Dominican Friars, Featured News

A New Book from Fr. Romanus Cessario, OP

Theology and Sanctity CoverFr. Romanus Cessario, OP has just published a new book: Theology and Sanctity. The editor of the volume of essays, Fr. Cajetan Cuddy, OP, offered the following synopsis of the book:

“Saint Thomas Aquinas showed the world that Catholic theology is not just something meant to stimulate the mind. Indeed, the authentic study of the sacra doctrina exercises a shaping influence on the whole of the Christian life. In this volume, Dominican theologian Father Romanus Cessario, OP, follows this precedent by considering the integration of theology and Christian living. Focusing on various aspects of Catholic theology and spirituality, the essays in this volume explore the essential relationship between truth and grace. With characteristic wisdom and insight, Father Cessario reveals how theology and sanctity share a common origin and end. Here the doctrine of Saint Thomas Aquinas and his exponents emerges as something eminently relevant to Christian living in the twenty-first century. Written for all those who take the theological life seriously, Theology and Sanctity explains how—and why—only the truth has grace. Father Cajetan Cuddy’s introduction and chapter headnotes reveal the essays’ common threads while highlighting their broader contributions to Catholic theology.”

Fr. Romanus Cessario, OP, is a fellow of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas and a professor of theology at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts. The author of numerous books and articles on Catholic theology and spirituality, Father Cessario received the Master of Sacred Theology degree from the Order of Preachers in 2013. Fr. Cajetan Cuddy, OP, is a Dominican friar of the Province of St. Joseph who holds the Licentiate in Sacred Theology.

Dominican Friars, Featured News

Fr. Ferrer Quigley, OP, appointed to Board of Trustees of the Angelicum

Fr. Ferrer Quigley, OP, no stranger to the Eternal City, has a new position. Following a direction from the Acts of the last General Chapter of the Order of Preachers, Fr. Quigley was appointed to the new Board of Trustees of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, more commonly known as the Angelicum. Fr. Quigley is one of three friars preachers from around the world appointed by the Master of the Order. They join seven laymen and women on the Board which aims to develop the institution along the lines of mission, finance, and fundraising.

The Angelicum has its roots in the very beginnings of the Order, developing from the general studium (House of Studies) of the Order given to the Dominicans in Rome by Pope Honorius III in 1222. The original house was located at Santa Sabina, and this is where St. Thomas Aquinas joined it as Master of Studies in 1265. Here St. Thomas directed the program of studies for the school, along with his writing much of his great masterpiece, the Summa Theologiae. Following St. Thomas departure, the school moved to the convent of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in 1288 and remained there until 1873 when the Italian government took control of the convent. Happily the Angelicum was restored by Pope Leo XIII in 1879 and was lauded by Pope Pius XI as the place “where Thomas could be said to dwell in his own house.” Today the college resides next to the Dominican Church of Santi Domenico e Sisto, not far from its previous locations. The Angelicum remains attached to St. Thomas’ teachings: “Our overriding aim is to contribute to the diffusion of the traditional catholic doctrine in the contemporary world. Accepting all the radical changes, but without compromise, we would like to be modern disciples of Thomas Aquinas.”

Fr. Quigley made simple profession in the Order of Preachers in 1959 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1965. Following ordination Fr. Quigley began teaching in the theology faculty at Providence College in 1969, serving as executive vice president of the College from 1989-1993. In 2005 he went to the Pontifical North American College in Rome to take up the Father Carl J. Peter Chair of Homiletics, teaching and serving as a formator for seminarians. Fr. Quigley is also a chaplain to the alumni association of Providence College.

Image: The Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome

Featured News

Fr. Dominic Langevin, OP, awarded the St. Thomas Aquinas Dissertation Prize

One of the newest recruits to the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception has just been awarded the St. Thomas Aquinas Dissertation Prize from Ave Maria University, Florida. Fr. Dominic Langevin, OP, defended his dissertation “From Passion to Paschal Mystery: A Recent Magisterial Development Concerning the Christological Foundation of the Sacraments” last year at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. During his time in Fribourg, he held the assistantship to Father Benoît-Dominique de la Soujeole, a leading scholar in ecclesiology and sacramental theology. Fr. Dominic was awarded the Doctorate in Sacred Theology and joined the Pontifical Faculty in 2013, teaching sacramental and liturgical theology. Fr. Dominic also serves as an assistant student master at the Dominican House of Studies.

Fr. Dominic traveled to Ave Maria University, giving two conferences to the graduate students and faculty of the theology department of the university on August 29-30. The first was based upon his dissertation, concentrating on the sacraments as instruments of hope and progress. In the second talk he discussed how a person’s moral choices influence the liturgy and effects of the sacraments. The emphasis of both was the continued relevance of Thomistic thought in sacramental theology and practice.

In a later interview Fr. Dominic spoke of Ave Maria University and the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception: “There has been a wonderful relationship between our two schools in the current renewal of the scientific study and pastoral integration of St. Thomas Aquinas in America.”


Image: Fr. Dominic Langevin, OP with Drs. Roger Nutt and Steven Long

Events, Featured News

Another Academic Year Begins at the Dominican House of Studies!

The 2014-2015 academic year kicked off this week at the Dominican House of Studies, beginning with a Mass of the Holy Spirit on Monday, August 25th. In his homily Fr. John Langlois, OP, president of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception, exhorted faculty and students to be ever mindful of the goal of teaching and learning in a Dominican context: the salvation of souls.

The Dominican studentate boasts its largest number in over forty years, with fifty-four student brothers at various levels of formation attending classes at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception. The Pontifical Faculty’s new students includes the newest members of the studentate, fourteen simply professed brothers recently assigned to the House of Studies following their yearlong novitiate in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Pontifical Faculty also welcomes this year five instructors who are new or who have returned after being away for some years: Fr. Thomas Weinandy, OFM Cap., lecturing on contemporary Christology; Fr. Mark Mealy, OSFS, and Ms. Sofia Seguel, both teaching Canon Law courses; Sr. Maria Kiely, OSB, teaching Greek; and Mr. David Grothoff teaching philosophy. To meet the needs of the student body that now ranges from pre-theology studies to the Doctorate of Sacred Theology, well over twenty professors are teaching courses this semester.

May all teachers and students this year be inspired and assisted by the intercession of St. Thomas Aquinas:

O Infinite Creator, who in the riches of Thy wisdom didst appoint three hierarchies of Angels and didst set them in wondrous order over the highest heavens, and who didst apportion the elements of the world most wisely: do Thou, who art in truth the fountain of light and wisdom, deign to shed upon the darkness of my understanding the rays of Thine infinite brightness, and remove far from me the twofold darkness in which I was born, namely, sin and ignorance. Do Thou, who givest speech to the tongues of little children, instruct my tongue and pour into my lips the grace of Thy benediction. Give me keenness of apprehension, capacity for remembering, method and ease in learning, insight-in interpretation, and copious eloquence in speech. Instruct my beginning, direct my progress, and set Thy seal upon the finished work, Thou, who art true God and true Man, who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Image: Mass of the Holy Spirit, August 25th, 2014, DHS


Science and Spirituality Lecture Series in New Haven, CT

For the month of July, the Dominican Student brothers at our Parish of St. Mary in New Haven, CT will be offering talks on Science & Spirituality.  The series began with Br. Cajetan Cuddy, OP, who spoke on St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Thérèse of Lisieux.  The next talk will be led by Br. Thomas Davenport, who earned his PhD in Physics from Standford University.  He will be speaking on Beyond Physics: Is there a Limit on What Science Can Know?  The lecture will be Monday July 15, 2013 at 7:00pm at the Parish Hall of St. Mary Church, 5 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven, CT.

Featured News

Fr. Paul Murray on the Prayers of St. Thomas Aquinas

Fr. Paul Murray, OP spoke to the recent Dominican conference on the Renewal of Thomism held at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC.  Fr. Murray’s topic was a set of prayers generally ascribed to St. Thomas Aquinas.  Below is an excerpt of his talk, specifically on the prayer Concede mihiwhich Fr. Murray calls “The Prayer on the Wise Ordering of One’s Life.”


Men’s Conference Talks

On Saturday March 2nd, the Diocese of Arlington, VA, hosted its annual Men’s Conference. Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception and Director of the Thomistic Institute, was one of the presenters. Below is his talk on the “Heart of Redemption” as well as his Q&A session with Dr. Peter Kreeft.


Lumen Christi Institute Lectures

Recently, Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception and Director of the Thomistic Institute, gave two lectures at the Lumen Christi Institute:

“The Careful Rationality of Monotheism: Thomas Aquinas on Analogical Knowledge of God”

How can philosophers speak about God in a reasonable fashion? Does speech about God exceed the capacities of human reason? In responding to these questions, Thomas Aquinas develops a path between the extremes of apophaticism (rejecting the applicability of human language to God) and rationalistic optimism. This lecture will argue for the validity of Thomist doctrine of divine naming and its relevance to contemporary debates in analytic theism and to Heidegger’s critique of “onto-theology” (the theology of being).

“The Careful Rationality of Monotheism: Thomas Aquinas on Analogical Knowledge of God” from The Lumen Christi Institute on Vimeo.


“The Virgin Mary as Model of the Church: From Vatican II to Thomas Aquinas”

The Second Vatican Council insisted that the Virgin Mary is to be understood in light of the Church, and the Church is to be understood in light of the Virgin Mary. Why should the Church seek to recover today a greater emphasis on Marian devotion? How is the Virgin Mary a model of the faith and spiritual life of Christians? Thomas Aquinas provides the basis for a contemporary interpretation of the Council’s Marian teachings.

“The Virgin Mary as Model of the Church: From Thomas Aquinas to Vatican II” from The Lumen Christi Institute on Vimeo.

Featured News

God the Father in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas

The Dominican Province of St. Joseph is pleased to announce the following book publication:

Fr KuFather John Baptist Ku, O.P., has recently authored God the Father in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (New York: Peter Lang, 2013), which gives an exposition of Aquinas’ theology of God the Father as a coherent whole. Surprising as it might be, there has not been an extended treatment of Aquinas’ theology of God the Father. In his book, Fr. Ku addressed three misconceptions about Aquinas’s theology: (1) the idea that Aquinas’ speculative Trinitarian theology is detached from Scripture; (2) the supposition that in Aquinas’ understanding, the Father’s relation to the Holy Spirit is an afterthought to the Father’s relation to the Son; and (3) the view that for Thomas, the Father has no proper mode of action in the created universe – since Thomas maintains that in all ad extra activity, the Trinity acts as a single principle. In addition to this more polemical issues, Fr. Ku discusses two other important and perennial issues. First, the concept of relation, as the key to a coherent account of three distinct persons in one same divine essence, emerges as an important theme in Aquinas’ exposition of the Father’s paternity and innascibility. Second, Aquinas understands the Father as the source of unity in the Trinity and as the beginning and end of the whole created universe. In this discussion, it becomes clear that St. Thomas places forceful emphasis on the Son’s equality to the Father and on the radical difference between the creator and the creature. In propounding the teaching of the Doctor Communis, Fr. Ku demonstrates his own gifts of rigorous research, lucid prose, and lively faith. God the Father in the Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas is a tour de force of Thomistic scholarship at the service of contemplating the divine mysteries.

Father Ku’s new book can be ordered here.

Fr. Ku earned his S.T.D./PhD at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) under the world’s finest specialist in Aquinas’ Trinitarian theology, the Dominican Father Gilles Emery, O.P. Before undertaking his doctoral studies in Switzerland, Fr. Ku served for three years as parochial vicar at St. Pius V Parish in Providence, RI. He previously completed his S.T.B./M.Div. and S.T.L. at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., and his B.S. at the University of Virginia in applied math and computer science. He was awarded the Thomas Aquinas Dissertation Prize by the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal at Ave Maria University in 2010. He teaches such courses as The Introduction to the Life and Works of St. Thomas Aquinas, The Triune God, and Thomistic Seminars at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington. In addition, he serves as book review editor for the Pontifical Faculty’s journal, The Thomist, assistant student master in the Province of St. Joseph studentate, chaplain to the commuter students of the House of Studies, chaplain to the Immaculate Conception chapter of the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic, and in various other priestly ministries.

Featured News

Thomas Aquinas: Free Will & Virtue

What is the nature of human freedom according to St. Thomas Aquinas? Is his analysis defensible today? How does it allow us to understand the ethical character of human actions and the virtues and vices that constitute the moral life? 

These questions will be raised and discussed in the Third Annual Thomas Aquinas Philosophy Workshop sponsored by the Thomistic Institute at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception and The Catholic and Dominican Institute of Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY.  The workshop will be held June 13-16, 2013 at Mount Saint Mary College.

The first day of the conference is devoted especially to graduate students, either in philosophy or adjacent disciplines. The second and third days of the event will combine presentations by philosophers with times of discussion and debate. The schedule will permit opportunities for informal recreation.  Mass and Eucharistic Adoration will be offered each day.

Required texts for this event:

Relevant questions from the Summa Theologiae
Servais Pinckaers, The Sources of Christian Ethics
Ralph McInerny, Ethica Thomistica


Fr. James Brent, OP, The Catholic University of America
Alfred Freddoso, PhD, University of Notre Dame
Jennifer Frey, PhD, The University of Chicago
Michael Gorman, PhD, The Catholic University of America
Russell Hittinger, PhD, University of Tulsa
John O’Callaghan, PhD, University of Notre Dame
Fr. Michael Sherwin, OP, University of Fribourg
Candace Vogler, PhD, The University of Chicago

Space for this workshop is limited. Click here to register online. The registration deadline is April 30, 2013.

For more information, call 845-569-3467 or click here to download the brochure.

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