Aquinas Lecture: How Can We Talk about God Today?

Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. well known writer, lecturer, preacher and leader presented two lectures on July 8, 9 2014 at Albertus Magnus College.

Timothy is a member of the English Dominican Province and resides at Oxford. He studied at Blackfriars and St. John’s University in Oxford and Paris. From 1992 to 2001 Timothy served as Master of the Dominican Order. Visiting members of the Dominican Order on every continent gave Timothy a breadth of experience for his writing and lectures today.

IMG_5864The first lecture was entitled, “How Can We Talk about God Today?” This lecture spoke about the integrity of the human person who tries to see, hear, touch and speak through the lens of faith and how this perspective changes the person and impacts others. After the lecture Timothy engaged the participants in a lively dialogue.

The second lecture was entitled, “Teaching as an Act of Friendship”. This lecture drew on the connection between truth and the energy love provides in the pursuit of truth and building a relationship between teacher and student. Timothy reminded us of the need to center and focus on what we study and how this stance enhances the study of our students. “We need a contemplative quietness, just being there, whether with a novel or a molecule. We love things by letting them be, giving them space. So the challenge is to introduce your pupils to the tranquil love of things, letting them be, learning not to grab or grasp.”

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Following the lecture four faculty members: Robert Bourgeois, Jeremiah Coffey, Patricia Compagnone – Post and Deborah Frattini shared their perspectives on the lecture. Both Timothy and the responders then engaged the audience in further questions and comments.

 

After the lectures the Albertus Magnus College Bookstore sponsored a book signing for three of Timothy’s books: Take the Plunge, What Is the Point of Being Christian? and Why Go to Church?

Both of these lectures were made possible through the Marie Louise Bianchi’31 Fund which promotes Dominican and Aquinas studies.

The Joy of the Gospel

On February 28th of this past academic year, a book discussion of Evangelli Gaudium, or Joy of the Gospel, by Pope Francis, took place at Rosary Hall. Copies of the book had been distributed earlier to faculty, staff and students. Many more read the book than could attend the discussion, but a large group was able to join in the discussion that morning.

library1_016Deacon John Hoffman, coordinator of Dominican Ministries, facilitated the discussion. All participants were impressed with the easy accessibility of the Pope’s writing, especially how Pope Francis made difficult concepts clear and understandable. A striking part of the discussion was how each person could see that Pope Francis had a message that seemed to apply to them personally. Our discussion could have gone on for several days, but a couple of hours were all we had that day.

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The Joy of the Gospel is divided into five chapters. The Church’s Missionary Transformation is treated first, then the Crisis of Communal Commitment, The Proclamation of the Gospel, The Social Dimension of Evangelization, and finally, Spirit Filled Evangelizers. Pope Francis weaves ambitious Church goals with practical suggestions seamlessly, in an easily readable text. The simplicity and humility of our new Pope is readily evident in his work. The joy was recognizable in his words, and in our discussion of his words and their implications for us.

After the discussion, several copies of the book were presented to the Albertus Magnus Library, so this new and exciting work will be available to all in the Albertus Community. In making this work available, and promoting its reading and discussion, Albertus Magnus College has shown again how our Catholic Identity is lived.

To learn more about the Dominican Exercises here at Albertus Magnus College, click here.

Sister AnneSister Anne Kilbride, O.P., special assistant to the president for the promotion of the Catholic, Dominican Heritage at Albertus Magnus College. She came to the College in 2011 as a consultant to gather ideas and make recommendations on new and creative ways to strengthen the College’s long relationship with the Dominican Sisters. Now she assists the College in developing academic and social links with national and international Dominican teachers and preachers.

Sister Anne received a bachelor’s degree in English and education from Southern Connecticut State University, and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame in theology and Boston College in pastoral ministry; she also pursued further study in counseling, family counseling and theology at the University of Notre Dame, Ohio Dominican University and St. Joseph College.

Deeply involved in congregational ministry and leadership for the past decade, she served as a member of her congregation’s leadership team and as prioress. Her primary focus has been to promote Dominican life and mission now and into the future.

Interview with Brian Pierce, O.P.

On Monday, March 31, Fr. Brian Pierce gave the St. Catherine of Siena lecture in the St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture series. The title of Fr. Pierce’s talk was, “Caught in the Middle – Between Two Friends.” This inspirational lecture will be posted on the Albertus Magnus College YouTube Channel.

Brian Pierce, OP., is a Dominican Friar of the Province of St. Martin de Porres, USA. In the 1990’s Fr. Brian was part of the team of Dominican friars sent to Honduras to found a new community of preachers in the Diocese of San Pedro Sula, where they worked in the formation of lay leaders in barrios and mountain villages with men and women living with HIV-AIDS.

Fr. Pierce spent a year and a half in a contemplative ashram dedicated to Christian mysticism and interreligious dialogue. After spending three years with a preaching team based in the USA, Brian moved to Lima, Peru to serve for three years as the Promoter of the Dominican Family in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most recently he accompanied the contemplative nuns worldwide. Fr. Pierce has written three books: Martin de Porres: A Saint of the Americas, We Walk the Path Together: Learnings from Thich Nhat Hanh and Meister Eckhart and Praxis y Prediacon (a book in Spanish for preachers).

While Fr. Pierce was on campus he had an interview with Sr. Anne Kilbride, O.P., Assistant to the President for Dominican Mission and Ministries.

1. How has being part of the Dominican family impacted your I learned to be a Dominican through my association with other Dominicans.

The first group of the Dominican family I met, when I was a college student attending a retreat, was the Dominican Nuns. I was praying in the chapel of the Dominican Nuns when I had this profound experience of God’s presence in the contemplative silence of the chapel. This experience made me want to know more about the Dominican family and meet more members.

As I came to know more Dominicans I began to feel more and more a part of the As I became a member of the Dominican family, consisting of the friars (priests and brothers), nuns, sisters and laity, I saw this group as a gift to the Church. Each group lives the Dominican Charism in their unique way of life and therefore impacts many more lives.

2. What do you think is essential for a Dominican college to promote in today’s world?

For me, what is essential for a Dominican college to promote is dialogue – a dialogue that leads to truth.Through dialogue one realizes we do not own truth rather we receive and uncover truth as a learning community. From my short time here at Albertus, I have observed and heard the dedication of the faculty to this type of learning.

3. As a member of the Dominican family, what is your hope for the future of our students?

I hope the students will listen to the Word of God together so they can experience dialogue around the Word and build a faith filled Dominican community. In this process of sharing around the Word students can be opened to different viewpoints and the power the Word to form our minds, hearts and lives.

Sister AnneSister Anne Kilbride, O.P., special assistant to the president for the promotion of the Catholic, Dominican Heritage at Albertus Magnus College. She came to the College in 2011 as a consultant to gather ideas and make recommendations on new and creative ways to strengthen the College’s long relationship with the

Dominican Sisters. Now she assists the College in developing academic and social links with national and international Dominican teachers and preachers.

Sister Anne received a bachelor’s degree in English and education from Southern Connecticut State University, and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame in theology and Boston College in pastoral ministry; she also pursued further study in counseling, family counseling and theology at the University of Notre Dame, Ohio Dominican University and St. Joseph College.

Deeply involved in congregational ministry and leadership for the past decade, she served as a member of her congregation’s leadership team and as prioress. Her primary focus has been to promote Dominican life and mission now and into the future.