Faith in Action Blog

Faith in Action Blog

Joseph Susanka ('99)A film critic, a cultural commentator, and a regular blogger at Patheos.com, Joseph Susanka (’99) recently participated in a bloggers’ roundtable on Relevant Radio with host Sheila Liaugminas. The discussion, which broadly covered current issues of faith, culture, and media, is available in both streaming and downloadable formats.


Michael Van Hecke ('86)Campus Notes, the blog of the Cardinal Newman Society, features an amusing and inspiring profile of Michael Van Hecke (’86). The title of the post: He Fell Off the Surfboard and Into Catholicism.

As the headmaster of Saint Augustine Academy in Ventura, Calif., and president of the Catholic Schools Textbook Project, Mr. Van Hecke has made Catholic education his life’s work. But it was not always so. When he entered Thomas Aquinas College as a freshman, he admits, he had littler interest in studying. “I came out here to learn how to surf and then I planned to transfer out,” he says.

Yet his time on campus was transformative. “I found myself in a truly Christian society, concerned about higher things, and concerned about people and imbued with holy charity,” he says. “People were good. They cared about you.”

That experience prompted in him a yearning to share the fruits of his education with others. “I found happiness,” says Mr. Van Hecke. “And I wanted to bring that to people, too. I want to give that joy to kids.” After graduation, he became a teacher, and not long thereafter, a headmaster.

Earlier this year, the Cardinal Newman Society named Saint Augustine Academy to its 2012-13 Catholic High School Honor Roll, which recognizes “excellence in Catholic identity, academics and civic education at Catholic high schools across the United States.” Saint Augustine is one of just 50 schools nationwide — and one of three headed by Thomas Aquinas College alumni — named to the list.

 


Laudamus Te, inaugural issue coverThe arrival of Advent brings with it the launch of a new Catholic magazine, Laudamus Te, which aims “to bear witness to the sublime beauty of the ancient Latin liturgy, to foster renewed devotion to its merits, and to aid the faithful in entering more deeply into its sacramental mysteries.” The magazine’s publisher and production manager is an alumna of the College, Margot (Foucht ’92) Davidson.

A homeschooling mother of five, Mrs. Davidson owns and operates Hillside Education, a small publishing house that produces educational materials for homeschoolers — and now Laudamus Te. The magazine publishes six times a year corresponding with the liturgical seasons of the 1962 Church calendar. Each issue of Laudamus Te includes that season’s daily Mass readings for the extraordinary form of the Mass, plus explanatory essays and commentaries by various saints and Doctors of the Church, as well as devotional writings by priests, religious, and laity.

Just in time for Advent, the magazine’s first issue is now available, both in print and electronic formats.



Br. Patrick Carter (’05), Br. Robert Nesbit (’07), and Br. Peter Miller (’07)


Rev. Joseph O’Hara (’92), a secular priest who has long felt a pull toward the religious life, has entered Clear Creek Abbey in Hulbert, Okla. Fr. O’Hara is now one of 11 Thomas Aquinas College alumni living and praying within this Benedictine community, including the Order’s subprior, Rev. Mark Bachmann, O.S.B. (’82).

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), three of Fr. O’Hara and Fr. Bachmann’s alumni confreres will be making their solemn professions: Br. Patrick Carter (’05), Br. Peter Miller (’07), and Br. Robert Nesbit (’07). Along with the announcement for the professions, Br. Patrick recently sent Thomas Aquinas College President Michael F. McLean the following note:

“Blessed be God! I pray that all is well with you and with the whole Thomas Aquinas College community. Despite the passage of time, the College does not lose ground in my affections, but rather becomes dearer and dearer to me.…

“It is with profound gratitude for the education and formation we received at Thomas Aquinas College that we give ourselves definitively to the Lord’s service here at Clear Creek. Be assured of our support and prayers both for the general intentions of the college and for your work as president.”

The Brothers ask that we pray the following:

Novena Prayer for Professions:

Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy
Holy Trinity, the One God, have mercy on them
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, have mercy on them
Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, pray for them

Saint Michael and all your holy Angels, pray for them
Saint John the Baptist, pray for them
Saint Joseph, pray for them
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for them
Saints John, Thomas, and Philip, pray for them
Saint Gregory, pray for them
Saints Augustine and Jerome, pray for them
Saint Patrick, pray for them
Saint Anselm, pray for them
Saint Robert Bellarmine, pray for them
Saint Benedict, our blessed Father, pray for them
Saint Anthony of the Desert, pray for them
Saints Maur and Placid, pray for them
Saint Bernard, pray for them
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for them
Saint John of the Cross, pray for them
Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, pray for them
St. Mary Magdalene, pray for them
Saint Scholastica, pray for them
Saints Getrude and Hildegard, pray for them
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, pray for them
All you holy monks and hermits, pray for them
All you saints of God, intercede for them

Let us pray
O God, who hast made the Immaculate Mother of thy Son to be also our mother, grant, we beseech Thee, that these who are born into the life of perfection through the vows of religion, may, by the nourishment of that same Mother, arrive at the measure of the full age of Christ. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

May God bless the Clear Creek 11!


The diaconate ordination of Br. Ryan Morris Wolford ('97)

On November 17, the Most Rev. Thomas J. Curry, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, ordained Br. Ryan Morris Wolford, C.R.I.C. (’97), to the transitional diaconate. The Ordination Mass took place at St. Sebastian Church, one of two parishes that Br. Ryan’s community, the Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception, serves in Santa Paula, Calif.

By God’s grace, Br. Ryan will be ordained to the priesthood in 2013. In the meantime, he is in Mundelein, Ill., earning a license in theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake. He previously earned his sacrae theologiae baccalaureus at the Angelicum in Rome.

“I would just like to express my thanks to God for my Thomas Aquinas College experience,” Br. Ryan writes. “Four years’ studying Aristotle, and a good start in St. Thomas, have proven invaluable to my subsequent education; but most of all I am thankful that my time at the College led to my conversion to Catholicism and my eventual pursuit of the priesthood.”

Please keep Br. Ryan your prayers!

 


Matthew Wise '06This Friday, November 30, will mark the first anniversary of the death of Matthew Wise (’06). To pray for the repose of his soul, an alumni priest, Rev. John Tom Mellein, O.P. (’99), will offer a private Mass at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. All who are in the area are invited. The Mass will be held at 8:00 a.m. in Caldwell Chapel.

Please continue to keep Matthew, his family, and his loved ones in prayer throughout the week.

 


Rose (Teichert) and Dan Grimm (both ’76) have sent along a hopeful report about the health of their daughter Rosie (’10):

Rosie had scans yesterday which showed that one of the tumors in her lungs is gone, the other three have shrunk, and the bad one in her neck seems to be being attacked (as shown by inflammation) in the way we have hoped. We are so grateful, to God and to all of you who are praying. Please keep it up, and we are praying for all of you.


Isabel Cacho ('11)Isabel Cacho (’11) has taken her love of learning and the Western intellectual tradition to Slovakia, where she is teaching at the Collegium of Anton Neuwirth. The Collegium, which organizes various educational activities for university students and young professionals, offers a year-long, residential formation program for undergraduates, focusing on the influence of Christianity on Western civilization. In addition to conducting seminars and teaching English, Miss Cacho is also involved in several facets of the school’s administration and outreach.

In a profile of Miss Cacho in the Collegium’s website, she notes, “It was at Thomas Aquinas College that I learned that education is about freedom. It is about freeing your mind to dwell on the higher things, which is what separates us from other creatures.”

The beneficiary of a liberal education, she now seeks to share that gift, saying, “I hope I will inspire the same love of truth that my professors motivated in me.”

 


Rev. Sebastian Walsge, O.Praem. ('94)Lost in the ongoing political debate over marriage is a more fundamental question, namely, where does marriage come from? Does the state have the power to define what marriage is, or does the definition precede and transcend the state — something government cannot alter?

Rev. Sebastian Walshe, O.Praem. (’94), a regular guest on the Catholic Answers Live radio program, takes on this question and others in a recent episode titled, The Nature of Marriage.

Marriage, Fr. Sebastian says, “comes about as a result of nature,” and as such is not subject to human redefinition. “The state doesn’t have the right to define triangles. The state doesn’t have the right to define dogs and cats. They are what they are. So the state doesn’t have the right to define marriage,” he explains. Moreover, for government to claim authority in this instance is to assert for itself “absolute power” over marriage “and, as a consequence, family life, because the foundational relationship in any family is the relationship of marriage.”

The show is available both in streaming and downloadable form on the Catholic Answers website, as are these other episodes featuring Fr. Sebastian:

 


November
09, 2012

Fr. Higgins with Cardinal Dolan

His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, greeting Rev. John Higgins (’90) last year with a popsicle and a soda at the completion of Fr. Higgins’ 50-mile walk to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

One year ago, Rev. John Higgins (’90), pastor of the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill, N.Y., walked 50 miles from his church to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in midtown Manhattan to raise money for his parish elementary school. This weekend, he will undertake that same journey.

Fr. Higgins’ 2011 pilgrimage raised $77,000 for the 225 students of Assumption School, many of whom live under the poverty level. This year he hopes to top that total. “It’s about 110,000 steps to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and we hope to get a dollar for every step that we walk, making our goal $110,000,” he writes. “I think we can do it!”

Help sponsor Fr. Higgins’ walk for Assumption School either online via PayPal, or by sending a check to:

Assumption School
920 First Street
Peekskill, NY 10566
ATTN: Walk 2012

Godspeed, Fr. Higgins!