Branching out through Christus Magister

by Kathleen van Schaijik

Several times over the years friends of the Concourse have suggested that we expand publication beyond Franciscan University.  “Why limit such a great forum?” they’ll say, “there are so many people out there who would love to be able to participate in discussions like these.” 

But up until now I’ve resisted.  It seemed to me that a prime factor in the value of the Concourse lay in its concreteness—in its being created by and for people who share the FUS experience.  That common ground of faith, love of Truth, desire for holiness, commitment to evangelization, and so on, makes for a particularly interesting and effective kind of intellectual conversation.  Consider, for example, how, if we want to discuss the practical implications of Ex Corde Ecclesiae at FUS, we don’t have to first spill gallons of ink on acres of paper establishing the (to us obvious) principle that submission to Catholic doctrine and Church authority does not stultify the life of the mind. We are free to turn our attention to what the document says, to examine ourselves in its light,  and to consider how it challenges us to grow in specific ways.

Further, when we discourse in the Concourse, we do so as among friends, even if we do not always know each other’s names and faces.  This makes for a degree of courtesy and deference in our debates rare to find in wider-open forums.  We take care what we say when we are conversing with friends—especially if we are disagreeing about something important.  We also listen more attentively, and open ourselves more conscientiously to other points of view.  In other words, the relative smallness and familiarity of our readership makes our discussions peculiarly efficient, not only in terms of content, but in terms of their effect on readers.

Hating to risk losing that powerful concreteness, then, I have so far declined to expand publication.  But now I think we have found a natural way to grow without sacrificing it.

A couple of years ago saw the formation of the Christus Magister Foundation, chaired by (former FUS VP, my Dad) Nicholas Healy.  The purpose of CM is to support new initiatives in Catholic higher education by guaranteeing that the credits they offer will be recognized by FUS and other orthodox Catholic colleges.  In other words, it cuts through miles of bureaucratic red tape, allowing new schools to get rapidly established.  In this way, Franciscan University has lately become associated with a number of brand new Catholic institutions (in Ireland, Vancouver BC, Texas, and Michigan so far, with Arizona, Atlanta, Sacramento and Philadelphia in the works.)  And it is much more than a mere “on paper” association.  Several of these schools are recruiting and employing FUS alumni.  More importantly, they share the University’s vision for a new Springtime of Catholic higher education—her Christo-centrism, her willing submission to the Magisterium, her joyful endorsement of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, and her ardent commitment to the re-evangelization of culture and the Catholic life of the mind. 

My husband Jules (class of ‘89) now teaches philosophy at one of these new colleges: Ave Maria in Ypsilanti, Michigan (founded by FUS benefactor and former trustee, Tom Monaghan.)  We began distributing the Concourse here with the last issue.

We will also be distributing at another new college, Our Lady of Corpus Christi in Texas.  Dr. Ronda Chervin, who used to teach at FUS, teaches there now.

Our hope is that the Concourse will gradually make its way to all Christus Magister colleges and institutes, serving as a concrete and lively means of intellectual exchange and mutual influence between like-minded Catholic university men and women all over the world.

Meanwhile: to students, faculty and staff of Ave Maria and Our Lady of Corpus Christi colleges, welcome aboard!  We hope you will not only enjoy our discussions, but contribute your ideas and insights to them too. 

Kathleen van Schaijik

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I,1 NFP, by itself, does not compromise the marriage vocation I,2 What is a ‘real’ Catholic education? I,3 Orthodox not paradox I,4 How does a university evangelize? I,4 NFP and connaturality I,5 Thomism and intellectual freedom I,7 Keeping our worship in step with ‘what the Spirit is saying’ to FUS II,1 Can charismatics and traditionalists peacefully coexist? II,1 The horror of polygamy and the persistence of chauvinistic theories in Catholic academia II,2 The challenge of the Concourse: discussion without (much) contention II,3 When old ideas are breaking up II,4 Why the polygamy problem is not as passe as it appears: Kathleen van Schaijik responds to critics II,9 Why ‘charismatic spirituality’ belongs at the heart of our communal life III,1 What is the University Concourse? III,1 How not to help households III,3 Silence betokens ... What? III,4 The freedom of stricture III,5 What were households meant to be? III,5 Different degrees of authority IV,1 Love Never Leaves IV,2 Faith and Reason IV,5 A different perspective on the modesty question IV,6 Strangers to the world V,1 New face, same spirit V,3 The ‘Stratford man’ and the Shakespearean canon: no match at all V,4 Bringing the masses from starvation to full strength V,6 Branching out through Christus Magister V,6 Kathleen van Schaijik replies to John Doman on Shakespeare V,7 A Catholic critique of a current notion of courtship VI,1 The evil of exorcising judgement VII,1 Jump Start VII,1 Abusing NFP VII,1 It’s not the Vatican, it’s the laity III,6 Last words (for now) III,6 A suggestion regarding Extraordinary Ministers III,6 Catholic teaching on capital punishment III,6 A final thought on the household issue III,6 What is our mission, really? III,6 What if Shakspere wasn’t Shakespeare? III,6 Clinton’s sorry legacy III,6 Evolution III,6 Intimidated? Please don’t be. III,6 A gift for the graduates of ‘98 III,6 A point of policy III,6 A point of principle III,6 A word of thanks IV,7 Happy & sad IV,7 Oxford gaining on Shakspere IV,7 Of private and collegiate morality IV,7 Newman, education and context IV,7 Witnesses to Faith in the face of death IV,7 Viva the class of ‘99! IV,7 A prize winning physicist out of his depth IV,7 A positive psychology IV,7 How to become a leader IV,7 Campus politics IV,7 Thanksgiving V,8 Fr. Michael’s achievement V,8 Charity may be severe V,8 On the other side of the same coin V,8 The Weimar Republicans V,8 Drawing out an analogy V,8 Beware of economic Puritanism V,8 How to support the Concourse by buying books V,8 Shakespeare debate update V,8 What the education debate is and isn’t about V,8 Dear Class of 2000 V,8 Thanksgiving