the newsletter of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception
On the evening of Friday, May 16, the Conferral of Degrees for nineteen students of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception took place at the conclusion of Solemn Vespers in the priory chapel of the Dominican House of Studies. A crowd of faculty, staff, members of the Board of Trustees and the Board the Overseers, as well as family and friends filled the chapel.
In late May and early June, ten PFIC students and graduates were ordained to the priesthood.
The following degrees were conferred: four Masters of Arts in Theology; three Masters of Divinity; seven Bachelors of Sacred Theology; and five Licentiates in Sacred Theology. The graduating class consisted of ten Dominican Friars, two Marians of the Immaculate Conception, one Josephite, one diocesan priest, and four lay men and women. Degrees were presented by Very Rev. Brian Martin Mulcahy, O.P., Vice Chancellor, Prior Provincial; Very Rev. John A. Langlois, O.P., President of the Pontifical Faculty; and Rev. Thomas Petri, O.P., Vice President and Academic Dean. Th e Co m m e n ce m e n t Address was given by Dr. Robert Louis Wilken, the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of the History of Christianity Emeritus at the University Ms. Victoria Stevens receives her Master of Virginia. Dr. Wilken is an of Arts in Theology. internationally esteemed scholar and author who has taught at the Gregorian University, the Institutum Patristicum or “Augustinianum,” the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Notre Dame, Fordham University, and Lutheran Theological Seminary. It was noted that he was received into the Church twenty years earlier at the Dominican House of Studies. His address reflected on the words “faithful” and “stewards” from 1 Corinthians 4: “Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.” A link to Dr. Wilken’s address can be found at dhs.edu under “Commencement 2014.” In addition to the conferral of degrees, a number of special recognitions were made. Dr. Wilken received the St. Dominic Medal. The Fr. Lawrence Francis Kearny, O.P., Award was given to Fr. Raymond Vandegrift, O.P. (STB ’59; STL ’62), who headed the Library for some twenty-six years. Rev. story continued on page 2
On Friday, May 23, priestly ordinations for the Dominican Province of St. Joseph took place at St. Dominic’s Church in Washington. The young men ordained were, in order of religion, Joseph-Mary Hertzog, O.P., (MDiv, STB ‘13), Mario Aquinas Calabrese, O.P., (MDiv, STB ‘13), Leo Checkai, O.P., (MDiv, STB ‘13), Peter Martyr Joseph Yungwirth, O.P., (MDiv, STB ‘13), Sebastian White, O.P. (MDiv ’12; STL ‘14), Cassian Derbes, O.P. (MDiv, STB ’11; STL ‘13), and Cajetan Cuddy, O.P. (MDiv ‘12; STL ’14). The ordaining prelate was Most Rev. J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P. (former President and faculty member; STB ‘69; STL ‘71). Also in attendance was Most Rev. Martin Holley, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington. The church was filled with family and close friends of the ordinands, concelebrating Dominican friars and other priests, as well as a large crowd of even more friends and well-wishers, including members of parishes where Dominican brothers serve. The schola consisted of Dominican Friars, who chanted from the Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum Graduale and sang Renaissance polyphony such as William Byrd’s Sacerdotes Domini and Sicut cervus by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Archbishop DiNoia’s homily focused on the priest as Alter Christus, another Christ, in their roles as teachers, ministers, and shepherds. His Excellency exhorted the ordinands, “Always be conscious — at the altar, in the confessional, at the baptismal font, as a spiritual guide — that you are speaking and acting as an Alter Christus. The grace you impart, the word you proclaim and the comfort you give are not in the first place yours, but Christ’s.”
Archbishop DiNoia lays his hands on Leo Checkai, O.P.
Although the liturgy had exceeded two hours, a large number of people stayed even longer to receive the first blessings of the seven newly ordained priests. Afterwards, many returned to the Dominican House of Studies for a reception in the cloister. That weekend, the newly ordained said their first Masses in various locations in the story continued on page 5
We acknowledge those memorialized or honored by gifts to the Pontifical Faculty of Theology of the Immaculate Conception during the past year. Please keep these men & women in your prayers. H onoring Sr. Ann of the Cross, O.P. St. Antoninus Fr. Justin Brophy, O.P. Fr. Brian Chrzastek, O.P. Br. Thomas Davenport, O.P. The Work Done by the Dominicans at St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill Senior Dominicans Fr. John Egan, O.P. Fr. Thomas Jordan Ertle, O.P. The 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Fr. John A. Farren, O.P. Fr. Joseph Fox, O.P. Fr. Anthony Giambrone, O.P. The Hofer children Fr. Jonathan Kalish, O.P. The Installation of Very Rev. John A. Langlois, OP Fr. Reginald Lynch, O.P. The Faculty, Staff, and Dominican Students of the PFIC Eugene Quinn
Fr. Gregory Schnakenberg, O.P. Robert & Rachel Turicchi Fr. Raymond Vandegrift, O.P. Br. Sebastian White, O.P. Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P.
I n M emoriam Fr. Jordan Aumann, O.P. Fr. Milton Ballor, C.PP.S. Mary Boguslawski Fred & Rose Bollhorst Eleanor Bosnick Bethany A. Cuddy Felix & Teresa DiPaola Fr. Damian Fandal, O.P. Fr. Bernard L. Keitz, O.P. Paul T. Kirkham Fr. Val La France, O.P. Mr. & Mrs. Donald S. MacDonald Gregory J. Maier Mr. & Mrs. Hermitt Mosley Br. Kevin O’Connell, O.P. Craig Pritzl
Fr. Kurt Pritzl, O.P. Courtney Scalcucci Dr. Ronald Vardiman
T o H onor
Matthew P. Carroll, Sr., & Mary A. Carroll Living & Deceased Members of the Maher Family
F or C omplete H ealing O f Mike Farguson
I n R emembrance O f Prayer Intentions
I n T hanksgiving F or Favors Granted Through the Intercession of St. Thomas Aquinas
Left: Mr. Brian Carl, Instructor in Philosophy, and Mr. Timothy Kearns, Adjunct Instructor of Latin and Greek.
Commencement continued from page 1
Br. Cajetan Cuddy, O.P., (MDiv ’12; STL ’14) was awarded the Marie Jackie Brunetta Burse, which was established in memory of the mother of Fr. Juan-Diego Brunetta, O.P. (MDiv ‘99). The burse is given annually to a Dominican brother ordained to the diaconate who demonstrates either sustained excellence or markedimprovement in liturgical preaching. Special mention also was made of Fr. Mulcahy’s service as Prior Provincial, and his support of the PFIC. Following the ceremony, the guests adjourned to the priory cloister for a reception.
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Above: Following commencement, Abbot Joseph Lee, Adjunct Professor of Patrology, chats with guests during the reception in the priory cloister.
The Pontifical Faculty of Theology of the Immaculate Conception President: Very Rev. John A. Langlois, O.P. Vice President & Academic Dean: Rev. Thomas Petri, O.P. Librarian: Rev. John Mar tin Ruiz, O.P. Director of Facilities: Br. Gerard Thayer, O.P. Board of Overseers: Dr. Hugh M. Dempsey Sr. Mary Sarah Galbraith, O.P. Mr. Gregory J. Granitto Rev. Msgr. Albin Grous Ms. Anna Halpine Mr. Julian B. Heron Very Rev. Kenneth Letoile, O.P. Dr. Mary E. Moran Rev. Msgr. Godfrey Mosley Br. Ignatius Perkins, O.P. Mr. Chetan Sanghvi Rev. Joseph Torchia, O.P.
Letter from the President Dear Friends, Alumni, and Benefactors, This edition of the 487 Correspondent includes articles on what are the highlight events of every academic year: Commencement, and Ordination to the priesthood. This year the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception conferred degrees upon nineteen graduates on May 16. And just a week later, on May 23, we celebrated the ordination of seven Dominican brothers to the priesthood with the imposition of hands by our own Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P. Both events underscore the fact that the Pontifical Faculty exists to provide a solid intellectual and human formation for our students and future priests so that they might be well-prepared to participate in the transformation of our culture through the preaching of the Gospel! But one thing is clear: we could not fulfill our mission without the ongoing generous support of you, our friends! You too have been a part of the journey accompanying our students to the successful completion of their studies, and accompanying our brothers to receiving the grace of priestly ordination with your prayers and financial support. This past year, thanks to you, we had our most successful Annual Appeal ever, and we also had our most successful Spring Gala ever, raising over $150,000 combined! The pictures from the Gala you will see in this edition of the 487 Correspondent capture a little of the energy, enthusiasm, joy and fellowship that was experienced that evening. By all accounts, those who attended appreciated the opportunity to see for themselves the vibrancy of the community life that nourishes and animates us in our mission of preaching the Good News of salvation to our world and culture. In supporting us, you are supporting future priests who will have received a superior theological education in the midst of a prayerful, joyful, and committed religious community, a rather unique enterprise in our times.
To set up online giving for the PFIC please visit our portal at Faith Direct, the leading faith-based online donation site:
And so thank you again for sharing in our life and mission through your spiritual and financial support. Know that in this way, you are playing a vital role in the New Evangelization! May God bless you! Sincerely yours in the Lord,
www.faithdirect.net Organization code: DC365
Very Rev. John A. Langlois, O.P. President, PFIC
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Front row (L-R): Fr. Langlois, Fr. Mulcahy, Dr. Wilken, Fr. Petri, Ms. Stevens. Second row: Ms. Goldstein, Mr. Cercena, Br. John Luth, Mr. Lim, Br. Gabriel, Br. Sebastian, Fr. Matthew. Back row: Br. Charles, Br. Cajetan, Br. John Paoletti, Deacon Begany, Br.Â Thomas More, Br. Dominic, Fr. Hanley, Br. John Devaney, Br. Vincent Ferrer, Br. Philip Neri. MASTER OF DIVINITY:
MASTER OF ARTS IN THEOLOGY:
Rev. Mr. David Begany, S.S.J. Rev. Br. John Maria Devaney, O.P. Br. John Luth, M.I.C.
Antonio Cercena Joshua Lim summa cum laude Br. John Paoletti, M.I.C. Victoria Stevens magna cum laude
BACHELOR OF SACRED THEOLOGY: Rev. Br. Vincent Ferrer Bagan, O.P. summa cum laude Rev. Br. John Maria Devaney, O.P. Rev. Br. Thomas More Garrett, O.P. magna cum laude Rev. Br. Philip Neri Reese, O.P. summa cum laude Rev. Br. Charles Shonk, O.P. magna cum laude Rev. Br. Gabriel Torretta, O.P. summa cum laude Br. Dominic Mary Verner, O.P. summa cum laude
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LICENTIATE IN SACRED THEOLOGY: Rev. Matthew Carroll, O.P. magna cum laude Rev. Br. Cajetan Cuddy, O.P. summa cum laude Dawn Eden Goldstein magna cum laude Rev. Daniel Hanley magna cum laude Rev. Br. Sebastian White, O.P. magna cum laude
Ordinations (L-R): Fr. Cajetan Cuddy, O.P., Fr. Joseph-Mary Hertzog, O.P., Fr. Mario Aquinas Calabrese, O.P., Fr. Cassian Derbes, O.P., Most Rev. J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P., Fr. Leo Checkai, O.P., Fr. Sebastian White, O.P., Fr. Peter Martyr Joseph Yungwirth, O.P. Photo courtesy John Whitman. Ordinations continued from page 1
Washington, D.C., area. Catholic News Service released an article and video about the priesthood, in which the stories of Fr. Peter Martyr and Fr. Cajetan figured prominently.
On Saturday, May 31, David Patrick Begany, S.S.J. (MDiv ‘14) was ordained to the priesthood for the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart (the Josephites). The ordination took place at St. Luke Church in Washington; Holy Orders were conferred by Most Rev. John Ricard, S.S.J., rector of St. Joseph Seminary in Washington, D.C., and bishop emeritus of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Members of Fr. Begany’s family came from Pennsylvania, and were joined by nearly fifty Josephites, the Knights of Peter Claver, and the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary. Fr. Begany’s first assignment is as Parochial Vicar of Corpus Christi-Epiphany Parish in New Orleans. Also on May 31, Chris Alar, M.I.C., who studied at the PFIC, was ordained a priest at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Lenox, Massachusetts. The ordaining prelate was Most Rev. Martin D. Holley. Fr. Alar’s Mass of Thanksgiving, offered for all Marian Helpers, took place the following day at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Finally, William Goldin (MA ’10) was ordained to the priesthood on June 7 at St. Columban Church in Garden Grove, California, by Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of the Diocese of Orange. Fr. Goldin, who describes himself as an “unabashed Thomist,” will continue his studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome.
Fr. Sebastian blesses a family. Photo courtesy John Whitman.
The Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception is proud to have taken part in the philosophical and theological formation of these young men. We congratulate them at the outset of what we pray will be a long and faithful priestly service to the Universal Church!
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Above: Guests before the live auction; Most Rev. J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P., (former President and faculty; STB ‘69; STL ‘71) speaks; guests enjoy a lovely spring evening in the cloister, serenaded by the Dominican student brothers’ Irish folk band, T.S. and the McDermotts; the Dominican friars and Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia engage in some friendly banter during the live auction; guests bid on some on the silent auction items.
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Fourth Annual Dominican Spring Gala Sets New Record The Fourth Annual Dominican Spring Gala, held in the Priory cloister on Saturday, April 26, was truly a memorable evening. This year’s Gala, the PFIC’s marquee fundraising event, was the most successful yet, raising more than any previous Gala. On a beautifully temperate April evening, guests enjoyed food, music, silent and live auctions, and fellowship with students, staff, and faculty. In the courtyard, two bands of Dominican student brothers, “Instrumental Causality” and “T.S. and the McDermotts,” entertained the guests with Dixieland jazz and Irish folk music. This year saw a return to a popular feature: food prepared by the students — Dominicans, other religious, and lay. The menu included themed selections like “Summa This, Summa That Veggie Skewers” and “Cappa Swirl Cheesecake Brownies.” The Gala was graced by the presence of Most Rev. J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P. His Excellency briefly addressed the assembled guests on the benefit of and need for the type of education given at the PFIC. This year’s live auction items included a week in a Key West condo; a bluegrass concert by Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P. (STL ’08), and Br. Peter Gautsch, O.P.; and a rare tower climb at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception with Rev. Msgr. Walter Rossi, rector of the Shrine, serving as tour guide. The main event came when the Dominican friars
squared off against the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, engaging in a friendly competition to see whose home-cooked dinner would raise more money for the school. Friendly banter ensued, and before the bidding was done, Fr. Langlois had donned a chef’s hat and the Sisters had performed a promotional song which they had written in the hallway moments earlier. For the first time, the live auction included what Fr. Langlois termed a “second collection” — an opportunity for guests to give a 100% tax-deductible donation to the school. Starting with the parents of one of the student brothers, a dozen bidding paddles went up, and several thousand dollars were raised instantly. The evening concluded with the beautiful tradition of sung Compline (night prayer). As a thank you gift, guests received a complimentary issue of The Word Among Us, donated by its Editor, Mr. Leo Zanchettin (MA ‘02), and a Pope Francis prayer card, donated by the Editor-in-Chief of Magnificat, Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., (MDiv, STB ‘85; STL ‘87). A complete list of sponsors and donors is listed on the next page. Next year’s Gala is scheduled to be held on Saturday, April 18, 2015.
Above: Br. Peter Joseph Gatusch, O.P., and Br. Timothy Danaher, O.P., entertain the guests with Irish folk music. Above right: The cloister in the spring twilight. Right: Dr. Hugh M. Dempsey, D. Ed., K.M.Ob., (Board of Overseers) explains the rules of the live auction.
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The PFIC gratefully acknowledges the sponsors of the 2014 Dominican Spring Gala: Archdiocese of Washington; Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl • Archdiocese of San Francisco; Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill; Rev. William Byrne • Diocese of Florida in Venice; Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane Anonymous • Archdiocese of Baltimore; Most Rev. William A. Lori • Archdiocese of Cincinnati; Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr • Archdiocese of Hartford; Most Rev. Leonard P. Blair • Dr. Robert & Irene Cervantes • Jeanne E. Hicks, M.D., O.P. • Mrs. Monique Langlois • Church of the Little Flower; Rev. Msgr. Peter J. Vaghi • Ms. Clare O’Callaghan • R. Scott & Lanette Turicchi
Save the date!
Archdiocese for the Military Services; Most Rev. Timothy P. Broglio • Archdiocese of Boston; Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap. • Hugh & Ruey Dempsey • Diocese of Manchester; Most Rev. Peter A. Libasci • Dominican Fathers Province of St. Joseph • First Command Financial Planning • Mr. & Mrs. Robert T. Gerken • The 5th Annual Dominican Spring Gala Mr. Michael Novak • Our Lady of Victory; Rev. David Werning • Rappahannock Cellars • St. Ann’s Catholic Church; Rev. Msgr. will be held on Godfrey Mosley • St. Mary’s, Landover Hills; Rev. Richard K. Gancayo • St. Thomas Apostle Parish, under the care of the Oratorian Saturday, April 18, 2015 Community of St. Philip Neri • Salve Regina Catholic Books & Gifts • Washington Refrigeration Co., Inc. Anonymous • Assumption Catholic Church; Rev. Mark Ivany • Ms. Jane Anne Beachner • Mrs. Gretchen C. Bordelon • Mr. John De Chiaro • Dominican Fathers of Pleasantville, New York • Mr. & Mrs. Edwin J. Feulner • Ms. Anne M. Fitzsimmons • William & Mary Sue Himpler • Rev. Msgr. W. Ronald Jameson • Ms. Patricia A. Kirkham • Mr. & Mrs. Joseph S. Miller • Monastery of the Infant Jesus • Mr. & Mrs. William B. Moulden • Mr. & Mrs. Joe Muskett • Our Lady of Fatima Chapter, St. Catherine of Siena • Mrs. Mary H. Pendergraph • Ms. Gloria L. Radosevich • Ms. Lois Ann Simms • Dr. & Mrs. Rafael J. Tamargo • Valid Electric Co., Inc. • Steve & Charlotte White • Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Yungwirth
Individuals and organizations participating in the live and silent auctions Anonymous • Baltimore Ravens • Christine Bernstein • Mrs. Heather Bress, O.P. • Mark Cascia • Mrs. Irene Peña Cervantes • Claire Dalton • The Honorable Edward J. Damich • Brian & Fran Davenport • DeCarlo’s Ristorante • Dr. & Mrs. Hugh Dempsey • Nancy DePlatchett • Susan E. DePlatchett • Chef Luigi Diotaiuti • Dominican Nuns of Summit • Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia • Dominican Studentate • Dawn Eden • Ed Funk • Rev. Edward Gaffney, O.P. • Mr. & Mrs. Robert T. Gerken • Charlotte & Jerry Giblin • Rev. Norman Haddad, O.P. • Sr. Maria Frassati Jakupcak, O.P. • David & Penny Krall • Dr. Gregory LaNave • Very Rev. John A. Langlois, O.P. • Mr. Ashok Dhoop, Liaison Capitol Hill • Magnificat, Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., Editor • Jocelyn D. Mims • Mary Ann Novak • Rev. Thomas Petri, O.P. • Phoenix Park Hotel • Linda Roberts • Rev. Msgr. Walter R. Rossi, Rector, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception • Salve Regina Catholic Books and Gifts • Mary Ann Settlemire • Mary Lynn Stevens • Dr. Jem Sullivan • Sr. Mary Grace Thul, O.P. • Washington Nationals • Steve and Charlotte White • Rev. Thomas Joseph White, O.P. & Bro. Peter Gautsch, O.P. • Windows Catering
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Faculty & Alumni News, Appointments & Publications Fr. Dominic Izzo, O.P., (MDiv ’94; STL ’95) was appointed the Vicar of the Convent of Santa Sabina in Rome by the Master of the Order, Fr. Bruno Cadoré, O.P. The 2014 Chapter of the Province of St. Joseph elected Very Rev. Kenneth Letoile, O.P. (STB ‘73; STL ‘75), as the new Prior Provincial of the Province. The election was confirmed by the Master of the Order. Fr. Letoile, who was formerly prior of the Priory of the Immaculate Conception, now also becomes the Vice Chancellor of the PFIC. Fr. Brian Chrzastek, O.P., (MDiv ’91; STL ’93) will serve as Subprior in capite, which means he will be the superior of the Dominican community until the conventual chapter meets to elect a new prior.
We love to hear from our alumni! Please send your news, publications, appointments, and honors to George Cervantes, Assistant Director for Advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 495-3828.
Most Rev. Leonard P. Blair has appointed former PFIC President, Fr. Steven Boguslawski, O.P., (MDiv, STB ‘86; STL ‘88) as the Moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Hartford. Fr. Daniel F. Hanley (STL ‘14), a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, is planning to complete a doctorate in sacred theology at the Angelicum, where he spent two years as a seminarian. While in Rome, he will be working and living at the North American College (NAC). Fr. Hanley will be the NAC’s director of admissions and a formation adviser. Ms. Suzanne Stack (MA ‘02) has been named Life Issues Coordinator for the Diocese of Rochester. She is currently working towards an additional master’s degree at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry. Made for Love, Loved by God, by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., (MDiv, STB ‘85; STL ‘87) has recently been published by Servant Books. This book addresses some of the most common misconceptions about God and his love, presenting a refreshing, positive vision of who God made us to be, and how our lives are defined by our yearning for him. Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., (MDiv ‘03; STL ‘05) associate professor of biology at Providence College, was recently awarded a grant for $257,049 from the National Institute of Health/National Institute for General Medical Sciences for cancer research. The grant is an Academic Research Enhancement Award (NIH AREA R15); the AREA program supports small-scale research projects at educational institutions that have not been major recipients of NIH research grant funds. Fr. Nicanor is studying the Bax inhibitor-1 (BI-1) gene, which has been linked to a number of types of cancer in humans, including lymphoma, leukemia, prostate, and breast cancer. Recent graduate Joshua Lim (MA ‘14) will be pursuing doctoral studies in theology at the University of Notre Dame. On February 4, Fr. Greg Maturi, O.P. , (MDiv ‘92; STL ‘95) gave the opening prayer for the 130th general assembly of the Ohio Senate. Fr. Maturi has received national attention for his work to reduce violence in and restore the blighted neighborhoods of Youngstown, Ohio. Tuscany Press has released A Lenten Journey with Jesus Christ and Thomas Aquinas by Fr. Paul Keller, O.P. (MDiv ‘92; STL ‘94). The book includes daily Gospel readings, reflections, and prayers to guide the reader through Lent. Fr. Keller is currently Associate Professor of Sacramental and Liturgical Theology at the Athenaeum of Ohio. Peter Lang International Academic Publishers has published a work by Fr. Joseph Alobaidi, O.P. (faculty), Old Jewish Commentaries on The Song of Songs II: The Two Commentaries of Tanchum Yerushalmi. The book, part of a four volume project on the history of interpretation of the Song of Songs, contains the text and translation of the commentaries of Yerushalmi (c. 12201291), one of the best representatives of rational exegesis in the Middle Eastern rabbinical school of thought. The latest book by Fr. Michael Gaitley, M.I.C., (STL ‘08), ‘You Did It to Me’ : A Practical Guide to Mercy in Action, has been released by Marian Press. Fr. Gaitley wrote the book for the Marians’ Hearts Afire program, as a practical guide to the fourteen corporal and spiritual works of mercy, one that would have specific action items and utilize the wisdom of St. Faustina Kowalska.
Fr. Ambrose Little, O.P. (MDiv ‘12) and Fr. Benedict Croell, O.P. (MDiv ‘98) were among those leading the recitation of the Rosary at the 10th Annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, held at the Washington Hilton on May 13, 2014.
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Scenes Around the PFIC Left: Br. Gabriel Torretta, O.P. and Teresa Vargo, both students at the PFIC, enjoy an authentic crawfish boil.
Right: Fr. James Brent, O.P., (MDiv, STB ‘09) speaks at the Fourth Annual Philosophy Workshop, held at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York, in June.
Left: Br. Dominic Mary Verner, O.P., goes for a three-pointer against the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.
Right: Prof. Gregory Vall of Ave Maria University delivers a lecture on “Yahweh’s Repentance and the Immutability of the Divine Will.” This lecture and many others from the Thomistic Institute are available free of charge on iTunes; or visit thomisticinstitute.org and go to “Lecture Recordings”.
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Commencement Wisdom This article by Br. Justin Mary Bolger, O.P., was published in the Dominicana blog on May 29, 2014, and is reproduced here with permission. I remember two statements made by Robert Louis Wilken in his commencement speech here at the Dominican House of Studies a few weeks ago. The first is that no one remembers commencement speeches. Now whether that’s because most graduates are too excited, preoccupied with capturing a sufficient number of selfies, or because the speech content is forgettable (often amounting to a glorified version of Vitamin C’s matriculation classic Graduation (Friends Forever)), Wilken’s claim seems regrettably true. What makes the average commencement speech so forgettable? I think the message is often too broad, with exhortations to change the world and find yourself. Or maybe it’s change yourself and find the world, which may excite or inspire momentarily, until we realize it’s hard enough to change the block we live on, let alone the world. And it’s even harder to change ourselves. The self remains fundamentally a mystery, and attempts to discover, find, change, or actualize often serve to reinforce that. This is one of the main points of Walker Percy’s classic Lost In The Cosmos: The Last SelfHelp Book. Percy shows that the self is in fact incapable of helping itself: only God can help the self. So to verify my generalizations leveled against the modern commencement ethos, I put on my hard helmet and did a little datamining. My suspicions were confirmed. Here’s a sample: But what I urge you to do is not just take your place at the top of the world, but to change the world. - Arianna Huffington, Commencement Address at Smith College, 2013 You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing, but what you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself. - Alan Alda, Commencement Address at Connecticut College, 1980
So goes the conventional commencement wisdom heard at graduation ceremonies around this time each year: Change the world! Discover yourself! It’s not that these are wrong aspirations to have — they are just too general, too vague, and so we have trouble performing them and we also just forget them. We may plan to change the world the day after graduation but then remember we have to take out the trash and look for a job. This brings me to the second thing I remember from Wilken’s speech, which builds on the first. Because commencement speeches are forgettable (or at least quickly forgotten), Wilken wanted to guarantee that something would stick to our synapses from his talk. So he enjoined us to remember just two words: faithful steward. I think this message goes deeper than the conventional kind mentioned above, and not just because it’s easy to remember. The graduates from the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception earn degrees in theology, so Wilken’s injunction that theologians be faithful stewards clearly applies to them. But I believe it can also apply to all graduates: all are called to be faithful stewards of the knowledge they have received. Nevertheless, I will focus primarily on the theology graduate. How is the theology graduate a steward? The theologian is first of all a steward in that he has been entrusted with something he himself did not create or conjure. A steward is one who takes care of something. In this he is also a servant because he cares for something and will also hand it on to another. Specifically, the theologian has been entrusted with sacred science, built upon the first principles of Revelation, which are held by faith. The theologian is certified as possessing the speculative skills to reason about the things of God and the Church. And how is the steward faithful in this case? The steward is not charged with merely preserving what he has been entrusted with. To be faithful one must build on the gift. The parable of the talents (Matt 25:1430) is instructive here, for in that parable it is the one who multiplies his talents who is praised. Now the gift varies from person to person — one can earn an S.T.B., M.A., S.T.L., or S.T.D. and also merit degrees of honor from cum laude to summa cum laude — but
regardless of the difference one must build on it with dedication to remain faithful to the gift. Mere preservation will be insufficient. The framed degree is just a symbol of the knowledge of the one whose name it bears. To use an agricultural metaphor, one must responsibly cultivate and care for this gift and not let it lie fallow. There are obvious ways the theologian can carry this responsibility out: contemplating, teaching, writing, and preaching. So being a faithful steward has an obvious application to a theology graduate, but we can also extend this injunction to all graduates. If one earns a degree, one has been entrusted with knowledge. The graduate — any graduate — stands in a line. Before him are those who have preserved, cultivated, and handed down the knowledge he now has, and after him are those to whom he will in turn hand on that which he has received, whether by teaching or by putting that knowledge into practice. In this handing on of knowledge he is also serving others. One can think about education in these terms regardless of one’s field of study. Perhaps by doing so, one can begin to aspire to the more vague commencement exhortations. One will see education in terms of service and stewardship, and then maybe see the big picture in the same way. That is, if one wishes to discover himself and change the world, a good place to start is by serving, by being a faithful steward.
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Inside this issue of The 487 Correspondent: • Commencement and Ordinations (front page) • 4th Annual Dominican Spring Gala (p. 7) • Faculty & Alumni News (p. 9)
Fall 2014 Calendar
P o nt i f i c a l F ac u lt y o f T h e o lo gy o f t h e Im m ac u l at e C o nc e p t i o n
New Student Orientation
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Classes Begin Opening Mass of the Holy Spirit
Labor Day No Classes; Offices and Library Closed
Thomistic Circles Reception of Vatican II in the Twenty-First Century
Columbus Day No Classes; Offices and Library Closed
Vigil of All Saints DHS Chapel
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Nov. 26-28 Thanksgiving Recess No Classes; Offices and Library Close at Noon on Wednesday
Newsletter of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception