The Aquinas College community gathered for the Mass of the Holy Spirit on the morning of Thursday, September 5. The Mass, held at the beginning of each fall semester to ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the upcoming academic year, was standing-room only with more crowding near the door in Aquinas Central. Father Justin Raines, a newly-ordained priest and alumnus of the Class of 2007, concelebrated the Mass with fellow alumnus Bishop David R. Choby, English professor and Director of the Center for Faith and Culture Father Albert Trudel, O.P., and new Campus Chaplain Father Kevin McGoldrick of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Many of the seats at Mass were filled by the 37 residential students, triple the number of last year’s inaugural group of Seton Lodge residents. Like last year, the students hail from far and wide—Alabama, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The residential students concluded their move-in days and intensive Welcome Week with a trip to Camp Marymount. Please watch a reflective video of the trip below. Also in their second year are Graduate Studies (in Nursing and Education) and House Life programs.
The Nashville Dominicans
Also represented among the new crop of students is a large group of new Dominican postulants, plus a number of religious sisters from three other communities. The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia themselves have made the news several times recently, most notably for purchasing a convent in Elgin, Scotland in the Diocese of Aberdeen. Hugh Gilbert, the Bishop of Aberdeen, remarked in his welcome Mass homily that it was as if the 7th Cavalry appeared, “armed not with carbines but rosaries.”
In addition to overseas activities, the Sisters have also released a free downloadable evangelization and catechesis program for pre-kindergarten through 8th grade children entitled Virtues in Practice, available on the congregation’s website.
And after traveling over 5,000 miles this past summer, Dominican Sisters from Aquinas College are back on the road this fall talking to youth and their parents about Theology of the Body and promoting the College for the Office of Admissions.
Human Dignity in 2013–14
A theme of human dignity will undergird many events in the coming year. We consider Jesus’ question from the Gospel: Who do you say that I am? The Office of Alumni Relations began an art therapy project this summer entitled Hope Anchors for homeless men and women at Room in the Inn. The class meets every Thursday at 9 a.m. An exhibition of photographs of class participants paired with the Beatitudes is currently on display in Aquinas Central.
The Fall Speaker Series begins on Tuesday, September 17 with Aquinas art history instructor Fay Renardson on Giacomo Lorenzetti’s Good Government Fresco. Another faculty member, philosophy professor Dr. Benjamin L. Smith, delivers the next lecture on the following Tuesday, September 24, on How the Modern World Lies about Human Dignity. Aquinas College welcomes Father Brian Mullady, O.P. a week later on October 1 with a talk on Who Is Christ For Today?