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Dean Goyette: “This is a Time to Give Thanks for the Many Blessings we Share”

Posted: November 20, 2018

Audio
TAC Podcast

By Dr. John J. Goyette
Dean, Thomas Aquinas College
Remarks at the 2018 Thanksgiving Dinner

 

Due to his travel schedule, Dr. McLean is unable to be here tonight. He has asked me to take his place this evening and to offer some brief remarks.

This is a time to give thanks for the many blessings we share: friends and family, the liberty we enjoy as Americans, the education we have received at the hands of our parents and teachers, and the gift of faith we have received from Almighty God, from whom all of these blessing flow.

During freshmen orientation we read C.S. Lewis’s “Learning in Wartime,” which argues that it is fitting for some to study in rest and leisure even while others fight for freedom. While this is undoubtedly true, it is fitting nonetheless that we, who read and discuss the great books and pursue the life of the mind, should remember the soldiers, the sailors, the Marines, and the airmen who are stationed around the world, some of them of them in harm’s way, all of them far from home, away from friends and family. They are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the blessings of liberty, so that we can pursue the highest things in peace and security, and in the company of friends.

We should remember the founders of our country, and the political institutions that make possible the pursuit of truth and excellence here at the College.

Of course we should also be grateful for the founders of this College, for the risks they took to start the school. We should especially remember Peter DeLuca, who recently retired as vice president for finance and administration. In many ways he, more than anyone else, was responsible for the start of the school. Ron McArthur, the school’s founding president, was originally skeptical of the idea: “You can’t start a college!” Mr. DeLuca was the one who thought it could be done and pushed the others to make it happen.

Remember also the benefactors of the College, many of whom make countless sacrifices to donate to the school year after year because they know that what we do here plays a vital role in the future of Catholic higher education and of the Church in America.

Finally, we should remember our teachers, and even our fellow students, who have helped us to see what true, what is good, what is beautiful.

At Thanksgiving we should recall all these blessings and give thanks to God for them, not only with our words but especially with our actions. For some of you this means encouraging classmates who are struggling, or being mentors to the underclassmen; for others it means resolving to make better use of the gifts you have been given, to study harder, to be patient with your classmates, and to resist the temptation to slack off as we near the end of the semester. Out of gratitude, I encourage all of you to remember why you came to this College: you did not come for the grades, or for a high-paying job after graduation, or to delight in the victory of your own opinions, or to receive honor from your tutors, but something far greater: the beginnings of wisdom and virtue.

Thank you, and God bless America.

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John Goyette, Thanksgiving Talk 2018
John Jost (’17)

“When you first arrive here, the upperclassmen are almost like your heroes because they’re at the place — or approaching the place — where you want to be, both intellectually and spiritually. It promotes friendship in a way that I have never seen before.”

– John Jost (’17)

Algonquin, Illinois

“I am most grateful for Thomas Aquinas College’s resolute fidelity to the Church and her teachings. The young people whom you serve certainly are being formed to think with the Church and to defend the Faith with courage and charity.”

– The Most Rev. William E. Lori

Archbishop of Baltimore

Chair of the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty

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