“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

December 1, 2010

A Catholic college girl's lament

So, you think it's safe to send your children to (at best) a nominally Catholic college or university? Think again. Meet Emmy Cecilia (her pen name), a young Catholic woman who made the uninformed and greatly regretted decision to enroll in a prestigious, four-year "Catholic" university out West. She explains what it's like for a student who believes what the Church teaches to attend a school where practically no one else does, especially her professors, who seem bent on expunging any traces of Catholic orthodoxy in their students before they graduate. P.S. I should mention that I know this young woman personally, and I can vouch for her credibility, sincerity, and honesty.

Being at a CINO (Catholic in Name Only) college is hard and getting harder. I'm beginning to see certain assignments marked down. The tension between professors and certain students (myself included) is beginning to increase. My anxiety's also beginning to get a lot worse. . . .

On Friday I was talking to another faithful Catholic and she was talking about leaving the school as soon as the semester was over... and she's not the only one. Many of us who do not agree with the "teachings" that happen at that school are considering transferring elsewhere, even if it means losing this semester. I had the good fortune of meeting a former student and she said she left after a year because she went through the same that I went through with the professors . . . and she had the same professors, years ago, that I have now.
You can just imagine how bad things are. I don't 100% regret going there only because it's taught me a valuable lesson, but I wish I would've really looked at the school before even applying. I knew things were bad but I didn't know the extent of it until I actually got there. I think I can withstand the abuse (and I feel like it is a form of abuse) for another semester or even until I graduate but I am not 100% sure. As I said, my anxiety is getting worse (so much worse) so I am really thinking about what to do. . . . (continue reading)


  1. When you Patrick are 98 years old, this problem will be identical until the model of the papacy changes away from authoring and grandiose liturgical events in St. Peter's.....to a Pope who manages and loves managing and hates authoring and is willing to demote Cardinals in whose districts the deficient takes place...whether in colleges or in any Catholic institution. If Benedict is succeeded by another person who loves authoring or loves grand liturgies or loves everything but managing and firing when appropo......you will get these same college complaints into your sunset years. Truman said "the buck stops here".....in effect we have said "the buck stops anywhere but the top".
    That is our greatest managerial defect and the reason for the endless Catholic news items about drag dancing Jesuits....anti orthodox colleges....pre marital sex in Catholic colleges....and add excessive drinking at the Catholic dorms that one of ours attended. Popes must leave the book circuit for a good long season.

  2. Tell her about one Catholic university out west that is not ashamed of its Catholic identity, JP Catholic (San Diego, CA). Faithful professors and students, eucharistic adoration, regular confession, daily Mass. . . seriously, check it out. We love our faith here!

    Here's the website: www.jpcatholic.com

    Check out our videos: http://vimeo.com/jpcatholic

    Phone number: 858-653-6740.

  3. Dear Patrick,

    I agree this is a travesty. I think the best way to fix it is through the alumni. Putting stuff out in the news media does not work, and frankly I am tired of Catholic "Tattletales." (For instance CNS is, IMO, very unfair. They do not just report, they editorialize and do not present the whole picture.) These young students need to contact alumni personally and tell them what is going on. When the alumni stop giving and start pointing out to the school the reasons, perhaps things might begin to change.

  4. Yes, happily, there are certainly a number of such excellent and orthodox Catholic colleges to choose from, including Christendom, Franciscan, Thomas Aquinas, and Benedictine (in Atchison, KS). But I personally am partial to Belmont Abbey College (http://www.bac.edu), just outside Charlotte, as a great choice for students who want a truly Catholic place to study. My daughter Madeline is a sophomore there and she loves it. For those interested in knowing more about Belmont Abbey, contact Joan Bradley at JoanBradley@bac.edu or 704-461-6009. She'll be happy to help and can send you the school's new "get acquainted" DVD.

  5. Don't forget about the University of Dallas-Catholic to the core, and what a core curriculum it is!

    My university years were like a little slice of heaven on earth. Thanks U.D.

    Laura Guzdziol Reilly

  6. Students, no matter how badly you think you want to take it, the Religious Studies undergrad in CINO universities is practically a near occasion of sin, if not apostasy. You are better off learning it in a State university, in which you might at least hide under the skirt of Multiculturalism and minority status.

    As for myself, I would suggest a double major in Greek and Latin. Pseudo-intellectuals pride themselves in picking a word in the original language of a particular writing, use it out of context, and proclaim their errors as truth.

    From there you can always dip your toes in a couple philosophy courses if you feel the masochistic urge to get a Masters in Theology. At least then, you will be more than prepared for heated debates with fossils from the 1970's.

  7. Let me add to the great suggestions already made: Our Lady Seat of Wisdom in Ontario, Canada. Totally faithful to the Magisterium, and full of young people who love Christ and the Church. www.seatofwisdom.org
    Also, it's literally half the price of those good American schools!

    Dr. Colin Kerr,
    Assistant Professor in Theology
    Our Lady Seat of Wisdom

  8. As a practicing Catholic professor, married to another practicing Catholic professor, I can say that the heart of the problem lies with the terribly secular faculty at these universities who make up the hiring committees for each faculty member. Both my wife and I have interviewed at small as well as prestigious Catholic universities and, given that most search committees for open positions are composed of non-Catholics, often anti-Catholics or, at best, Catholic-lites (as George Weigel calls them), it is nearly impossible for a "conservative" Catholic to get hired at most Catholic universities because the interviewers invariably find out you're "too conservative" to their liking and they set their sites on hiring like-minded liberal academics. One's religious views are normally found out by taking a glance at an applicant's C.V. If one's research topics include writing papers about, e.g., cross-dressing bisexual nuns and the lovers who spurned them, it
    immediately gives the interviewers some indication of an applicant's religious preferences. You may laugh but take a look at the papers presented at the annual meeting of, for example, the Modern Language Association. I've even been told casually by a priest on the faculty of one celebrated Catholic university, at at an interview over lunch when a finalist for a position, that he thought that I was "much more Catholic" than he was (hint: this was not a compliment and, needless to say, I did not get the job). My wife and I have both tried in vain for years to land just one position at a Catholic college but we have all but given up hope.

    As a side note, it is a well known fact that the solidly Catholic colleges and universities pay their professors significantly less than the Catholic-in-name-alone schools. This makes it especially difficult for practicing Catholics to take positions at places like U. Dallas because practicing Catholics tend to have large families (I do not mean to pick on Dallas--it's a fine school). The administrators can't really be serious about hiring practicing Catholics with growing families when their pay would literally put them at or near (or below) the poverty line. I have five children and number six is on the way and we would still take a job at a Catholic college if one of us were given an offer, no matter the pay. I've again submitted eight applications this fall, one to a small Catholic college, but I'm not holding my breath--I know better.

  9. The Cardinal Newman Society publishes a guide and has a website devoted to keeping track of faithful Catholic schools. http://thenewmanguide.com/

  10. Mgseamanjr,

    The majority of the faculty at my school is Catholic (or "Catholic"). Maybe one of my professors, out of the 4, isn't actually Catholic.

    And, I agree with your comment on the salary comment. I've seen how much my professors make a year and it's quite obscene, especially considering what they're "teaching" us.

  11. I must echo Christoper's comment. When I first saw the title of this post, I thought perhaps you were going to tell us the lamentable story of Miss Elizabeth Seeburg, the young St. Mary's College student who was victimized by a Notre Dame football player. After her charges were laughed away and buried by the Notre Dame police, she was so distraught that she overdosed on her anti-depression medications and died.

    Notre Dame, which used to serve Our Lady, has been mum on the whole business, has refused the investigate, and has even seen fit to allow the football player in question to play this season. Who needs Catholic morals when you have a football team?

    And by the way, shame on the Catholic blogosophere for not taking up this matter. Notre Dame is showing greater disregard for human dignity than they did when they gave President Obama an honorary degree. That incident lit off national protests. Where's the protest now?

  12. Nathaniel, I appreciate your comments and all, but before you cast the first stone against Catholic bloggers, don't you think you should do something about it yourself first? After all, you are a Catholic blogger (http://nathaniel-campbell.blogspot.com). I searched your site just now and notice that you haven't said a single word about Elizabeth Seeburg and Notre Dame. And you're a Notre Dame alum! What gives, brother?

  13. Alas, hoist by my own petard...

    The only words I can offer in my defense are to note that my blog has lain dormant for more than a year. Life intervened, and my blogging fell by the way side. Perhaps I should try to find the time, after all.

    Despite my first stone, however, I hope that my point still stands. Have we all grown so jaded about Notre Dame's football program that we simply accept such behavior? Even expect it?

  14. P.S. I've already called the alumni office to tell them not to expect any money from us; and I returned Fr. Jenkins' recent Christmas-season plea for money with a note explaining my outrage.

  15. I am surprised that Patrick was concerned about the stone thrown at bloggers, when the real stone is the accusation that can NEVER be proven, but is so easy to continue repeating.

    The girl has passed away. What legally can be done? Answer, nothing. DO you want to accuse a young man of a crime with no evidence? Do you want ND to do this?

    The biggest crime is the sports writer who has a problem with ND who brings all this out in the open without any proof. There is a dead girl, a grieving family, and now a young man who will ALWAYS be accused and never have the chance to defend himself. THAT, my fellow Catholics, is pure evil. It's a person trying to gain notoriety off of another's grief, without any care on who gets in the way. Who cares about the rights of a young college student to due process of law.

    There is much to criticize ND about, but bringing this out is completely wrong. All you know is what some schmuck sports writer, who has always had an axe to grind over ND, decides to print.

    Why are we only critical of the "news" when it is convenient?

  16. Thanks for your comment, Susan. And please note that I always and only post public comments under my full name, here and elsewhere. I am not the other "Patrick" on this thread.