Skip to comments.Work Begins on Dorms for Catholic Students at Two Secular Universities
Posted on 12/29/2012 6:59:03 PM PST by marshmallow
Catholic students at one secular university in Florida soon will have a dormitory all their own.
In a historic collaboration, Bishop John G. Noonan of Orlando, Fla., Anthony J. Catanese, president of Florida Institute of Technology, Matt Zerrusen, president of the Newman Student Housing Fund, and Salvatorian Fr. Douglas Bailey, chaplain of Catholic campus ministry at the school, participated in the ceremonial groundbreaking for Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Student Residence on Dec. 7.
The ceremony was the second in as many months at a secular university in which housing specifically designated for Catholic students is being constructed.
A similar ceremony took place Oct. 3 at Texas A&M University-Kingsville for St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center, which includes a dormitory and chapel.
The Newman Student Housing Fund is financing the new residence hall at the Florida school. The dormitory will house 140 students beginning in the fall. Once the dormitory is completed, construction of a chapel will begin.
"Fifty percent of students on college campuses lose their faith by the time they graduate," Zerrusen said. "This is unacceptable. It is a huge, huge deal in campus ministry, and all the Newman Centers want to add dorms. These are the first, the pioneers.
"We are creating authentic Catholic campuses inside secular ones," he said. "If we want a way to change the culture of campus life and affect the future of our country, this is a big way of doing that. We can't sit back and watch these kids go uncatechized. We've got to do something, and we are."
Noonan recalled how in 1513, Ponce de Leon* brought the Catholic faith to what is now St. Augustine, Fla., and that the project provides one more example of the growth of the church's presence in the state.
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This has a lot of promise, if they can find some good and faithful chaplains. That will be key.
When I was at Harvard in the 1950s, I converted from Episcopalian to Catholic. The chaplain had nothing to do with it, since I didn’t get to know him until after I was Catholic. But as it happened, the Harvard Catholic Club had a wonderful influence on the students who got involved with it. Fr. Porres, the chaplain, was a member of Opus Dei, and the local church not far from Harvard Square was highly orthodox and had great liturgy and music at that time.
I think things have gone downhill since then, although I haven’t really kept in touch. But a good chaplain who emphasizes the sacraments—especially confession—and sponsors retreats can make a huge difference.
Since the Newman Society apparently is sponsoring this, I would expect and hope for good things.
Oh, if only this would catch on in California— in time for my daughter to make use of it.
This is excellent. I will never forget how appalled I was when our oldest entered a Jesuit university in 2000 and was assigned not just to a coed dorm, but a coed floor on the dorm, where the Resident Advisor proceeded to explain “sexiling” to the freshman — the expected courtesy of leaving the room when your roommate wanted to bring someone in and have sex. Just disgraceful. Yet! Drinking was forbidden!
That’s because, in my opinion, the financial burden of sexual casualties fell on the individual and his or her family — unplanned pregnancies, STDs, bad breakups and the resulting depression, child support and jerking around of the babydaddy, etc. But underage drinking casualties — automobile deaths, brawls and arrests — tended to take place in public and could result in bad publicity or lawsuits against the school.
Such hypocrisy. Sickening.
Dorm floors are overseen by Resident Assistants (RA) not by Chaplains. The RAs are selected in no small part by the students. It's a constant competition for the lowest denominators. A couple chaplains assigned to the dorms isn't going to make a dent in the dark side of the force.
I'm tempted to try and explain further, but if you've lived in a dormitory at a Catholic College in the last 30 years you'll probably know what I mean.
Sounds great! It would be more conducive to the kids not losing their faith having others living their faith as well, in close proximity.
Serious evangelicals would also be likely to want to follow suit.
“Off the campus” might work better in both cases (evangelical and Catholic). On campus, they have to kowtow to the campus rules, which may not always be friendly to people of faith.
Since these dorms are run by the Newman Center, not the university, I strongly doubt that RA's will be appointed by the students.
These will be different.
God bless Opus Dei. They have filled the void left by unfaithful Jesuits. I go to some OD services and love them.
Schools like your alma mater and Notre Dame need to be disciplined into conformity or have their Catholic affiliation pulled.
Yo! St. Joe’s? Villanova? Cabrini?
LOL to that graphic!
As a Protestant raised in a half-Catholic family, I have grappled all my life with the schizoid state of American Christianity, in which the Catholic church sticks more faithfully to the scriptures, but contenances all kinds of bad behaviors, certainly including hard drinking and voting Democrat; while even the dry sects of Protestants and Evangelicals seem more ready to fall off into heresies while maintaining more voter conservatism. I really wish all the Christians could get together on the scriptures AND social conservatism.
Just another empirical indication that Democrats are anti-Christ.