knights for the insurance benefits of a First Degree Member alone!

Please check into your local Councils! The Councils give or pledge $500 to the RSVP program and they receive a refund for their efforts. My Council funded 6 seminarians each year. The last was “free” due to the $100 per capita refund from the other 5! Note that more than one Council could fund a seminarian and that we sent them CARE packages at key times in the year (like Christmas). One man asked us to cut back as he was gaining too much weight! We also gave them free tickets to any Council event. And, many came over the years for the “home cooked meals.”

F


26 posted on 08/07/2007 6:28:49 PM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: GCC Catholic

Are you a Knight? Have you signed your form 100 yet? You could end up on EWTN one day at the 130 Annual Supreme Convention!


27 posted on 08/07/2007 6:30:21 PM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: Frank Sheed

This sounds like a fabulous program! Wow!


28 posted on 08/07/2007 6:30:34 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: fr maximilian mary; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; ...

.


29 posted on 08/07/2007 6:33:07 PM PDT by Coleus (Pro Deo et Patria)
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To: fr maximilian mary

bumpus ad summum


30 posted on 08/07/2007 6:34:17 PM PDT by Dajjal
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To: Salvation

The $$ is not much, Salvation, but you should see the look on these men’s face’s when 20 Knights showed up at their first Mass within the Diocese. We took them all out to lunch after that Mass, presented them with a K of C stole, and have made contacts that have lasted 20 years. One of our seminarians is now a local Pastor. To say he is fond of our Council is an understatement.

F


31 posted on 08/07/2007 6:36:53 PM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: Frank Sheed

Thank you, Lord, for blessings like these Knights and the priests and seminarians they sponsor!


32 posted on 08/07/2007 7:08:26 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: tiki

The Burse from the Knights is to help pay for Books or some pocket change like 1000 bucks for one of our seminarians..


33 posted on 08/07/2007 7:29:41 PM PDT by philly-d-kidder (a Humid 111 Degrees at 3 am.... in the Kuwaiti desert!)
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To: fr maximilian mary

very funny!


34 posted on 08/07/2007 8:07:12 PM PDT by karnage
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To: sitetest; NYer; Salvation
“Required to live on campus”?

Yeah, right. That way it’s easier for the predators to pick out the virgins and have sex with them without the parents’ protection.

That reminds me of the Jackson 5 tour and the outlandish price of a ticket to their show...and you had to buy four tickets if you wanted to get in.

Cost of education up, quality of education down, price of freedom astronomical because the young adult is dim of thought, lazy in skill, and over burdened beyond belief. This is the nature of American socialism. It’s our style of Communism not unlike what Asia and Europe suffer.

Solution: THE NATURAL FAMILY!!!!! Parents guard your children (without nagging them), children honor your parents (and don’t be a rebel). Society starts with the family.

Debt consolidation as a family (especially among siblings) team effort helped cancel out individual debt, and that’s how my grandparents made it to America and through the Great Depression.

35 posted on 08/07/2007 11:26:02 PM PDT by SaltyJoe ("Social Justice" for the Unborn Child)
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To: fr maximilian mary

Thank-you for the excellent article.


36 posted on 08/08/2007 4:19:07 AM PDT by Biggirl (A biggirl with a big heart for God's animal creation.)
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To: Salvation

Ave Maria!

Yes, mostly undergraduate degrees. About 25% of our applicants can’t enter right away due to college debt and others that come to us have delayed applying because of college debt.


37 posted on 08/08/2007 5:50:08 AM PDT by fr maximilian mary ("Imitate Jesus, love Mary as your Mother." Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: NYer
I just reread your whole entry. The Fraser Family Foundation started the grant program but have transferred it to a new Foundation, Mater Ecclesiae, which is exclusively dedicated to funding vocations. They are taking applications. Mr & Mrs. Huber with Mater Ecclesiae hope to help 10 applicants each year. That means that they will be supporting 100 vocations in the next ten years.

Unlike the Knights of Columbus who help with donations and out of pocket expenses, the Mater Ecclesiae literally takes over the seminarian, sister or brothers debt--they can enter formation without any concern. The Foundation is obviously limited to how many loans it can take on. I'm hopeful that some big benefactors will donate to them so that they can help many more than 100. Let us pray...

Some of our men have tried the Laboure Foundation, but it is a lot of work--people have to donate to the Laboure Foundation in the candidates name which means the candidate has to write lots of begging letters and thank you letters and if enough money isn't being donated in their name they have to write more letters still (our experience is that this method is unnerving and a great distraction for the brother in formation).

At any rate, the article clearly shows that the need is there and that there are groups like the Knights of Columbus and Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations out there to help.

38 posted on 08/08/2007 6:08:03 AM PDT by fr maximilian mary ("Imitate Jesus, love Mary as your Mother." Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: fr maximilian mary
Dear fr maximilian mary,

“Unlike the Knights of Columbus who help with donations and out of pocket expenses,...”

The Knights do a little more than this. As I pointed out in a previous post, in addition to donations for out-of-pocket expenses, the Knights provide scholarships of $2,500 per year for about 130 seminarians in the United States and Canada.

It isn’t at the level of what Mater Ecclesiae is doing, but it’s a bit more than covering some out-of-pocket expenses.


sitetest

39 posted on 08/08/2007 6:22:03 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: SaltyJoe
Dear SaltyJoe,

Only incoming freshmen have this requirement. Folks who transfer in (a common practice) aren’t required to live on campus.

“Yeah, right. That way it’s easier for the predators to pick out the virgins and have sex with them without the parents’ protection.”

That would be the cynical view of it. I’m not sure that I disagree with it. However, the university has a perspective and it’s not without some validity. Maryland’s a big place. Over 30,000 undergrads. The university believes that students are less likely to drop out if they exercise a bit more supervision the first year.

“Cost of education up, quality of education down,...”

At the college level, I’m not sure it’s fair to say generally that the quality of education is down. In some places, it probably is down, especially in the first year at places that are open enrollment. This is because folks come in so poorly prepared from high school. Open enrollment colleges become remedial education centers. Fortunately, many of them do a good job at it.

But frankly, our better universities are the best in the world. And many have improved in recent years. When I was in high school, U of MD was a party school. When applying to schools, we’d put it down as our “safe” school - just in case we didn’t get into where we really wanted to be.

Now, U of MD has a multitude of programs that are in the top 25 in the country.

Maryland’s a big, tough place. It’s definitely not for everyone. I’m not sure it’s such a bad idea to require freshmen to live on campus.


sitetest

40 posted on 08/08/2007 6:30:37 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: fr maximilian mary

I found the article title to be rather ironic. There was a time, not all that long ago, when many dioceses would subsidize (eat the cost) a seminarian who clearly had a true vocation. Many religious orders would do something similar for women religious. The abuse scandals and the previous, general erosion of participation in Catholic life by a large proportion of the laity have dried-up whatever financial help could be given to those with a vocation. THIS kind of debt, rather than student loan debt, is possibly more of a vocation killer than anything else. Twice over. It has not only removed the financial capability to help many people become priests or religious, it has also troubled the faith of many others who may have had a nascent vocation, but are now just hanging on as catholics in any capacity. Jadot’s proteges and their ilk have certainly woven a tangled web in their attempts to turn the priesthood into a giant Club Med over the last few decades.


41 posted on 08/08/2007 6:37:29 AM PDT by magisterium
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To: sitetest
I some ways, I agree that the learning environment is a tad better because of some slight, very very slight changes.

I disagree 180 degrees from your position on other points.

Firstly, I couldn’t imagine how naive and vulnerable young women are their first year away from mom and dad (and that’s if both her biological parents are still living as a family; it’s worse when she’s from a broken home). Oh, and it’s far easier to “pluck” a young man when in the company of incorrigible “friends”. Those unscrupulous young men who learned the knack of taking off a young girl’s knickers off said that it was easier than taking candy away from a baby...and that the girls thought that easy sex was suppose to be the norm.

Perhaps Maryland would do more favor for freshmen if the anti-God state didn’t play surrogate parent. Yes, Maryland is a socialist state, pro-abortion/homosexuality/sin etc. The type of “authority” not to be allowed to have ANY power over your children, and the type of local government not deserving of your money. Why would anyone trust such a government who’d say that the Teachings of Christ are considered “hate crimes”? Why would knowing parents willingly sacrifice their children to such a beast? Why would knowing citizens surrender their retirements to a blindly indoctrinated generation that will eventually support and harness state sponsored euthanasia? AND, how far off is it that a nanny state college system would have your pregnant daughter get an abortion without your knowing because she's a first year college kid fresh for the picking?

Secondly, I don’t doubt that today’s college kids are “technically” more adept than those who graduated 3 decades ago, but many of the young adult I know don’t know spit about why state sponsored Atheism is so horrible. And many don't know why the pro-sin politics today is the exact same environment that drove Europe and Asia into Socialist/Communist Atheism and perpetual total war. Sure, our youth can cruise the Internet to find any easy fact about how to fix up a car, build a house, invest finances, discover ancient arts of fine cooking, and how to clean tattoo needles, etc. But, they’re also the generation who looked to MTV and college professors who smoked their brains out with drugs to form a worldly opinion. If younger generations have learned to reject sin, then I’ll be happy to be shocked at such an occurrence. It would mean that sin has lost it’s fancy even for the youth that’s easily bored and easily succumbs to passions. But reality usually reveals terrible weaknesses in youth—I know, I was once young. Maybe others around here were young once too.

"Over 30,000 undergrads. The university believes that students are less likely to drop out if they exercise a bit more supervision the first year." It's really not much of a statistic when the only real chance of dropping out is when your heart ceases to beat. I really don’t care about the numbers of grads per college, especially when most of them know only too well the disheartening answer to the joke, “What does a (fill in the blank) graduate say at his/her first job?” Answer: “Do you want fries to go with your burger?” I'm a graduate too. I found Catholic grade schools more challenging for the mind, body, and soul. How accurate would it be if the paper company that prints college degrees uses the same paper size and format for the local fish market to wrap the daily catch?

Another point of “safety” on campus: Virginia Tech. I don’t think Colleges are all that safe unless you’re talking about the FBI Academy. Boosting a more secure environment means a direct increase in the very cost of education. But that’s only physical safety. Spiritually, universities and colleges are a lot worse for the soul. College student morals are literally the blind leading the blind. Considering how our education industry is suffering the string of professionals that loathe America and honest work, if the spiritually blind students are bad enough leaders already, then many professors are literally the devil in the flesh.

Thankfully, many Internet savvy students are quickly policing their own campus and there are web sites where students rate teachers. That doesn't do much good, though, if students can't discern right from wrong. Since many have grown up within the nakedness of sin on exhibition, many yet to question the reason why sin is so awful (why is pornography bad? What? Porno and masturbation is bad? Impossible! Smoking Pot is bad? How? it's less dangerous than shots of whiskey!). Though, I doubt change can come quick enough (and the reactionary fixing of heavy liberal bias could lead to worse hardened hearts, ie extreme patriotism and mere human zeal for worship can get unhealthy like the 1950’s red scare), we’re going to have to slog through many decades of reconciliation from having moved away from “Free Market” education.

What do I mean by Free Market Education? Simply that school systems must have Right to Work environments (that can reject a union monopoly), and the customer chooses the product and can “fire” the teacher and school simply by switching schools and classrooms. “Public” education needs massive deregulation of funding and simple regulation via standards. If teachers and students don’t meet the standards, then it’s unfair for them to receive their documents. OR, we’ll just have to become the underperformed nation on the global market which eventually chooses better leadership. Who would that be? I suppose it would be whomever hustles more for it.

42 posted on 08/08/2007 7:46:31 AM PDT by SaltyJoe ("Social Justice" for the Unborn Child)
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To: fr maximilian mary

Another Catholic college helping their vocationally inclined students:

http://www.thomasmorecollege.edu/news/VianneyDrexel.html


43 posted on 08/08/2007 7:52:42 AM PDT by rimwell
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To: SaltyJoe

Interesting comments. Thanks.


44 posted on 08/08/2007 9:54:07 AM PDT by Daffy
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To: sitetest
sitetest,

I didn't mean to downplay the role of the Knights! Yes, donations (sometimes very significant donations) and help with expenses. The Knights of Columbus have been very generous to us here, both in monetary donations and offering to help with manual work (we just built a new friary with Friars and volunteers).

God bless...

45 posted on 08/08/2007 10:24:29 AM PDT by fr maximilian mary ("Imitate Jesus, love Mary as your Mother." Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: rimwell
Ave Maria!

Also, praise God for Christendom College in Front Royal, VA. For any student who enters the seminary or religious life they will drop the debt entirely!!!

46 posted on 08/08/2007 10:27:10 AM PDT by fr maximilian mary ("Imitate Jesus, love Mary as your Mother." Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: fr maximilian mary
Dear fr maximilian mary,

Thank you, Father, for your kind words.

“Yes, donations (sometimes very significant donations) and help with expenses.”

And SCHOLARSHIPS!! And LOTS OF SCHOLARSHIPS!! To about ONE HUNDRED THIRTY SEMINARIANS!!

;-)

I’m sorry. I can’t help myself. It’s the Grand Knight coming out in me. LOL.


sitetest

47 posted on 08/08/2007 10:35:47 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: SaltyJoe
Dear SaltyJoe,

“Firstly, I couldn’t imagine how naive and vulnerable young women are their first year away from mom and dad (and that’s if both her biological parents are still living as a family; it’s worse when she’s from a broken home). Oh, and it’s far easier to ‘pluck’ a young man when in the company of incorrigible ‘friends’. Those unscrupulous young men who learned the knack of taking off a young girl’s knickers off said that it was easier than taking candy away from a baby...and that the girls thought that easy sex was suppose to be the norm.”

One hopes that by 18, one has done enough of a job of parenting that one’s son or daughter has some moral fiber. As well, in particular, the University of Maryland has a thriving Newman Society for the support of young Catholics on campus. As far as I know, the university creates no impediments to participation therein. Thus, one’s son or daughter may choose the company of friends he keeps, and that company of friends need not necessarily be incorrigible.

“Perhaps Maryland would do more favor for freshmen if the anti-God state didn’t play surrogate parent. Yes, Maryland is a socialist state, pro-abortion/homosexuality/sin etc. The type of ‘authority’ not to be allowed to have ANY power over your children, and the type of local government not deserving of your money. Why would anyone trust such a government who’d say that the Teachings of Christ are considered ‘hate crimes’?”

Having lived in Maryland since 1966, I’m not altogether enamored of the state government, nor its politics. However, your statements here are exaggerations. The fact is that, as I’ve said, the College Park campus has a thriving, orthodox Newman Society chapter, faithful to the teachings of the Church, and has not been banned for “hate crimes.”

“Secondly, I don’t doubt that today’s college kids are ‘technically’ more adept than those who graduated 3 decades ago, but many of the young adult I know don’t know spit about why state sponsored Atheism is so horrible.”

My sons know. And I expect that any sons and daughters of devout Catholics would know, as well, in that it is the obligation of Catholic parents to see to the proper education of their children. Certainly, one doesn’t send one’s children into the world with no armor.

“It’s really not much of a statistic when the only real chance of dropping out is when your heart ceases to beat.”

Actually, going back a way, Maryland routinely flunked out 20% of its freshman class every year, and saw another large chunk leave of its own accord. That’s after one year.

Part of that was due to the fact that the university once had much lower entrance standards than it had graduation standards. By raising its entrance standards, it’s helped reduce the drop-out rate. The university also believes that by more closely supervising incoming freshmen, it has helped reduce the drop-out rate. Your statement that one’s only chance of dropping out at Maryland is if one’s heart should stop beating is just plain old false.

“What does a (fill in the blank) graduate say at his/her first job?’ Answer: ‘Do you want fries to go with your burger?’”

This is a false generalization. For folks who graduate with degrees in medieval literature who don’t go on to graduate school, this may be true. But Maryland’s strengths are primarily technical programs. I know folks who graduate with engineering degrees who are keenly sought after at graduation. Even when I was graduating from college, when Maryland’s programs were not nearly as prestigious, I knew fellows who, upon graduation, took very nice, very good junior engineering jobs in some very prestigious places. These weren’t top-of-the-class sorts, either - just competent, reasonably well-trained engineers.

“Another point of ‘safety’ on campus: Virginia Tech. I don’t think Colleges are all that safe unless you’re talking about the FBI Academy.”

You seem to be veering off into a condemnation of colleges generally. Is the suggestion that one avoid college altogether? After all, all those Virginia Tech kids were slaughtered while they were in class, whether they lived on or off campus.

Your last paragraphs seem to address elementary and secondary education, as opposed to post-secondary education. As I haven’t sent my children to the public schools, I view that part as not relevant to the discussion.

The bottom line is that Jesus told us that we are in the world but not of it. We are to be the salt, the light of the world. We can’t do that if we’re not in the world.

I will do my best to prepare my sons to be in the world but not of it. In preparing them, I’ve shielded them from as many of the corrosive elements of the world while they’re young. We homeschool our guys; our older son will be off to a Catholic high school on a part-time basis this coming year. They watch little television, have no video games, we’re careful about the literature that they read, and how they make use of the Internet. Their curricula includes the things they need to become men of God. They receive spiritual guidance to that end, as well.

But at some point, they will actually have to go into the world. Not without support, not without assistance. Nonetheless, as painful as it can be to anticipate, they will have to face the world.


sitetest

48 posted on 08/09/2007 7:03:49 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: sitetest
I’m happy for your college of choice, and I feel more secure about home schooling. I’m not terribly hopeful for your state. I suppose it’s because city politics nearly always dominates the rural (like New York, Mass., California, Washington, etc).

I know that this isn’t your fault or your family’s fault, and perhaps not your immediate communities fault either; because, it’s not my fault that my state is in love with death too.

I wouldn’t live in your state. Taxes are too high, and the supposed “Catholic” politicians make voters feel too warm and fuzzy about wedding homosexuals, murdering unborn children, and playing Frankenstein scientists. My state is far worse...but then I don’t get enslaved financially to these monsters either. Likewise, I’ve avoided the pitfalls of college politics. The need of academic stability does not outweigh the responsibility of the Natural Family.

Your state might climb out of the death trap faster than mine. It’s probably because of the blood and persecution of Maryland’s Catholic Martyrs and the Blessed work of the Baltimore Catechism. Also, the sin-loving party is loosing arguments to keep voters from voting for family friendly issues. My state would rather get high on drugs and wait for the sky to fall on their heads (and I mean that literally).

I don’t look at Maryland with the vision of seeing it through my state’s experience. I see Maryland as having worked in and around the area and attending the Catholic Churches there. I see the heavy brochures and (gasp) speeches from the pulpit of “war=bad and worse than abortion and homosexual ‘love’; so vote democrat because Bush is the devil...seamless garment...Frankenstein science on harvesting human zygotes for the ‘common good’ stem cell research”. So, perhaps the urban churches are a far cry from the countryside (and the countryside Churches were far more obedient to the Word than the inner city).

So, I don’t have hope in human politics and its laws to force freshmen to leave the shelter of home even if your kids are going to an excellent school. I’m sure it’s getting better. But, if you still hold these offspring as “tax deductibles”, then shouldn’t you have decision making power in where they live during their college years if they, themselves also want to live at home? But to have a state “authority” usurp that decision from you...now that seems more than just a tad tyrannical by way of morals. The cops in the big city have more to worry about than playing truancy officer to college kids that should be studying. Yes, I’ve been to Baltimore (drove down the wrong streets even...thank you God in Heaven for protecting me). Cops were not looking for college kids and asking them if they studied for that upcoming test.

But, if you don’t claim the young tax deductible on your IRS account, then perhaps the youth can live entirely as an adult of their own free will and a budget independent of the family from which they sprung. Then there’s no worry about where the adult lives on their own...with or without mom and dad. But why should a college or state care? Does a university and oligarchy of politicians really know better than you, the tax deductible’s parent and rightful authority and first friend in this world?

State and education institutions have overstepped the bounds of Natural Family. I don’t think that a State U is previlged enough to claim the sort of responsibility that a military academy has. If your kid was going to the USN Annapolis, then I would think that your argument for college kid protectionism as sponsored by the college itself might have a wee bit of clout. But since this is merely a secular college, I think that you have far more authority in deciding the security needs of your offspring, in spite of the legal “adult” age of the youth, then ALL state sponsored universities and colleges (and private ones, too) put together.

The world didn’t copulate your child into existence. That was God as Author and you and your spouse co-joined in worship that brought such creation. It was wrong for the secular state to impose itself into your family’s existence. Families should be telling the state where to go. Maybe your kids feel safe enough to live away from home. What about the freshman who doesn’t want to live in a dorm? What if she feels uncomfortable with students who are hostile to the “freaks” who call themselves Christian? Does she really have to live on campus? Will she get to carry a weapon for protection against those who stalk her the way the Virgina Tech killer had stalked classmates?

No. I think the child going to college should not be barred from going home to her parents ESPECIALLY during the freshman year. Laws should not be made that rip the Natural Family apart. Using academic stability as an argument is a lie. The many massacres, stalkings, date rapes, and naked political/religious hostility on multiple college campuses expose that lie. Laws like these are meant silence the lion within the sheep. Parents teach kids how to roar—not college professors nor students. Professors merely pass on knowledge of the world. Students are merely friends to pass time and releive stress. Parents are the true extension of Authority. The godless state can go to hell.

49 posted on 08/10/2007 2:17:05 AM PDT by SaltyJoe ("Social Justice" for the Unborn Child)
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To: CT-Freeper; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; ...
Most councils participate in the RSVP program for Vocations.
 
this helps with their spending money for books, car insurance, etc.; the sponsoring diocese is responsible to education their seminarians, they garner this money through the bishop's annual appeal.  It costs about $30 K per year to educate a seminarian for: tuition, room and  board and medical insurance.  If one joins a religious order, it's the responsibility of the order to educate their seminarian.

50 posted on 08/26/2007 7:48:02 PM PDT by Coleus (Pro Deo et Patria)
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