What’s the Most Important Measure of Success in a Catholic School?

What’s the Most Important Measure of Success in a Catholic School?

In our time, most Catholic Schools in the United States, from the lowest to the highest levels of education, seek accreditation from secular, regional accrediting agencies.  These agencies require schools to undertake extensive self-studies in which they examine virtually everything they do.  Basically, they have to think about and be ready to explain, everything they possess, everything they spend, every course they teach, and every major and minor in which students can study.  In virtually

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Women and the Diaconate?

Women and the Diaconate?

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about women in the diaconate.  This is a difficult issue that extends well beyond the question of Church discipline and “small-t tradition.”  It touches on dogma, and if we get it wrong, we’ll have a theological disaster to clean up. What would that disaster involve? The diaconate is seen in Church teaching as a major order.  Ancient tradition associates it with the Levitical priesthood, now recognized as an anticipation

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The Holy Spirit: Giver of Life and the Paraclete

The Holy Spirit: Giver of Life and the Paraclete

At Pentecost, we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the Virgin Mary in the Upper Room, fifty days after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This great feast marks the end of the Church’s most joyful and longest season: Easter. Whatever else we may say about this great mystery, one thing is certain: The Church, constituted by Christ, is enlivened by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost, the Holy

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Don’t Be Ashamed of the Gospel…or the Eucharist

Don’t Be Ashamed of the Gospel…or the Eucharist

In the contemporary West, we’ve become used to a rather perverse and un-Scriptural idea: that real virtue depends on seeing ourselves democratically. People of good-will, it’s thought, eschew the idea of privilege or advantage as something inherently unfair—an injustice to be rectified.  When we adopt this perspective, however, we end in denying that our un-earned, undeserved Covenant with God really gives us anything unique.  It’s offensive to modern sensibilities to think that Christians have been

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He is Risen! And It’s Not a Metaphor

He is Risen! And It’s Not a Metaphor

“He is risen!”  This Easter proclamation encapsulates the basis of faith in Jesus Christ.  It’s a sine qua non of the Christian faith.  Without the resurrection of Christ, there’s no Christianity. St. Paul puts it like this: “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).  The word we translate here as “vain” is κενόν (kenon), which means something like “empty,” “devoid of content” or

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