APRIL 2015
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Video: A Scene from Othello Video:
a Scene from
Slideshow: Shakespeare’s Othello Slideshow: Shakespeare’s
Video: Norbertine Alumnus Chants at Papal Easter Vigil Video: Norbertine Alumnus Chants at Papal Easter Vigil
Slideshow: Paschal Triduum Slideshow:
Slideshow: Seniors Turn in their Theses Slideshow:
Seniors Turn in their Theses
Slideshow: Freshmen Host Spring Dance Slideshow: Freshmen Host Spring Dance
Slideshow: Women’s Campout Slideshow: Women’s
Slideshow: Palm Sunday with Chrysostomos Slideshow:
Palm Sunday
with Chrysostomos
Lecture Audio: Dr. Mark Blitz, “The Relevance of Plato: The Republic” Lecture Audio:
Dr. Mark Blitz on Plato’s Republic
Chart-Topping Sisters Release New Album in Time for Easter Chart-Topping Sisters Release Easter Album
Slideshow: Powder Puff Bowl 2015 Slideshow:
Powder Puff Bowl 2015
Slideshow: Beat the Heat Dance Slideshow:
Beat the Heat Dance
Slideshow: St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Slideshow:
St. Patrick’s Day Dinner
Fr. Buckley: “Ignatius of Loyola: Don Quixote in the Flesh” Audio: Fr. Buckley: on St. Ignatius & Don Quixote
Reflections on the Art of Living: Our Society’s Predicament
Senior-Tutor Softball Game
April 29 (3:45 p.m.)
Senior Thesis Draft-Burning Party
April 29 (5:00 p.m.)
Second Semester Examinations
May 11-15
President’s Dinner
May 13
Board of Governors Meeting
May 15
President’s Reception
for Seniors and their Parents
May 15
Alumni & Parents’ Associations Dinner
for Graduates and their Families
May 15
Commencement 2015
May 16
Residence Halls Close
May 18 (2:00 p.m.)
Memorial Day — Office Holiday
May 25
Tutor Summer Program
May 26 – June 26
Alumni Association Dinner
June 6 (6:00 p.m.)
West Coast Meeting, Society for Aristotelian-Thomistic Studies
June 18-19
Conference on the Social Doctrine of the Church
June 19-21
Virginia Thorpe
March 6
Legacy Society member

Louise A. Schmitt
March 22
Wife of former tutor John Schmitt; mother of Julia (’81), Nicholas (’82), Louise (’86), Stephanie (’89), Carl (’90), Samuel (’92), and Clare (’94)

Frederick Olson
April 1
Legacy Society member

Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
April 17
2001 Commencement Speaker, Saint Thomas Aquinas Medallion Recipient
Students Undertake Spiritual Exercises of
St. Ignatius at Triduum Retreat

Over the course of the Easter Triduum, Thomas Aquinas College students spent their time in retreat, practicing the Spiritual Exercise of St. Ignatius under the guidance of a Jesuit retreat master, Rev. Raymond Gawronski, S.J.

“We begin with Creation, and then move through the Fall, the Incarnation, the life of Our Lord, His passion, death and resurrection,” says Fr. Gawronski, a visiting scholar at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California, and a professor at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park. “It’s always Christocentric, always centered on Christ and His life, and it’s always working out of the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, who is the patron of all retreats in the Church.”

The retreat consisted of five conferences, which took place between the liturgies and rites of the Holy Triduum, culminating with the Easter Vigil late Saturday night. Its ultimate purpose, Fr. Gawronski adds, was to aid students’ in their contemplation. “We want to upgrade it a little bit, to the point where you’re actually listening to God.”

Full story
Photos from the Easter Triduum

St. Ignatius of Loyola, by Peter Paul Rubens
St. Ignatius of Loyola

Rev. Ray Gawronski, S.J.
Rev. Ray Gawronski, S.J.

Easter Vigil
Easter Vigil
Tutors Participate in Second “Gathering of Theologians” with Archbishop Gomez

Four members of the Thomas Aquinas College teaching faculty — Dean Brian T. Kelly and tutors Katherine M. Gardner, Jared P. Kuebler, and Paul K. Shields — recently participated in a gathering of theologians at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Conference Center, hosted by the Most Rev. José H. Gomez.

For this, the second such gathering in two years, Archbishop Gomez invited theologians from colleges and universities throughout the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, including all four Catholic institutions — St. John’s Seminary, Loyola Marymount University, Mount St. Mary’s College, and Thomas Aquinas College.

“Archbishop Gomez is one of four American bishops who will participate in the Synod on the Family in Rome in October,” explains Dr. Kelly. “So he asked us to help advise him in order to prepare him for his participation.”

Full story

Jared P. Kuebler, the Most Rev. José H. Gomez, Katherine M. Gardner, Paul K. Shields, and Dean Brian T. Kelly
Jared P. Kuebler, Archbishop Gomez, Katherine Gardner, Paul Shields, and Dean Brian Kelly
Highlights from the College’s Alumni Blog

• Chanting the Exsultet at this year’s Easter Vigil Mass, offered by His Holiness Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica, was a graduate of the College: Frater Jacob, O.Praem. (Joseph Hsieh ’06). A Norbertine canon and a transitional deacon, Frater Jacob is currently studying theology and music at the Norbertine Generalte in Rome. He is due to return stateside in time for his ordination to the priesthood on June 27. A video from the Mass is available on the College’s website.

• The latest issue of the Claremont Review of Books features one Thomas Aquinas College alumnus writing about another: Dr. Matthew J. Peterson (’01), a visiting assistant professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, reviews The Foundations of Natural Morality: On the Compatibility of Natural Rights and the Natural Law, by Dr. S. Adam Seagrave (’05), an assistant professor of political science at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Peterson characterizes the work as “not a wholly Lockean but, as [Dr. Seagrave] says, a ‘Locke-ish’ case for how natural rights arise from the very structure of human beings.”

• The Catholic News Agency reports that the chart-topping Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, have released a new album for the Easter season, Easter at Ephesus. For three years in a row, the community, which is based in Gower, Missouri, has been the best-selling artist on Billboard’s “Classical Traditional” list. Two of the nuns,   Sr. Mary Josefa of the Eucharist, OSB (Kathleen Holcomb ’07), and Sr. Sophia Eid, OSB (’08), are alumnae of the College. Easter at Ephesus features 27 tracks, in both English and Latin, including traditional hymns, original compositions, and chants.

The Faith in Action Blog

Frater Jacob, O.Praem. (Joseph Hsieh ’06)
Frater Jacob, O.Praem. (Joseph Hsieh ’06)
Dr. Matthew J. Peterson (’01)
Dr. Matthew J. Peterson (’01)

Dr. S. Adam Seagrave (’05)
Dr. S. Adam Seagrave (’05)

Easter at EphesusEaster at Ephesus
Upcoming College Seminars and Events

After the last vehicle rolls off the Thomas Aquinas College campus following Commencement; when the residence halls, once teeming with students, grow quiet; when silence briefly replaces Socratic discourse in the classroom buildings, it may seem as though the intellectual life of the College has slipped into a summer’s hibernation.
In reality, the intellectual life of the academic year has merely given way to a very different, albeit still vibrant, sort of intellectual life. Most of the students have left, but not all, and although their formal instruction has been suspended, their learning most certainly has not. Likewise, the summer offers educational opportunities for the College’s various other constituencies — prospective students, faculty, alumni, and benefactors.
As usual, Thomas Aquinas College will offer a wide range of conferences, seminars, and other academic opportunities this summer. Follow the links below to learn more about any of the events.


Summer Seminars

High School Summer Program

Aristotelian-Thomistic Studies Conference
  “Virtue and Friendship”
Aristotelian-Thomistic Studies Conference
June 18-19
  June 18-19
  Happiness, the Common Good,
and Political Society

Social Doctrine Conference
June 19-21
  June 19-21
  The 2015 Summer Seminars
“Choice and Moral Responsibility”
July 10-12 and 17-19
  July 10-12 July 17-19
  High School Summer Program
for rising high school seniors
July 19 – August 1
  July 19 - August 1
  Seminars: Sacraments, Grace & Free Will
Napa Institute Conference
July 30-31
  July 30-31

Remembering Rev. Gerard Steckler, S.J.
1925 – 2015

By Dr. Brian T. Kelly (’88)

Thomas Aquinas College was very blessed by the presence and service of Rev. Gerard George Steckler, S.J., from 1982 to 1993. ...

I think that Father found being at the College to be a bit of a challenge. He liked to say shocking things, but we weren’t like the Jesuits. He couldn’t shock us simply by being orthodox. He had to try harder.

Still, he managed. ... For wayward bishops he wished and prayed for them the highest good possible, the blessing of a good and holy death — though he always added the qualifier “immediate,” so he asked for them a “good, holy, and immediate death.” Not a sentiment you will find on a Hallmark card, but a great blessing indeed. And always he gleefully exhorted us to “Suffer! Suffer!” ...

Why was he this way? I think it was because he loved us and he loved his vocation. He shared with us one day that, in the seminary, a wise old priest had advised him to adopt a style and live it. It proved an effective way to serve souls. It spoke to us. As students we felt that Fr. Steckler loved us. And I have to add that we loved and love him. He took care of us.

Full story 

Dr. Brian T. Kelly
Dr. Brian T. Kelly

Rev. Gerard George Steckler, S.J.
Rev. Gerard George Steckler, S.J.
  Thomas Aquinas College