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The 4 8 7


Newsletter of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology of the Immaculate Conception 

Summer 2010

PFIC Bestows 26 Degrees at Commencement

PFIC Students Ordained this Spring In the Spring of this Year for Priests, 16 PFIC students were ordained to diaconal and priestly ministry. Our philosophical and theological formation of these men for their service of the Church comes to its fulfillment in their ordained ministry. As the PFIC’s mission concerns an integral formation in academics and pastoral ministry, these ordinations present us with an opportunity for a thankful reflection on the blessings of God. Josephites Among the students at the PFIC are the Josephites (Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart). Three of them were ordained to the diaconate on April 24 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, a parish staffed by the Josephites in Washington, D.C. Most Rev. Hyacinth Egbebo, MSP, Bishop of Bomadi Vicariate, Nigeria, ordained Christopher Amadi, Jerome Cletus, and Michael Okechukwu. Rev. Mr. Michael Okechukwu said of the event, “My ordination as deacon was an awesome experience and the ceremony, especially the litany of saints and the laying on of hands, made me acutely Continued pg. 3

On May 21, the PFIC held its 2010 Commencement, and granted degrees to 18 students. As both religious and lay students received degrees, the PFIC looks with hope to the effect these students will have throughout the whole Church. Among the gradutes were 3 lay students, 8 Dominican friars, 5 Josephites, 1 Marian of the Immaculate Conception and 1 Benedictine. The faculty awarded 6 Masters of Arts in Theology, 10 Masters of Divinity, 7 Bachelors of Sacred Theology, and 3 Licentiates of Sacred Theology. The degrees were given by the President of the Faculty, Very Rev. Steven Boguslawski, OP, with the aid of Vice President and Academic Dean, Rev. Gabriel O’Donnell, OP. The commencement address, given by Fr. Dominic Izzo, OP, marked his final year as Vice Chancellor of the Pontifical Faculty. Fr. Izzo spoke of the importance of using a PFIC education to engage a modern culture that does not accept Christ or the Christian life. He also impressed upon the graduates that to accomplish this task, it is not enough to possess a habit of theological knowledge. Rather, personal integrity

and a deep life of prayer truly enable one to impart the knowledge of Christ to others. Following the graduation, Fr. Izzo and Fr. Giles Dimock, OP, blessed the newly renovated St. Thomas Chapel-Preaching Studio. The chapel will be used to train students for the ministries of the diaconate and priesthood. The chapel is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Al Maas, Sr., and the preaching studio is dedicated to Fr. Val LaFrance, OP. Its state-of-the-art technology will be used to increase the effectiveness of the three-semester sequence of preaching courses, a mandatory part of the curriculum for future clerics. Graduate Br. Jerome Zeiler, OP, summarized well the significance of receiving an education from the PFIC: “It struck me more profoundly than ever before how indebted we students are to God for what we have received: a fully integrated and comprehensive study of sacred scripture, systematic and moral theology – true wisdom for which the world is truly starving. I kept asking myself, why has Christ entrusted this to me? I cannot repay Him. I must share this with others.”

Class of 2010 with the PFIC Administration and Fr. Izzo


Faculty Undergoes Self-Evaluation as Part of Accreditation Process The Pontifical Faculty of Theology of the Immaculate Conception has begun the process of self-evaluation required for its accreditation renewal. Accreditation is the primary means of assuring the quality of educational programs in the United States. The PFIC is accredited by both the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Currently, the PFIC is working with the Middle States Commission to renew its 10-year accreditation. Fr. Gabriel O’Donnell, OP, Dean of the Pontifical Faculty, stated, “An accreditation visit is an important moment in the life of any academic institution. It requires us to ask if we have been faithful to our vision and mission. The Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception sees the coming accreditation visit as a help in achieving greater excellence in educating young men for the priesthood and preparing lay

theologians of high caliber for service to the Church.” In order to facilitate the goals set by the Faculty, subcommittees have been formed that include members of the faculty and administration as well as students. These subcommittees work on particular areas and brainstorm ways in which the faculty can both maintain and improve high standards of quality. When the work of the subcommittees is completed, a steering committee will compile the information into an overall report and plan which will then be submitted to Middle States. Br. Justin Marie Brophy, OP, a PFIC student and member of the Subcommittee on Institutional Integrity, said of the process, “It is wonderful to attend such an excellent institution, but it is edifying to see the immense amount of effort being placed on improving our programs. Despite our current success, the Faculty is interested in continuing to raise the bar.”

2010 Annual Appeal The future of the Church depends on excellence in the formation of our priests, religious, and lay students. Please help support the PFIC by sending your contribution to: Very Rev. Joseph Fox, OP Vice President for Advancement 487 Michigan Ave, N.E. Washington, DC 20017


2010 Theses Presented for Degrees Licentiate in Sacred Theology Fr. Jonah Pollock, OP: “The Thomistic Doctrine of Practical Reason According to Martin Rhonheimer and His Critics” Fr. Gregory Schnakenberg, OP: “To the Temple, Through the Cloister: The Dominican Observance of the Feast of the Presentation” Fr. Bruno M. Shah, OP: “The Unity of Theology According to Marie-Michel Labourdette, OP”

Master of Arts Fr. Francis Asomkase, SSJ: “Liturgy and Culture: A critical look at the Zairean Rite” Seth G. Brotherton: “The Kenosis of the Son in Hans Urs von Balthasar and Saint Thomas Aquinas” Dawn Eden: “Towards a ‘Culture of Chastity’: Bringing Catechesis on the Theology of the Body into the Hermeneutic of Continuity” William Goldin: “Supersessionism and the Saving Significance of Mosaic Covenant and Ritual: St. Thomas Aquinas and the Interpretation of Vatican II and the Post-Conciliar Magisterium” Fr. Kenneth Keke, SSJ: “The Thomistic Analysis of Suicide Bombing in a Situation of Just War” Sr. Therese Ngoc Bui, OP: “The Role of Mary in the Dominican Spirituality” Fr. Kenneth Ugwu, SSJ: “Paul’s Doctrine on the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus in 1 Corinthians 15: Its Significance for Christian Death”


Continued from Pg. 1 aware of the presence of God, and my own limitations. But at the end I felt privileged and blessed. I thank God.” A month later, the Josephites’ gratitude continued as six of their men were ordained to the priesthood on May 29 at Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Catholic Church. They were Godwin Akpan, Francis Asomkase, Joseph Benjamin, Stanley Ihuoma, Kenneth Keke, and Kenneth Ugwu. A fellow Jospehite Bishop John H. Ricard, SSJ, ordained them. Dominicans On May 28 two Dominicans were ordained at St. Dominic’s Church in Washington D.C. by Most Rev. Augustine DiNoia, OP, the Vatican’s Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. It was the first ordination he has celebrated since becoming a bishop last summer. The Brothers ordained were James Dominic Brent and John Chrysostom Kozlowski. Fr. John Chrysostom noted, “It is impossible for me to describe what happened to my soul at the moment I was ordained. At the same time, I knew that the power of the Most High came upon me and made me a priest of Jesus Christ forever, and that I would repeat Jesus’ offer of salvation at the sacrifice of the Mass and repeat his acts of forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.” Marians of the Immaculate Conception Later this summer Deacon Jim McCormack, MIC will be ordained to the priesthood on July 10, 2010 at his home parish in Burlington, Connecticut. The ordaining bishop will be Most Rev. Elliott Thomas from the Virgin Islands. Looking forward to the occasion, Deacon Jim reflects, “As a deacon, I have experienced a deep love for God’s people in giving them Holy Communion. As my priestly ordination approaches, I am filled with joy and awe at the thought of being able to bring our Lord to His people through my hands and through the very words that our Lord spoke at the Last Supper: ‘This is my body which will be given up for you.’” The PFIC joins with these communities in giving thanks to God for the work he has begun and is bringing to completion in these men.

Fr. Steven Boguslawski presents Fr. Dominic Izzo with an image of St. Dominic at the 2010 Commencement

Letter from the President Dear Friends, Alumni & Benefactors: As a Dominican priest I have often measured the state of my own spiritual life by my awareness to be grateful; to express gratitude for another day, gratitude for my vocation, gratitude for my ministry, gratitude for the accomplishments of my brothers and sisters in religion. Gratitude for our benefactors and friends. The lack of gratitude, for me, usually signals that I have become too self-concerned and inwardly focused—perhaps too fixed upon injuries real or perceived, or anxieties that show a lack of trust in God. Perhaps you are like me in this regard: it is all too easy to become besieged by the challenges of life and forget that we are privileged to be called Children of God, for that is what we are. Loved and redeemed, men and women with a future in God Himself. As we close our 2009-2010 Academic Year, I find the Pontifical Faculty has much to be grateful for. This year’s eighteen graduates are remarkable young men and women who will continue in their service of the Church. The class is diverse: three lay students, the Dominican student brothers and priests, plus seminarians from the Josephites, Marians of the Immaculate Conception, and Benedictines. We’ve listed their thesis titles on the opposite page—evidence of all their hard work. And we ought not neglect to express gratitude for our Prior Provincial, Fr. Dominic Izzo, whose term ends June 10th. Without Fr. Izzo’s vision, hard work, and unfailing support, the PFIC would not have built the new Academic Center and Theological Library, or seen the many other successes of the past three years. The students, faculty, staff, and administration are tremendously grateful. Looking forward to the 2010-2011 Academic Year, I call upon all of you, our friends, alumni and benefactors, to keep the PFIC in your prayers as we continue to fulfill our mission to educate the rising generation of leaders of the Church. Sincerely yours, in the Lord, Very Rev. Steven C. Boguslawski President, PFIC

The Pontif ical Faculty of Theology of the Immaculate Conception President: Very Rev. Steven C. Boguslawski, OP Vice President and Academic Dean: Rev. Gabriel O’Donnell, OP Vice President for Advancement: Very Rev. Joseph Fox, OP Librarian: Rev. Bernard Mulcahy, OP Director of Facilities: Br. Gerard Thayer, OP


Honor Circles of Donors to the PFIC (Cum When St. Dominic founded his Order in 1216, he envisioned a band of preachers that relied on the generosity of others for their sustenance so that they might be free to preach and teach the Gospel. In 2010, we still rely on the generosity of others to further our mission of preaching Jesus Christ. For our benefactors, we offer our prayers and call upon the intercession of great Dominican saints, especially the patrons of our Honor Circles, for their needs and requests. We would like to express our sincere thanks to those who have generously contributed to the PFIC between July 2007 and May 2010.

St . A lbert



(1206-1280) Bishop of Regensburg, theologian, philosopher, and scientist. Universal Doctor. Canonized 1931. Feast November 15. ($50,000 —$99,999) Mr. Sean Fieler

St . C atherine


S iena

(1347-1380) Virgin, mystic, ascetic, and stigmatist. Doctor of the Church. Canonized 1461. Feast April 29. ($20,000 —$49,999) Anonymous (2) Mr. Sean Brady Mrs. Dorothy Cunningham

St . V incent Ferrer (1350-1419) Itinerant preacher, worker of miracles, and ascetic. Canonized 1455. Memorial May 5. ($10,000—$19,999) Mr. & Mrs. Frederick Crall Mr. & Mrs. William Hanrahan Mr. & Mrs. Michael Haselden Mr. & Mrs. Paul J. Hill Mr. Josef Neusser & Dr. Susan Timoney Ms. Florence O’Brien Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Reisenauer Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Roti Mr. & Mrs. Aluinanto Sandjojo Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Weingartz Mr. Harold Ziegler


St . Peter M artyr



(1206-1252) Priest and protomartyr of the Order of Preachers. Canonized 1253. Memorial June 4. ($5,000—$9,999) Mr. & Mrs. William Brown Ms. Therese Errigo Very Rev. Joseph Fox, OP Mr. & Mrs. C. W. Gilluly Mr. & Mrs. Dana Gioia Ms. Theresa Morrison Mr. Patrick Nolan Mr. & Mrs. Albert Schaller Most Rev. Thomas Joseph Tobin

St . R aymond Peñafort (1175-1275) Priest, canon lawyer, and third Master of the Order. Canonized 1601. Memorial January 7. ($2,500—$4,999) Mr. & Mrs. Peter Connell Ms. Rose Folsom Mr. & Mrs. Peter C. Krause Ms. Bernadette Lane Ms. Caitlin Long

St . Hyacinth (1187-1257) Priest, missionary to the Slavic people, and first Polish friar. Canonized 1594. Memorial August 17. ($1,000—$2,499) The Joy Amisano Memorial Trust Anonymous (1) Mr. & Mrs. Gregory Bevelock Most. Rev. Leonard P. Blair Ms. Barbara Anne Block Mr. Anthony Bosnick Dr. & Mrs. John Brown Mr. & Mrs. Mario Brunetta Council for the Theological Formation of Dominican Nuns Mr. Gregory Curtin Mr. & Mrs. Michael Demcsak Rev. Adrian Dionne, OP Mr. & Mrs. James Edwards Mr. & Mrs. John Edwards Mr. & Mrs. Patrick Gallagher Mr. & Mrs. Robert Garvey Mr. & Mrs. Albert Giambrone Dr. Eugene Giannini Mr. & Mrs. James Hofer Mr. & Mrs. Michael Kirchner

Dr. & Mrs. William Klepczynski Mr. Vincent W. Kyle Mr. & Mrs. Paul Lawless Mr. John J. Mahoney Mr. John Marella Mr. J. H. Maxwell-Scott Rev. Frederick Miller Mr. Colin Moran Dr. Mary E. Moran Mr. John Ogden Dr. Christopher Rapcewicz Ms. Susan A. Reeves Mr. & Mrs. Richard Schaller Mr. & Mrs. Randal Schmidt Mr. & Mrs. D. Edward Schweitzer Mr. Robert Joseph Schwenk Rev. Peter Stravinskas Dr. and Mrs. Francis Yao

St . A ntoninus (1389-1459) Archbishop of Florence, moral theologian, and reformer. Canonized 1523. Memorial May 10. ($500—$999) Dr. Joan Adams Anonymous (1) Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Boland Mr. & Mrs. Robert Brent Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Brisken Mr. Craig Bruney Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Conti Capt. & Mrs. Robert DiPalma Mr. & Mrs. Charles Dougherty Rev. Msgr. John J. Enzler Mr. & Mrs. Gregory Ford Rt. Rev. Caedmon Holmes, O.S.B. Keany Produce Rev. Paul Keller, O.P. Mr. & Mrs. Mark Machuga Mr. & Mrs. Paul Mahar Mr. & Mrs. Ralph McDonough Mr. Edward Misey Mr. William Morris, Jr. Ms. Dorothy Murphy Ms. Gloria Radosevich Mr. & Mrs. Gus Russo Mr. & Mrs. Bryan Tarantina Mr. & Mrs. John Weisgerber

St . M artin



(1579-1639) Cooperator Brother, worker of miracles, and servant to the poor in Lima. Canonized 1962. Feast November 3. ($250—$499)

mulative Gifts from June 2007 to May 2010) Most Rev. Michael Bransfield Ms. Rosemary Burns Rev. Stephen Cox Rev. John Crossin, O.S.F.S. Mr. & Mrs. Peter Denker Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Devine Mr. & Mrs. William Eshelman Mr. David Giandomenico Ms. Grenevere Hoffman Rev. John J. Hurley Ms. Kathleen Jarboe Mr. & Mrs. Mark Jorgensen Mr. Jeffrey D. Ludwig Ms. Zena Martin Mr. John McCann Rev. Msgr. Godfrey Mosley Deacon Andrew & Lorraine Nosacek, OP Mr. & Mrs. William Raaths Mr. & Mrs. Robert Royal Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Sands Mr. & Mrs. Chetan Sanghvi Mr. & Mrs. John Schnakenberg Ms. Karen Servidea Rev. Tam Xuan Tran Mr. & Mrs. Curtis Winters

St . R ose


L ima

(1586-1617) Virgin, mystic, ascetic, and first canonized saint born in the Americas. Canonized 1671. Memorial August 23. (Gifts up to $249) Ms. Lydia Astorga Mr. Howard Bathon, Jr. Ms. Jane Anne Beachner Mr. William Becker Mr. Donal Berens Mr. P. Bracy Bersnak Mr. & Mrs. David Birtwistle Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Bissmeyer Ms. Patricia Bonner Mr. & Mrs. David Borchers Mr. & Mrs. Roger Borchers Mr. & Mrs. Robert Bork Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Bosnick Mr. James Brislin Ms. Dorothy Brocki Mr. & Mrs. Christopher Brunetta Rev. Joseph Calipare Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Collins Mr. Daniel Collins Mr. Richard Coyle Mr. & Mrs. David Crenshaw Ms. Kathleen Curran Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Daley Mr. & Mrs. Thomas D’Amico

Ms. Deirdre Dessingue Mr. & Mrs. Donald Devine Mr. & Mrs. Melvin Dodd Ms. Minh Huong Duong Mr. Arthur Duran Mr. & Mrs. Nicholas Eberstadt Mr. & Mrs. Carl Ewald Mr. & Mrs. Vagn Fausing Mr. John Ferguson Ms. Danielle & Ms. Pauline Ferris Mr. & Mrs. Edwin Feulner Franciscan Friars of the Atonement Mr. & Mrs. Harry Gieske Ms. Irene Gifford Mr. Harry Gildenhorn Mr. Bruce Hacker Mr. Lawrence Hayes Mr. & Mrs. Julian Heron, Jr. Mrs. Margaret Anne Hilburn Mr. Joe Hinnebusch Mr. Shenkuang Huang Mr. & Mrs. Aniello Iacono Mr. & Mrs. Walter Janero Ms. Mary Catherine Jennings Ms. Ruth Jin Mr. & Mrs. James Jordan Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Kane Mr. Navid Karimeddiny Most Rev. William Cardinal Keeler Mr. Joseph M. Kempf Mr. & Mrs. David Keppel Mr. & Mrs. Michael Kerrigan Rev. Michael King Mr. & Mrs. Paul Kirkham Mr. & Mrs. William Klepczynski Mr. & Mrs. Alpine Knapik Mr. & Mrs. Donald Kocarek Mr. Daniel Kovach Mr. James Kruggel Ms. A. Kuchukian Ms. Lauren F. Liebrecht Mr. Martin Leopold Mr. & Mrs. Joe Loehr Mr. Guy Lombardo Mr. & Mrs. Willis Lowery Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Narduzzi Mr. & Mrs. David Masterson Mr. & Mrs. Peter Martin Mr. Carl B. McCarthy Mr. & Mrs. Paul McCormack Mr. & Mrs. Charles McKigney Ms. Margaret McManus Dr. & Mrs. Michel Mennesson Ms. Renee Merolli Ms. Patricia Metzger Mr. & Mrs. Jerald Mittelbach Mr. Robert Maas Moreno Rev. Thomas Morrow

Ms. Mary Ann Novak Mr. & Mrs. J. P. O’Connor Mr. John O’Gorman Rev. James Olson Mr. & Mrs. James O’Reilly Mr. & Mrs. Romualdo Pelle Ms. Joan Pendergraph Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence Pendergraph Mr. & Mrs. James Pollock Mr. & Mrs. William Peerenboom Mr. James Reid Mr. & Mrs. Donald Ross Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Rossi Ms. Jocelyn Rowe Mr. & Mrs. Russell Shaw Mr. Mark Shepard Ms. Prudence Simeon Ms. Lois Simms Ms. Carol Lynn Smith Mr. & Mrs. Richard Stewart Ms. Marah C. Stith Mr. & Mrs. Robert Stovenour Mr. & Mrs. James Stroud Mr. & Mrs. James Sullivan Ms. Armelle Tallec Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Tancrell Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Tapie Mr. & Mrs. John Tierney Mr. Natale Torchia Mr. & Mrs. John Tracy Ms. Juanita Vacarro Mr. & Mrs. Frederick Van Doren Mr. & Mrs. LaMonte Walker Ms. Meredith K. Ward Ms. Maureen C. Wilkin Mr. David Winship Ms. Mary Witt Mr. & Mrs. Robert Woods Combined Federal Campaign: $8,870 We especially acknowledge those honored or memorialized by gifts to the PFIC. Please keep these individuals in your prayers.

I n Memoriam

Ms. Joy Amisano Rev. Pierre Conway, OP Rev. Frs. Mark, Thomas & Walter Heath, OP Br. Pascal Kelly, OSF Mr. Paul T. Kirkham

H onoring

Br. Justin Marie Brophy, OP Rev. Br. Hyacinth Marie Cordell, OP Very Rev. Joseph Fox, OP Rev. Andrew Hofer, OP Rev. Br. Ignatius John Schweitzer, OP


Pontifications: Why Study Islam?

Fr. Joseph Alobaidi, OP Professor of Sacred Scripture

You may question the necessity of teaching Islam to Catholic seminarians. If you do so, chances are that you belong to another planet, dropped on earth by mistake. If you fit such a description you may join those who deem Islam foreign to our culture and consequently, think that studying the Quran or the life of Muhammad is a waste of time. Others may differ with you and find merit to such study. But they temper the ardent desire of an old professor like me by thinking that a class about Islam should at the most be optional, offered to students looking to fill a hole in their curriculum or to impress a dean or a bishop. Yet, the truth is of another nature: it is imperative that those destined to guide their Christian community learn about a religion present in their field of pastoral ministry. The religion of Muhammad, the second largest after Christianity, is expanding. No one thinks of it any longer as a belief born in the Arabian Peninsula that, with the exception of few countries (Turkey, Bosnia and Albania), remains external to the European and North American mentality. This belies the social fact you and I are experiencing daily. Islam, for many reasons, is more and more local. In many cases it is the religion of our next door neighbor. If a seminarian’s age ranges from 20-35, it is possible that at his grammar school, high school, or college, he has met and befriended a Muslim boy or girl. You may take any layer of our society: childhood, youth and adulthood, professional life or leisure time: Islam is there. These different stages are at the same time fields of ministry where priests, religious, and engaged lay Christians are active in caring for their brothers and sis-


ters. Interactions with representatives of 3:48), and who has refuted the belief in the other religions and cultures are common Holy Trinity (Q 5:116-117). By the way, the facts of our life and the misunderstand- Holy Trinity, according to the Quran is God, ing active in caring for their brothers and Mary and Jesus, (Q 5:116) whose mission sisters. Interactions with representatives of is to prepare the coming of Muhammad other religions and cultures are common (Q 61:6). Jesus did not die on the cross (Q facts of our life and the misunderstanding 4:157). His disciples (the Apostles) had of our particularities is an occasion for all already confessed that they are Muslims kinds of problems at any moment. (Q 5:111), but their successors (ChrisThe most difficult of these problems tian and Jews alike) have deformed the undoubtedly are the Scripture in order to ones pertaining to “The religion of Muhammad, the erase the testimony interfaith marriages to Muhammad (Q and the religious second largest after Christianity, 5:15,18). future of the resultThe above examing families. Often, is expanding. No one thinks of it ple is a sample of moments like these how the same name, are full of anxiety, any longer as a belief born in the Jesus Christ, menand the faithful tioned by the Quran who address their Arabian Peninsula that...remains and the New Testapriests are entitled to ment, covers two knowledgeable and external to the European and different personaliappeasing answers. ties. When Muslims Questions should be North American mentality.” express veneration treated competently to Jesus, it is surely when Christian ministers are asked, for not to the historical Jesus that we Chrisexample, about a woman’s status in the tians venerate, but the heterodox “Jesus” Islamic family (as well as the status of the of sectarian groups in southern Arabia, the husband, the children, the relationship only groups Muhammad knew. with non-Muslims, etc.). To widen the perIn short, if you are a Christian adult lookspective, they must also answer questions ing to assist other Christians in their quest about Islam in our society and Islam and for holiness in one of the capacities the politics. These are a few of the many issues Church offers you, hasten to study Islam. In requiring learned disposition as well as so doing, you will both help them efficientavoidance of clichés and simplistic impres- ly and spare yourself the embarrassment sions. of being someone There is another“There is another factor that supports who is destined to factor that supserve, but who is ports the urgency the urgency to study Islam: The ignorant when it to study Islam: the comes to one of the Quran and MuhamQuran and Muhammad in his most acute issues mad in his sayings of his time. have abundantly sayings have abundantly mentioned mentioned AbraFr. Joseph Aloham, Moses, Jesus, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mary, and baidi is a professor Mary and many of Sacred Scripture other biblical figother biblical figures.” at the PFIC. Educatures. In fact, Islam ed at the University has a precise idea of Christianity and Juda- of Baghdad, the University of Fribourgh, and ism; an idea in total opposition to what we the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, he is think of our religion and what the Jews also the editor of the “Bible in History” books think of their religion. from Peter Lang. Let us take an example: Jesus Christ. For the Quran, Jesus is the son of the Virgin “Pontifications” is the faculty column of Mary (Q 3:45-47), who started preaching The 487 Correspondent. Each issue of our from the moment he left his mother’s newsletter will feature an insight from one womb (Q 19:30-34), who was taught the of our professors. Torah and the Gospel by God himself (Q

Distinctions: News from our Alumni Arina O. Grossu ‘08

Master of Arts in Theology, Magna cum Laude Upon graduating from the PFIC, Arina Grossu started interning as a Production Assistant for Raymond Arroyo’s The World Over on EWTN. She also transcribed for Mr. Arroyo Mother Angelica’s private spiritual writings in the New York Times bestseller The Prayers and Personal Devotions of Mother Angelica published in March 2010 by Doubleday. From August 2008 to May 2010, she worked full-time for the conservative PR firm, CRC Public Relations in Alexandria, VA serving mainly on pro-life accounts. She is currently working as the Executive Director for Fr. Francis Martin Ministries, a non-profit organization whose goal is to make the power of Scripture present to the Church and to aid priests in their preaching ministry. When she is not attending to her official duties, she is working on her entrepreneurial apostolate. In January 2009 she incorporated her own company, Catholicdom, Inc. (, which is a Catholic social networking site aimed at connecting Catholics to one another and providing them with resources to help them live a fuller Catholic experience. Some of the resources included are Catholic housing and job classifieds; a reviewable yellow pages directory of Catholic parishes, schools and businesses; an online store; a news aggregate; and an online library of Catholic books and works of sacred art. Since February 2009 she serves on the Board of Directors for Project Sycamore (, a non-profit organization which seeks to preserve the Catholic identity of her alma mater, the University of Notre Dame.

Recent Publications of PFIC Alumni: Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP ‘05, MDiv & STL: “In Defense of the Loss of Bodily Integrity as a Criterion for Death: A Response to the Radical Capacity Argument” in The Thomist, October 2009.

Br. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC ‘08, STL: Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-ItYourself Retreat, Marian Press, 2010 .

Fr. Romanus Cessario, OP ‘72, STB & STL: “Aquinas on the Priest” and “Human Action and the Foundations of Natural Law” in Nova et Vetera, Winter 2010.

Fr. Thomas Petri, OP ‘06, STL: Book review of Luis Cortest’s The Disfigured Face: Traditional Natural Law and its Encounter with Modernity, in The Thomist, October 2009.

Fr. John Corbett, OP, ‘81 STB & STL and Fr. Romanus Cessario, OP ‘72 STB & STL: Renouveler toutes choses en Christ: Vers un renouveau thomiste de la théologie morale, Academic Press Fribourg, 2009.

Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP ‘08, STL: Wisdom in the Face of Modernity: A Study in Thomistic Natural Theology, Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University, 2009.

Fr. Gabriel O’Donnell, OP ‘69 STB: Book review of Thomas McDermott, Fr. Donald H. Calloway, MIC ‘02, MDiv OP’s Catherine of Siena: Spiritual Devel& STB.: No Turning Back: A Witness to opment in Her Life and Teaching in The Mercy, Marian Press, 2010. Thomist, January 2010.

The 487 Correspondent loves to hear from all our alumni! Please send your updates, news and recent publications to: Margaret E. Perry, Alumni and Friends Director at or (202) 495-3828

Fr. James Dominic Brent , OP ‘09 Bachelor of Sacred Theology and Master of Divinity Summa cum Laude

Fr. James was ordained to the priesthood on May 28, 2010 with classmate Fr. John Chrysostom Kozlowski, ‘09 (ordination story on cover page). Fr. James was recently named Assistant Professor in the School of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America. Upon completion of his summer assignment, he will begin to teach logic and other classes in philosophy. Fr. James has also written an essay, “God’s Knowledge and Will”, which will be published in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Thomas Aquinas, published by Oxford University Press.


A Word from our Students

Camille Bissmeyer, MA 2011 Growing up, I was something of your typical “type A” student with at least the next five years of my life meticulously planned out. What I hadn’t planned, however, was that in high school I would discover God’s individual love for me through his protection amidst a serious car accident. After this experience, I laid aside my sketches of how I would become a Fortune 100 CEO and asked God how I might spend my life giving Him glory, rather than seeking my own. Leaving dreams of Stanford behind, I pursued my new dream to study theology and philosophy at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. As I felt God calling me to use my abilities in academia, I was attracted to graduate studies at the PFIC. I had received a fantastic foundation at Franciscan University, but I wanted to go deeper into the disciplines I had been exposed to. Desperate to teach the faith that was so enriching for me as it increasingly permeated my life, I sought orthodoxy as the top priority in a graduate program. I decided that my formation would need to be vivified by those who not only possessed the best of intentions but also


a love for the wisdom of Tradition and the great gift of the Church’s Teaching Office. Being led through the comprehensive and systematic contributions of St. Thomas, I could also be prepared to become the well-rounded theologian I desired to be, the only kind I could see myself as. Attending classes met my high expectations. In awed appreciation of the new things I was learning, I remember frequently thinking to myself, “How could I have lived without knowing this? What if I had never known?” While studying at the PFIC, I have been blessed to have served actively in the evangelical mission of the Church as well. I have assisted in the work of the Archdiocese in its Marriage and Family and Young Adult offices, the USCCB, and an organization which helps parishes minister to inactive and returning Catholics. The education I’ve received at the PFIC certainly assists my formal evangelization efforts, but the brilliance of St. Thomas has also blessed me daily. His anthropology has irreversibly altered my worldview. I am now free to look upon my fellow human beings not only as precious children of God but as constant seekers of truth, goodness, and love. This

enables me to listen sympathetically to expressions contrary to the Church’s teachings and to identify distortions of what is truly being sought. In sum, I have come away from the PFIC with a clear intellectual habitus of dividing and conquering the lies which saturate the culture. This institution provides a beautiful service to the Church as it prepares the next generation of clerical preachers and teachers as well as lay faithful who are called to sanctify this world by restoring it to its proper order in the day-to-day. The seminarians and lay students share a love for God, the Truth He revealed, and a loving compassion for those suffering from spiritual hunger in this world. Ecstatic to see my fellow classmates ordained some day, I know that as a young married woman I have a mission to bring Christ’s love and truth to corners of the earth which are particularly accessible to me. I pray to use the many gifts I have received through my formation at the Dominican House to faithfully fulfill this mission, and I encourage all to pray for the continued success of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology of the Immaculate Conception.

The 487 Correspondent :: Summer 2010  

Newsletter of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology of the Immaculate Conception

The 487 Correspondent :: Summer 2010  

Newsletter of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology of the Immaculate Conception

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