Just a random post about the vagaries of life inspired by my day yesterday when I took my nearly seventeen year-old daughter on a field trip to an unnamed legal tribunal in Kansas City, Missouri to observe her father’s mild-mannered disguise-related job.

It must be noted at the outset that Kansas City is home to the Royals, who are still in search of their first World Series title, after coming oh-so-close in 1985.  But I digress.

I thought this would be one of those wonderful father-daughter moments, the kind that she would wistfully discuss with Oprah’s mummified remains in 2045 (as opposed to the kind of horrified moment that she would scream at Jerry Springer in 2014).

We loaded up the sled and drove West on I-70.  We passed two Hooters restaurants on the way there, and again on the way back, without stopping to dine.  Just for the record.

My daughter is considering which college to attend; she is entering her senior year at a very prestigious private high school where she has managed the unusual feat of being the top student in her class as well as being simultaneously the bottom student in her class.  Wide World of Sports-like.  Feel free to put your college suggestions in the combox, but anyone who says Steubenville will be banned.  I kid because I love!

It is difficult to justify the outrageous expense of most private colleges and universities, though the typical public university is expensive enough.  It has long since happened that I have gone from Urbane Young Professional to Catholic Dad of Seventy Children.  So money is an issue, though I don’t want to put any unreasonable limits on the universe of choices.

This universe of choices is painfully small for our parameters.  Why?  To begin with, unlike Bishop Williamson, we believe that it is an affirmative good for a young woman to have a college education.  However, we don’t believe that every University provides a good intellectual and spiritual formation.  Hey, forget spiritual formation— we would be happy if the school didn’t affirmatively try to lure her into mortal sin.  Most schools fail on this count.

Certainly, she would like to have a Catholic university education.  Most Catholic universities fail on the Catholic portion of that equation.  How many Catholic universities are there, really?  Even taking Ex Corde Ecclesiae adherence as a minimal start, the list is short.  And then there is the liturgical question.  For us, the liturgical question is a product of the philosophy/theology question.  To boil it down– a school that tries to be Catholic while forbidding the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to its students shoots itself in the foot.  Such a school falls prey to the forty-five year-old trap of separating the “Whats” of our faith with the “Hows” and “Whys” of our faith.  St. Prosper summed up the Catholic position on this relation in the maxim “lex orandi lex credendi“, or “the law of prayer is the law of belief”.

The derisive term used by modernists for the Catholic position of unity between faith and prayer is Integrism.  If a school would call my daughter an integrist, it would get points for the use of fancy words, but would not get her tuition check.  The last thing I would want for her is to attend a school that teaches adherence to Catholic dogmas and doctrines and then insist on providing a protestant “campus ministry” that undermines these teachings in practice.  Sound harsh to you?  Maybe it is, but I truly don’t mean it to be.  This is just a stream-of-consciousness post.

Ultimately, the school needs to be in close enough proximity for her to assist at the EF on Sundays.  Thanks to Summorum Pontificum, there are more options available on that score.

Regarding cost, after any scholarship and aid, we have a serious concern about saddling her with debt, especially at the undergraduate level.  The undergraduate degree has nearly become the equivalent of a high school diploma these days, and I don’t recall having tens of thousands of loan debt after escaping high school.

Oh, and it would be great if it were within a reasonable drive of St. Louis, so she wouldn’t have to have her modesty violated to fly there.

Any suggestions– or are we homecollege-ing?