Wednesday, May 17, 2006

John Paul the Great Catholic University

Calling all Catholic bloggers... help!

A brand new Catholic school is opening up on the West Coast. There is really nothing like this school. And it couldn't have come at a better time. Let me explain...

This week The Davinci Code movie is being released. Sadly, it will no doubt do damage to the faith of countless believers. The Telegraph is reporting that two thirds of Britons who have read the book now believe its claims regarding Jesus' relationship to Mary Magdalene. Aside from attacking Catholic beliefs head on, the movie will also validate the virulent anti-Catholicism already present in our culture and advance the marginalization of the faithful in society. Thankfully there are knowledgeable Catholics who are providing materials which deal with the film’s specific claims.

But the movie’s release underscores the immense influence Hollywood has on our culture. In fact, it was only a couple of years ago that a movie moved countless numbers of people across the country to rediscover God’s grace. I will never forget the moving testimonials I saw on evening newscasts from by people who had just watched Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ.

These two movies represent Hollywood’s great potential to either foster the faith or undermine it. Yet, despite the great influence of the media, there has been little professional training offered from a faithful Catholic perspective to those young people interested in entering into the field—until now.

Enter John Paul the Great Catholic University. The new college—approved by the state and supported by the local bishop—will offer state of the art training and degrees in Media. Students will learn from those who have succeeded in the field. In addition, the school will also offer degrees in Business, helping to train the young Catholic professionals of tomorrow. In fact, business majors will come together to establish and run a real-world business in their senior year—businesses they may decide to continue working with after graduation.

The high caliber, hands-on-training students will receive in Media and Business is truly remarkable. Yet, for me, the most exciting part of John Paul the Great Catholic University is the rock solid Catholic formation the students will receive. All students will be required to take a number of courses in Scripture, Moral Theology, and Catholic Literature and Art—taught by faculty faithful to the teaching of the Church’s Magisterium. In all of their Catholic formation, students will learn how to live out their faith in the world and apply Catholic principles in their future professions.

Catholic spirituality will be at the center of the school’s campus life. Students will be challenged in every way to grow in their faith and relationship with the Lord. As they plan for their careers in the media and the business worlds, graduates of JP Catholic will be trained to seek ways to use their talents in service for the Church and their communities. In sum, unlike many Catholic schools which have sadly been known to hide their Catholic identity or even promote anti-Catholic figures and propaganda on their campuses, JP Catholic will be a thoroughly Catholic school.

What I have laid out for you here is only a brief overview of the school’s vision. I highly recommend that you check out JP Catholic’s website, There you will find much more detailed descriptions of the school’s vision, programs and curriculum. Make sure you watch the promotional video -- it's amazing.

But the school is still in great need. First and foremost the school needs your prayers. JP Catholic is confident in the words of the angel Gabriel: “With God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

Childlike trust in the Lord has motivated the founders and those involved with JP Catholic from the outset. People like Derry Connolly, the Founder and President of the University, have left comfortable positions to pursue this work for the Lord and His Church.

In particular, funds are needed to endow professorships. Since the school has no established income stream from alumni to depend upon, JP Catholic needs to find donors.

I hope all Catholic bloggers will unite and get behind this school - especially this week as the need for Catholics in the world of Media is especially felt. The school needs help getting the word out about itself. Many people aren't aware of it yet -- we can get good people involved the Entertainment industry, but this is going to take a group effort.

I have been asked to help seek out donors for the Theology department, which I hope to be part of myself. Contributors would of course help to name a permanent chair of Theology, which could either be named after a single donor or a donor’s family, or a someone agreed upon by a group of donors (e.g., “The Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Theology”). I urge people out there to take this need to prayer.

JP Catholic offers the unique prospect of thoroughly forming those who will be instrumental in building the world of tomorrow. Imagine the possibilities - then pray the Lord will accomplish them! John Paul the Great spoke of the coming Springtime of Evangelization and I believe JP Catholic will play a pivotal role in it. As John Paul the Great engaged and confronted the culture of death, so will the school named after him. If you can help in any way, be sure to send me an email:

And again, Catholic bloggers, your help is needed!


Anonymous said...

According to your linked source, it's two thirds of Britons who have read Dan Brown's book believe the claims ...

Anonymous said...

Stop freting over the movie...most people know that it is fiction, and believe that it is just another movie. There are more important things to work on as the movie isn't even a blip in history.

Anonymous said...

No, actually, the problem is that there are quite a few who think this fiction is actually fact.

Anonymous said...

I view the movie as a clarifying moment where the hostility of Western culture to Christianity is on display. You don't get any more mainstream than Ron Howard and Tom Hanks, and they are attacking the foundational historical truths of Christianity.

As parents we have to understand that if we want our children to develop an integral faith, it will not come THROUGH the culture but IN SPITE of it. We need to build an alternate culture. Hats off to John Paul the Great Catholic University!

Anonymous said...

Students will learn from those who have succeeded in the field. In addition, the school will also offer degrees in Business, helping to train the young Catholic professionals of tomorrow. In fact, business majors will come together to establish and run a real-world business in their senior year—businesses they may decide to continue working with after graduation.

Well, this would excellent application of the "mustard seed" idea thing the currentt Pontiff is said to be so fond of...

Anonymous said...

John Paul II was a good Pope in some ways, but He made a lot of misguided decisions and mistakes too (the 1986 Assisi meeting, excessive apologizing for supposed Church faults and "crimes", extremely excessive ecumenism, neglect regarding the priest sex abuse scandals, indifference towards correct liturgy and disipline and the traditional Mass and devotions of the Church etc.
So I don't think He should be called "John Paul II the Great" etc.
History will tell whether He was a saint, or whether He was great.
He had many accomplishments, but in the end, the state and health of the Church as He left it is a mark of sanctity.
Pius XII could be called a Saint and great, so could Leo XIII and Bl. Pius IX. But John Paul II?
Many more than you would think are not at all certain about that !