Catholic, Classical, Complete: Atlanta Georgia's Holy Spirit College
The Catholic College is not a private College with a church affiliation. It is a Catholic College
Catholic identity must become the beating heart of a Catholic College and provide the infrastructure for its entire educational mission. When it does, the building of a Catholic culture on campus becomes a fruit. Holy Spirit College is responding to the Lord's invitation to build such a College in Atlanta, Georgia.
President Gareth N. Genner of Holy Spirit College in Atlanta, Georgia
CHESAPEAKE, VA. (Catholic Online) - Catholic Colleges and Universities are an indispensable missionary resource for the New Evangelization. The task we face in the West requires the solid preparation of young men and women, fully formed in the fullness of faith and equipped with the excellence which an only an authentically Catholic education can provide. That is why I am pleased to write about Catholic Colleges and Universities which are worthy of the name.
In the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities, From the Heart of the Church (Ex Corde Ecclesia) the Venerable John Paul II explained the vital link between the mission of the New Evangelization and authentically Catholic Colleges and Universities. He wrote, "By its very nature, each Catholic university makes an important contribution to the Church's work of evangelization. It is a living institutional witness to Christ and his message, so vitally important in cultures marked by secularism, or where Christ and his message are still virtually unknown.
"Moreover, all the basic academic activities of a Catholic university are connected with and in harmony with the evangelizing mission of the Church: research carried out in the light of the Christian message which puts new human discoveries at the service of individuals and society; education offered in a faith-context that forms men and women capable of rational and critical judgment and conscious of the transcendent dignity of the human person; professional training that incorporates ethical values and a sense of service to individuals and to society; the dialogue with culture that makes the faith better understood, and the theological research that translates the faith into contemporary language. ..Precisely because it is more and more conscious of its salvific mission in this world, the Church wants to have these centers closely connected with it; it wants to have them present and operative in spreading the authentic message of Christ. (# 48 and 49)
Catholic identity at a Catholic College requires that the academic community understand its ecclesial nature. In an institution, just as in persons, this identity begins from the inside and works its way throughout like leaven or yeast in a loaf. Catholic identity must become the beating heart of a Catholic College and provide the infrastructure for its entire educational mission. When it does, the building of a Catholic culture on campus becomes a fruit.
This kind of Catholic culture ensures the integration of the faith in every aspect of the academy, through both word and witness. Such a Catholic culture flourishes when all who are involved in this educational mission, from the Catholic College President to the Professor in the classroom, first view themselves as disciples, lifelong learners, followers of the Teacher, Jesus Christ. This kind of response is always lived within His Body, the Church, into which they have been incorporated through Baptism. That Church is by its very nature, a teacher, and they participate in her educational mission.
After all, the Catholic College is not a private College with a church affiliation. It is a Catholic College.
In his masterful letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul calls all Christians to a ".renewal of their minds". (Romans 12:2) This renewal of the mind is the essence of Catholic education. It affirms that there is a constitutive connection between truth, freedom, education and the ability to form an authentically human and just culture.
Pope Benedict XVI's regular references to the prevailing ".dictatorship of relativism" underscores the deep concern that Holy See has concerning the current challenge facing the West. The commitment to the existence of an objective truth which can be known and the formation of men and women in that truth for the sake of service, characterizes the Catholic educational mission. The Venerable John Paul's Encyclical Letter "The Splendor of Truth" (Veritatis Splendor) provides a synthesis of the Church's teaching on our capacity to grasp truth's existence, be formed by it and live in it for the sake of others.
It is the Church which is vested with Christ's authority to teach the truth. Catholic Colleges are an extension of this teaching work of the Catholic Church. In the words of the great Western Bishop Augustine: "Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God's grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man. . . . The fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does "head and members" mean? Christ and the Church."
The Risen Christ still teaches. Through His Church He continues to influence all of human culture. Thus, at the forefront of the mission of the Catholic Church is the ...
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