Faith in Action Blog
Following yesterday’s post about alumnus Mark Langley (’89), who is brewing a batch of beer this Lent, is a story about Sean Kramer (’86), who, throughout these 40 days and nights, is teaching middle-school students to paint icons.
The subject of a recent profile in his native city’s archdiocesan newspaper, Catholic San Francisco, Mr. Kramer is an iconographer and teacher at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. For the past six years he has offered Lenten classes in iconography at St. Patrick School in Portsmouth, thanks to funding from the local council of the Knights of Columbus.
“As one works on an icon, one is working on oneself, realizing oneself as a more complete image of God,” Mr. Kramer told Catholic San Francisco. “The materials and steps in making an icon are all symbolic of levels of ourselves and the stages of our transformation.” The story notes that Mr. Kramer opens each class with a prayer asking God, the saints, and the angels to “help us make these holy icons images that will remind us and those who see them of God’s presence and love for us.’”
“I do not see a flickering candle at the end of this year’s Lenten journey,” writes alumnus Mark Langley (’89) on his blog, Lion & Ox. “No, I see a burst of glory and the veritable Super Nova, that is Christ’s Resurrection from the tomb, and what’s more, I also see over two cases of a very fine pale ale, some of which will enable me to celebrate that Resurrection with more propriety.”
The founder and the academic dean of The Lyceum, a classical school in Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Langley is also a husband, a father of 12, and an amateur brewer. In this last capacity, he has detected a relationship between his faith and his hobby. “Lent was specifically designed for brewing beer,” Mr. Langley writes. “The reason for this is obvious. Beer takes exactly 40 days (more or less) to ferment and grow from a weak sweet slop of ‘wort’ into a fine, noble, life-giving, heart-cheering, spiritually-enhancing liquid — whose foam raises itself in the glass as does incense in the chapel.”
And so, at the start of Lent, Mr. Langley began a new batch of English pale ale that will be ready precisely on Easter Sunday. “Of course we fast and pray for forty days first primarily in imitation of our Lord,” he observes. “But the same period of time is also roughly speaking an ideal space for brewing beer, and therefore I think it is obvious that this is a fitting thing for Christians to do in the first week of Lent.”
To read more of Mr. Langley’s musings on Lenten brewing, read the full post on his blog.
In 2008 Dean Brian T. Kelly (’88) introduced Rev. Gerard George Steckler, S.J., at an Alumni Association dinner held in the former chaplain’s honor. In light of Fr. Steckler’s death last week, the College has published the text of Dr. Kelly’s remarks — a beautiful recollection of a good and holy priest.
Please continue to pray for Fr. Steckler and the repose of his soul.
David Halpin (’79), husband of Natalie (St. Arnault ’80) and father of Rose (’06) and Margaret Tannoury (’08), died unexpectedly last night. Please pray for the repose of his soul and the consolation of his family. Thank you.
Over the years a number of David’s siblings attended Thomas Aquinas College, along with many of his nieces and nephews. Funeral information will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
The Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of California, at the 2009 dedication of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel
“If McDonald’s told its employees that it was unacceptable to diss its fast food as gross, disgusting, or unhealthy at either McDonald’s or in a public setting,” asks alumna journalist Katrina Trinko (’09), “would it elicit a heated reaction from lawmakers?”
The answer: “Probably not.”
Katrina Trinko (’09)Yet for myriad reasons, when the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco and the College’s 2008 Convocation Speaker, made a similar demand of the teachers in his schools, several California politicians called for an investigation. In a new column at the Daily Signal, Miss Trinko — the online magazine’s managing editor and a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors — examines the criticism and complaints, and finds them wanting.
“Lawmakers may vehemently disagree with Cordileone’s decision,” Miss Trinko writes, but “religious leaders should be free to make such decisions without worrying about interference from the government.”
The full article is available at the Daily Signal.
Five years after his graduation from Thomas Aquinas College, Tim Cantu (’10) returned to campus this past weekend to offer advice to students who hope to pursue careers in law.
An attorney with Pepple Cantu Schmidt PLLC, Mr. Cantu works with the firm’s Clearwater, Florida, and Seattle, Washington, offices. After graduating from the College in 2010, he attended Notre Dame Law School, graduating in 2013. While there he was a Notes & Submissions Editor for the Notre Dame Law Review, and he spent his summers working for Professor Richard W. Garnett and at the law firm of Miller Johnson in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His current practice focuses on the acquisition, sale, development, and financing of multifamily housing and related business and litigation matters.
Read the full story.
David O’Reilly (’87) is the subject of a featured article in Good Fruit Grower magazine, which declares that the alumnus vintner “has perfected the art of producing high quality wines and matching them with stories that resonate.”
The article describes how, through this combination of superior craftsmanship and creative storytelling, Mr. O’Reilly, owner of the of Owen Roe winery in Washington’s Yakima Valley, has achieved great success in the competitive wine industry. It also notes that he “graduated from Thomas Aquinas College, a small, Catholic, liberal arts college in southern California,” where “he studied the great minds of Aristotle and Plato,” and “left believing he could do anything.”
While this education, as author Melissa Hansen admits, “has little to do with winemaking” per se, O’Reilly sees it as a natural fit for his line of work. “A number of graduates from the program are winemakers,” he says. “That’s not surprising, because we studied the true, good, and beautiful, the same essence of agriculture. A winemaker is really a glorified farmer.”
Please pray for alumna Jillian Cooke (’04), who, by God’s grace, will soon be making her perpetual profession of vows with the Father Kolbe Missionaries of the Immaculata. “From the seeds planted at TAC,” she recently wrote in a note to College President Michael F. McLean, “the Lord has worked wonders in my life.”
Miss Cooke is a consecrated member of the Fr. Kolbe Missionaries, a worldwide secular institute of pontifical right, having previously taken vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In this capacity, she once observed, she seeks to live “the intimacy of the cloister in the world of secular society.”
Noting that she is “praying for the faculty, staff, students, board, benefactors” of Thomas Aquinas College, and that she is “thanking God for the many blessings received during my four years” on campus, Miss Cooke writes that “all are sincerely invited to share” in her sacred day. Her perpetual vows will take place on March 21 at St. Christopher Church in West Covina, California, during the 1:00 p.m. Mass.
Thanks be to God!
It is fitting that during this, the Church’s Year of Consecrated Life, Thomas Aquinas College marks the 30th anniversary of one of its most beloved priests, Rev. Thomas A. McGovern, S.J., who died on February 19, 1985.
A graduate of the Université Laval in Quebec, Fr. McGovern previously taught at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., before coming to Thomas Aquinas College in early 1972. He served as a member of the faculty and, later, the Board of Governors until his death in 1985. The following year he posthumously received the College’s highest honor, the Saint Thomas Aquinas Medallion.
Eleven alumni of the College have share some of their memories of the late tutor and Jesuit, which you can read here.
Dr. Christopher A. Decaen (’93) now a tutor at the College, recently presented a Tutor Talk entitled, “Why the Burning Bush?” Audio of the talk is available via the player below, or by following this link.