Jason Gale presents Paper at Ave Maria University
On February 10-12, 2022, The Thomistic Institute and The Aquinas Center at Ave Maria University hosted a biannual conference on St. Thomas Aquinas as Spiritual Teacher: Theology and the Culture of Grace. Jason Gale, Director of the Center for Evangelization and Catechesis at Aquinas College, presented a paper on St. Thomas the Catechist and Fidelity to Man. The paper focused on the catechetical principle offered by Pope St. John Paul II that catechists must be faithful to God and faithful to man. Using St. Thomas Aquinas as his guide, Mr. Gale showed how St. Thomas was faithful to his students in their human nature and to his students as individuals. Aquinas helps us understand how teachers form the intellect and the will so that the student grows in union with God by knowledge and by love.
While having many highlights, a notable presentation was the conference keynote speaker, Fr. Wojciech Giertych, O.P., Polish Dominican and theologian to the Papal Household. Fr. Giertych presented on the importance of education, especially moral formation, for human flourishment. Drawing on the scripture passages of Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman, Fr. Giertych explained that we need to teach morality as primarily a life open to grace, not reducing moral formation to a list of prohibitions. In addition, Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P. spoke on liturgical spirituality in the theology of St. Thomas.
Mother Anna Grace, Sister Anne Catherine, Sister Mary Angelica, and Sister Anna also attended the conference, representing the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation.
With over 50 presenters from all over the world, Mr. Gale commented, “I left the conference refreshed and full like eating Thanksgiving Dinner. All drawing on St. Thomas Aquinas, the presentations were an amazing display of the depth and breadth of his thought. There is so much we can learn from Aquinas today, not just theologically, but educationally. He was a master teacher who loved his students.”