We “orthodox” Catholics had better slow down! Catholics are starting schools meant to be thoroughly Catholic to combat the “Universities Formerly Known As Catholic”syndrome. This is a great thing, in theory and I am all for it, being the product of a University that was supposed to be Catholic. But I am noticing a trend, is anyone else? Fr. Fessio is booted from the University of San Francisco because he was too Catholic for the Jesuits. He starts Campion College right across the street to show them how Catholic education is done. It folds. Thomas Monaghan starts Ave Maria College and Ave Maria Law School in Michigan. The law school seems to be a success but the college has troubles. The Catholic philanthropist moves the college to Naples Florida but the people left behind in Michigan are not happy with the way the move was handled. Meanwhile, in Florida Fessio and Monaghan plan for a Church that looks more like a greenhouse. Catholics remember elementary science and realize greenhouse + Florida Sun = Baked Catholic Worshippers. Fessio announces the greenhouse plan was a mistake and it is back to the drawing board. Traditionalists in Pennsylvania try to start St. Justin Martyr but run into trouble when the sponsoring community of priests is exposed as corrupt. Meanwhile, Dr. Thomas Droleskey is planning Christ the King College (while driving around the country in his RV) because none of the existing schools are traditional enough. I want to see good Catholic schools succeed. I want to see them grow and become enough of a threat to the existing “Catholic” schools that they are forced to revert to being Catholic. But good intentions and lots of dough are not enough. These schools need to be good, academically and administratively. Please lets get our orthodox act together! This post was prompted by a fund raising letter packet I received today from Ave Maria University. The brochure is slick, and features idealized pictures of fully habited nuns, beautiful buildings and smiling students. I want to support Ave Maria and any other authentically Catholic schools but I am worried that these mistakes are going to be repeated. I hope things work out for the “new Notre Dame” so it will truly become as good as it could be.