Took my son to visit Anna Maria college today.
The campus itself is nice, its a small school and a seemingly pleasant place. The young lady giving us the tour was nice and was a good representative of her school.
My problem with the place is one of my pet peeves. The college is a Catholic College There are old crosses on buildings and portraits of older bishops in one or two places, but I saw nothing affirming their Catholic identity. No portrait of the pope, no schedule of Masses (although they do offer daily Mass).
There were pictures celebrating the new president all over the place, banners celebrating diversity, announcements of the woman’s study courses but nothing on the March for Life later this month in Washington. The concert was a “holiday” concert. In the Anna Maria in the news bulletin board at the admissions office there was an article talking about protesting the pope in the US. That was the extent of any recent mention of religion.
The Chapel is downstairs at basement level, its a nice enough place and the corridor leading once one goes downstairs does feel Catholic but it seems to be hidden in order to make sure it doesn’t offend anyone. It’s Gene Robinson all over again:
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
It’s a real question how many out of 1100 students would know this quote from Luke. Actually the question isn’t that hard, we met with the campus ministry people just before leaving, there are 10 active people in Campus ministry and about that many show up for Mass regularly.
It would be nice if there was at least one picture of the Pope displayed prominently. It would be nicer if Catholic identity actually meant something. I’ve spent much more than I can afford over the last 10 years giving my sons a Catholic education. If I’m going to spend a whole lot more for a Catholic College then I expect a Catholic College.
Then again, I’m also told that there is no restriction on forming one’s own clubs and activities. There is no reason why my son can’t actively work toward changing this since nothing will change without someone changing it. As it says in Romans 10:13-15
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring (the) good news!”
This was touched on by nufey in this post:
They want us to hear, “don’t tell us about your religion”. This goes right in line with the other phrases which seek to silence Christians, “we must tolerate others’ beliefs”, “we all worship the same god, we just follow different paths”, “it’s not a salvation issue”, “I don’t want to be prosletized”.
These are all designed to keep us quiet, so we don’t preach the gospel. It makes them uncomfortable. To those living without the gospel, they should be uncomfortable when faced with their sin. They don’t like to be reminded, yet we have the only message of hope for them.
One must be willing to be out there, one must be ready to absorb the brickbats that might come:
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. John 15:18-21
My boy seems anxious to stand up and be counted. A bad neighborhood won’t change unless good people move in and a Catholic college won’t change unless serious Catholics attend and are counted, and the academic side does seem fine. Maybe it is the place for him to be.
They have the inside track for now, lets see what happens next.