Tuesday 18th September 2018

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

California Catholic Media School . . . Successfully Settles Into Expanded New Location

December 21, 2014 Frontpage No Comments



ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Making its first visit to the new location of John Paul the Great Catholic University, The Wanderer stepped into the campus eucharistic adoration chapel, with a few students praying amid seating for about two dozen people. Is this where daily Mass is offered?
Not at all, replied Derry Connolly, Ph.D., president of the school since its inception as an idea in 2003, as he showed off the campus on December 12. It occupies a total of 40,000 square feet in four buildings along this Southern California city’s Grand Avenue downtown.
“The good news is we would never have only 25 people for Mass,” Connolly said, adding that the more likely attendance would be about 80, so they’d gather in a larger classroom for the service.
That would be a significant portion of the actively religious, media-conscious student body, which has grown to about 280 people. The school relocated in 2013 to this hospitable small city about 30 miles northeast of downtown San Diego.
The 2010 census put Escondido’s population at nearly 144,000 people living amid coastal hills, with the Pacific Ocean about 18 miles to the west.
“John Paul the Great Catholic University is a massive undertaking — building a 21st Century institution to train students to use contemporary media to impact culture for Christ,” a message from Connolly at the school’s website says (www.jpcatholic.com).
“Born as a response to the call of Pope St. John Paul the Great, JPCatholic is just hitting its stride as it nears the completion of its first decade.
“On October 1, 2014, we began our ninth year, with 81 new undergraduate and 54 new graduate students,” his message continued. “Students come to acquire a professional competence in entertainment media, business, and Biblical theology on a campus alive in Christ, and graduate ready to impact culture for Christ. We began our second year on our Escondido campus. Creative media students are very much at home in the quaint historic downtown.”
John Paul the Great originally opened its doors to 30 students interested in communications media, with a concentration in entertainment media, and business, with a concentration in entrepreneurial business. It occupied about a half-floor, 4,400 square feet, on the second story of a business-park building in northern San Diego’s Scripps Ranch neighborhood.
The school gradually expanded to 13,000 square feet on both floors of the structure before moving north to Escondido last year, seeking new horizons and much more space to accommodate its steady growth.
Connolly’s longtime attitude is that God will provide and guide.
The new location has a 1,920-square-foot sound stage intended for video production, 50 percent larger in footage than the sound stage painstakingly constructed at the previous Scripps Ranch campus.
However, when a donor offered the Escondido school $200,000 worth of television equipment, Connolly said, the current sound stage was re-envisioned as a television studio, and he has to find another building for a sound stage for videos and actors.
Where is that fifth building? “It’s like we have a new conversation with God” to answer that question, Connolly told The Wanderer as he provided the tour on a chilly afternoon.
What kind of television shows would be produced? “Good question. Don’t know,” Connolly replied. However, he said, if an outside company wanted to use the facility, it would have to agree to use John Paul the Great students in the work.
Asked if he felt the construction of the previous sound stage at Scripps Ranch had been wasted effort, because it was used for only a few years, Connolly shrugged it off. “You do what you need to do,” he said.
Never intended to be a retreat from the world but a place where its students engage the world in order to restore the culture and evangelize for Christ, the Escondido campus is an improvement because students walk straight from classrooms onto city streets, where they even may shoot film projects.
The previous Scripps Ranch building was surrounded by a parking lot, beyond which were other companies’ business buildings surrounded by parking lots.
The four buildings here on Grand Avenue are the two-story main classroom structure, which previously was a museum, a two-story administration building which will add a student center on the first floor, a faculty office building, and a student-recruiting office.
A worker in the recruiting office told The Wanderer that a passerby may walk right in the door to inquire about the school — something impossible at the previous location.
School officials who previously had offices about the size of a couple of cubicles have more space to receive visitors now. The students’ film-editing work stations have doubled in number, from 10 at Scripps Ranch to 20 here.
“It’s really interesting to be in a city where you know everybody,” Connolly said — the city councilmen, the police chief, the mayor at City Hall only a block away. “I never knew the difference between a small city and a big city until we came here. Everything’s accessible,” and he knows who to talk to about any problems.
Escondido hoped that giving the school zoning permission to be downtown in existing structures would bring a new feeling of creativity and energy with its students and their projects. “It’s a small, welcoming community that’s happy to have us here,” Connolly said.
The city likes the idea that people walking by on Grand Avenue can look through the classroom building’s front door to see the lighted equipment in the control room for the sound stage, he said.
About 150 of the students live a short walk away in the school’s apartment housing, Connolly said, and the rest are San Diego-area commuters.
The recruiting office continually tries to bring in more students, Connolly said. “To get 100, we probably need to go to 20,000” prospects all around the nation.
Connolly said John Paul the Great is nearing the end of its initial accrediting process with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), “which is huge” — a nine-year process with five major steps.
The school website says, “The accreditation process assists institutions, like JPCatholic, in developing and sustaining effective educational programs and assures the educational community and the general public that high standards of quality and effectiveness have been met.”
“Now we’re sitting, waiting, twiddling our thumbs” in hopes of a favorable decision by WASC, Connolly said. Accreditation “opens the door to a lot of funding [assistance] for students.”
Some students took a few moments to speak with The Wanderer as the academic quarter came to a close in mid-December.
A nun from Nigeria studying at the school, Sr. Priscilla Aliu, SND, pursuing an MBA in film producing, said that her superiors of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur gave her permission to attend.
“I’m really blessed to be here,” she said. “[John Paul the Great] has offered me what I have not had before, in creativity in film producing. It gives me hope I can do much more with my talent and my vocation.”
Another MBA film-production student, Ritsy George, wants to use her knowledge to work in Christian ministries. An Indian citizen who was born in Saudi Arabia, she said she came to the United States in 2003 and became a U.S. citizen.
George said she learned about John Paul the Great from seeing an advertisement at EWTN when she lived in Philadelphia.
Freshman Jason Cuevas, from nearby Valley Center, Calif., told The Wanderer, “I knew I had to go here. . . . They have an awesome business program. . . . I want to be an entrepreneur.”
Cuevas said he’d thought his Scripture classes “would be kind of a drag,” but theology and Scripture professor Michael Barber is a great teacher: “I just learn so much every class. . . . I enjoy taking his tests. . . . I’ve become a better student.”

In A Catholic Place

Logan Baxter, a freshman from Philadelphia, is majoring in video-game design and enjoys playing the games.
“I always wanted to be in California. . . . It’s a lot sunnier than in Philadelphia,” Baxter said. “It’s beautiful out here. You also can see stars” in the sky, unlike at his smoggy home city.
As for the school’s spiritual offerings, “I’m pretty solid in my faith and I felt I wanted to be in a Catholic place,” with daily Mass and Confession available, he said, adding that rosary every night in the apartments’ common room is nice.
Freshman Annie Buchheit, of Silverton, Ore., is majoring in acting.
“I really enjoy some of the theology classes” and daily Mass, she said, as well as the perspective offered in the classes.
One class, entitled “Intellectual Life and Virtue,” would be hard to imagine as an offering “at a normal university,” Buchheit said.
With a possible future in the entertainment industry, “Me and my friends, we watch a lot of movies” at the student apartments, she said.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

This Sunday Cardinal Cupich in his homily . . ."We must confront the truth . . . Anything less would make us phony Christians." Cardinal Cupich in his own words in last paragraph of his homily.
We await the TRUTH Your Excellency!

Load More...

Yet another US bishop calls for Youth Synod to be canceled so Church can ‘deal with abuse crisis’

TYLER, Texas, September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Texas bishop has called for the Youth Synod to be canceled in light of the ongoing scandal regarding the cover-up of episcopal sexual abuse of minors and seminarians. On September 8, Bishop…Continue Reading


ATLANTA (ChurchMilitant.com) – Celebrity Jesuit Fr. James Martin is heading to Georgia, courtesy of pro-gay Abp. Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, Georgia. On Friday, Martin announced on Twitter that Abp. Gregory has invited him to speak in October at two Atlanta-area locations.…Continue Reading

Leaked sex abuse report rocks German church, 3,677 victims

September 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Two German major media outlets – Der Spiegel and Die Zeit – leaked today the findings of a sexual abuse commission funded by the German Bishops’ Conference and which Cardinal Reinhard Marx had planned to present to the public…Continue Reading

US bishops’ president accused of allowing reported sex abuser access to kids

September 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, has been accused of allowing a priest who confessed to sex abuse of a minor to function as a pastor of a parish,…Continue Reading

Cdl. Cupich on abuse crisis: We shouldn’t be ‘distracted’ by this, Church has ‘bigger agenda’

CHICAGO, September 10, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – When challenged about the clergy sexual abuse scandal now facing the Church, Cardinal Blase Cupich told a large gathering of seminarians that the Church’s agenda is “bigger” than the sexual corruption now facing the…Continue Reading

Catholic prelates must speak out, now, as the faithful are attacked by their own shepherds

September 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The following reflection is the result of a couple of days of my reading and thinking about the last five years, but then also about the last fifty years. Trying to get an interview with…Continue Reading

Oklahoma archbishop: I’ve ‘deepest respect’ for Viganó. His claims demand ‘deeper examination’

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma, August 31, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley has issued a statement saying he has the “deepest respect” for Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó and his “integrity.” Some on the left have attempted to cast doubt…Continue Reading

One Mad Mom . . . Martin’s Cozy with Proximate Occasions of Sin

Let me say this, I am a mom of a multitude of kids and have spent their lives trying to ensure their safety and well-being.  I have THE biggest stake with what’s been going on in the Church for decades. …Continue Reading

Thousands of Catholic women ask Pope: Did you cover-up for McCarrick, as Viganò claims?

August 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group of prominent Catholic women have written an open letter to Pope Francis imploring him to provide clarity on the “escalating” sex abuse crisis currently “engulfing” the Church. Expressing anger, betrayal, and heartbreak, the women bluntly…Continue Reading

Ave Maria University president slams Viganò, Cardinal Burke

AVE MARIA, Florida, August 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Citing the “God of Surprises,” the president of a Roman Catholic University once known for its orthodoxy has slammed two faithful prelates for their challenges to the Pope, particularly in regard to…Continue Reading

Pope handpicks US cardinal enmeshed in McCarrick scandal as youth synod delegate

August 28, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis has named Cardinal Joseph Tobin, a prelate who former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Viganò has testified owes his rise to power to disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, as a delegate to the October synod on…Continue Reading

U.S. bishop disappointed with Pope’s ‘no comment’ answer on sex-abuse cover-up

MADISON, Wisconsin, August 28, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Robert Morlino vouched for the integrity of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, joining a growing chorus of faithful prelates who have expressed support for the former papal nuncio’s astounding testimony pointing to Pope Francis and other high-ranking…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

US bishops’ silence on meeting with Pope could put their credibility on sex abuse at risk

ROME, September 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Have the jocular images and low-key statements of US Bishops following their meeting with Pope Francis last week set back their attempts to address the grave situation in the Church, especially the handling of sexual abuse cases by bishops? The details that have been revealed of the bishops’ meeting with Francis last Thursday give no indication that they addressed the extent of the McCarrick coverup or the need for…Continue Reading

Cardinal Maradiaga rebukes papal critics: McCarrick abuse scandal ‘of a private order’

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The scandal of ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual abuse of young priests and seminarians and Pope Francis’ alleged cover-up are “of a private order,” and a merely “administrative affair,” according to one of the Pope’s top advisers, Cardinal Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga. He made these remarks in a recent interview in one of the most revealing statements to date on the Viganò testimony. In an interview published on Wednesday evening by Religion Digital, the religious portal…Continue Reading

Dutch Catholic church accused of widespread sexual abuse cover-up

More than half of the Netherlands’ senior clerics were involved in covering up sexual assault of children between 1945 and 2010, a press report claimed on Saturday, further engulfing the Catholic church in a global abuse scandal. Over the course of 65 years, 20 of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops and their auxiliaries “covered up sexual abuse, allowing the perpetrators to cause many more victims”, the daily NRC reported. “Four abused children and 16 oth

Steve Bannon Drafting Curriculum for Right-Wing Catholic Institute in Italy

(Reuters) – Former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon is helping to craft the curriculum for a leadership course at a right-wing Roman Catholic institute in Italy, stepping up his efforts to influence conservative thinking in the church. Benjamin Harnwell, director of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute based in a mountaintop monastery not far from Rome, told Reuters Bannon had been helping to build up the institute for about half of its eight-year life. Cardinal Raymond…Continue Reading

China, Vatican ‘May Sign Deal’ on Chinese Catholics, Bishops: Taiwan

Beijing and the Vatican are on the verge of an agreement on the status of China’s Catholic Church and the controversial appointment of bishops by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, reports indicate. A report in the Wall Street Journal on Friday cited two people close to negotiations as saying that a deal was very close. In Taipei, Taiwan foreign affairs spokesman Li Hsien-chang said the democratic island’s officials had a similar understanding of the situation.…Continue Reading


Is Trump Going Neocon In Syria?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Is President Donald Trump about to intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war? For that is what he and his advisers seem to be signaling. The past week, Trump said of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s campaign to recapture the last stronghold of the rebellion, Idlib province: “If it’s a slaughter, the…Continue Reading

Pro-Lifer… Arizona Governor Names Successor To Fill McCain’s Seat

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — With its own strange brand of politics, Arizona acquired a new U.S. senator who agreed to fill the upper-chamber seat for at least a few months. Huh? With the late John McCain’s health slipping away for more than a year to an aggressive brain cancer, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey had…Continue Reading

A Book Review… GKC: The Wonder Of The Child And The Mysteries Of Faith

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Autobiography of G.K. Chesterton (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2006), 336 pp. $16.95. Available through www.ignatius.com or 1-800-651-1531. A great writer’s past, family background, and the formative influences of childhood always evoke great human interest. In narrating the story of his life, Chesterton naturally begins with his family background and the lives…Continue Reading

The Triumph Of The Cross Over Evil

By JAMES MONTI It is in mid-September each year, and with particular urgency in this year of 2018, that the Church suddenly makes us revisit for two days the mystery of Good Friday with the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and its immediate sequel, the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows (September…Continue Reading

History Teaches Hope

By DONALD DeMARCO “For the moment we are at the lowest point; human history today is in love with fear and absurdity, human reason with despair. The powers of illusion are spreading all over the world, throwing all compasses off direction…men are simply losing the sense of truth…they will believe nothing they are told, but…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

True Wisdom From Above

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Wisdom 2:12, 17-20 James 3:16-4:3 Mark 9:30-37 In the second reading today, St. James tells us that where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. As we look around, we can certainly see an abundance of disorder and foul practices. To eliminate these…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Why Evangelists Need An Interior Life

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Spiritual Handbook for Catholic Evangelists: How to Win Souls Without Losing Your Own, by Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard (Sophia Institute Press, 192 pages, Amazon paperback and Kindle). This is a new version of an old spiritual classic, originally written about a century ago, but still valid for today’s Church, and particularly for those involved in evangelization. The…Continue Reading

The Sacrament Of Confession… Confession Among The Early Christians

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 Here are some more testimonies from the Early Christians about the Sacrament of Confession, how they understood the sacrament and how it was administered by the priests to the people when they sinned. Those writers are known in history as the Fathers of the Early Church, the theologians and Bible scholars of the…Continue Reading

The Cardinal Virtues — Prudence

By DON FIER In beginning our consideration of the virtues last week, we saw that the word virtue, in general, can be defined as “a firm and habitual disposition to do good. It allows a person not only to perform good actions,” explains Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, “but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Regarding your recent reply about good catechetical materials, it is my understanding that there are some great religious education materials available from Dynamic Catholic. You can get more information at info@dynamiccatholic.com. — B.W., Michigan. A. Thank you for the information. This apostolate of Matthew Kelly is indeed a valuable source of good Catholic books. Q. I agree that the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Our Lady Of Mount Carmel

By CAROLE BRESLIN In northern Israel between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea, a mountain range stretches inland. This range, although named Mount Carmel, is really a series of mountains stretching inland. The main site of the Mount, the Stella Maris monastery of the Discalced Carmelites, sits on a limestone bluff overlooking the city of Haifa. The view…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Thomas Tsuji

By CAROLE BRESLIN Kyoto, Tokyo, Fukushima, Hiroshima, and Mount Fuji are among the most well-known places in the island nation of Japan. From a Catholic perspective, the best known would be Nagasaki, capital of the Nagasaki Prefecture located on the southwestern-most area of Japan. It was the first part of Japan to be colonized by the Portuguese and Dutch after…Continue Reading