A Catholic summer school is an assembly of Catholic clergy and laity held during the summer months to foster intellectual culture in harmony with Christian faith by means of lectures and special courses along university extension lines. It first took form in the Champlain Summer School which was founded at New London, Connecticut, 1892, and located permanently in 1893 at Cliff Haven, N. Y. The Columbian Summer School was established at Madison, Wisconsin, 1895, and is now permanently located at Milwaukee ; the Winter school of New Orleans was founded in 1896, and the Maryland Summer School in 1900. This interesting feature of Catholic intellectual and sociological work in the United States is the natural development and coalescence of various tendencies previously existing in the Church, viz., reading circles, university extension, summer institutes.
The coalescence of these three elements in the Cliff Haven Summer School has made it a characteristic and powerful factor of intellectual and social American Catholic life. The Young Men's National Union, organized in 1875, and the first Catholic National Congress of Baltimore, in 1889, had created the desire for lay Catholic national unity. At suggestion of Mr. Mosher, Mgr. James Loughlin, President of the Y. M. N. U., published, 17 Jan., 1892, in the "Catholic Review" of New York City, a letter urging the establishment of a summer assembly. Clergy, laity, and the press endorsed the project with enthusiasm. A meeting was held at the Catholic Club, New York City, 12 May, 1892, under the auspices of Archbishop Corrigan and plans were laid for an opening session at New London, Conn., 15 July to 5 August, 1892. One thousand persons representing twenty states were in attendance. Among the promoters were Mgr. James Loughlin, Mgr. M. J. Lavelle, Mgr. D. J. McMahon, Bishop Conaty, Mgr. John Walsh, Mgr. Henry Brann, Rev. Morgan Sheedy, Rev. John F. Mullany, Rev. F. P. Siegfried, Rev. Joseph H. McMahon, Rev. P. A Halpin, Rev. John Talbot Smith, Rev. Thomas McMillan, C.S.P., Rev. Denis O'Sullivan, S.J., Very Rev. James P. Kiernan, Rev. Thomas P. Joynt, Rev A. P. Doyle, C.S.P., Rev. Thomas Hughes, S.J., Rev. Walter P. Gough, Brother Azarias, Charles G. Herbermann, George Parsons Lathrop, Richard Malcom Johnson, Maurice Francis Egan, Mary Elizabeth Blake, Katherine E. Conway, John A. Mooney, Richard D. Clark, Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, John D. Crimmins, Hon. John B. Riley, John A. Haaran, George E. Hardy, John P. Brophy, Wm. R. Claxton, Jacques M. Mertens, Wm. J. Moran. Permanent organization followed with president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and a board of twenty-four trustees.
The following year an offer, made by the Delaware and Hudson Company through its agent, of 450 acres of land on the shore of Lake Champlain, three miles south of Plattsburg, N. Y., was accepted. The sessions of 1893, 1894, and 1895, were held in Plattsburg. In 1896 the session was held on the assembly grounds, named Cliff Haven. With the approbation of Leo XIII and Pius X, of the Apostolic delegates, Cardinal Satolli, Cardinal Martinelli, and Cardinal Archbishop Falconio, and of the hierarchy of the United States, the movement has grown with each year until it now has property valued at $500,000, courses of lectures covering eleven weeks, and an attendance of about 10,000. With a daily program of lectures, concerts, dramatic recitals, and social gatherings, it brings together in social intercourse Catholics from all parts of the country and offers a stimulus and an opportunity for study along lines of advanced thought. Its main purpose is: to give from the most authoritative sources among our Catholic writers and thinkers, the Catholic point of view on all the issues of the day in history, literature, philosophy, art, political science, upon economic and social problems that are agitating the world, upon the relations between science and religion; to state in the clearest possible terms the underlying truth in each and all of these subjects; to remove false assumptions; and to correct false statements. It thus meets a recognized want of clergy and laity, is an important popular educational centre in America, and has contributed much to organize Catholic intellectual forces and to solve the problems of American life.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online