Is it time to encourage our Catholic students to consider other options?



In reaction to the Catholic high school graduation statistics published in the June 22 issue of the Rhode Island Catholic, I can’t help but wonder if it’s time for our Catholic schools to stop touting their college acceptance numbers. In fact, perhaps it’s time we stop encouraging our students to attend the typical mainstream university altogether.
Universities were once places where the highest truths were sought, and true professionals were formed. Today they appear to be the home of amateur academics and party culture, where the overarching aim is political indoctrination.
Campuses across the country are continuously discovered to be steered by Marxist professors, demonstrating an ever-increasing hostility towards people of faith, and promoting ideologies and lifestyles that are incompatible with Catholic teaching and values. Perhaps the prime example is Brown University which recently reported that close to 40% of their students now “identify” as “LGBTQ+.”
Why are we celebrating our participation in this? Why are Catholic parents and educators continuing to usher their students toward these campuses? Why are we rewarding these so-called “institutions of higher learning” with tuition dollars?
Is this really the environment we wish to send our children for four impressionable years? It’s comforting to think that the lessons and values instilled by our Catholic schools will prepare our graduates for campus life. But is it worth the risk? Moreover, are these universities still worthy of our commitment to them?
Maybe it’s time to encourage our Catholic students to consider other options such as trade schools, online degrees, entrepreneurship, military service, or attending smaller Christian liberal arts colleges that still demonstrate a devotion to what is true, good, and beautiful. (Such as those recommended on the Newman Guide issued by the Cardinal Newman Society.)
Increasingly, these alternatives seem to be in the best interest of maturing Catholics, not only for the sake of their professional futures, but for the sake of their souls.

Father Brendan Rowley, Father Rowley is a priest of the Diocese of Providence and the current Administrator of St. Mary’s in Pawtucket.