Saturday, February 13, 2010

Our Mission

Formulated last semester:

1. The New Tractarians are a group of students at the University of Notre Dame dedicated to promoting the Catholic University according to the teaching of Ex Corde Ecclesiae and the tradition of John Cardinal Newman.

2. We acknowledge that a Catholic University provides essential development of the knowledge and skills necessary for a specific discipline or profession, but we emphatically maintain that this cannot come at the expense of the cultivation of the mind and person as a whole.

3. We understand that a Catholic University is a unified collection of colleges, schools and departments and therefore it should work to create a cohesive intellectual environment substantiated by a diversity of disciplines in pursuit of a Catholic understanding of Truth.

4. We understand that a Catholic University has a specific place in the world academic discourse with a specific Catholic message to bring to the academic community.

5. We understand that a Catholic University should be under the active jurisdiction of the Church with the understanding that, as the Bride of Christ, the Church has been endowed with special graces in pursuit of Truth that in no way interfere with the proper activities of a Catholic university.

6. As Catholics, we are endowed with the Truth from which we should start our intellectual pursuits. There are things we believe beyond dispute that should form every decision we make.

7. Because the University of Notre Dame is recognized throughout the academic sphere as an important exemplar of Catholic higher education, we assert that it is in a unique position to uphold and promote the authentic identity of a Catholic university on account of its rich intellectual tradition and history of excellence.

8. As Cardinal Newman says, to know all things we must first try to know about God because God is the origin of all things. The Church, in her Tradition and Scripture, serves as the primary source of our knowledge of God. As such, our knowledge of God in light of Church teachings should inspire our study of the world around us, since to know God is to know his creation. Through regular discussion and writing, The New Tractarians hope to intellectually engage in the Truths of our faith, while at the same time partnering our theological pursuits with our fields of study and our general experience of university life. It is our hope that our internal work will stand as an example of what we are trying to promote in the university as a whole.

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