JEMAIL: McEneney, Mike (MC1953) cites “The Future of Catholic Higher Education”

Dear John,

This is an article from the Mount Saint Michael News Letter about Dr. Wilcox’ new book. He was well liked at Manhattan and twice spoke at our Manhattan Businessmen Retreat.



McEneney, Mike (MC1953)

[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.]

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John Richard Wilcox ’56:
The Future of Catholic Education

John Richard Wilcox ’56 Ph.D.

We congratulate John Richard Wilcox, Ph.D. ’56 on the recent publication of The Future of Catholic Higher Education. Dr. Wilcox is the principal author of the book, with Dr. Jennifer Lindholm of UCLA and Dr. Suzanne Dale Wilcox, spiritual director.

The book addresses the challenge currently facing Catholic higher education, that of keeping the mission alive and the essential charism functioning as the number of religious women and men declines.

At the present time, Catholic institutions are staffed by lay people of every conceivable religious denomination. Says Dr. Wilcox, “It is our conviction that a mission group of committed people, living a spiritual life and gathered in community, can provide the necessary continuity.”

Dr. Wilcox lays out the richness of the Catholic intellectual tradition and the practicality of relying on the charism of the founding order: Jesuit, Benedictine, Dominican, Mercy, Lasallian, Sacred Heart. Dr. Lindholm surveys the research on student spirituality. Dr. Wilcox explains that in the aforementioned religious orders, lay communities are in fact continuing the mission of the religious order and guarding the religious community’s charism through networks made up of different walks and religious backgrounds.

Says Dr. Wilcox, “In Catholic educational institutions if there is something that is appealing to non- Catholics and non-Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists, they understand very well that the school will lose its value-added dimension without the presence of the Catholic charism, which represents a certain way of doing things. It is in the air. It is a culture. Within that culture children do better academically and develop a good self image. ” Keep Reading

Dr. Suzanne Wilcox (John’s wife), in her chapter “Wayfaring at the University: Adult Spirituality,” makes use of a Buddhist tale to trace the spiritual journey.

Dr. Suzanne Wilcox relates, “The tale is used to illustrate that we each travel a unique path to God, and that we make our way to peace within surrounded by community. It is worth reflecting on the essentially non-institutional search which is the spiritual path. Liturgy, church attendance and priestly leadership is important as an aid, but not always essential.”

Dr. Wilcox has just retired after thirty-eight years of service at Manhattan College – as professor of Religious Studies, Director of Lasallian Studies, Director of the Center for Business and Professional Ethics and Vice President for Mission – over the years.

The book is available through Amazon, both in paperback and kindle format. You can review and buy the book on Amazon.

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[JR: As a outsider and the resident grinch, I’d say the future is “bleak”!  ]

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