Catholic Identity


A strong Catholic identity in higher education is invaluable for the discovery of the relationship between truth and reason, God’s self-revelation, and the authentic meaning of human life. Catholic identity lies at the heart of Holy Spirit College.


In 1979, Pope St. John Paul the Great outlined the essential characteristics of a Catholic institution of higher education:


Every university or college is qualified by a specified mode of being. Yours is the qualification of being Catholic, of affirming God, his revelation and the Catholic Church as the guardian and interpreter of that revelation. The term Catholic will never be a mere label either added or dropped according to the pressures of varying factors.


Ex corde Ecclesiae highlights four distinctive characteristics essential to the Catholic identity of an
institution of higher education:

(1) Christian inspiration in individuals and the university community
(2) Reflection and research on human knowledge in light of the Catholic faith
(3) Fidelity to the Christian message in conformity to the Magisterium of the Church
(4) Institutional commitment to the service of others (Ex corde Ecclesiae, I, n.13)


These four characteristics provide the foundation of Holy Spirit College and are reflected
throughout the College’s programs in the following ways:

(1) Commitment to the magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church.
(2) Commitment to the Catholic faith by members of the board, administration, faculty, and all who are associated with the implementation of the College’s mission.
(3) Provision of academic courses which incorporate moral and religious teachings, especially as they relate to the dignity of human life and to social justice.
(4) Affirmation of Catholic principles in regard to academic freedom and individual conscience in all activities and organizations.
(5) Commitment to serving others, particularly the marginalized in society and the most vulnerable.
(6) Provision of pastoral services through the clergy of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, including the celebration of daily Mass, penance, opportunities for prayer and reflection, and other events throughout the liturgical seasons of the Church year.
(7) Maintaining compliance with Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities.
(8) Promotion of Eucharistic Adoration regularly offered in St. Mary’s Chapel.