This year, as we begin our Lenten observances at Thomas Aquinas College, we are particularly grateful for an important new addition to our campus: the beautiful outdoor Stations of the Cross given to us by Robert Barbera.
This ancient devotion invites us to follow, literally step by step, Our Lord’s journey to His crucifixion:
Praying the Stations of the Cross is not the work of a moment. It requires an investment of time and attention, a setting aside of other things. Lent is a time to put away, as far as possible, the distractions of our daily lives in order to focus on the new life that we have been offered through the Cross. We step out of time and contemplate eternity. In doing so, we have the opportunity to re-order our lives in the light of what is truly lasting and important.
Here at the College, we offer a similar opportunity to our students. For four years, they read the great books to discover the eternal truths they contain. Through the sustained discussion, both in and out of the classroom, that our program encourages, our students begin to make these truths their own. And our close community life, coupled with the easy availability of the Sacraments, supports them as they determine how to order their lives in the light of truth.
A few years ago, Ann Brown (’94), who now works as a writer and editor, reflected on the foundation that the College provided for her future:
At the beginning of my adult life I was given what I now look upon as the gift of a four-year retreat, my years at Thomas Aquinas College. During that time we contemplated God and the things of God together, and my eyes were opened to beautiful and dazzling truths which can never be taken away from me.
Applicants come to us from throughout the country — and the world — in search of those “beautiful and dazzling truths,” but many of them lack the resources to afford a college education. We commit, as we always have, to providing any financial assistance our students may need: this year, well over $4 million, the largest sum we have ever had to raise for financial aid. Because we do not accept direct government funding, we can only meet this goal through the generosity of our benefactors.
The season of Lent is a time to make sacrifices for the things that we believe are lasting and important. Your interest in the College shows the importance that you attach to our mission. With only four months left in the fiscal year, I ask you to prayerfully consider a gift of $2,500, $1,000, $500, $250, $100, $50 — or whatever you can afford — in support of that mission. And please, above all, keep us in your prayers. You can make your gift easily and securely through our online giving form.
On behalf of the entire Thomas Aquinas College community, I wish you every blessing of the Lent and Easter seasons.
Michael F. McLean, Ph.D.
PS: Many companies provide matching gifts for donations made by current and former employees and their spouses. These matching gifts can increase your gift to the College — in some cases doubling or even tripling it! Please use your online database to find out if your employer offers matching funds.