Catholic lifestyle - colleges in Indiana
  • KARU27
    Posts: 184
    Apologies that this is not music-related, but you all are often the most sensible people on the Internet.
    I have a daughter who is a senior in high school. She has applied to a lot of colleges here in Indiana, and as one part of the decision process, we are trying to look at the experience of being a Catholic student. We are looking at the big 3 public schools: IU, Purdue, Ball State, and an assortment of small private schools. She doesn't know what she wants to major in, so I am thinking she might be better off at a large school. However, she is a rather sheltered and reserved person, and I'm hoping that if she does go to one of those big schools, she will find a Catholic group that she fits into somewhat. Anyone know more about the Newman / FOCUS-type groups at these schools? FYI, we are also looking at Holy Cross, Valparaiso, St. Mary's, DePauw, and a couple of local schools where she could commute from home.

    If you have specific knowledge about any of these places I would appreciate it! She is a serious Catholic, prefers a high-quality liturgy, likes EF Mass, would probably be involved in choir wherever she goes. (I guess this could change though!) I am somewhat apprehensive about her living in a dorm: I myself am afraid of dorm life and got my degrees without ever living in one.
  • Heath
    Posts: 897
    We're just over the border!

    : )
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  • KARU - PM me. Seriously. And let's meet up. The Newman Center at Purdue is fantastic. And she could sing in my student chant group! :)

    But seriously. PM me and I'd love to arrange meeting with you two sometime.
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  • Ball State is good. It offers a good selection of majors and degree programs, they have a Newman Center, and 3 Catholic Churches to choose from in Muncie. I'm a Muncie resident as well, and a BSU alumnus, so of you have any questions feel free to PM me. Ball State is smaller than Purdue or IU, but still has a good amount of choice.
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  • Stay away from Valpo. I graduated from there a few decades ago and have no sense it has improved at all, but actually diminished. I was Lutheran then and found it very wanting spiritually, and academically; as a Catholic, I think it would be a horror.

    You didn't mention Notre Dame. I have a son there now (and one who graduated in '12) who has found his way in those areas you mentioned your daughter wants: "serious Catholic, prefers a high-quality liturgy, likes EF Mass, would probably be involved in choir". ND has issues and is a bit hard to navigate, but there is a lot that is exceptionally good if one is so inclined in that direction.
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  • Teachermom24 -

    Interesting, your description of Valpo. When I was yet an Episcopalian but serving a large musically important Lutheran congregation (MS) I was sent to Valparaiso for a workshop and found it stimulating. It was known to be 'high church' (what most 'conservative' Lutheran's would curiously call 'liberal'), the professors whom I met were quite fascinating to converse with, and they were keen to let one know that incense was used and that they wore mass vestments (chasubles, etc.), they entreated the prayers of saints, some believed in transubstantiation, all along with a catalogue of other 'high church' practices which set Valpo apart as sort of a Lutheran liturgical mecca. (This was all back in the -70s. Things may well have changed.)

    Could you comment on your impressions versus mine?
    This should be interesting.

    I would not, though, recommend a Lutheran university of any stripe for the young lady in question.

    Of course, as we have painfully learnt - 'high church' does not always translate into theological orthodoxy. 'Anglo-Catholic' and 'Oxford Movement' do, but 'high church' doesn't necessarily.
  • I was at Valpo 74-76 in the deaconess program (loosely veiled "Christian" feminism), graduating in '76 with majors in theology and Greek. I came from Concordia--Ann Arbor, out of a conservative LCMS upbringing. Liturgy was not my concern at the time but finding God, Who remained hidden my entire time at Valpo. I remember the church services and all the "high church" stuff but I detected no substance, no real belief behind it. (One Sunday, I heard some deaconesses behind me replace the word "brethren" with "sistern", though I thought, "cistern" :-), in a hymn--ugh!) I was made to "preach" a sermon in deaconess hall as part of the feminist indoctrination (I laughed through the whole absurd thing), the goal being we would break open the all-male clergy of the LCMS (my roommate, in fact, went on to become a "bishop" in the ELCA).

    I loved my Greek and Hebrew classes because they were free of the liberal agenda. Theology was so hard for me because I was so distrusting of the professors, though not all were horrible. The rector of the campus church taught a class on Worship and Liturgy which was the best of any I recall because instead of preaching his own views, he allowed us to discover the meaning of the liturgy for ourselves. However, looking back on it now as a Catholic, he failed by not setting the Lutheran liturgy in proper historical context. But I wasn't asking Catholic questions at the time.

    As a young woman searching for God, I was looking for genuine faith in the instructors and professors. The conservative LCMS types were all about "being right"; the liberals about forming God in their own image. I was sick of the whole thing by the time I left which I see now as part of God's plan to lead me to the Catholic Church.
  • Carol
    Posts: 761
    This is similar to my mother's journey to the Church. She went to Gordon Theological College in Boston in the mid 40's and was assigned a paper on the Errors of Catholicism, and after going to the Paulist Center for research, eventually became a convert and married my father.
  • If she's musical, consider IU. She may not want to major in it, but there's good opportunities for non-majors to continue ensemble work.
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  • JL
    Posts: 171
    When I was applying to colleges (as a music major, years ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth), the advice I got from all my musical mentors was not to go to IU. I applied later for a master's degree and was admitted, but not terribly impressed with the town or the Newman Center (finding the tabernacle was a bit of a treasure hunt) and ended up going to Boston instead. I don't know what the non-music part of the school is like, but my experience of the culture of the school of music makes me glad I went somewhere else.

    I notice that St. Mary's is on your list, and I highly, highly encourage your daughter to investigate this one further. Attending a women's college (admittedly a secular one, but it was there that I came into the Church) was one of the best choices I ever made. If you're willing to consider schools outside of Indiana, the next closest ones are in Wisconsin (Alverno and Mount Mary), Minnesota (St. Katharine's and the College of St. Benedict) and Nebraska (the College of St. Mary)--and all Catholic.

    Good luck to you both. Done right, college is a wonderful time and a source of friendships that last throughout life.
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  • KARU,

    I have two sons at Thomas Aquinas College (in Southern California). I am satisfied that the school nurtures the faith in its students. My sons are better for being there. (And, fwiw, they have some marvelous pictures from the recent fire!)

    That said, sometimes you want to find a place which will make your daughter stand up for her faith, because of the kind of daughter you have. (Not knowing your daughter, except by your description, I can't say if this or the former example applies.)

    A man from our parish went to Steubenville for 1 semester and, finding it not at all what he needed or hoped that it would be, he evacuated. I don't know that such a comment reflects badly on the school, merely that it was not what my friend believed it to be, before he arrived.

    I have had students gain acceptance to TAC, Wyoming Catholic, Christendom, and other top flight schools. Each school has its charism, so there may not be one simple answer.
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  • [re: IU & Bloomington] not terribly impressed with the town or the Newman Center (finding the tabernacle was a bit of a treasure hunt)

    The church's nickname is St. Paul's-Outside-the-Church, if that tells you anything.

    There is a charming Franciscan monastery nearby called the Farm which offers things fairly conservatively, and is a great place to make a retreat (they offer them every month!) But they were obliged to say that their Sunday masses didn't fulfill the Sunday obligation, if that tells you anything . . .

    And as long as we're steering people clear of colleges, I'll say of my old alma mater DePauw - send your daughter there if she wants to lose her faith and replace the spiritual void with membership in a sorority. Granted, things may be changed since Fr. Hollowell became pastor at the local Catholic church. But it would take at least five St. Francises to convert that place.
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,063
    obliged to say that their Sunday masses didn't fulfill the Sunday obligation
    My mind boggles!
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    That does sound strange, and makes me wonder if it can actually be a correct statement of the law, but of course I don't know all the details.

    Going by the material on their website, it seems that the retreat center was founded in the 1990's by people inspired by some alleged private revelations, which may still be underway. That, of course, is a situation calling for pastoral caution.

    After a few years, weekly celebrations of Mass began on the site. A chapel was built in 1997. In 1999, a retired priest became a resident at the retreat center, and permission was granted for reservation of the Holy Eucharist, for adoration. In 2005, the local bishop allowed the Friars of the Immaculate to establish a presence there and provide pastoral care for visitors, but their schedule of services apparently does not offer a Sunday (or Saturday evening) Mass open to the public.
  • I've heard St. Ben's (which is actually co-ed because it's paired with SJU in nearby Collegeville) isn't good for the Faith. Neither is St. Kate's. It's better to go to a public school and save money because a lot of them have amazing Catholic student centers.

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  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,241
    Alverno and Mount Mary are definitely NOT recommended for anyone who wants remotely serious Catholicism or liturgy.
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  • KARU27
    Posts: 184
    Thank you so much, all of you! I was hoping for specific input. There are so many factors to consider, and her faith life is certainly a significant part of the equation. The financial aid package is another.
    I think she is leaning more toward a big public school, with a good Newman Center. She was on a retreat a few months ago, with some Franciscan sisters, and she met young women from several different schools, and I think that gave her hope that she can potentially find kindred spirits in a variety of schools.
    Thanks again everyone, you've given some really good input, and raised some more questions that she needs to answer before she decides.
  • vansensei
    Posts: 192
    Or consider University of St. Thomas. '

    A) It's up the street from St. Kate's and far more orthodox - it houses the seminary for the Archdiocese, you would hope it is.

    B) They say St. Paul is a great town. Lots of Catholic heritage, everything is nearby. The airport, downtown Minneapolis, MOA.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,946
    Um, St. Paul and Minneapolis MN are hardly close by for someone considering schools in Indiana.
  • Charles,

    Conceding your point, I suspect that there are some people who don't see distances quite that way. I remember hearing about English people who thought one might spend breakfast in New York, lunch in San Diego and dinner again in New York because they had no real appreciation of the distances involved.
  • KARU27
    Posts: 184
    Yes, my homebody probably doesn't to go too terribly far away. She also did apply to Franciscan and Aquinas (Michigan), and those are about the farthest she wants to go.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,063
  • only a couple of miles from Purdue

    60+ is rather a loose interpretation of a 'few miles'! (Holy Rosary is in Indy, Purdue is in Lafayette.) I know folks who make the trek every Sunday if she is interested, though.

    Lafayette itself has a lot of options in and of itself. St. Boniface has a good music program; it may be familiar to many here as the home of the St. Michael's Hymnal. St. Ann also has a budding music program; they're the only parish in the diocese which chants the full English propers on a regular basis. (My chant group helps out there on a regular basis.)

    KARU, if you're looking for a good liberal arts school, have you considered Hillsdale? They're just across the border in Michigan. I have plenty of Distributist/Monarchist friends who graduated from there, and the academics as well as the student life there is very encouraging to the conservative lifestyle. (It's the home to the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Russell Kirk taught there at one point as well, and many of the faculty have published material by ISI.) Work a look if you haven't.
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,063
    Sorry, confused by Google Earth finding me a 'Purdue University administrative building' on the IUPUI campus.
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  • 'Sall good, A.F. An hour's drive isn't actually that far when you own a Lefebvrolet.
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  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,678
    If she doesn't know what she wants to major in, are you sure she wants to go to college right now? It's a new world - maybe explore some other ideas unless she has a full/free ride somewhere.
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  • Matthew is right. It may be that a 'gap year' is in order. This would allow for more time in choosing the best university for the young lady once she has developed a clearer vision for her future. During her 'gap year' she could find meaningful work and/or service. A retreat to a convent might also be helpful both spiritually and intellectually. Godspeed!
  • KARU27
    Posts: 184
    Yes, she has considered about a gap year. Apparently this may have ramifications for getting financial aid, unless it is pre-approved by the university as a deferred admission. Something to think about, though.
  • She could always get an MRS degree. ;)
  • vansensei
    Posts: 192
    KARU, I imagine a gap year would simply be just taking a year off in general and applying next year.

    But a gap year would be good. I know it saved me from going to law school.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,083
    60+ is rather a loose interpretation of a 'few miles'! (Holy Rosary is in Indy, Purdue is in Lafayette.)

    You have obviously never been to Texas, Stimson. 60+ miles is just a short trip.
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  • I was ten years at IU in Bloomington. My wife and I liked the town quite a bit, but as suggested, campus ministry might as well be a new age 'support' group. There are a few groups that escape weekly to Holy Rosary, which is a reasonable drive, even by Indiana standards.

    I was also a student (graduate student, many years ago) at Notre Dame. Agreed that finding one's place there can be a challenge (and losing one's place somewhat easier), but there certainly are seriousl Catholics to be found, and if sought with purpose, can provide an excellent community.

    I have heard good things about the community in Purdue, although it must be said that the academic strengths of Purdue are a little more specialized than they are at some other places (but if she is leaning in the direction of the areas of strength of Purdue, it is arguably the best choice, academically, in those areas).
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,678
    I was at Notre Dame for a day trip during the CRCCM Convention this week and thought the campus was one of the most aesthetically pleasing I've ever been to.
  • Your daughter can safely rule out Wabash College! (You know, for a Danny, it's surprising how many of my close friends are Wally grads or professors. And any school that kicked out Ezra Pound can't be all that bad.)