Each July, Thomas Aquinas College invites members of the President’s Council  — the backbone of the College’s financial-aid fund — to one of two Great Books Summer Seminar Weekends . At these weekends President’s Council members get an inside look at the unique education that they so generously help to make possible. They attend a series of classroom discussions about great books led by the College’s president, dean, and other senior members of the teaching faculty. Between seminars, attendees also enjoy delicious meals served both indoors and outdoors on the campus, as well as daily Mass and confession offered by Rev. Cornelius M. Buckley, S.J., who serves as chaplain for the events.
This year’s Summer Seminars were held just after the close of the Fortnight for Freedom, during which the American bishops had called Catholics to prayer, study, catechesis, and peaceful public action in order to raise awareness about the importance of preserving the fundamental right of religious freedom. In keeping with that spirit, the theme of this year’s Summer Seminars was religious tolerance and freedom. Participants read “The Maypole of Merry Mount” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, selections from The Federalist Papers, and excerpts from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. At the Saturday-night dinners on both weekends, College President Michael F. McLean presented a talk  about the readings and their particular significance in light of current events.
“It is vital for Catholic Americans to be familiar with the country’s founding principles if they are to respond effectively to the attacks the Church is facing today,” says Dr. McLean. “This year’s summer seminars provided a great opportunity for learning about those principles, as well as for visiting with many good friends, both old and new.”
Posted: July 18, 2012