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The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Finding the right University is indeed a challenge.

It is every parent's dream to see their children one day go off to college for a new experience in life, but also to further their education that they too may do their part to make a difference in society. When I had my first child, my daughter, I promised myself that she will go off to college to gain a new perspective on life, to experience other opportunities and to make new friends from other places.


It felt like just yesterday that we brought our baby girl home from the hospital, the year was 1996. As the years went on we watched each phase of her life and was astonished how blessed we are to have been granted this special gift from God. First there was the first baby steps, then her first tooth, then her first day of kindergarten. From there we experienced her first day of Primary school, then graduating from grade six, and onward to high school. All this time we were snapping photos for lasting memories.

As we journeyed along high school from the seventh grade reality never took a hold of me that we were almost to the finish line, this was because we were now experiencing the same events with our other special gift from God, our son; he was only 4 years and four grades behind her. When eleventh grade was complete and we left it behind with the good news that our princess was selected as Deputy Head Girl of her upcoming senior class, reality took grip of me. Where has the time gone we asked ourselves; we are one year away from sending our first born off to the experience of a lifetime.

From the very first day as a senior it has not been a dull moment for the graduating class of 2014 of Aquinas College. At this point most of the students would know which field they want to work in after college from the moment they entered their senior year at grade ten. I have always wanted my daughter to know for certain what area she felt drawn towards so that there will be less chance of her changing majors once she entered college. From a young child growing up she always loved the arts and thus her passion and drive to seek a college that would offer her this education.

Has it been a challenge to find a college/university that meets our requirements, you bet it has! Off the bat, my wife insisted that our daughter not be too far away from home, therefore that narrowed it down to the South Florida area, away from The Bahamas, but only about 30-45 minutes away by airplane. Of course the school would have to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts, but at the top of the list we insisted upon a Christian school, more so a Catholic college/university. Let me begin that it has not been an easy task at all.

Within the South a Florida area the pickings are very slim for a Catholic University, who offered an Arts major, with the exception of one, Barry University in Miami Florida. Selecting a school is like buying a home or a new car, you must go and see the house and the area, likewise you would want to take a test drive in that car before the purchase. Well we did just that; we scheduled a school tour of Barry that lasted about an hour in all that included speaking with an admissions counsellor and financial aid officers.

Unfortunately we all left there feeling quite uneasy and uncomfortable about the entire experience. For one thing the area was not an area that I felt comfortable leaving my daughter even though she would be residing on campus. With the high fences that encompassed the property it felt as though you were in prison. Even though the school is a "Catholic" University I did not feel as though they sold the message to me. If you're going to use a student tour guide to show the  university then at least ensure that they are Catholics who are passionate about the faith and do not sell the university short. This was not going well at all at this point, but there may still be hope as we had visited another University earlier that day and was very pleased with the experience.

As we struggled to find a Catholic University we had to look at other avenues that offered the classes she sought. It just so happens that the first university we visited is not too far from home and fits the requirement of being a Christian, but not Catholic university. I had many thoughts going to my mind afterwards about the message that would be taught at the school to the forms of students that she would encounter who would probably not understand and accept her faith, but that can be said also about those students who are not Catholics who attend Catholic high schools and universities.


I am comfortable that I have I instilled in my children the importance of holding strong to their Catholic Christian beliefs and not allow anyone to persuade them to pull away from it. I am sure she will be challenged while away and on her own, but I hold firm to the belief that if you train your child the way they should go they will not fall away. I would definitely prefer that she attend a Catholic institute, it would make it much easier for me not to worry that she is continuing to journey in her faith, but I can only believe that what we have taught her and what she has learnt during her years thus far will carry with her as she faces new challenges and experiences.

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