Faith in Action Blog
We have received the following letter from Rev. John Higgins (’90), pastor of the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill, N.Y. Fr. Higgins will be walking 58 miles in support of his parish school later this month. Please support him his efforts!
Dear Family and Friends,
Everyone who knows me knows that Assumption School in Peekskill is the joy of my heart!
That’s why I’m taking my joy to the street and walking to St. Patrick’s Cathedral from Peekskill. Not just because Assumption School really, really, needs the financial help, but also in celebration and thanksgiving for the gift of Assumption School!
On the morning of November 10, I’ll leave Church of the Assumption for St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, where I will spend the night and set out for St. Patrick’s on November 11. My goal is to offer a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral at 6:30 p.m. on November 11.
My pilgrimage is part of a larger fundraising effort being undertaken by the Assumption School’s Advisory Board — $105,000 for 105 Years of Assumption School (“105 for 105”).
I would be most grateful if you would sponsor me as I make this prayerful and celebratory journey.
I ask you, if you can, to sponsor me by making a pledge. I will add your contact information to my sponsor sheet with the amount pledged and Assumption School will send you the invoice. Every little bit can help.
Your donation will go a long way to helping families hit hard by the economic downturn continue to send their children to Assumption School.
These are challenging yet grace-filled times and, I know, God can never be outdone in generosity!
Rest assured of my prayers for you every step of my way!
God bless you!
Father John Higgins
PS — The walk is 58 miles.
PPS — If you’re in the city, maybe you might join me for the Mass in The Lady Chapel?
PPPS — Maybe more vigorous types might want to join me for the Friday leg of the walk.
PPPPS — As I walk you can follow me on Twitter: @CatholicPeek
Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer sends along an update on the status of Matthew Wise (’06):
Matthew Wise ’06 has a very serious case of pneumonia. He's in the ICU and in an induced coma. His pneumonia has not been responding to antibiotics. Here is a message that I just received from Matthew's Mother:
The cardiologist wants to do a heart-lung procedure on Matthew as soon as possible. So, right now. The kids and I just got home from the hospital and are going to kneel down and pray during the operation (it will be done in his room, he is too sick to be moved). Asking for angels to guide the doctor's hands, for healing for Matthew, intercession of the saints, and for peace for Mike and Anthony who are up there right now with him. Mike will probably post an update under my name as soon as he can. Thanks so much for all of your prayers! Please join us in extra prayers during this heart-lung procedure!
Please keep Matthew and his family in your prayers. Thank you.
For more, please see the Prayers for Matt Wise Facebook Group.
Two alumni who have returned to the College as members of the teaching faculty, Dr. Christopher Decaen (’93) and Dr. Paul O’Reilly (’84), have recently given talks on campus. You can access their remarks at following links:
- Dr. Decaen: “‘I have set before Joshua a single stone with seven facets bearing his inscription…’ (Zech. 3:9): The ‘Jesus(s)’ of the Old Testament” (audio)
- Dr. O’Reilly: Flannery O’Connor and “The Enduring Chill” (text)
Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer sends along the following prayer request:
Matthew Wise (’06) has a very serious case of pneumonia. He's in the ICU and in an induced coma. His pneumonia has not been responding to antibiotics. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. Thank you.
For more, please see the Prayers for Matt Wise Facebook Group.
“My best memories of the College were being in the tutorials, learning through the great books, and the spiritual life,” recalls Rev. Hildebrand Garceau, O. Praem. (’78). “Our chaplains were very fine spiritual guides. It was through their example and through the prayer life we had at the College that I really developed my vocation.”
As the College’s newest chaplain, Fr. Hildebrand now has the opportunity to be the same sort of mentor and influence that the late Rev. Thomas McGovern, S.J., and Msgr. John Gallagher were when he was a student at Thomas Aquinas College more than 30 years ago. With Fr. Hildebrand joining Rev. Cornelius Buckley, S.J., and Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P., the College is now blessed to have three chaplains serving the spiritual needs of its 350 students, offering four Masses and numerous opportunities for confession daily.Read more
The Anchoress has posted the following, delightful video, featuring the Norbertine Canonesses of the Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph in Tehachapi, Calif.
Three alumnae of the College are currently members of the “Sisters of the Mountains,” including Sr. Mary Oda (Jenny Tilley ’02). In addition to participating in the Sisters’ rich life of prayer and devotion, Sr. Mary Oda also serves as their cook, cares for their livestock, and is earning a master’s degree in theology.
At the 4:00 mark of the video, Sr. Mary offers a beautiful testimonial about why she left an Ivy League school to come to Thomas Aquinas College, and how the College helped her to find her vocation:
“I went to Princeton University first, and I was Protestant, but I came to a fuller understanding of the Catholic faith, and so I converted while I was there. Then I decided that I wanted a deeper experience of living that Catholic faith and knowing more about it, so I transferred to Thomas Aquinas College in California. Part of my thought in going there was that it would be a good place to find a good Catholic husband, but I found a really good husband in Christ as my spouse. I came to realize that really I was being called to the consecrated life.”
Sr. Mary Oda appears again at the 16:53 mark, and the video then shows scenes from her solemn profession on January 29, 2011. The whole production, however, is so edifying and inspiring that it deserves to be watched in its entirety!
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.
Please join us in praying for alumna Alison Bright, who on Friday will be entering the Norbertine Canonesses of the Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph in Tehachapi, Calif. Deo gratias!
- Related: Alumnae Norbertines
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.