For a start, the President of Newman College (Professor Ciarán Ó Coigligh) has his priorities right.
His self-description on Linkedin the professional social networking site reads:
"Catholic, husband, parent, academic, poet, novelist, playwright, administrator" - in that order ...... And, as a Catholic, he is unequivocally pro-life - as all true Catholics are.
This fact is illustrated in Professor Ó Coigligh's crystal clear exposition of Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae on the transmission of human life, presented in his parish a year or so ago. His presentation concludes with the words:
"Saint John Paul II’s ceaseless promotion of the essence of Humanae Vitae, encapsulated in his wonderful phrase ‘a culture of life’ was a not insignificant factor in my return to the practice of the faith ...".Professor Ó Coigligh recounts with unflinching honesty his personal history and the story of his intellectual and spiritual formation in a remarkable address delivered recently at a dinner held in his honour at Saint Patrick's College, Drumcondra. The dinner was held to mark his leaving the College because of the abandonment of its Catholic Mission and the destruction of its Catholic ethos. In his address, Professor Ó Coigligh also recounts his family history, caught up in the tragic suffering of the Irish people in the 19th and 20th centuries. It's wonderful to see the faith of our fathers, the faith of his parents, and his intellectual conviction in the truths taught by the Catholic Church (in particular the truth about marriage, the family, and the sanctity of life) emerging despite all the difficulties of his early life and his youthful immersion in political thinking deeply hostile to those truths.
Newman College Ireland, NCI for short, is a four year educational experience designed to give students an unmatched foundation in the liberal arts; one that will give due precedence to the Catholic faith and introduce students to the life of the mind. Through the study of theology, philosophy and the classics of Western civilisation a student will be superbly prepared for the vocation or career he or she might choose. Most importantly they will learn the Catholic faith from faculty who believe it and practice it!
Professor Ciarán Ó Coigligh, the President of Newman College Ireland, was formerly of the Irish Departments in National University of Ireland, Galway, National University of Ireland, Dublin and Saint Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin City University, Ireland.
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