Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Notre Dame vs. Texas A & M

No, I'm not talking about tonight's NCAA women's basketball final.

At which institution does your kid have a better chance of retaining and growing in his or her Catholic faith and identity?

I'm not asking that rhetorically; I'd really be interested in knowing. Both schools are in my top 3 "wish list" of colleges to encourage my children to attend (the other being the University of Virginia, with it's strong Dominican presence; Providence is also under consideration).

What do you think? Any other suggestions?

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At 4/05/2011 10:43 AM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

A&M. No question in my mind.

At 4/05/2011 1:00 PM, Blogger DNatali said...

Check out the University of Dallas.
Excellent liberal arts curriculum, semester in Italy, and unashamedly Catholic. Dan

At 4/05/2011 1:25 PM, Blogger Dad29 said...

What I've read about the A&M Catholic chaplaincy (Newman Club?) is all very, very positive.

OTOH, it's not like everyone at ND is an apostate.

(I, too, like U of D. Daughter is there and it was very good for her growth in and understanding of the Faith.)

At 4/05/2011 1:46 PM, Blogger Denise said...

My oldest son graduated from A&M, as did his wife. I cannot say enough good things about the Catholic environment there. My daughter-in-law entered the Church while a student there. That is also where they were married. A&M has all the advantages of being a huge state university yet somehow manages to maintain a small school community feeling. My husband and I both went to Rice (Catholic student center there is now orders of magnitude better than it was 30 years ago) but love having our kids go to A&M.

At 4/05/2011 5:11 PM, Blogger Tito Edwards said...


To be fair to Notre Dame, they do have a heavy "Catholic culture", but my concern is that exteriorly they say the right things, but interiouly they are dead.

A&M, I know enough about because I've visited there often enough and I have enough Aggie friends from there that I'm as confident as can be about this choice.

Another school I would highly recommend is Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) in Santa Rosa, California.


That would be my first choice with A&M a close second (if I'm ever blessed with children). Along at the close second would be Franciscan University of Steubenville (in Ohio, near PA).

After them maybe Belmont Abbey in North Carolina and Christendom in Fort Royal, Virginia.

Followed by U. of Dallas.

As a wild card I'd throw in Nebraska, based solely on the fact that the two best diocese's in the world, Lincoln & Omaha, reside in that state.

Lincoln is overflowing with vocations, in addition to having the FSSP Seminary nearby (which is also overflowing with vocations). Both the Lincoln Diocese Seminary and FSSP are turning back candidates they are so full. That and Lincoln has the highest ration of priests-to-parishioners in the WORLD.

In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,


P.S. If you ever visit A&M to check things out with your children, make an appointment to meet with Marcel LeJeune (of Aggies Catholics). He runs the young adult group in A&M. The staff has something like 6 full time lay Catholics in addition to a priest and a nun. Their daily Mass's are full and they literally supply the vast majority of vocations to the Austin Diocese. Plus many religious.

Can't miss program (along with Thomas Aquinas College and Franciscan University at Steubenville).

At 4/05/2011 7:29 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Let me interject before there are any more comments in this regard to say that, although I greatly appreciate the smaller liberal-arts Catholic schools, I am biased in favor of sending my kids to a more "full-service" university setting. That's not at all a knock against the smaller schools (such as the Mandatum schools I have listed in my sidebar), about whose Catholic identity I have few if any doubts. It just reflects my own prejudices in favor of the larger university settings I experienced in my undergraduate and law school days.

At 4/05/2011 7:33 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

In other words, Division I sports is sorta a big deal to me.


At 4/05/2011 8:27 PM, Blogger Tito Edwards said...

Then you're stuck with A&M (and maybe Nebraska).

I wouldn't even sneeze at Notre Dame, but that's me.

At 4/05/2011 8:49 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Don't know anything about Nebraska, but as I mentioned, I'd be pretty comfortable sending them to UVA. This is one reason why.

At 4/06/2011 10:29 AM, Blogger Tom McKenna said...

I dunno Jay, my kid is a star rugby player up the road at my alma mater, Christendom (beating George Mason [Div I-A], Hampden-Sydney, and others), and I'm not paying tons of money to have secularist faculty attempt to poison his mind.

Yes, kids can maintain their faith at the big places (my nephew is holding his head above the water of relativism at ND)... but what a waste of time and money to simply survive intelectually instead of actually getting a formation in the Western intellectual tradition.

The formation of the person is more important than the pedigree of the diploma.

At 4/06/2011 2:55 PM, Blogger Jared Q. Tomanek said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4/06/2011 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I would go to Aggie Cathoilcs and get in touch with Marcel, as has been suggested. As much as I hate to say this, since I am an alum of The University of Texas, A&M without question over all the alternatives presented. St. Mary's at A&M is a thriving Catholic Church - I think 4 or 5 men have become priests in the last few years from there, and 7 or 8 more are in seminary? I know they have alot of vocations. If I were to send my kids to any school in state, it would probably A&M at this point.

At 4/07/2011 6:07 PM, Blogger Denise said...

This quote from the comment section of the article you linked is just too good not to share:

Give me an archdiocese full of Notre Dame graduates and I'll defeat a demon. Give me a parish full of Texas Aggies and I'll defeat Hell." -- Archangel S. Michael

(It is a parody of a real quote by Patton regarding West Point graduates and Aggies)


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