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Slideshows: Seniors Take Freshmen to Beach Slideshow:
Seniors Take Freshmen to Beach
Slideshow: Senior-Freshman Dance Slideshow:
Senior-Freshman Dance
Slideshow: First Ever Spearshake Festival Slideshow: First Ever Spearshake Festival  
Slideshow: Fall Concert and Trivial Pursuit Slideshow:
Fall Concert and Trivial Pursuit
Slideshow: Our Lady of Sorrows Rosary Procession Slideshow: Our Lady of Sorrows Rosary Procession  
Slideshow: Tolkien Trivia Night Slideshow:
Trivia Night
Tutor Talk: Dr. John Nieto, Defining Evolution Tutor Talk:
Dr. John Nieto,
Defining Evolution
Slideshow: Alumni Day Slideshow:
Slideshow: Celebrating St. Junipero Serra Slideshow: Celebrating St. Junipero Serra  
Video: The Men of St. Serra Hall Sing the Sanctus Video: The Men of St. Serra Hall Sing the Sanctus  
Homily: Fr. Paul at the Mass in honor of St. Junipero Homily: Fr. Paul at the Mass in honor of St. Junipero  
Slideshow: Groundbreaking for St. Cecilia Hal Slideshow: Groundbreaking for St. Cecilia Hall  
Slideshow: Blessing of St. Gladys Statue Slideshow: Blessing of
St. Gladys Statue
The Perfect Gift: A Christmas Novena of Masses  
Tutor Talk
Dr. Travis Cooper
On Scripture and Literature
October 14 (4:00 p.m.)
All-College Seminar
October 16 (7:00 p.m.)
Anniversary of the Death of Founding President Ronald P. McArthur
October 17
October 18
Don Rags
October 20-22
Student Performance
The Importance of Being Earnest
October 24
“The Psalms in St. Augustine’s Confessions”
Dr. Jeffrey Lehman
Assistant Professor of Education
Hillsdale College
October 30 (7:30 p.m.)
Feast of All Saints
November 1
Anniversary of the Death of College Founder Marcus R. Berquist
November 2
Fall Concert
The Thomas Aquinas College Choir
13 (7:00 p.m.)
Board of Governors Retreat
November 13-15
Dr. Glenn Arbery
Associate Professor of Humanities
Wyoming Catholic College

November 20 (7:30 p.m.)
Topic: Literature
November 26
Thanksgiving Recess
November 26-29
Christmas Dinner
December 6
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 8
First Semester Examinations
December 12-18
Christmas Vacation
December 19- January 10
Christmas Eve
December 24
December 25
William J. Kaffer
May 12, 2013
Legacy Society member

Marietta Barron
December 23, 2014
Legacy Society member

Rev. Richard L. DeMolen
August 30, 2015
Legacy Society member

Mary Ann Kaffer
September 24, 2015
Legacy Society member

Charles “Jerry” Sullivan
October 12, 2015
Father of Kathleen (Lawlor ’81) and Lori (Murphy ’88); grandfather of Brian (’14) and Kathleen Murphy (’16)
Government Backs College’s Effort to Bring HHS Case before Supreme Court

In a letter filed on September 30, Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., Solicitor General of the United States, endorsed Thomas Aquinas College’s effort to bring its challenge of the HHS Mandate before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Although the government had previously argued that the Court should not hear the case, Mr. Verrilli reversed course, noting that two recent Eighth Circuit rulings found that the Mandate — which would compel Catholic religious institutions to facilitate free contraceptive, abortifacient, and sterilization coverage for their employees — imposes a substantial burden on the free exercise of religion. Because these decisions are at odds with earlier rulings issued by other Circuit Courts of Appeal, Mr. Verrilli contends, the Supreme Court should grant review of the College’s case.

Should the Court follow Mr. Verrilli’s advice, Thomas Aquinas College’s lawsuit could prove to be the basis on which the fate of the HHS Mandate is determined.

Full story 

Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Thomas Aquinas College
College Launches Construction for
St. Cecilia Concert and Lecture Hall

On the afternoon of September 25, incense filled the air, holy water softened the ground, and four spades pierced the soil at the site of Thomas Aquinas College’s forthcoming lecture and concert building, St. Cecilia Hall.

Set to open its doors in 2017, St. Cecilia Hall will be the fourteenth building constructed since the College acquired its campus in the 1970s. The building is made possible through an $8.5 million grant from the Fritz B. Burns Foundation of Los Angeles.

In welcoming the College’s guests, President Michael F. McLean observed that the building “will be a beautiful and acoustically appropriate venue for our St. Vincent de Paul Lecture and Concert series.” He also thanked the trustees of the Fritz B. Burns Foundation, “who share with us a firm commitment to genuine, Catholic liberal education, and have been our partners for decades now in helping our students receive a sound intellectual, moral, and spiritual foundation.” 

Full story
Ground-breaking ceremony
Groundbreaking ceremony for
St. Cecilia Hall

Head Chaplain Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P., blesses the site of St. Cecilia Hall
Head Chaplain Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P., incenses the site
College Unveils, Blesses Statue of St. Gladys

For the last year, students at Thomas Aquinas College have studied around the classroom tables in St. Gladys Hall — and they have met for dances and other events in the adjacent Fritz B. and Gladys C. Burns Plaza — but the building was not truly complete. Only on September 25, with the unveiling and blessing of a new statue of the building’s patroness, is St. Gladys Hall now truly finished, a permanent and beloved fixture on the Thomas Aquinas College campus.

Immediately following the groundbreaking ceremony for St. Cecilia Hall, members of the College assembled in the Burns Plaza for the unveiling and blessing of the statue, “Springtime of Our Faith,” by Los Angeles sculptor Christopher Slatoff. A 5th century Welsh monarch, St. Gladys is the patron saint of Gladys Carson Burns, the cherished wife of the late Fritz B. Burns, whose Los Angeles-based foundation contributed the $3.2 million grant that funded the construction of the College’s newest classroom building.
“St. Gladys Hall has been a wonderful addition to the academic life of the College, and I think that St. Gladys herself has proven to be a wonderful patron for our students,” said President Michael F. McLean. “I have to admit that she was not a saint with whom many of us were familiar when the name was first proposed for the building, but our devotion to her has grown as we have come to know about her life and her holiness. She was a wife, a mother, and a queen, and then, in later years, she took up the contemplative life, as did her husband. Her life is a great model for all of us.”

Full story 
Head Chaplain Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P, blesses the statue of St. Gladys
 Head Chaplain Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P, blesses the statue of St. Gladys

St. GladysSt. Gladys
Highlights from the College’s Alumni Blog

• In a new essay for Crisis magazine, Suzie (Zeiter ’87) Andres has authored a glowing tribute to Jane Austen, whom she heralds as “The Divine Jane,” and “The Novelist.” So smitten is Mrs. Andres with Jane Austen, in fact, that she has spent the last four years composing her own recently published novel, The Paradise Project, which she describes as a “paean,” but more than “a simple retelling” of Pride and Prejudice, set in modern times.

• Sixteen years after his graduation, Rev. Michael Hurley, O.P. (’99), recently returned to Thomas Aquinas College to present a vocational talk, “The Life of a Dominican Priest.” Some 20 young men came to the discussion, in which Fr. Michael, the pastor of the 2,500-family St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in San Francisco, described his journey to Thomas Aquinas College, his vocational discernment, and a “typical day” of shepherding souls in a busy urban parish. “When you’re a priest, when you’re a Dominican, when you wear this habit, people know you in a sense. They have that sense of connection, and you can be personally Christ for them,” he said. For me, there is nothing more inspiring, delightful, and wonderful.”

• The College has received reports — and photos — from a number of alumni who were present for parts of His Holiness Pope Francis’s visit to the United States. Among those are: Emily (Barry ’11) and Joe Sullivan (’09), who serves on the parish council for the Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia; Rev. Ramon Decaen (’96), the pastor of the Parish of Cristo Rey and diocesan director of Hispanic Ministry in Lincoln, who had the honor of concelebrating one of the Holy Father’s Masses; and Sr. Teresa Benedicta Block, O.P. (’02), who, with three of her fellow Ann Arbor Dominicans, led a pilgrimage of 12 high school students from San Francisco to the city. See the full story for more examples and photos.

The Faith in Action blog 


Suzie (Zeiter ’87) Andres
Suzie (Zeiter ’87) Andres

Rev. Michael Hurley, O.P. (’99)
Rev. Michael Hurley, O.P. (’99)

His Holiness Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families Mass in Philadelphia,
Pope Francis, as photographed by Emily (Barry ’11) Sullivan

Siempre Adelante!
College Celebrates Canonization of Californias New Patron Saint

When His Holiness Pope Francis canonized St. Junipero Serra in September, the campus of Thomas Aquinas College was abuzz with celebrations of California’s new patron saint.
On the night of the canonization, the men of the residence hall formerly known as Blessed Junipero Serra
sang at the evening Mass. Then, the next morning, Head Chaplain Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P., offered a community-wide Mass in St. Junipero Serra’s honor. Afterward, the College’s four chaplains led a procession to the on-campus statue of St. Junipero Serra. There, Fr. Paul announced that, henceforth, Blessed Junipero Serra Hall would be known as Saint Junipero Serra Hall, reflecting its patron’s new status among the Communion of Saints.
Meanwhile, two alumnae of the College have penned devotions to the great evangelist of the West. In Catholic Exchange, Suzie (Zeiter ’87) Andres published a
lovely essay about St. Junipero’s holy death, in which she also recounted a fascinating anecdote about the history of the College. A talented musician, Wendy-Irene (Grimm ’99) Zepeda marked the occasion by composing lyrics to a hymn, sung to the tune of “For All the Saints”:
Come, ring the bell you rang in days of yore,
Come, plant the Cross again upon our shore!
Bring California to Christ’s heart once more!
Siempre adelante! Siempre adelante!


The Aquinas Review
St. Junipero Serra

The Aquinas Review
Fr. Paul at the ceremony before
St. Junipero Serra Hall

  Thomas Aquinas College