The Four Chief Objectives of Catholic Higher Education

Inspire Christian Values

Exploring Core Christian Beliefs and Jesus’ Life and Teachings

  1. “Today our prime educational objective must be to form men and women for others; persons who will live not for themselves but for God and Christ; to form persons who cannot even conceive of a love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; those completely convinced that a love of God which does not issue in justice is a farce,” Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. 
  2. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect,” Rom. 12:2.

Navigating the Landscape of Catholic Higher Education

  1. “Building a Catholic faculty is not tribalism, any more than building a republic of science is. It is a recognition that, in order to create a distinctively Catholic intellectual culture, we need to build an intellectual community governed by a Catholic worldview. A shared commitment to Catholic ideas about Creation and Providence, of human beings made in the image of God, will spur creativity and the development of a culture that expresses these ideas,” John Garvey, Ph.D.
  2. “Not many of you should become teachers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater standards,” Jas. 3:1. 

Integrating Mission and Forming Community

  1. “All people are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be,” Martin Luther King, Jr.
  2. “Relation is the essence of everything that exists,” Meister Eckhart.
  3. “I live my life in widening circles 
    That reach out across the world,” 
    Rainer Maria Rilke

Engaging the Institution

  1. “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.” St. Francis of Assisi. 

Servant leadership as Ideal Leadership Model

  1. “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words,” St. Francis of Assisi.
  2. “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,” Mk. 10:45. 

Reflection Questions

  • What challenges me and inspires me by these statements?
  • How will I apply some aspect of these statements to my personal and professional life today?

Connecting Catholic Faith to Knowledge and Research

The Distinctive Character of a Catholic University

  1. “Every Catholic University is to make known its Catholic identity, either in a mission statement or in some other appropriate public document, unless authorized otherwise by the competent ecclesiastical Authority. The University, particularly through its structure and its regulations, is to provide means which will guarantee the expression and the preservation of this identity in a manner consistent with,” Ex Corde Ecclesia, article 2. 
  2. “Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors to Christ,” St. John Paul II.

Inheritance, Dialogue, and Call

  1. “To transform someone, go and take them by the hand and guide them,” St. Thomas Aquinas.

Catholic Intellectual Tradition: Core Principles

  1. “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth – in a word, to know God’s self – so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves,” St. John Paul II
  2. “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe,” St. Augustine. 
  3. “Faith seeks understanding,” St. Anselm. 
  4. “We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in finding it,” St. Thomas Aquinas. 

Catholic Intellectual Tradition and Ethics

  1. “Be who God made you to be, and be that well!” St. Francis de Sales. 
  2. “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire,” St. Catherine of Siena.
  3. “It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity. Through Mary, and the other holy women, the feminine element stands at the heart of the Christian religion,” Pope Benedict XVI.

Catholic Intellectual Tradition and CST (dignity of human person; common good; solidarity)

  1. “We can do no great things; only small things with great love,” St. Teresa of Calcutta.
  2. “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of all persons. That is what love looks like,” St. Augustine of Hippo.

Reflection Questions

  • What challenges me and inspires me by these statements?
  • How will I apply some aspect of these statements to my personal and professional life today?

Communion: Embodying the Christian Message in a Faithfully Catholic Way

Catholic, Christian, Charism

  1. “Catholics live in an enchanted world, a world of statues and holy water, stained glass and votive candles, saints and religious medals, rosary beads and holy pictures. But these Catholic paraphernalia are mere hints of a deeper and more pervasive religious sensibility which inclines Catholics to see the Holy lurking in creation,” Fr. Andrew Greeley, Ph.D.
  2. “Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent,” Pope Francis.
  3. “I believe in God – not in a Catholic God; there is no Catholic God. There is God, and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my God,” Pope Francis.

Ecclesial Relationships and the University 

  1. “We must make clear to all our brothers and sisters that the Church imposes nothing; she only proposes”, St. John Paul II
  2. “Wherever the bishop is, there are the believers; wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church,” St. Ignatius of Antioch. 

Mission Matters

  1. The Church doesn’t have a mission; the mission has a Church.

Canonical Concerns

  1. “I would say that normally it is the creative minorities that determine the future, and in this sense, the Catholic Church must understand itself as a creative minority that has a heritage of values that are not things of the past, but a very living and relevant reality,” Pope Benedict XVI.

Sacrament and Witness

  1. “By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us, penetrates us, and molds us. We imagine it as distant and inaccessible, whereas in fact we lived steeped in its burning layers,” Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. 
  2. “What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God,” Hans Urs von Balthasar. 

Mission Integration

  1. “The aim of all Christian education is to train the believer in an adult faith that can make people a ‘new creation’, capable of bearing witness in their surroundings to the Christian hope that inspires them,” Pope Benedict XVI.

Reflection Questions

  • What challenges me and inspires me by these statements?
  • How will I apply some aspect of these statements to my personal and professional life today?

Serve All in the Search for Transcendence and Meaning

Radical Hospitality

  1. “Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ, 
    for He is going to say, 
    ‘I came as a guest, and you received Me’ (Mt. 25:35).
    And to all let due honor be shown, 
    especially to the poor and guests.” 
    St. Benedict, “Rule”
  2. “From time to time friends outside the [Roman Catholic] Church consult me. They are attracted by certain features, repelled or puzzled by others. To them I can only say, from my own experience: ‘Come inside. You cannot know what the Church is like from outside. However learned you are in theology, nothing you know amounts to anything in comparison with the knowledge of the simplest actual member of the Communion of Saints,” Evelyn Waugh, English novelist after his conversion to Catholicism from Anglicanism.
  3. “I have created mirrors in which I consider all the wonders of my originality which will never cease,” St. Hildegard of Bingen.

Intercultural Engagement

  1. “Since many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are non-believers, from the bottom of my heart I give this silent blessing to each and every one of you, respecting the conscience of each one of you but knowing that each one of you is a child of God,” Pope Francis.
  2. “We can do no great things; only small things with great love.” 
    – Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
  3. “Love is shown more in deeds than in words,” St. Ignatius, Loyola. 

Holistic Formation of Faculty, Staff and Students

  1. “We may never reach the end results, but that is the difference between the Master Builder and the worker. We are the workers, but not the master builders…ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future that is not our own,” Archbishop Oscar Romero. 
  2. “I place trust in God, my creator, in all things; I love God with all my heart. Help yourself and God will help you. I am not afraid. I was born to do this,” St. Joan of Arc.
  3. “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew,” St. Francis de Sales.

Join with Communities

  1. “Let us do great work for the glory of God, and let us become saints!” St. Gaspar. 
  2. “The Church, therefore, urges its sons and daughters to enter with prudence and charity into dialogue and collaboration with members of other religions. Let Christians, while witnessing to their own faith and way of life, acknowledge, preserve and encourage the spiritual and moral truths found among non-Christians, together with their social life and culture,” Nostra Aetate. 
  3. “It is now for the Catholic Church to bend herself to her work with calmness and generosity. It is for you to observe her with renewed and friendly attention,” Pope John XXIII.

Reflection Questions

  • What challenges me and inspires me by these statements?
  • How will I apply some aspect of these statements to my personal and professional life today?