Cardinal Mooney Bulletin for November 1, 2020
From The President’s Desk
“Mooney Difference” more important than ever
Dear Mooney Families, Alumni, and friends:
As we prepare for our Open House on Nov. 8., I want to ask our current and past parents, our alumni, and friends to invite neighbors and others to visit Cardinal Mooney. Share your love of this institution, and to ask them to learn more about what distinguishes a Catholic school from the many other kinds of schools that exist. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, there are distinctive features of a Catholic school, of Cardinal Mooney, that makes “choosing an educational program” for students a critically important decision. For too many, those distinctive features are unknown. Permit me to briefly to speak to a few.
Adolescence is an important time in the development of students’ moral/ethical compass; a time when they begin to understand who they are and who they may become; academically it’s when they paint their academic portrait to be sent off for college admissions; important skills/habits are developed during this time; two of the most important are the habit of perseverance and the skill of becoming a self-advocate.
In four short years, they will enter a broader society, one increasingly independent of parents, and thus possessing an ability to discern is essential for sorting out the world. They will graduate into a turbulent and confusing world filled with dissonance, discord, and distrust. If they are to negotiate this world happily, the kind of education they receive is critical.
What makes Mooney distinctive from other kinds of school? The answer lies in what is essential to a Catholic school, namely, its intellectual or educative character.
Mooney’s features are based on an unwavering commitment to student achievement for all; its supportive social environment (the Mooney Family) that promotes academic achievement and formation; and its inspirational ideology that directs action toward social justice in an ecumenical and multicultural world.
These characteristics vitalize our educational philosophy that aims not only to influence what students learn, but also the kind of people they become. In a growing secular and relativistic world, we educate to stimulate critical dispositions of the mind and heart essential to the sustenance of a convivial democratic society.
In many ways, we are counter cultural.
- Our positive anthropology is counter to radical individualism.
- Our transformative view of educating has a proactive view about what students can and should learn. In other words, we teach how to think not what to think.
- We guide students to become the best version of themselves rather a version of someone else.
- School is organized as a community where daily life educates in profound ways.
- Mooney teaches the principle of subsidiarity versus a view based on bureaucratic and impersonal society.
Mooney is the leaven of our human community.
On Tuesday, millions of Americans will cast their vote in the presidential election. The need for a national conversation has never been more acute. The profusion of fractious talk and bias disguised as informed thought are all around us. Leaders spout violent metaphors instead of well-reasoned dissent. This is a pervasive problem running through the entire political spectrum. The bilious, the vitriolic, and the false choices do nothing but inspire more of the same.
Out of that din, Mooney has a clarity of purpose. A commitment to teach civility and to service for the greater good. We remain true to our covenant with families: to enlarge individual opportunity, to improve our community, and sustain democracy through expanded understandings of people, cultures, experiences.
Mooney is for the courageous — students with the courage to learn of and from others; it is for the passionate — students who have a passion for learning and ideas; it’s for students who value a more civil and democratic future, who understand and respect for differences, bur recognize and building on commonalities.