Faith in Action Blog
Ever since her graduation from the College, Mary Rose (Bacani ’03) Valenti has done beautiful work for Christ and His Church as a producer and reporter for Salt + Light Television, including documentaries about the Nashville Dominicans and St. André Bessette. Now we have word that Mrs. Valenti is leaving the world of broadcasting to serve the Lord in a very different capacity — as the full-time mother of her baby daughter, Chiara. “I have decided to stay home with her,” writes Mary Rose, “and see what opportunities God provides us.”
Baby Chiara is a blessed child. Thomas Aquinas College offers prayers of thanksgiving for her, her parents, and all of her mother’s great work — past, present, and future.
Two alumni who regularly promote and defend the faith in the public square have new offerings:
On the CatholicVote website, theologian Dr. Pia de Solenni (’93) has spotted some unsettling themes in retail catalogs (the cover of which is shown on the right).
Then, taking to the airwaves, Rev. Sebastian Walshe , O.Praem. (’94), a professor of philosophy at the Norbertines’ St. Michael’s Abbey Seminary in Orange County, has made one of his periodic appearances on the Catholic Answers Live radio program. The show, How Biblical Inspiration Works, is available online both in streaming audio and as a podcast.
Theologian / ethicist / cultural commentator Dr. Pia de Solenni (’93) has a new column in Headline Bistro about the “strange, weird, and … largely unregulated world of assisted reproductive technologies.” In it she makes an important distinction between “having a child and being a parent,” noting:
“There are many opportunities for people to become parents, either by having their own children naturally or by adopting children desperately in need of a home (and parents). In either case, there may still be situations where people view children as a fancy accessory or possession. The fact that they’re having a child naturally or adopting doesn’t mean that their intentions are necessarily good. But at least the child isn’t being custom ordered like a car or a piece of furniture.”
Dr. de Solenni is also a regular guest on the Catholic Answers Live radio program, and recently defended the Church on NPR.
A great success among recent Catholic educational titles is A Little Way of Homeschooling, the second work by author and alumna Suzie (Zeiter ’87) Andres. The book has generated a favorable review from the Catholic News agency as well as this laudatory post on the Catholic Media Review blog. Mrs. Andres also discussed the book on a recent episode of the “Catholics Next Door” radio program.
Read on for our own review of A Little Way of Homeschooling by alumna Becky (Loop’96) Mohun.Read more
National Review Online currently features an extensive interview with Greg Pfundstein (’05), Executive Director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, about his work in New York City on various pro-life causes. In it Mr. Pfundstein discusses his efforts to combat a one-size-fits-all approach to sexual education in the city’s schools, as well as a recent analysis of New York’s abortion data broken down by zip code.
That analysis yielded a fascinating datum: The zip code with the lowest abortion rate in all of New York City happens to be the home of a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Mother in her capacity as mother and defender of unborn children. Mr. Pfundstein writes about the Chapel of Mary Mother of the Unborn — and its implications for the pro-life movement — over at The Catholic Thing.
On Sunday night, Rev. Joseph Lee, F.S.S.P (’00), and Vanessa Brink (’04) appeared on EWTN’s Life on the Rock. The two spoke about Juventutem, a lay association founded in response to Pope John Paul II’s 2004 invitation to aid young Catholics who want want to participate in the extraordinary form of the Mass. You can watch the episode here:
Fresh off defending the Church on NPR one month ago, Dr. Pia de Solenni (’93) appeared on Catholic Answers Live last week, where she spoke on the subject, “Lifelong Growth in Faith.” Dr. de Solenni is a frequent guest on the apologetics program, the nation’s top-rated Catholic radio show. Below are links to streaming audio and podcasts for her three most recent appearances:
- Lifelong Growth in Faith (September 7)
- Is the Church Sexist? (April 25)
- What Was Feminism? (January 21)
Greg Pfundstein (’05), who wrote an article a few weeks back about the Obama Administration’s contraceptive-coverage mandate, has a new story in Public Discourse. Writes Mr. Pfundstein:
What if we don’t want our daughters cataloguing the condom inventory of the local drug store or visiting an abortion clinic for homework? What about our freedom of choice, our right to privacy? Keep your mandates off our children’s innocence.
See the whole story, Sex Ed Mandates and Children’s Innocence, on the Public Discourse website.
Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor recently produced a segment on this subject, posted below. Mr. Pfundstein makes a brief appearance at the 00:39 mark:
A frequent guest on the Catholic Answers Live radio program, Dr. Pia de Solenni (’93) recently ventured into less friendly airwaves. At the recommendation of the office of Denver’s Archbishop Charles Chaput, Dr. de Solenni appeared on an episode of NPR’s “On Point” to discuss the topic, “Ordaining Women Priests.” Despite being outnumbered — her two fellow panelists were both excommunicated Catholic dissidents, and the host and most of the callers decidedly took their side — she did a commendable job of defending the all-male priesthood as instituted by Christ. To quote from her opening remarks:
“In order to understand the Church’s position on this you have to go to a more metaphysical reality, and that is the relationship between Christ and the Church. From the perspective of Catholic theology, that relationship between Christ and the Church is spousal; it’s husband and wife, bridegroom and bride. And the priest is seen as someone who — in the Latin we say is in persona Christi — he’s someone who is in the person of Christ. And it doesn’t mean he just stands in for Christ, it means he really takes on the person of Christ, and that’s why in the Mass he’s able to transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. So for Catholics that’s not a symbol that’s an actual reality, and this relationship between Christ and the Church is not a symbol, it’s an actual reality. So when we talk about all-male priesthood it’s because that man who becomes a priest is actually representing Christ in His fullness, which includes His maleness.”
To be sure, reading the sermons of Bl. John Henry Newman is inspiring, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear them? Now you can, thanks to the voice of Michael Six (’79) who plays the part of the blessed cardinal in a new audiobook of His Eminence’s homilies produced by Catholic Audio Publishing. (A sample of the recordings, featuring the sermons Bl. John Henry gave after his entrance into the Church, is available here.)
Meanwhile, Mr. Six’s wife, Julia (Schmitt ’81), recently graduated with a master’s degree in theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary (religious studies division) in Philadelphia. She is currently teaching theology at DeSales University in Center Valley, Penn.