Mission and Governance

Principles of Catholic Identity Overview

Catholic Identity in Education: Principles articulates elements the Church expects to find in all Catholic schools and which distinguish them from other schools. The principles are derived from Church documents related to education, including the documents of Vatican II, documents from the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, and the writings of various Popes. The five […]

Principles Questions for Reflection and Assessment

Catholic Identity in Education: Questions for Reflection and Assessment helps Catholic school leaders facilitate reflection upon those elements the Church expects to be present in all Catholic schools and which distinguish them from other schools. The questions are structured upon five principles of Catholic identity derived from Church documents related to education. The five principles are: Inspired […]

Principles Parent Guide

Principles of Catholic Identity in Education: Parent Guide is designed to help current and prospective parents reflect upon those elements the Church expects to be present in all Catholic schools and which distinguish them from other schools. The reflection is structured upon five principles of Catholic identity derived from Church documents related to education. The […]

The Land O’ Lakes Statement Has Caused Devastation For 50 Years

In hindsight, what they did was appalling. But when several Catholic university leaders gathered in the summer of 1967 at a remote retreat in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin, did they fully anticipate the consequences of their vision for “modern” Catholic education? Hopefully not. It was 50 years ago, on July 20-23, when Notre Dame’s Father […]

rosary and books

Hope Emerges after the Devastation of Land O’Lakes

On July 23, 1967, at a meeting in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin, twenty-six leaders of Catholic higher education representing some ten Catholic colleges and universities in the United States of America issued what became known as the Land O’Lakes Statement. This statement, officially titled “The Nature of the Contemporary University,” declared that:

“The Catholic University today must be a university in the full modern sense of the word, with strong commitment to and concern for academic excellence…”

The Restoration of a Catholic ‘Idea of a University’

The 1967 “Land O’Lakes Statement” by leading Catholic educators precipitated a revolution in Catholic higher education that amounted to heresy and schism.[1] Major Catholic universities in the United States—Notre Dame, St. Louis University, Georgetown, and Boston College, to name a few—proclaimed their independence from the Magisterium of the Church. Claiming that “the Catholic university must have a true autonomy and academic freedom in the face of authority of every kind, lay or clerical, external to the university itself,” the Land O’Lakes Statement announced its separation from the teaching authority and hierarchy of the Church and established its own magisterium, what Monsignor George Kelly called “a two-headed church.”[2] Substituting liberal modernism for Catholic orthodoxy, the Land O’Lakes Statement viewed the mission of the college as conformity to the “modern,” as an education “geared to modern society”[3] that resists “theological or philosophical imperialism.”[4]

Catholic Higher Education in the United States: A Modern Retrospective

Editor’s Note: The Cardinal Newman Society is releasing several articles marking the 50th anniversary of the devastating Land O’Lakes Statement, in which several Catholic university leaders declared Catholic universities independent from “authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical, external to the academic community itself”. In considering the future of Catholic education, it’s impossible to ignore the […]

Principles Board Reflection

Introduction Principles of Catholic Identity in Education: Board Reflection is designed to help members of a school’s governing body reflect upon those elements the Catholic Church expects to be present in all Catholic education and which make it distinctive. The reflection is structured upon five principles of Catholic identity derived from Church documents related to education: Inspired […]

Principles Faculty and Staff In-Service

Catholic Identity in Education: Faculty and Staff In-Service is designed to help a school’s faculty and staff reflect upon those elements the Church expects to be present in all Catholic schools and which distinguish them from other schools. The evaluation is structured upon five principles of Catholic identity derived from Church documents related to education. The […]

Principles Selected Church Documents for Reflection

Catholic Identity in Education: Selected Church Documents for Reflection is a compilation of selections from Church guidance on education. It is intended to provide simple and structured access to highlights from the five principles that help organize the readings: Inspired by Divine Mission; Models Christian Communion and Identity; Encounters Christ in Prayer, Scripture, and Sacraments; Integrally Forms the […]

Principles Church Documents for Catholic School Teachers: Annotated Bibliography

Pope Leo XIII. (1865). Spectata Fides. Retrieved from http://w2.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_27111885_spectatafides.html In these days, and in the present condition of the world, when the tender age of childhood is threatened on every side by so many and such various dangers, hardly anything can be imagined more fitting than the union with literary instruction of sound teaching in […]

U.S. Policy Priorities for Catholic Education

Catholic education provides many important benefits to American society. At a cost substantially less than public schools, Catholic elementary and secondary schools provide an outstanding education to nearly 2 million students, who tend to score high on national tests and succeed in college and career. More than 200 Catholic colleges and universities educate nearly 1 […]

Humanae Vitae Dissenters Should Not Be Teaching at Catholic Colleges

Considering the morally corrupt and hypersexualized state of our culture, it’s not that surprising that dissenters from Blessed Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae would think now is a good time to revive their tired, old, anti-Catholic push to reverse the beautiful teachings of the Church regarding human sexuality — specifically, the use of contraceptives. What should […]

American Jesuits Are in a Free Fall, and the Crisis is Getting Worse

Excitement is building for Jesuits worldwide as their general congregation to elect a new superior general is quickly approaching this fall. The election presents an important opportunity for them to reflect on the future of the Society of Jesus — and to address serious concerns. Even under a Jesuit Pope, the order suffers from a steady decline […]

For Catholic Schools to Survive, Their Catholicity Must Thrive

We hear a lot about the decline of Catholic schools, but maybe not enough. The numbers are staggering: Catholic school enrollment has declined more than two-thirds in the last 50 years, from 5.2 million to 1.9 million students. Even so, Catholic homeschoolers perceive significant growth in their numbers, with the freedom to explore a vast menu of resources that […]