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Saint Benedict Institute Newsletter

The Campaign to Raise $100,000

A Priest Chaplain for Hope College

T H E CA N T I C L E Newsletter of the Saint Benedict Institute for Catholic Thought, Culture, and Evangelization

“You Made Us For Yourself”

A Catholic Priest at Hope College? Yes!

F

or the past three years, the Saint Benedict Institute has been a robust Catholic voice at Hope College and in the wider community. Our impact includes a dozen students currently discerning a religious vocation, climbing Mass attendance, and impressive turnouts at our retreats and Catholic speaker series events. While our programs have effectively reached a vibrant cross section of both Catholic and Protestant students, it

Annual Blessing of the Dorm Rooms with the pastors of St. Francis de Sales.

Talk on St. Augustine Draws Large Crowd

is becoming increasingly clear that we are not reaching Catholic students who have drifted away from their faith, perhaps as many as 85% of the Catholic student body. For this group a new strategy is needed. We believe that a pastoral presence of a Catholic chaplain, interacting daily with students, is the best way to gather these students back into the fold. At the same time, he will be able to encourage the faithful Catholic students to stay strong in their beliefs. As the position grows, this priest can also become the primary supervisor of additional lay ministers called to Hope to serve as Catholic peer witnesses on campus. The first step is to raise $100,000 to cover a variety of expenses associated with bringing a chaplain to Hope as well as funding his position for one year. These costs include: • • • • • • •

Expenses for a national chaplain search Moving expenses One year salary and benefits Priest travel expenses for 1 year Living expenses (including food stipend) Supplies/equipment for Mass Communications and fundraising for the position Job preparation on campus

Over 150 people from both the Hope community and the greater Holland area attended Jared Ortiz’s lecture on St. Augustine’s Confessions.

D

To be ready for the 2017-18 academic year, we need to raise these initial funds in their totality by May 2017. Additionally, we are seeking 3-5 year commitments from friends and benefactors who will be willing to support this position in the long-term. We invite you to join the New Evangelization! Please consider giving today. Contact Brian Piecuch, Director of Development, at 616.392.6700 ext. 119 or email him at brian.piecuch@saintbenedictinstitute.org with any questions.

Saint Benedict Institute

for Catholic Thought, Culture, and Evangelization 195 West 13th Street, Holland, Michigan 49423 | www.saintbenedictinstitute.org | info@saintbenedictinstitute.org

December 2016

Dr. Ortiz argued that Augustine’s theology of creation forms the “deep grammar” of the Confessions.

r. Jared Ortiz, assistant professor of religion at Hope College and executive director of the Saint Benedict Institute, spoke about his new book, You Made Us for  Yourself: Creation in St. Augustine’s  Confessions, on Thursday, Oct. 13 at Hope College. The event drew more than 150 people from both the Hope community and the greater West Michigan area. Ortiz’s lecture, “You Made Us for Yourself: Creation, Worship, and Human Destiny in St. Augustine,” explored Augustine’s rich understanding of creation as a path into the heart of the great saint’s theology. “You made us for yourself and our heart is restless until it rests in You,” Augustine famously said. This line sums up the whole of Augustine’s thought and, moreover, the meaning and purpose of our existence, Ortiz argued. God has given us the gift of a beautifully ordered cosmos which is in dynamic motion back toward Him and is destined to be transfigured through Christian worship. Through a close and careful reading of Genesis 1, Augustine discerns that God creates all things from nothing in a threefold, simultaneous trinitarian act which he describes under the terms creatio, conversio, and formatio. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was formless and void” (Genesis 1:1-2). God calls this formless creation back to himself through his Word, “through whom all things are made” (John 1:3). Formless creation then “converts” to God and becomes what it was meant to be: “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). Everything that is created, then, has


Saint Benedict Institute Newsletter

December 2016

October Lecture on Augustine Draws Large Crowd (continued from page 1)

a kind of “conversion torque,” an inbuilt dynamism back toward God. For Augustine, though, we cannot achieve God without God’s help. He sends us his Son and the grace of the sacraments to bring us to union with him. In baptism, we become a member of the Son’s body. In the Eucharist, we receive that body again to nourish us. Ortiz argued that in Augustine’s thought the two sacraments mutually illumine one another. In the celebration of the Eucharist, the congregation offers itself up on the altar along with the bread and wine: the Body of Christ (the baptized congregation) offers itself along with and precisely as the perfect sacrifice of the Body of Christ (the Eucharist). Augustine tells his congregation, “So if you are the Body of Christ and its members, it is your mystery that has been placed on the Lord’s table; you receive your own mystery . . . Be what you see, and receive what you are.” Through the sacraments, God gives us his own life and transfigures us so that we shine with his divine life. Jared Ortiz (Ph.D., The Catholic University of America) joined the Hope College faculty in 2012 as an assistant professor of religion. He teaches courses on the Incarnation, church history, Catholic Christianity, theological hermeneutics and early Christianity. He also has scholarly interest in liturgy and Latin patristic thought. Ortiz’s book, You Made Us for  Yourself: Creation in St. Augustine’s Confessions, was published with Fortress Press in April 2016. He and Jack Mulder, associate professor of philosophy at Hope, founded the Saint Benedict Institute in 2013. Images: (Top) Hope College religion professor Jenny Everts raises a question during the Q & A period. (Middle) Dr. Ortiz signs a copy of his new book. (Bottom) A full house. Photos by Austin Rowe.

Page 2

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ow does the serious artist represent the religious and spiritual dimensions of human experience, especially in a culture suspicious of art that contemplates the divine? Award-winning scholar and poet James Matthew Wilson, Ph.D. (Villanova University) addressed this question and others in his talk, “Art is a Jealous God: Aesthetic Autonomy and the Claims of the Divine,” delivered on September 7, 2016 at Hope College. James Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor of Religion and Literature in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University. An award-winning scholar of philosophical-theology and literature, he has authored dozens of essays, articles, and reviews on subjects ranging from art, ethics, and politics, to meter and poetic form, from the importance of local culture to the nature of truth, goodness, and beauty. Wilson is also a poet and critic of contemporary poetry, whose work appears regularly in such magazines and journals as First Things, Modern Age, The New Criterion, Dappled Things, Measure, The Weekly Standard, Front Porch Republic, The Raintown Review, and The American Conservative.  He has published six books, including most recently the major critical study, The Fortunes of Poetry in an Age of Unmaking (Wiseblood Books, 2015), a collection of poems, Some Permanent Things, and a monograph, The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry (both Wiseblood Books, 2014). Wilson was educated at the University of Michigan (B.A.), the University of Massachusetts (M.A.), and the University of Notre Dame (M.F.A., Ph.D.), where he subsequently held a Sorin Research Fellowship. He joined the faculty of Villanova in 2008. The event was co-sponsored by the Religion and English departments at Hope College.

XI. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross James Matthew Wilson For boys who pull the wings off beetles Or prick their sisters’ backs with needles, They spread his hand to take the nail. For we who meet in dark motels To clasp a stranger to ourselves, His palm split as they drove the nail. You, the one who frisked through her purse, When she stepped out to find the nurse, For you they placed a second nail. While I got drunk this afternoon, A child’s skull was torn from the womb, Its cries rung in the hammered nail. This whole world is a mound of skulls. We like it so, lest days grow dull. Watch them brace his feet for the nail! For us, who keep our kitchens clean, Who’d never have ourselves thought mean, We had them drive the final nail And set him hanging, his fists bleeding, While we went shopping, cruising, feeding, And in his shadow pared our nails.

Page 3


Saint Benedict Institute Newsletter

December 2016

October Lecture on Augustine Draws Large Crowd (continued from page 1)

a kind of “conversion torque,” an inbuilt dynamism back toward God. For Augustine, though, we cannot achieve God without God’s help. He sends us his Son and the grace of the sacraments to bring us to union with him. In baptism, we become a member of the Son’s body. In the Eucharist, we receive that body again to nourish us. Ortiz argued that in Augustine’s thought the two sacraments mutually illumine one another. In the celebration of the Eucharist, the congregation offers itself up on the altar along with the bread and wine: the Body of Christ (the baptized congregation) offers itself along with and precisely as the perfect sacrifice of the Body of Christ (the Eucharist). Augustine tells his congregation, “So if you are the Body of Christ and its members, it is your mystery that has been placed on the Lord’s table; you receive your own mystery . . . Be what you see, and receive what you are.” Through the sacraments, God gives us his own life and transfigures us so that we shine with his divine life. Jared Ortiz (Ph.D., The Catholic University of America) joined the Hope College faculty in 2012 as an assistant professor of religion. He teaches courses on the Incarnation, church history, Catholic Christianity, theological hermeneutics and early Christianity. He also has scholarly interest in liturgy and Latin patristic thought. Ortiz’s book, You Made Us for  Yourself: Creation in St. Augustine’s Confessions, was published with Fortress Press in April 2016. He and Jack Mulder, associate professor of philosophy at Hope, founded the Saint Benedict Institute in 2013. Images: (Top) Hope College religion professor Jenny Everts raises a question during the Q & A period. (Middle) Dr. Ortiz signs a copy of his new book. (Bottom) A full house. Photos by Austin Rowe.

Page 2

H

ow does the serious artist represent the religious and spiritual dimensions of human experience, especially in a culture suspicious of art that contemplates the divine? Award-winning scholar and poet James Matthew Wilson, Ph.D. (Villanova University) addressed this question and others in his talk, “Art is a Jealous God: Aesthetic Autonomy and the Claims of the Divine,” delivered on September 7, 2016 at Hope College. James Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor of Religion and Literature in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University. An award-winning scholar of philosophical-theology and literature, he has authored dozens of essays, articles, and reviews on subjects ranging from art, ethics, and politics, to meter and poetic form, from the importance of local culture to the nature of truth, goodness, and beauty. Wilson is also a poet and critic of contemporary poetry, whose work appears regularly in such magazines and journals as First Things, Modern Age, The New Criterion, Dappled Things, Measure, The Weekly Standard, Front Porch Republic, The Raintown Review, and The American Conservative.  He has published six books, including most recently the major critical study, The Fortunes of Poetry in an Age of Unmaking (Wiseblood Books, 2015), a collection of poems, Some Permanent Things, and a monograph, The Catholic Imagination in Modern American Poetry (both Wiseblood Books, 2014). Wilson was educated at the University of Michigan (B.A.), the University of Massachusetts (M.A.), and the University of Notre Dame (M.F.A., Ph.D.), where he subsequently held a Sorin Research Fellowship. He joined the faculty of Villanova in 2008. The event was co-sponsored by the Religion and English departments at Hope College.

XI. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross James Matthew Wilson For boys who pull the wings off beetles Or prick their sisters’ backs with needles, They spread his hand to take the nail. For we who meet in dark motels To clasp a stranger to ourselves, His palm split as they drove the nail. You, the one who frisked through her purse, When she stepped out to find the nurse, For you they placed a second nail. While I got drunk this afternoon, A child’s skull was torn from the womb, Its cries rung in the hammered nail. This whole world is a mound of skulls. We like it so, lest days grow dull. Watch them brace his feet for the nail! For us, who keep our kitchens clean, Who’d never have ourselves thought mean, We had them drive the final nail And set him hanging, his fists bleeding, While we went shopping, cruising, feeding, And in his shadow pared our nails.

Page 3


Saint Benedict Institute Newsletter

The Campaign to Raise $100,000

A Priest Chaplain for Hope College

T H E CA N T I C L E Newsletter of the Saint Benedict Institute for Catholic Thought, Culture, and Evangelization

“You Made Us For Yourself”

A Catholic Priest at Hope College? Yes!

F

or the past three years, the Saint Benedict Institute has been a robust Catholic voice at Hope College and in the wider community. Our impact includes a dozen students currently discerning a religious vocation, climbing Mass attendance, and impressive turnouts at our retreats and Catholic speaker series events. While our programs have effectively reached a vibrant cross section of both Catholic and Protestant students, it

Annual Blessing of the Dorm Rooms with the pastors of St. Francis de Sales.

Talk on St. Augustine Draws Large Crowd

is becoming increasingly clear that we are not reaching Catholic students who have drifted away from their faith, perhaps as many as 85% of the Catholic student body. For this group a new strategy is needed. We believe that a pastoral presence of a Catholic chaplain, interacting daily with students, is the best way to gather these students back into the fold. At the same time, he will be able to encourage the faithful Catholic students to stay strong in their beliefs. As the position grows, this priest can also become the primary supervisor of additional lay ministers called to Hope to serve as Catholic peer witnesses on campus. The first step is to raise $100,000 to cover a variety of expenses associated with bringing a chaplain to Hope as well as funding his position for one year. These costs include: • • • • • • •

Expenses for a national chaplain search Moving expenses One year salary and benefits Priest travel expenses for 1 year Living expenses (including food stipend) Supplies/equipment for Mass Communications and fundraising for the position Job preparation on campus

Over 150 people from both the Hope community and the greater Holland area attended Jared Ortiz’s lecture on St. Augustine’s Confessions.

D

To be ready for the 2017-18 academic year, we need to raise these initial funds in their totality by May 2017. Additionally, we are seeking 3-5 year commitments from friends and benefactors who will be willing to support this position in the long-term. We invite you to join the New Evangelization! Please consider giving today. Contact Brian Piecuch, Director of Development, at 616.392.6700 ext. 119 or email him at brian.piecuch@saintbenedictinstitute.org with any questions.

Saint Benedict Institute

for Catholic Thought, Culture, and Evangelization 195 West 13th Street, Holland, Michigan 49423 | www.saintbenedictinstitute.org | info@saintbenedictinstitute.org

December 2016

Dr. Ortiz argued that Augustine’s theology of creation forms the “deep grammar” of the Confessions.

r. Jared Ortiz, assistant professor of religion at Hope College and executive director of the Saint Benedict Institute, spoke about his new book, You Made Us for  Yourself: Creation in St. Augustine’s  Confessions, on Thursday, Oct. 13 at Hope College. The event drew more than 150 people from both the Hope community and the greater West Michigan area. Ortiz’s lecture, “You Made Us for Yourself: Creation, Worship, and Human Destiny in St. Augustine,” explored Augustine’s rich understanding of creation as a path into the heart of the great saint’s theology. “You made us for yourself and our heart is restless until it rests in You,” Augustine famously said. This line sums up the whole of Augustine’s thought and, moreover, the meaning and purpose of our existence, Ortiz argued. God has given us the gift of a beautifully ordered cosmos which is in dynamic motion back toward Him and is destined to be transfigured through Christian worship. Through a close and careful reading of Genesis 1, Augustine discerns that God creates all things from nothing in a threefold, simultaneous trinitarian act which he describes under the terms creatio, conversio, and formatio. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was formless and void” (Genesis 1:1-2). God calls this formless creation back to himself through his Word, “through whom all things are made” (John 1:3). Formless creation then “converts” to God and becomes what it was meant to be: “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). Everything that is created, then, has

The Canticle December 2016  

Newsletter of the Saint Benedict Institute.

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