My neck of the woods is just abuzz with excitement over George Mason making the Final Four. At the beginning of March Madness there was some discussion about the Catholic schools doing well. Georgetown, Gonzaga, Boston College, and Villanova all advanced. Of course some of the discussion was whether or not these were really Catholic schools. Many of the schools’ activities are blatantly at odds with the Church teachings. Now George Mason is a completely secular, public state university. However, if a parent is looking for a school that provides an orthodox nurturing Catholic environment, George Mason is a good choice.
The George Mason St. Robert Bellarmine Chapel community is vibrant and growing. They are aided by theFOCUS ministry. Thursday night suppers draw upwards of 75 students. There are multiple Bible studies. Several young men in the community are discerning priestly vocations.
My son has found a similarly dynamic Catholic community at Texas A&M. St. Mary’s is a very orthodox Catholic Church that offers daily Mass, Eucharistic adoration and promotes religious vocations. Their web site indicates in the last seven years, fifty-eight Aggies have entered seminaries, convents or monasteries. Their graduates include 1 bishop, 36 priests, 1 brother, 12 sisters, and 19 permanent deacons.
The National Catholic Register offers an on-line guide to Catholic Universities. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a similar guide for Catholic communities at secular schools. Most of our Catholic college students are attending non-Catholic schools. I am sure many of you have uplifting stories about wonderful Catholic communities at secular universities and colleges. Let’s share them and find out what non-Catholic schools provide the best opportunities for college students to nurture and solidify their Faith.