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Juan Vélez writes for students who are forming their mind and will, seeking a liberal arts education within the current context of great American universities and colleges. Vélez writes in the tradition of James Schall, Allan Bloom, Mark Henrie and, preeminently, his spiritual mentor, John Henry Newman.  The book is a readable guide for the student who will ultimately need to create his own curriculum in the Western tradition, following some aspects of the traditional seven liberal arts.”

Robert T. Constable DSW
Professor Emeritus
Loyola University Chicago

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 A University Education for the 21st Century is a wonderfully sane and invaluable guide for parents and students on the value of a liberal arts education and how to access it in an increasingly secular and scientific academy. Father Juan Vélez’s experience with students as a chaplain in American universities deepens and enriches a beautifully clear, concise and compelling text.”

Anthony Adamthwaite
Professor, Department of History
University of California at Berkeley

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In my view, A University Education for the 21st Century is a persuasive invitation to students to enrich their intellectual life by paying attention to the humanities, learning each day from the intellectual giants of mankind. In words of Sir William Osler, these students should strive “to get the education if not of a scholar, at least of a gentleman.”

Gonzalo Herranz
Professor Emeritus, Pathology and Medical Ethics
University of Navarre

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A compelling and spirited defense of a liberal arts education, A University Education for the 21st Century by Father Juan Vélez beautifully transmits the values at the core of academia. This book will enrich the thinking of humanists and scientists alike”.

Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe
James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Princeton University

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Juan Vélez’s little book should be of interest to anyone concerned about the state of higher education, but it is particularly useful as a vade mecum for the serious high school graduate who is about to make the exciting but perilous choice of a college. This in an era that is unsure even of the purpose of a higher education and the liberal arts tradition that remains precariously its core. Guided by the spirit of John Henry Newman, Father Juan combines a history of liberal education and the university with a lively critique of its contemporary failings, whether the politicization of the classroom, tireless debunking of the West, contempt for idealism, or abject careerism.  There follows a strong argument for fundamental reform as well as abundant practical advice for choosing colleges and courses that cultivate true learning. There has never been a greater need for academic (and spiritual) mentoring, and this book serves that purpose well.

John Hulsman
Emeritus Professor of English
Rider College

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A University Education for the 21st Century answers questions that should be on the minds of all reflective young people: why study the liberal arts?  Where would it be best for me to do so?  And how, once in college or university, should I go about seeking an education that will shape both my intellect and will?  Many high schools and universities do not provide sound guidance for young men and women asking these questions; Fr. Vélez’s book will be welcome and essential reading for them.

Christopher Tollefsen
Professor of Philosophy
University of South Carolina

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After reading A University Education for the 21st Century even those seeking an education in science and engineering will be convinced of the need for a liberal arts curriculum.  Now more than ever, it is critical that those on the front lines of discovery and innovation with great potential for lasting and widespread impact seek an authentic humanistic formation.  Fr Juan Vélez’s experience as a physician, priest and university chaplain make him especially suited to provide both the philosophical motivation as well as practical advice for achieving this formation.  This book will inspire students and their parents.

Katheen M. Schmainda PhD
Professor, Radiology & Biophysics
Medical College of Wisconsin

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Fr. Juan Vélez’s A University Education for the 21st Century, presents a concise and substantive argument for the perennial value of a liberal arts education and its importance to Catholic higher education. It is essential reading for Catholic educators and for prospective college students and their parents who value the rich tradition of the Church.

Cornelia A. Tsakiridou, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Philosophy
Director, Diplomat-In-Residence Program
La Salle University, Philadelphia

 



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For forty days we are in ‘spiritual circuit training’, with the goal of joining St Peter on his morning run to Christ’s tomb.

But our Lord is clear: He said “to all” that “if any” man, and in doing so both offers Himself to every man and leaves no room for half-hearted disciples.

Newman encourages us to be more of what we are: courageous Christians who do all we can, to our utmost, for His Kingdom.

In this ingenious poem, “Candlemas,” Saint John Henry Newman weaves together the entire liturgical year using the theme of light as the thread

Newman approached his teaching from an obviously Christian anthropology. He saw every young person from the start as a being in the image of God.

Do we treat time, which is always slipping through our hands, as the precious resource it is?

Dominic abundantly shared with John Henry the gifts inspired by the Saints he admired, who are recorded in his spiritual journal.

The contemplation of Him, and nothing but it, is able fully to open and relieve the mind, to unlock, occupy, and fix our affections.

Our Books

About Cardinal John Henry Newman

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A Guide to John Henry Newman will interest educated readers and professors alike, and serve as a text for college seminars for the purpose of studying Newman.

Review by Catherine Maybanks
(Catholic Herald, April 1, 2023)

Review by Serenheed James
(Antiphon, April 2023)

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Fr Peter Conley takes us on an exciting journey into the spirituality and inner life of Saint John Henry Newman.
 

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Endorsement by Neyra Blanco (Amazon)
I bought this book for my son and he loved it, he wrote this review and urged my to submitted: “I think this book has a very beautiful message, because it shows how the young Newman was so determined to achieve his dream of becoming a priest, but even after his dream he continued to work in the church with passion until the day he died, it’s so admirable that even Newman so old and so weak still had that urge to continued his work of being a priest. And the book is well written with words not too complicated with very enjoyable texts and well illustrated pictures. I highly recommend this book for a 5th grader.  

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What is a Classical Liberal Arts Education? Why is it so important for the development of a person?

Fr. Juan R. Vélez answers these and more questions you might have about University Education in the 21st century. This book is aimed for parents, prospective University students, and educators. It will help you discern why adding Liberal Arts electives to your education will help it form it better, and help the student learn to reason, and not just learn.

He also explains how many Universities have changed the true meaning of Liberal Arts, and the subjects, and gives advise on how to choose College Campus, Subjects, and Teachers.

A wonderful book that every parent should also read way before your children are College bound. A Liberal Arts education can start earlier in life, even from home.

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Endorsement by Christopher Moellering (Goodreads, September 14, 2019)
In Passion for Truth Fr. Vélez gave us an outstanding biography of Cardinal Newman. In this work, he provides a concise overview of his thought and his devotion. This is a great work for someone who, perhaps hearing of Newman for the first time because of his beatification 13 October, 2019, wants to know more about this English saint.Vélez is a wonderful writer in his own right, and the frequent quotations from Newman round out the work nicely. I especially appreciated the frequent citing of Newman’s Meditations and Devotions, which show a different side of his spirituality than his more well-known works, Development of Christian Doctrine and the Grammar of Assent.

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Take Five: Meditations with John Henry Newman, endorsement by Illow M. Roque (Amazon, September 3, 2010)
“There is a time to put direct inquiry on hold and give ourselves to prayer and practical duties.” Sound advice from one of the earlier, thought-provoking reminders in this sparkling gem of a book: Take Five | Meditations with John Henry Newman, written by Mike Aquilina and Fr. Juan R. Vélez and published by Our Sunday Visitor. This particular paragraph, referenced above, which begins with a direct quote from soon-to-be canonized priest, cardinal and poet, John Henry Newman: “Study is good, but it gets us only so far . . .” is actually the 15th in a series of 76 concise, logically organized meditations moving from the elementary to the sublime. Each meditation–one per page–is built upon the great man’s writings and remarkably rich spirituality. Whether taken whole in one reading or in part page-by-page over a course of weeks and months, these wonderfully insightful meditations will open up, even to the busiest reader in the midst of the world, a unique pathway into prayer and contemplation. My advice to spiritual inquirers at all levels, from the novice to the spiritually adept, is to follow the authors’ recommendation to use this book as a guide for daily prayer and meditation. The structure of the book itself is ideal: first, the authors introduce us to Cardinal Newman, the man, where we are given the opportunity to get to know him through a brief sketch of his life and spirituality at the beginning of the book. This is something readers will likely find themselves referring to again and again, prompting many, I suspect, to even wider explorations of this most gifted Christian leader. Then comes the meditations, consisting of a short summary of Newman’s thoughts on subjects taken, as the authors explain, from various salient points for which Newman is justly remembered: The pursuit of objective religious truth; Teaching on the Virtues; Defense of the Catholic Church; A devout spiritual and moral life; and Generosity and loyalty in his friendships, which sets the topic and tone for each meditation to follow. Each meditation consists of an excerpt taken from Newman’s thirty-plus volumes of writings and diaries. Next comes three brief and extremely useful sections entitled: “Think About It,” which establishes a prayerfully resonant tone throughout the book; “Just Imagine,” which provides a vivid, prayerful experience of the Scriptures that tie in, and finally, “Remember,” a pithy summation which the authors suggest may be used as a daily aspiration. Each meditation is given its own page, which makes it ideal for daily reflection for readers on the go. This book is a must have for every serious Catholic who wants to take their faith to the next level, which is to respond appropriately to the universal call to holiness and seek interior union with God.
Fr. Peter Conley

For forty days we are in ‘spiritual circuit training’, with the goal of joining St Peter on his morning run to Christ’s tomb.

David Warren

But our Lord is clear: He said “to all” that “if any” man, and in doing so both offers Himself to every man and leaves no room for half-hearted disciples.

Robert Kirkendall

Newman encourages us to be more of what we are: courageous Christians who do all we can, to our utmost, for His Kingdom.

Prof. Barb H. Wyman

In this ingenious poem, “Candlemas,” Saint John Henry Newman weaves together the entire liturgical year using the theme of light as the thread

Scott Goins

Newman approached his teaching from an obviously Christian anthropology. He saw every young person from the start as a being in the image of God.

David Warren

Do we treat time, which is always slipping through our hands, as the precious resource it is?

Fr. Peter Conley

Dominic abundantly shared with John Henry the gifts inspired by the Saints he admired, who are recorded in his spiritual journal.

Robert Kirkendall

The contemplation of Him, and nothing but it, is able fully to open and relieve the mind, to unlock, occupy, and fix our affections.

Fr. Juan Velez

Merry Christmas to all! In the following video from Colombia, I send you a warm greetings for Christmas. May God richly bless you and your families, and may St. John Henry Newman continue to be a source of inspiration for