Parents rank Notre Dame fourth top choice

In spite of the recent troubles the University of Notre Dame is having over its invitation to President Barack Obama to deliver the 2009 commencement address and receive an honorary laws degree, many parents still think the Golden Dome is a great destination for their children.

In its annual “College Hopes and Worries” survey of college applicants and their parents by The Princeton Review, Notre Dame ranked fourth overall with parents when asked what their dream college would be for their child if costs were not an issue.  The university ranked behind Harvard, Stanford and Princeton, and just ahead of Yale. No other Catholic college or university ranked. Neither Notre Dame nor any other Catholic school ranked in the top 10 with students.

The Princeton Review received almost 16,000 responses from respondents in all 50 states, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The organization did not diferentiate between Catholic and non-Catholics in its survey.

Notre Dame has long ranked in the top 20 major research universities in the United States by many different ranking organizations. Catholics make up about one-fifth of the U.S. population.

The Tablet weighs in on Obama-Notre Dame controversy

The Tablet — a Catholic weekly in London — offered an editorial about the controversy surrounding the University of Notre Dame’s invitation to President Barack Obama to deliver the commencement address at the 2009 graduation.

The editorial suggests a difference in attitude between American and European Catholics.

A symbol of ‘new life, new hope’

Two Franciscan sisters who are pastoral coordinators at Sacred Hart Parish in Champion, Mich., say blooms on what they thought was a dead tree branch symbolize “the Lord giving us new life and new hope” at Easter.

Sisters Margey Schmelzle and Lois Risch tell the story of the branch in an interview with The U.P. Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Marquette, Mich.

Bishop Zubik’s ‘Service of Apology’

Here is the text of Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik’s reflection during a special ‘Service of Apology” he led this past Tuesday during Holy Week at St. Paul Cathedral.

“If you have been harmed by the church in any way, I invite you to come,” the bishop said when he announced the service March 13 in his column “Bridging the Gap” in the diocesan newspaper, the Pittsburgh Catholic. “There will be nothing expected of you but your presence and your willingness to pray with me.”

He said that he began holding the services in 2000 when he was the bishop of Green Bay, Wis. His inspiration was a jubilee-year apology Pope John Paul II made for sins of members of the church, sometimes committeed in the name of the church. Bishop Zubik was installed as Pittsburgh’s bishop in September 2007.