Adam Wilson / July 5, 2016
Father Ronald Vierling served as rector of the University of Notre Dame’s Morrissey Manor, an all-male dormitory serving 240 students, for 11 years. He just stepped down from his position, and this summer he’s transferring to a Catholic boarding school in New England where he’ll serve as chaplain.
The Cardinal Newman Society recently spoke with Fr. Vierling about his time at Notre Dame and the importance of strong residential life policies for Catholic universities.
Having spent over a decade ministering to students at America’s most recognizable Catholic university, Fr. Vierling stated that Notre Dame’s dedication to its Catholic identity is “a mixed bag.” He said the University has compromised its Catholic identity in some ways, but noted there are positive signs of hope.
Concerning residential life, Fr. Vierling lamented shifts in the University’s housing policies, saying Notre Dame is “more concerned with treating students like a consumer base rather than young people in need of formation.”
Fr. Vierling told the Newman Society that all student housing policies “must point in the same direction: fostering the human and moral development of students by setting meaningful standards which are informed by the teaching of the Church and holding students accountable to those standards.”