2013-14 Schedule

An integral part of the College’s curriculum, the St. Vincent de Paul Lecture and Concert Series complements both the content of the academic program and the Socratic discussion method used in its classes. Because it is also necessary for students to learn how to grapple with long, extended arguments — unlike in the classroom, where they analyze arguments in smaller steps — lectures are scheduled throughout the year. These addresses are followed by open-ended discussions that permit careful questioning and detailed answers. In addition, concerts of classical, operatic, or sacred music are hosted two or three times a year in order to encourage students to develop a love of the best kinds of music.

Inspired by the charity of St. Vincent de Paul — both to the materially poor and to “spiritually poor” heretics of his time, whom he helped through his gentle correction — Barbara and Paul Henkels endowed the Lecture Series in 2007. “We think Thomas Aquinas College graduates are uniquely gifted to serve those poor because they receive a profound and unique classical education,” said the Henkels. “As God called St. Vincent, He is also calling our graduates to bring the Truth to a society maimed by distortion and the culture of death. The ‘poorest of the poor’ today, as always, are those who do not know the Truth.”

In giving their most generous donation, the Henkels made only one stipulation, which, they noted, “should be easy for Thomas Aquinas College to meet,” namely, that “the lectures shall clearly show that the College supports the official Church of Rome and abides by its teaching. They should serve to sharpen the clear image that Thomas Aquinas College is truly and responsibly Catholic. Whatever the topic and whoever the speaker, it is hoped that they will be the kind of people who will bring honor to our Church and the College.”

The St. Vincent De Paul Series provides for the College’s annual Convocation and Commencement speakers, many of whom travel from abroad. It includes the All-College Seminar, in which, once a semester, tutors and students of all classes — seniors and freshmen, sophomores and juniors — gather in small groups of roughly 20 to discuss a reading that is not part of the regular curriculum.

In total, these cultural and intellectual events play a vital role in the mission of the College. As Mrs. Hinkels said in 2007, “We believe that Thomas Aquinas College students, who receive the richest of blessings — an education and formation unsurpassed by any university in our nation — will appreciate St. Vincent de Paul as they bring their gifts to society.”

Lectures and concerts take place in St. Joseph Commons and are open to the public, free of charge. Below is the current St. Vincent de Paul Lecture and Concert Series schedule:

Aug. 30
7:30 p.m.

Mr. John Baer
Descartes and the Path to Knowledge
Thomas Aquinas College
On Catholic liberal education

Sept. 13
7:00 p.m.

Fall Concert: Symbiosis Ensemble

Oct. 4
7:00 p.m.

All-College Seminar

Oct. 18
7:30 p.m.

Rev. Robert Barron
Word on Fire Catholic Ministries
“On Catholicism”

Nov. 8
7:30 p.m.

Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain
United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit
“The Trojan Horse in the City on a Hill: The Declaration of Independence and the Erosion of the Natural Law Tradition”

Nov. 22
7:30 p.m.

Rev. Kevin Flannery, S.J.
Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy
Ordinary Professor of the History of Ancient Philosophy
Pontifical Gregorian University
“Two Factors in the Analysis of Cooperation in Evil”

Jan. 17
7:30 p.m.

Dr. Anthony P. Andres
Thomas Aquinas College
“On Contingency in Nature”

Jan. 28
1 p.m.

Dr. Duane Berquist
Professor Emeritus
Assumption College
St. Thomas Day Address: “On Nature, Reason, and Will in St. Thomas”

Feb. 14
7:00 p.m.

All-College Seminar
St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, chs. 227-240, on the Crucifixion and Resurrection

Feb. 21
7:30 p.m.

Dr. Vincent Phillip Muñoz
Associate Professor of Religion and Public Life Department of Political Science
Concurrent Associate Professor of Law
University of Notre Dame
Presidents’ Day Address
“Did the American Founders Intend to Separate Church from State?”

April 4
7:30 p.m.

Dr. Edward Feser
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Pasadena City College
“What We Owe the New Atheists”

April 25
7:00 p.m.

Spring Concert: Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado


Lecture & Concert Series
Very Rev. Fr. John M. Berg

“The College passes on the Faith through uniting it with reason.”

– Very Rev. Fr. John M. Berg, F.S.S.P (’93)

Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter

“This is truly a Catholic center of learning because it reverberates with the ecclesial life of faith, a faith which unfolds the richness of reason and is given fervent expression liturgically, sacramentally, and through prayer, acts of charity, and a passion for justice.”

– The Most Rev. J. Michael Miller

Archbishop of Vancouver

Former Secretary, Congregation for Catholic Education