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Photos: Bishop Barron <br>Visits the Students of Thomas Aquinas College

Photos: Bishop Barron
Visits the Students of Thomas Aquinas College

Posted: March 1, 2018

Thomas Aquinas College’s regional auxiliary bishop, the Most Rev. Robert Barron, paid an informal visit to its Santa Paula campus Wednesday evening, where he met, dined with, and offered Mass for the College’s students.

  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.
  • Bishop Barron Visit (2018)
    Slideshow: Bishop Barron visits the students of Thomas Aquinas College.

“It is a joy for me to come here,” His Excellency remarked. “I’ve always enjoyed coming to Thomas Aquinas. The first time was many years ago before I was a bishop out here. I came to give a talk, and in my wildest dreams never imagined that I’d be back here as the bishop for this region. I was saying to your good president that, during the fire, we were praying fervently — it broke my heart even to just think of this place surrounded by fire, especially the Chapel. So it was a joy tonight to be in that great Chapel, and to know firsthand that it’s fine.”

During his homily at the evening’s Mass, the Bishop urged students to focus their lives not on the acquisition of wealth, power, or even honor, but on God’s love. “Make love the center of your life, then you will know what to do with wealth and pleasure and power and honor,” His Excellency said. “If you become a wealthy person, fine. But if you conform to love, you will know what to do with that wealth. If you become powerful, terrific. But informed by love, you will know what to do with that power — the same with honor, the same with pleasure.”

Following Mass Bishop Barron joined the community for dinner in St. Joseph Commons, after which he spent nearly 90 minutes answering students’ questions. “I do want to hear from you,” His Excellency began. “I said to someone recently, ‘I’m going to Thomas Aquinas College, and I’m just going to have an open Q&A,’ and the person said, ‘Oh, gosh, will the kids be able to fill up that much time?’ I said, ‘You don’t know a lot about TAC, do you? That’s never been an issue here!’”

Noting that he has been named one of four American delegates to this fall’s Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment, His Excellency said he was eager to hear the impressions and thoughts of the College’s students. “What’s on your mind? What’s on your hearts?” he asked. “I’ll be [in Rome] for a month, and have a chance to share insights with the other bishops, with the Pope himself. So, with that in mind, especially, let me hear what’s on your mind, Thomas Aquinas College!”

Over the course of the ensuing discussion, His Excellency took a wide variety of questions, covering such topics as evangelization, marriage, and the challenges of living a Christian life in an increasingly secular world. Among his advice was that students dig deep into the great works they study as part of the College’s classical curriculum. “You’re studying here these ancient texts. Never let people say to you, ‘Oh come on, you’re wasting your time with these old dusty [books].’ Oh, no, that’s where the wisdom of the race is found! These mystagogical programs are embedded in those texts, and the culture needs that like mad.”

When His Excellency concluded, the assembled students and tutors gave him a standing ovation. “We are very honored to have Bishop Barron here with us this evening,” said President Michael F. McLean. “We greatly appreciate his pastoral presence.”