Surveys of graduating seniors show that they are predominantly pro-abortion, approve of homosexual “marriage,” and only occasionally pray or attend religious services.

Our bulletins are replete with links to resources related to the secularization of formerly religious institutions and more particularly to the effects of secularization at Notre Dame. Some frequently cited materials are listed below with links to either read or purchase the resource.


With the exception of “The Dying of the Light,” which considers the forces, process, and rhetoric of secularization through case studies at seven different schools, the following books cover a range of topics related to Notre Dame’s Catholic identity and its ongoing struggle to determine its mission and future course. Click on the images below for more information and to purchase.

Articles & Selections

By Patrick J. Reilly
A Nationwide survey raises concerns about the impact that American colleges have on the faith and morals of Catholic Students. The Catholic World Report, March 2003.
By James Tunstead Burtchaell
The Disengagement of Colleges and Universities from Their Christian Churches. Wm B Eerdman’s Publishing Publishing Co. 1998.
By Nick Kolman-Mandle
An Exploration of the Formation of Religious Identity Among Notre Dame Students. Scholastic Magazine, February 24, 2005.
By Mike Laskey
A look at the factors that make Notre Dame students more liberal as they move toward graduation. Scholastic Magazine, December 6, 2007.
By Larry Lyon
Integrating faith and learning, allowing religious traditions to constrain academic freedom and employing religious criteria in faculty searches. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (2007) 46(1):87–100.
By Alfred J. Freddoso
Illuminating introduction to Charles Rice’s “What Happened to Notre Dame?” from the perspective of a prominent long-time member of the Notre Dame faculty. St. Augustine’s Press, 2009.

Catholicism of Catholic Universities

In 1967 a group of Catholic educators led by Notre Dame’s president Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC, drew up and singed what has become known as “The Land O’Lakes Statement.” Its purpose was to define the role of Catholic universities in America. Instead, it set in motion a decline in their Catholic identity. A response to Land O’Lakes came in the form of an apostolic constitution 13 years later from Pope John Paul II, Ex Corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the Church). You can read these documents along with the USCCB’s application of Ex Corde below.

Other Books & Videos

By Melanie M. Morey & Johbn J. Piderit, S.J.
Oxford University Press 2006
By John William Meaney
University of Notre Dame Press 1991
By Ralph McInerny
University of Notre Dame Press, 2006
By Eve Ensler
Villard; Revised edition 2000

Notre Dame Documents

The Catholic identity of the University depends upon, and is nurtured by, the continuing presence of a predominant number of Catholic intellectuals.
Operating under its founding charter from the State of Indiana adopted on January 15, 1844, the University of Notre Dame for many decades had been governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees comprised of six Holy Cross Priests.
On March 28, 1967, the Board of Trustees approved the Statutes of the University, providing for six laymen to join with the six aforementioned priests in a body which replaced the then existing Board of Trustees and is known as “The Fellows of the University of Notre Dame du Lac.” The prior Bylaws were abrogated and the required number of new Fellows elected.
On April 8, 1967, at a meeting of the Fellows, the Statutes were ratified and new Bylaws were approved which delegate the general power of governance of the University to a Board of Trustees. These Bylaws are likewise set forth as amended in this document.

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