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2018-19 Schedule

An integral part of the College’s curriculum, the St. Vincent de Paul Lecture and Concert Series complements both the content of the academic program and the Socratic discussion method used in its classes. Because it is also necessary for students to learn how to grapple with long, extended arguments — unlike in the classroom, where they analyze arguments in smaller steps — lectures are scheduled throughout the year. These addresses are followed by open-ended discussions that permit careful questioning and detailed answers. In addition, concerts of classical, operatic, or sacred music are hosted two or three times a year in order to encourage students to develop a love of the best kinds of music.

Inspired by the charity of St. Vincent de Paul — both to the materially poor and to “spiritually poor” heretics of his time, whom he helped through his gentle correction — Barbara and Paul Henkels endowed the Lecture Series in 2007. “We think Thomas Aquinas College graduates are uniquely gifted to serve those poor because they receive a profound and unique classical education,” said the Henkels. “As God called St. Vincent, He is also calling our graduates to bring the Truth to a society maimed by distortion and the culture of death. The ‘poorest of the poor’ today, as always, are those who do not know the Truth.”

In giving their most generous donation, the Henkels made only one stipulation, which, they noted, “should be easy for Thomas Aquinas College to meet,” namely, that “the lectures shall clearly show that the College supports the official Church of Rome and abides by its teaching. They should serve to sharpen the clear image that Thomas Aquinas College is truly and responsibly Catholic. Whatever the topic and whoever the speaker, it is hoped that they will be the kind of people who will bring honor to our Church and the College.”

The St. Vincent De Paul Series provides for the College’s annual Convocation and Commencement speakers, many of whom travel from abroad. It includes the All-College Seminar, in which, once a semester, tutors and students of all classes — seniors and freshmen, sophomores and juniors — gather in small groups of roughly 20 to discuss a reading that is not part of the regular curriculum.

In total, these cultural and intellectual events play a vital role in the mission of the College. As Mrs. Hinkels said in 2007, “We believe that Thomas Aquinas College students, who receive the richest of blessings — an education and formation unsurpassed by any university in our nation — will appreciate St. Vincent de Paul as they bring their gifts to society.”

Lectures and concerts take place in St. Cecilia Hall and are open to the public, free of charge. Below is the current St. Vincent de Paul Lecture and Concert Series schedule:

Aug. 24
7:00 p.m.

Opening Lecture:
An Zeus Sit: Why Should Catholics Concern Themselves with the Pagan Gods?”
Mr. Brian Dragoo
Thomas Aquinas College

Sept. 7
7:00 p.m.

Fall Concert
Santa Barbara String Quartet

Sept. 21
7:00 p.m.

Lecture: On Sacred Architecture
Dr. Denis R. McNamara 
Associate Director and Associate Professor in the Liturgical Institute
University of St. Mary of the Lake

Oct. 12
7:00 p.m.

Fall All-College Seminar

Oct. 26

Lecture: On Natural Philosophy
Dr. Richard F. Hassing
Research Associate Professor of Philosophy
The Catholic University of America

Nov. 16
7:00 p.m.

The Thomas Aquinas College Choir

Nov. 30
7:00 p.m

Lecture: On Poetry and Liberal Education
Mr. Dana Gioia
Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture
Sol Price School of Public Policy
University of Southern California

Jan. 18
7:00 p.m.

Lecture: On Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics and Plato’s Republic
Dr. R. Edward Houser
Professor of Philosophy
University of St. Thomas

January 28
1:00 p.m.

St. Thomas Day Lecture
The Most Rev. Daniel E. Flores
Bishop of Brownsville, Texas

Feb. 8
7:00 p.m.

Spring All-College Seminar

Feb. 22
7:00 p.m.

Presidents’ Day Lecture: “Socrates in Peoria”
Dr. Richard Ferrier
Thomas Aquinas College

March 29
7:00 p.m.

Lecture: On the Common Good
Pater Edmund Waldstein, O. Cist.
Lecturer in Moral Theology, 
Member of the Institute of Moral Theology
Hochschule Heiligenkreuz

Lecture & Concert Series 2016
Kathleen Murphy (’16) on integrated curriculum

“I think about the entire world differently since I have come here. I have learned certain truths, whether in the natural sciences or philosophy, that I never would have imagined I could know.”

– Kathleen Murphy (’16)

Cheshire, Connecticut

“May God bless Thomas Aquinas College for its excellent performance as a Catholic college since its foundation in 1971, a college where parents can send their children and be sure that this college is maintaining the best ideals of our faith and is giving not only information but formation.”

– Francis Cardinal Arinze

Prefect Emeritus

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments