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Friday 04 December |
Saint John Damascene

Where are the Catholic students at the U.S.'s largest Catholic university?

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 01/23/18

An interesting question, with some equally revealing answers:

When Selena Miller, a practicing Catholic, applied to DePaul, she had no idea it was a Catholic university.

Damita Meneves, another practicing Catholic, said she has met only one other Catholic student in her first year at DePaul.

DePaul is the largest Catholic University in the country. But the inauguration of President A. Gabriel Esteban marks the first time in history that DePaul has had a president that is not a Catholic priest. With many Catholic events on campus drawing modest-sized crowds, it begs the question, where are all the Catholics?

According to enrollment statistics provided by DePaul, the number of Catholic students is declining. In 2007, 57 percent of incoming DePaul freshmen who chose to report a religious affiliation identified as Catholic. In 2017 that number has dwindled to 38 percent.

By comparison, the University of Notre Dame has 81 percent of its incoming freshmen identifying as Catholic. Boston College reports 70 percent, and Loyola University reports 59 percent.

At a school of nearly 23,000 st

udents where at least a third are reporting as Catholic, it would stand to reason that thousands of Catholic students should be roaming the halls. Yet most weekly events put on by Catholic Campus Ministry (CCM) draw between 10 to 25 students.

Read on.

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