Legion of Christ Owned Southern Catholic College Abruptly Closes Its Doors
Can you imagine the shock, the heartbreak, the utter outrage felt by the students? Can you even begin to fathom the thoughts running through the minds of the parents? The sudden closing of Southern Catholic College has set the Catholic blogosphere on fire! The manner of notification (by E-Mail from an absentee President?) does not help to quell the growing speculation. The students and the Faculty need our prayer.
The Apostolic Visitors Who Investigated the Legion of Christ.
DAWSONVILLE, GA (Catholic Online) - Imagine you are a 20 year old College student at Southern Catholic College. Even though the school was only in its infancy, when it was purchased by the Legion of Christ your parents presumed it was going to be placed on solid financial ground. Maybe they were concerned that the Legion was under a cloud, being investigated by the Holy See because of the duplicity, deceit, and evil acts perpetrated by its founder. However, they were probably assured it would all somehow "work out".
It is Easter Week and you are still celebrating the Octave of the central mystery of the Christian faith and the source of our Hope. In fact, it is Spring Break and you have been enjoying a little rest and re-creation. You open your laptop computer Wednesday morning to check your E - Mail. You discover that you have this E- Mail from the President of your College:
From: Fr. Shawn Aaron
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 9:31 AM
To: All Faculty; All Staff; All Students
Subject: Urgent update about Southern Catholic College
I pray that you had a fruitful Holy Week and a very blessed Easter! Each of you has been in my prayers and sacrifices in an even more particular way during this time.
On Wednesday of Holy Week, March 31, Fr. Brian Higgins visited a benefactor to solicit financial help that would ensure the financial viability of Southern Catholic. I am extremely grateful to him for his effort -as I am grateful to the benefactor for even considering our petition for support. Unfortunately, it was not to be. This has proven to be the last in a series of efforts to procure financing that would allow us to at least complete the semester on May 13.
I deeply regret that I must inform you that, as of Thursday, April 15, Southern Catholic will close its doors for the semester. It pains me to even write this phrase. It also doubly distresses me that, not only must I communicate this difficult news; I am prevented from communicating it in person. The timing of the request of the benefactor on March 31 coupled with Spring Break has forced me to draft this note as opposed to telling you in person. Please forgive me for this.
There will be a general assembly for Faculty, Staff and Students on Monday, April 12, at 10AM. This way I can field the questions you will certainly have. We will also provide detailed information for Faculty, Staff and Students relevant to each group regarding specifics such as transcripts, grades, graduation, COBRA, unemployment, etc. All of this information will be provided on April 12.
For all students:
- NPEC has confirmed that our students will receive full credit for the entire semester even though we are required to close our doors on April 15.
- Students may stay on campus from April 11-15, in order to say goodbye to fellow students, collect your belongings, request pertinent information from Academic Affairs, Financial Affairs, and check-in and out with Student Affairs.
Words cannot express how profoundly sorrowful I am at this situation. Yet I also know that Our Lord has proven himself stronger than death and therefore stronger than our pain, weaknesses and circumstances. We must continually turn to him for strength.
As always, my door is open for those who wish to speak with me. Please know that my prayers are constantly with all of you. Please pray for me.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Shawn Aaron, LC
Can you imagine the shock, the heartbreak, the utter outrage felt by that student, by all of the students? Can you even begin to fathom the thoughts running through the minds of the parents? Of course, the sudden closing of Southern Catholic College has set the Catholic blogosphere on fire! The manner of notification (by E-Mail from an absentee President?) and the abrupt nature does not help to quell the growing speculation. The sheer human tragedy involving the lives of these dear students requires our prayer.
Some reports indicate that the faculty, many of whom abandoned other positions to be a part of what promised to be an important apostolic venture as the first Catholic residential College in Georgia, were informed on Wednesday they will only receive one more monthly paycheck. They also need our prayer.
As someone who has long been convinced that preparing the next generation of faithful, dynamically orthodox Catholic men and women for the work of the "New Evangelization" is the most important missionary task of our age, I have followed the efforts of Southern Catholic - as well as the other new or renewed Catholic Colleges - with great interest over the years. I hope to become a part of one of them in the future.
In 2002 Dr. ...
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