Faith in Action Blog
Next up in our series about the College’s four newest alumni priest is Rev. Joseph Dygert (’02), parochial vicar at Ave Maria Catholic Parish in Parker, Colo. Read the profile of Fr. Dygert to learn about his life, his vocation, and his ministry. Also be sure to see our previous profile of Rev. Nicholas Blaha (’02).
Two alumni who regularly promote and defend the faith in the public square have new offerings:
On the CatholicVote website, theologian Dr. Pia de Solenni (’93) has spotted some unsettling themes in retail catalogs (the cover of which is shown on the right).
Then, taking to the airwaves, Rev. Sebastian Walshe , O.Praem. (’94), a professor of philosophy at the Norbertines’ St. Michael’s Abbey Seminary in Orange County, has made one of his periodic appearances on the Catholic Answers Live radio program. The show, How Biblical Inspiration Works, is available online both in streaming audio and as a podcast.
This past summer, four graduates of Thomas Aquinas College were ordained to the priesthood, bringing to 50 the number of alumni priests in the College’s first 40 years. Over the next several days, we will be publishing profiles of these four new priests, starting today with Rev. Nicholas Blaha (’02), parochial vicar at Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish and the chaplain at Hayden Catholic High School, in Topeka, Kan.
We have received the following letter from Rev. John Higgins (’90), pastor of the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill, N.Y. Fr. Higgins will be walking 58 miles in support of his parish school later this month. Please support him his efforts!
Dear Family and Friends,
Everyone who knows me knows that Assumption School in Peekskill is the joy of my heart!
That’s why I’m taking my joy to the street and walking to St. Patrick’s Cathedral from Peekskill. Not just because Assumption School really, really, needs the financial help, but also in celebration and thanksgiving for the gift of Assumption School!
On the morning of November 10, I’ll leave Church of the Assumption for St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, where I will spend the night and set out for St. Patrick’s on November 11. My goal is to offer a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral at 6:30 p.m. on November 11.
My pilgrimage is part of a larger fundraising effort being undertaken by the Assumption School’s Advisory Board — $105,000 for 105 Years of Assumption School (“105 for 105”).
I would be most grateful if you would sponsor me as I make this prayerful and celebratory journey.
I ask you, if you can, to sponsor me by making a pledge. I will add your contact information to my sponsor sheet with the amount pledged and Assumption School will send you the invoice. Every little bit can help.
Your donation will go a long way to helping families hit hard by the economic downturn continue to send their children to Assumption School.
These are challenging yet grace-filled times and, I know, God can never be outdone in generosity!
Rest assured of my prayers for you every step of my way!
God bless you!
Father John Higgins
PS — The walk is 58 miles.
PPS — If you’re in the city, maybe you might join me for the Mass in The Lady Chapel?
PPPS — Maybe more vigorous types might want to join me for the Friday leg of the walk.
PPPPS — As I walk you can follow me on Twitter: @CatholicPeek
“My best memories of the College were being in the tutorials, learning through the great books, and the spiritual life,” recalls Rev. Hildebrand Garceau, O. Praem. (’78). “Our chaplains were very fine spiritual guides. It was through their example and through the prayer life we had at the College that I really developed my vocation.”
As the College’s newest chaplain, Fr. Hildebrand now has the opportunity to be the same sort of mentor and influence that the late Rev. Thomas McGovern, S.J., and Msgr. John Gallagher were when he was a student at Thomas Aquinas College more than 30 years ago. With Fr. Hildebrand joining Rev. Cornelius Buckley, S.J., and Rev. Paul Raftery, O.P., the College is now blessed to have three chaplains serving the spiritual needs of its 350 students, offering four Masses and numerous opportunities for confession daily.Read more
At Thomas Aquinas College’s recent 40th Anniversary Gala, two alumni were honored to address the guests. Rev. Sebastian Walshe, O.Praem. (’94), professor of philosophy at St. Michael’s Abbey Seminary in Orange, Calif., and Brenna Scanlon (’06), Principal of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish School in Oxnard, Calif., offered testimonials about their time at the College and how it prepared them for their service to the Church. Below is audio of their remarks:
Rev. Sebastian Walshe, O.Praem. (’94)
Brenna Scanlon (’06)
On Sunday night, Rev. Joseph Lee, F.S.S.P (’00), and Vanessa Brink (’04) appeared on EWTN’s Life on the Rock. The two spoke about Juventutem, a lay association founded in response to Pope John Paul II’s 2004 invitation to aid young Catholics who want want to participate in the extraordinary form of the Mass. You can watch the episode here:
The College is pleased to announce the priestly ordination of four alumni this summer, bringing us to 50 priests in our first 40 years! The newest alumni priests are:
1. Rev. Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist. (’06), ordained by Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, O.P., Archbishop of Vienna, on June 19, 2011. Fr. Waldstein is a Cistercian at the Stift Heiligenkreuz monastery outside of Vienna. The photo above shows him on his ordination day (left) along with his fellow new priests and Cardinal Schönborn, the College’s 2004 Commencement Speaker.
2. Rev. Jonathan Perrotta (’95), ordained by the Most Rev. Earl Boyea, Bishop of Lansing, at St. Mary Cathedral in Lansing, Mich., on June 11. Fr. Perrotta was recently profiled in Faith, Lansing’s diocesan magazine. The profile is available here. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)
3. Rev. Nick Blaha (’02), ordained by the Most Rev. Joseph Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City, on May 28. In the photo to the left, Fr. Blaha is shown offering His first Mass.
4. Rev. Joseph Dygert (’02), ordained to the priesthood in Colorado Springs on June 19. On the right is a picture of Fr. Dygert when he was still Deacon Dygert.
To celebrate the beatification of Bl. John Paul II, we asked alumni to send in their photos and memories of the late Holy Father. The slideshow below features the various responses we received. Bl. John Paul II, pray for us!