Cardinal Mooney Bulletin for July 26, 2020
The Mooney saga continues in our love, faith
Dear Cardinal Mooney Family:
Last week, I addressed a group of Cardinal Mooney stakeholders, met with Cheryl Cooper-Perez ’93 (Pres. Of Big-HR), Kim Simon-Cox ’89 (Sure Line, Inc.), John Farris ’77 (Farris Marketing), and walked the campus with Anthony Rubino ’89 (Facilities Director at Robert Morris U). We also produced a Welcome Class of ’24 video in which our girls varsity tennis players and alumni welcome our newest members to Mooney.
Through these and my other introductions, I have come to understand Cardinal Mooney as a narrative. It is a story of validating faith, fostering creativity, and of launching thousands of careers. It is a story unbound by time or place. It is a story of progress. It is a story that can go on forever. I hear this narrative — the importance of our school — in every encounter.
As we plan for the in-person reopening of school, I hope that all of us in the Mooney community and beyond will fall in love with what makes the school unique — its power and ability to make a lasting difference for our current and future students.
As the national debate continues about reopening schools, I have updated you on our progress based on guidelines from the state and local health-care workers. Today, I also want to assure you that the administrative team and I are looking at our options through the lens of faith, too.
Humans are social animals, designed for human contact. We are unique, made in the image of God. As a Catholic institution we are obligated to teach truth as a guiding principle. From that foundation, we aim to foster in students a natural reverence for the beauty and truth that rest in every course we teach.
Through example we teach Aquinas’ basic maxim: “The pursuit of life is happiness; Happiness is found through the development of our capacities with excellence, expressed in the world through action; This path leads to God, the ultimate happiness.”
Through rigorous education we invite students to learn more, and to experience a God much bigger than the one they have created in their own image and likeness. This is significant. The way we teach students to learn also influences what they can learn about God.
Our intellectual approach is a way of learning and has content. Our commitment to history and tradition leaves a deposit of faith that influences moral, political, and economic life. Our sacramental approach to life is where God is experienced through created order.
Our students need to develop what Aquinas calls a retentive memory of the experiences of faith believers (Catholic tradition). The content of what the Church has learned over centuries is not unimportant, and not to learn these places our students at a disadvantage. Nevertheless, Church content cannot be disembodied from a student’s life or experience — otherwise it’s like learning to skate or swim from a book: technically possible but highly unlikely. At some point, they must jump in the water or on the ice. Once they are in, they need some coaching or else they’ll drown.
My point in opening in-person is this: Our Catholic education and religious experiences are not spectator sports. They require active participation if they are to be learned and played with excellence. It is the role of Cardinal Mooney to provide this training.
Thomas Maj, President
Mr. Maj has spent the summer speaking to the Mooney Family about his vision for our school. He has continually pressed the narrative that we must continue our mission in guiding young people in the cultivation of their talents — to “welcome them at the door” and experience the intangible benefits of a Mooney education.