October 10, 2019
Yesterday (Wednesday, October 9), at the Educators’ Conference on Fostering Kindness and Respect in School and at Home held at the University of Asia and the Pacific, we received our long-awaited international certification as National School of Character from the Character Education Partnership
Congratulations and our gratitude to the Basic Education Department, the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, the Institute for Christian Formation and Social Integration, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for leading the university’s efforts to strive to become a role model in character education!
It is quite auspicious that today is also the feast day of Blessed (soon to be Saint) John Henry Cardinal Newman who will be canonized this coming Sunday, October 13. It is Blessed Cardinal Newman’s classic The Idea of a University (1852) that shaped the foundations of university education, particularly liberal education. From this work has come to the idea of “education of the whole person” that Catholic schools like Holy Angel University profess. According to Blessed Cardinal Newman, higher education institutions have the moral imperative of forming every student individually according to God’s plan and the educational imperative of cultivating the intellect in order that the student can recognize, share, and defend the Truth.
The forthcoming canonization of Blessed Cardinal Newman presents another opportunity for Holy Angel University to recommit ourselves to our strategic objective of faithful Catholic education. In our contemporary societal context, this faithfulness entails continuing witness to Catholic teaching. The most fundamental theme of Catholic social teaching is human dignity and the sanctity of human life, which extrajudicial killings violate and which the probable re-imposition of the death penalty threatens. As the Apostle Paul teaches us in the Second Letter to Timothy, adherence to and defense of our faith is never easy. It is only when there is a cost to our faith—when God allows us to be tested—that we learn how much spiritual maturity or faithfulness we have. But we take comfort in the last verse of last Sunday’s First Reading: “But the just one who is righteous because of faith shall live” (Hab 2:4).
Let me close by sharing with you Blessed Cardinal Newman’s Marian Prayer:
O Mother of Jesus, and my Mother, let me dwell with you, cling to you and love you with ever-increasing love. I promise the honor, love and trust of a child. Give me a mother's protection, for I need your watchful care. You know better than any other the thoughts and desires of the Sacred Heart. Keep constantly before my mind the same thoughts, the same desires, that my heart may be filled with zeal for the interests of the Sacred Heart of your Divine Son. Instill in me a love of all that is noble, that I may no longer be easily turned to selfishness. Help me, dearest Mother, to acquire the virtues that God wants of me: to forget myself always, to work solely for him, without fear of sacrifice. I shall always rely on your help to be what Jesus wants me to be. I am his; I am yours, my good Mother! Give me each day your holy and maternal blessing until my last evening on earth, when your Immaculate Heart will present me to the heart of Jesus in heaven, there to love and bless you and your divine Son for all eternity.
Laus Deo semper!
Laus Deo semper!