Tuesday 27th June 2017

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

University Of Mary’s President… Says We Need To Rediscover Contemplation

June 18, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By PEGGY MOEN

MINNEAPOLIS — Asked by The Wanderer what advice he would give to someone planning to transform a Catholic college, Msgr. James Patrick Shea, president of the University of Mary, said “hiring for mission” is paramount.
“Find people who love the Lord and the faith,” he said, and then put them in “key positions.”
These key people can then build a campus culture that supports contemplation, said Msgr. Shea, who earned a licentiate in philosophy at Catholic University, and studied theology at the Gregorian and Lateran universities in Rome.
Monsignor was speaking at the Church of St. Helena here at the 21st Annual Benefit Banquet for The Catholic Servant, a locally based monthly newspaper. In his June 7 talk, he addressed “ora et labora [prayer and work] at a time of distraction.” Ora et labora is the well-known phrase of St. Benedict of Nursia (480-587) that summarizes his rule of monastic life.
The University of Mary, Bismarck, N.D. (umary.edu), defines itself as “private, Christian, Catholic, Benedictine,” and says that it infuses “Benedictine values throughout the educational experience.”
Msgr. Shea, who was ordained for the Diocese of Bismarck in 2002, has served as the president of Mary since 2009. His becoming president at age 34 made him the youngest college or university president in the United States.
Since then, he has been honored and written up for his success in renewing the Catholic character of Mary, as well as for establishing a number of practical programs, such as the Year-Round Campus program that allows students to graduate in 2.6 years and earn their master’s degree in four years. Most students major in the health sciences or business-related fields, reflecting the university’s focus on career preparation.
The specifically Catholic programs Shea has inaugurated include a new campus in Rome; the Catholic Scholars program, which provides free room and board to incoming freshmen who are eligible graduates of Catholic high schools; and the Bishop Paul A. Zipfel Catholic Studies Program.
A May 15, 2016 National Catholic Register article praised St. Gregory’s University, Shawnee, Okla., for choosing Msgr. Shea to deliver its commencement address that year, noting: “In short order, Msgr. Shea has propelled his university to be among the faithful Catholic institutions in the country.”
The Newman Guide agrees, saying: “The University of Mary is part of a second generation in the renewal of Catholic higher education. The 56-year-old university has been taking exciting steps to reinforce its academics, student life, and Catholic identity, following the example of Newman Guide colleges that have likewise embraced their Catholic mission.”
At St. Helena’s, Msgr. Shea told his one hundred plus listeners that he gives a number of talks to his incoming freshmen. One of the most popular is: “Technology: Servant or Master?”
“Students have high-hearted hopes . . . and yet they come to us breathing the air of our culture. . . . I think we all see in our own lives that we’re more easily distracted,” he said.
“We can Skype a person in Australia,” he explained, “yet the result is not a sense of connectedness, but a sense of isolation,” which can produce deep feelings of anxiety.
St. Benedict and his monks in the sixth century did not set out to save a culture; that happened, “but incidentally” — “they set out to seek God.”
Benedict’s call for a balance of prayer and work is “great for every time,” and for all who seek God. But the founder of the Benedictine order had to come at things from the opposite direction that we do, said Msgr. Shea. “Benedict dignified work,” something that was necessary because while the ancients revered contemplation, they scorned servile labor.
But now, “we are as a culture workaholics . . . so our main task” is to “remember the great value of contemplation, to re-familiarize ourselves with the truth that we were made for far more than work,” said Msgr. Shea, who grew up on a North Dakota grain and dairy farm.
That task is especially pressing for Americans, because “we’re practical and we want things to work. . . . But we don’t honor contemplation.”
Msgr. Shea recalled Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical against Americanism, in which that Holy Father faulted the tendency in America to place the active life above the contemplative life, while the Church has always taught the opposite.
“We’re dazzled by technology,” said Monsignor, “…but it’s not the great savior.” After all, consider what we go through in traffic!
Americans feel pressure “to get ahead before it’s too late” — but this creates a good bit of anxiety and false perspectives.
Reflecting on what he sees in students, Msgr. Shea noted that they sometimes forget how much time there is. Time can and should be devoted to family, said Monsignor, the oldest of eight children. We need to allow more time for leisure and contemplation.
He also regrets the “terrible aversion to commitment” that he observes, especially in the young. But “this is the way of the Lord . . . to commit ourselves to some great work on His behalf.”
Shea recommended “some possible avenues” toward regaining a culture of contemplation.
First, adopt the attitude of St. Benedict, seeing work as important but maintaining perspective on it. It should free us to consider “the most important things” and avoid the love of money.
Second, allow time for leisure — and let ourselves “be created anew and more deeply formulated.” Msgr. Shea referred to the works of Josef Pieper on this subject.
Third, make time for festivals and celebrations and “honor the Lord’s Day.” Let traditions grow.
Fourth, let’s moderate our use of screens. Evidence shows they are addictive, he pointed out, noting earlier in his talk the need that many have to play “just one more round” of a videogame. “Screens” can leave souls prey to despair.
In contrast, said Msgr. Shea, we have the “peace and happiness to be gained” even here on Earth through knowing the Lord, and realizing “the happiness and the goodness” that have come from the monasteries and their culture of contemplation.
Also that evening, The Catholic Servant presented its annual award to Fr. Michael Creagan, pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in West St. Paul and a part-time chaplain in the Minnesota Army National Guard.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Hey Democrats: You Might Win More Elections If You’d Stop Killing Your Voters in the Womb

Democrats keep puzzling about why they are losing so many elections, but they do not seem to want to hear the answer that so many people are giving: abortion. Pro-life advocates — Republican, Democrat, independent and otherwise – have been…Continue Reading

Only Pope Francis can end the ‘apostasy’ his words have caused: Italian monsignor

ROME, Italy, June 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis could stem the “confusion and apostasy” now rampant in the Church among priests and bishops by “correcting” his own “ambiguous and erroneous words and acts,” said an Italian monsignor and former…Continue Reading

New Pontifical Academy of Life Appointee Supports Euthanasia by Starvation

An ethics study group for the Italian Jesuit magazine Aggiornamenti Sociali, headed by Fr. Maurizio Chiodi, a newly appointed member of the Pontifical Academy for Life and a theologian of the Northern Italian Theological Faculty of Milan, has joined Italian…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood wants to have a center in Reading High School; you can help stop it

ACTION: Planned Parenthood does not belong in our schools. Contact the Reading School Board at this link. Planned Parenthood is anything but helpful for teenagers, with all the ways the abortion giant has corrupted and confused them through explicit sexual advice,…Continue Reading

Fireworks at U.S. Bishops’ meeting as Francis-appointed Cardinals oppose permanent religious liberty committee

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted 132 to 53 today to approve the establishment of a permanent Standing Committee for Religious Liberty. Five bishops abstained from voting. The USCCB formed the Ad Hoc…Continue Reading

What can priests practically do to combat the porn epidemic?

Washington D.C., Jun 14, 2017 / 02:59 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Online pornography is one of the fastest growing addictions in the United States, on par with cocaine and gambling. Once confined to the pages of a smuggled Playboy magazine, pornography…Continue Reading

Catholic community offers prayer, supplies for London fire victims

London, England, Jun 14, 2017 / 01:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catholic bishops of Westminster offered their prayers and local parishes opened their doors to offer aid and supplies to those affected by a massive fire at an apartment complex…Continue Reading

Ohio tries again to ban abortions after heartbeat begins

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – On Tuesday, two Ohio representatives reintroduced legislation protecting babies with detectable heartbeats from abortion. Last year, Republican Gov. John Kasich vetoed the measure when it came to his desk. The human heart begins…Continue Reading

Abortion clinic loses fight to silence LifeSite, but plans emergency appeal

TORONTO, June 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — LifeSiteNews won a victory in court today by successfully opposing a publication ban on the identities of abortionists targeting a pro-life activist. But the legal battle continues as the Crown in Ontario has signalled…Continue Reading

Incredible Story . . . Winner of ‘Romania’s Got Talent’ is a 14-year-old girl without arms and femurs

June 6, 2017 (Family News) — When she first showed up in front of the cameras at the live show, with her serene sweet face, she looked as a much smaller child. She is a short person because her legs…Continue Reading

Bring Back Christendom

By now you may have come across the controversy spun up over the weekend when Rep. Clay Higgins, the new congressman from Louisiana’s 3rd District, sent an outraged reaction to the London Bridge jihadist attacks over Facebook. The bulk of…Continue Reading

The Organization Every Parent Needs to Know About

Did you know there’s an organization of pediatricians and other child health professionals whose policies likely support your values as Catholic parents and grandparents? The American College of Pediatricians (not to be confused with the American Academy of Pediatrics) actually…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

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

New documentary challenges the secrecy and denial surrounding abortion

“HUSH”, a film about abortion and women’s health, is a professional, persuasive piece of investigative journalism, fronted by Punam Kumar Gill, who manages to combine a dogged determination to break the silence surrounding abortion with a sensitivity borne out of her own personal experience of loss. Abortion advocates claim to be very keen on talking about abortion. They want women to shout out their abortions, to express pride and joy in a procedure they increasingly…Continue Reading

James Martin Blasts Bishop Thomas Paprocki

On June 12, 2017, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, issued a Decree “Regarding Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” The Decree reaffirmed Catholic teaching that a marital union is only possible “between one man and one woman.” The Decree included the following directives: No member of the clergy or representative of the Diocese should assist or participate in a same-sex marriage; No Church property should be used to host same-sex…Continue Reading

Why Cardinal Sarah terrifies his critics

A growing crowd wants Cardinal Robert Sarah’s head on a platter. Open a liberal Catholic periodical and you are likely to find a call for the dismissal of the Guinean cardinal who heads the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship: “It’s past time for [Pope Francis] to replace Cardinal Sarah” (Maureen Fiedler, National Catholic Reporter); “New wine might be needed at the Congregation for Divine Worship” (Christopher Lamb, the Tablet); “Curia officials who refuse to get with…Continue Reading

Illinois Catholic bishop decrees no Holy Communion, funerals for same-sex couples

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Ill., is calling on priests there to deny Holy Communion and even funeral rites to people in same-sex unions unless they show “some signs of repentance” for their relationships before death. The decree by Bishop Thomas Paprocki also said that people “living publicly” in same-sex marriages may not receive the sacrament of confirmation or be admitted to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, a process by w

Trump’s Nationalism Is Consistent With Catholic Social Doctrine

Leading American bishops have complained about the “harshness” of Trump’s campaign rhetoric and called for an end to deportation of aliens until the “broken” system can be fixed. Yet, despite this opposition from the Church’s hierarchy, Trump won 52% of the Catholic vote (to Hillary’s 45%), a historic margin for a Republican. How to explain this contradiction? Real simple. The laity get it better than the bishops. Trump’s nationalism is fully consistent with Catholic social…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Restoring The Sacred… St. Thomas More And The Defense Of Truth

By JAMES MONTI As Catholics in America participate in the annual Fortnight for Freedom to pray for the protection of religious liberty, the example of St. Thomas More will again be invoked as in years past, with the liturgical commemoration of his martyrdom on June 22 coming only a day after the beginning of the…Continue Reading

St. Teresa Of Calcutta… Hope For A Beleaguered World

By DONALD DeMARCO “I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing, direct murder by the mother herself. And we read in the Scripture, for God says very clearly: Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have curved…Continue Reading

Our Lady Of Fatima: The May Apparition

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of articles on the one hundredth anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.) + + + 1917 was a tumultuous year that would forever change the face of the world. The…Continue Reading

Atheist Christian Haters Win In Court

NEW YORK — Catholic League President Bill Donohue commented June 20 on a First Amendment case that dealt a blow to religious liberty. The full text follows: + + + For 75 years, Bayview Park, in a Pensacola, Fla., neighborhood, has been home to a large cross. The 1941 wooden cross, erected by a New…Continue Reading

A Long History Of Leftist Hatred

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Ill., who aspired to end his life as a mass murderer of Republican congressmen, was a Donald Trump hater and a Bernie Sanders backer. Like many before him, Hodgkinson was a malevolent man of the hating and hard left. His planned atrocity failed because two Capitol…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… The Tridentine Mass Grows In Appeal

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK A recent appeal from a high-ranking enlisted member of the military for acceptance of exclusively Traditional priests, such as from the Fraternity of St. Peter, to serve as military chaplains was met with rejection. The subsequent headlines characterized the exchange as “Better No Chaplains Than Traditional Ones.” This reaction unfairly analyzes the practical effect of…Continue Reading

Our Savior And Redeemer… The Ascension And Pentecost

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Those people who believe in the Lutheran myth of “sola Scriptura” have a big problem to solve. They cannot explain the fact that Jesus spent forty days with His apostles, teaching them, reminding them of what He had taught them before, and preparing them for their mission, but there is absolutely nothing written in the…Continue Reading

Acts Of The Penitent — Contrition

By DON FIER As we briefly surveyed the history of the sacrament of Penance last week, we saw that significant changes in its outward form took place over the course of the centuries. In her first years, the Church experienced remarkable growth despite facing great persecution — it was a time of many martyrs. “The early Christians,” explains Dr. Alan…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I have heard it said that homosexual behavior is one of the sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance. Is that true and, if so, what are the others? — T.S., Arizona. A. In Holy Scripture there are four sins in this category, so called because in each case the victims of these sins cried out to the…Continue Reading

Whoever Receives You Receives Me

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: 2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a Romans 6:3-4, 8-12 Matt. 10:37-42 In the readings today we hear about our own dignity as Christian persons and also about the way we, as Christian people, are to treat others. We look first at the point of our own dignity. In the second…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Peter To Rot

By CAROLE BRESLIN Papua New Guinea is an island nation about 175 miles north of Queensland, Australia. The capital, Rabaul, is on the eastern tip of a smaller New Guinea island that sits just east of the main island. It is an island with a dark history of witchcraft, cannibalism, and violence against women. Into this bleak place, the light…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the history of the Church saints have commonly lived at the same time and worked together for the Kingdom of God. Pope St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. John of Avila (of the Cross) and St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori and Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli. Blessed Gennaro was…Continue Reading