Makes me nostalgic for college

Makes me nostalgic for college

  • I was just having lunch with a friend and she was telling me she has taken some theology classes at BC.  Both of us are philosohy majors.  She commented that not only is the faculty heterodox, but the students in the department have the worst reading comprehension she has ever seen.  Relate to that: I am amazed that no class at BC would ever have a reading list that long.

  • Some excellent choices there, of which I’ve only read a handful.  Definitely saving the list.

    In the modern period, I would recommend Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdattar, winner of the 1928 Nobel Prize for Literature.  An amazing Catholic novel, even if presented only by an excerpt.

  • Hi folks,

    How would UD compare to Steubenville, Christendom, Thomas Aquinas as far as a place where kids can BE Catholic and actually be Catholic upon graduation?

    Interested father of three getting ready for college.

  • Da Vinci Decoder Ring…this is a great question.  I am a UD grad and have many friends from all those schools.  First, e-mail me at any time and I’d be very happy to discuss UD with you.  Second, the curriculum and faculty at UD are top notch.  The issue is that the student body and faculty tend to be much more orthodox and conservative than the administration, thus the message coming from the school sometimes leaves much to be desired.  The theology and philosophy departments are very solid.

    Adherence to the Catholic Faith and orthodoxy is considered the norm.  I can tell you from my own experience that I was very likely to lose my faith had I not gone to UD.

  • DaVinciDecoderRing,
    I’ll second Flambeaux’s assessment.
    I’m a UD grad and Dom is a Steubenville grad and we’ve had quite a few conversations about our respective schools, so I can compare those two. (Can’t really speak for the other schools you mention.)

    It seems to me from Dom’s descriptions that Steubenville provides an atmosphere more steeped in Catholic culture. I love the idea of the households he describes, groups of students who unite to support each other in prayer. It sounds to me like the devotional life is more widespread.
    But then he went in as a theo major a little older and more mature and so it is possible he plugged into those aspects because they were what he was looking for. On the whole now I feel a bit jealous when he describes the Catholic atmosphere of Steubenville.

    My experiences at UD were mixed. I’ll admit more of my friends were non-Catholic or not practicing Catholic and their influence and my own laziness and immaturity frequently led me to miss mass and I didn’t have much of a spiritual life to speak of while I was there. But I didn’t have much of one when I arrived either, I’d been going to mass on Sundays with my family but hadn’t developed any habits of prayer or devotion. I wonder if I’d arrived better formed and more mature in my faith I might have made better choices and I think I could have found resources which would have helped me continue to grow in my faith.

    Certainly UD has room to improve, but it did plant the seeds for a more mature faith that I’ve developed later. My theology classes there were my first introduction to the Catholic intellectual tradition, to the idea that faith is supported by reason and history.

    If your kid is pretty well grounded in faith I think UD would be a good choice, like Flambeaux said, it’s a great education in the great books and the Western tradition. However, if the child in question is lukewarm and needs encouragement to get to mass and to pray then Steubenville or Christendom would perhaps be better, they will be more likely to get the peer support they need. Not to say you can’t find peer support at UD, but that in my experience it would be easier to fall in with a less supportive crowd.

  • Thanks for the input everyone.  I went to secular schools and it was a struggle.  I was in a MS program in marriage and family counseling, and the open hostility to Christianity was incredible.

    My kids (triplets) may be going to different schools, and I wanted to make sure they could hook up with some solid Catholic friends and faculty.

    For now, I think UD seems like a 2nd tier choice.  In some ways it sounds like ND.

    Thanks, again.

  • Oh yeah. I’ve got a few friends who switched for the same reason, Ian. I have to say, I love my evening theology classes. I wish the German program had more of them.

    Flambeaux, I agree. UD has felt like home since I first got there. It took me about 20 minutes to get over thinking of it as “my sister’s school” and to start thinking of it as “my school”. Or maybe it was the first time I had to run up the hill from O’Connell when late to class. Evil steep hill.

    My experience is very different from Melanie’s. Going to UD is definitely a large part of what re-invigorated my faith. I have a surprising number of friends who are converts and reverts, some who made that decision before coming to UD, but a surprising number of whom made that decision because of UD. I am surrounded by Dominicans, Cistercians, seminarians, and the random Fransiscan or nun from various orders. I am surrounded by converts who are very enthusiastic about their faith. Some of my fellow students have joined the Cistercians, and are soon to take their final vows.

    The atmosphere is not like what I have heard exists at places like Steubenville: we have a good share of atheists, agnostics, Muslims, non-catholic christians, and people who believe wacky stuff. But I found myself called deeper into my faith since I started at UD, and I know so many other people who have become very serious about their faith during their undergraduate years.

    Not to mention that we don’t have half the problems that Notre Dame has.

    And Ian, the school is better now. It helps that we have a different president, one who finds our Catholic identity important, is not trying to make us into a copy-cat of Notre Dame, and recognizes UD for what it is.

  • re-reading my post I can see it might be a bit misleading. I knew plenty of people while I was at UD who took their faith seriously. And I continued to be a part of the university community after I graduated. A former roommate of mine joined Regnum Christi (they run a school just up the street from the college.) My Rome semester (I was there at the same time as Ian, by the way) was a wonderful experience and a great chance to explore the roots of my faith… though I wish I taken greater advantage of it(especially whenever I read the Roaming Roman’s site).

    But like Theresa says, I think there is a huge difference between Notre Dame and UD. I could not imagine anyone at UD trying to put on the VM play, for example. Notre Dame wants to be an Ivy League school, UD is happy with its niche as a small Catholic school.

    I think it comes down to the fact that in college you are on your own for the first time. Mom and dad are no longer there to make sure you go to mass, etc. So your level of maturity matters. I wasn’t mature and my drifting was more my fault than the fault of the school. If I’d sought even a little bit I would have found a great community to support me in a deepening of my faith.

  • “As to secular, state schools where you can get a great education, I have hope that CU Boulder is in good shape, as I once knew the man now heading their Honors-Great Books program.”

    I graduated from CU-Boulder in ‘02.  It’s definitely more rigorous in academics than the local Jesuit school, and only a bit more hostile to Catholicism.  The school is so huge it’s really hard to find one’s niche, especially for introverts.  I never even heard much about the Honors-Great Books program, though since my major ended up in Classics I received an excellent liberal arts education.

    The flaky Paulists are about to move out of the campus parish, and FOCUS has really strengthened the Catholics present.  But be forewarned about student life:  some dorm floors are just brothels and bacchanals.