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The national trend towards reducing the number works of imaginative literature in schools will have devastating consequences. Bishop Conley gives some great suggestions for reversing that trend:
“Good literature forms a worldview: It offers us insight into our families, our communities and ourselves. Great literature offers us insight into our relationship with God and the world.”
Timely work from Dr. Jamie Arthur of the Cardinal Newman Society:
Dr. Arthur’s new study explodes that myth. Her extensive review of a century of Vatican and U.S. bishop teachings on Catholic education finds that Archbishop Cordileone and bishops who are implementing high standards for teachers are simply doing what the Vatican has repeatedly endorsed. Instead, it is the sometimes lax teacher standards of the last few decades that may have been contrary to Vatican expectations.
Summer is over. If you are like me, you are sad to leave behind the time for home and family, yet also joyful at being reunited with fellow teachers and students, and eager to learn more than ever. As the Institute staff members return to our home institutions around the country, we are also satisfied and renewed by the success of our summer work.
The highlight of the summer was our third annual Catholic Classical Schools Conference. Hosted by The Lyceum in Cleveland, the Conference drew 125 participants from over 40 institutions around the country and in Canada. The presentations could not have been better. Headmaster Luke Macik revealed how piety and the search for wisdom characterize The Lyceum, Arthur Hippler compared classical Jesuit and modern Progressive views on the “whole child”, and Brian Phillips gave a powerful talk on the importance of faith for the success of classical education. The Lyceum choir lent their beautiful voices to our liturgical celebrations, while I urged the blessings of mandatory choir and Fr. Michael Lee taught us that the liturgy is classical education. The 18 breakout sessions offered detailed
guidance for many areas of the classical school. Participants were overwhelmed with the abundance of information, uplifted by common prayer and delighted with new friends.
By the grace of God, our inaugural teacher training program, "The Spirit and Craft of Teaching in the Catholic Liberal Arts Tradition", was a great success. Held at Aquinas College in Nashville in collaboration with their Department of Education, the program helped 18 participants from around the country consider deeply the spiritual, intellectual and communal goals of teaching and discover the way classical techniques can help
accomplish them. A strong sense of fellowship was built through common prayer, meals and a visit to the Dominican Mother House.
We were pleased to help promote the first Midwest Conference on Catholic Liberal Arts Education, which drew 125 participants. The conference was organized by Institute Advisory Board Member Mark Salisbury, Superintendent of Education for the Diocese of
Marquette, Michigan, and featured Dr. Jeffrey Lehman, Hillsdale Professor and Institute Fellow. Bishop John Doerfler gave the conference his full endorsement.
You can catch up on our other activities through our News page, and get a sense of the growth of the classical liberal arts movement through our Map of Schools. We ask your prayers for our work, and for our six inaugural Member Schools, who have shown their commitment to becoming excellent examples of the joy Catholic education brings to those who give themselves wholly to it.
Andrew T. Seeley, PhD