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Cardinal Newman Society president Patrick Reilly presents Pope Benedict with a copy of The Newman Guide.Courtesy of Cardinal Newman Society

April 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – This April marks ten years since then-Pope Benedict XVI challenged American Catholic educators to put Catholic identity and fidelity ahead of other concerns.

And while not everyone embraced his vision, it greatly inspired the 28 colleges and higher education programs recognized by The Cardinal Newman Society for their strong Catholic identity and featured in the 2018-19 edition of The Newman Guide, released today at the completely redesigned and updated website,

Pope Benedict told college and diocesan leaders gathered at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., on April 17, 2008, “First and foremost, every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God, Who in Jesus Christ reveals His transforming love and truth.”

He urged fidelity to Catholic teaching and a properly defined “academic freedom” that does not deny truth—an appeal that is especially relevant today as the Church prepares for the Vatican Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment this October. Young Catholics in today’s highly secular culture are in great need of education that presents the truth about God, morality, and Catholic life.

A year after Pope Benedict’s address, Newman Society President Patrick Reilly presented him a copy of the first Newman Guide on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica—a gift to the Pope who inspired it.

The 28 institutions recommended in The Newman Guide share Pope Benedict’s vision for Catholic education. They take seriously the Holy Father’s claim that Catholic education is “integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News.” They strive to carry out Pope Benedict’s charge, that “each and every aspect of your learning communities reverberates within the ecclesial life of faith.”

The expanded Newman Guide content available online, free of charge, goes beyond highlighting important differences among faithful colleges. It also helps families understand the value of a faithful Catholic education, how to navigate the college search, and how to guide students in growing their faith on campus.

A printed Newman Guide resource will be available in the fall.

As part of its Newman Guide program, The Cardinal Newman Society has expanded its innovative “Recruit Me” program, which invites The Newman Guide colleges to recruit interested high school students, shares college search tips, and allows seniors to participate in the Newman Society’s $5,000 Essay Scholarship Contest.

For graduates of Newman Guide colleges and others, the Newman Society’s new website connects faithful Catholic schools and colleges with qualified job candidates who are dedicated to their Catholic faith and the mission of Catholic education.

Founded in 1993, the mission of The Cardinal Newman Society is to promote and defend faithful Catholic education at all levels, including elementary, secondary, and higher education. The Society is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization supported by individuals, businesses, and foundations.