Faith in Action Blog

Faith in Action Blog

Peter Baklinksi (’04)  Dr. Pia de Solenni (’93)
 

Two alumni have recently published stories about the HHS contraceptive mandate that threatens the religious freedom of faithfully Catholic institutions such as Thomas Aquinas College.

First, writing for LifeSiteNews.com, Peter Baklinski (’04) reports on College President Michael F. McLean’s letter protesting the mandate. Then, following the Obama Administration’s supposed compromise to the mandate (which Dr. McLean has rejected as “not acceptable” and “a distinction without a difference”), Dr. Pia de Solenni (’93) penned a critical column for CatholicVote. Writes Dr. de Solenni:

“President Obama has offered a so-called compromise on the HHS Mandate. Instead of forcing Catholic institutions to pay for insurance that covers contraceptives, insurance providers will be forced to cover contraception. Yep, same situation, just a different way of keeping books on it. Hmmm, when Enron was exposed, we called it accounting fraud, among other things. Bernie Madoff’s investment practices were denounced as a Ponzi scheme. But when the funny math is proposed by the White House, we call it a compromise.”

How inspiring it is to see these alumni speaking out in defense of their alma mater, freedom of religion, and truth!
 


Meghan Duke ('08)Meghan Duke (’08) is the recently named managing editor of First Things, the Catholic journal of culture and politics founded by the late Rev. Richard John Neuhaus. Editor R.R. Reno writes:

“Graduate of Thomas Aquinas College and veteran of the publication arm of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Meghan has been with the magazine for two years, first as a junior fellow and then as an assistant editor...I have the distinct impression that she not only is extraordinarily capable but also enjoys the prospect of giving everyone deadlines.”


Rev. Sebastian Walsge, O.Praem. ('94)Periodically, the Catholic Answers Live radio program hosts a show that is directed specifically toward non-Catholics — whether fallen-away believers, Protestants, atheists, agnostics, or adherents of any other faith. Only self-identified non-Catholic listeners can call in during these shows, asking questions about the Church, its teachings, and its truth claims. Sometimes the callers  call out of genuine curiosity about the Faith; other times they call out of hostility, hoping to “stump” the host and guests. Invariably, it is a lively exchange.

On Monday’s 3:00 p.m. (PT) “Open Forum for Non-Catholics,” the guest charged with answering these questions will be Rev. Sebastian Walshe, O.Praem. (’94), a Catholic Answers Live regular. No doubt, he will be well-prepared: Speaking at Thomas Aquinas College’s 40th Anniversary Gala in September, Fr. Sebastian said, “as a guest on Catholic Answers Live, I listen to sometimes very diverse questions from people around the world about the Catholic faith. At the College, of course, we have the seminar method of education. So I feel that I have been really blessed with that capacity to hear someone and understand what he is saying and to try to address his questions in a way he can understand.”

You can hear the show live via terrestrial/satellite radio or online streaming, and shortly after the broadcast a podcast will be available for download.

Related: Previous appearances by Fr. Sebastian on Catholic Answers Live:


Dr. Pia de Solenni (’93)Pontifical Academies Award winner and moral theologian Dr. Pia de Solenni (’93) has a timely offering over at Headline Bistro entitled, “Taking Back Christmas,” about reclaiming Advent and Christmas from commercialism and excess. She also will be appearing on the Wednesday, November 23, 4 p.m. (PST) episode of “Catholic Answers Live” discussing the topic, “A Catholic Approach to the Arts.” The hour-long show is available live on radio stations nationwide and at catholic.com. Or download the podcast any time after the broadcast.


Mary Rose (Bacani ’03) Valenti Ever since her graduation from the College, Mary Rose (Bacani ’03) Valenti has done beautiful work for Christ and His Church as a producer and reporter for Salt + Light Television, including documentaries about the Nashville Dominicans and St. André Bessette. Now we have word that Mrs. Valenti is leaving the world of broadcasting to serve the Lord in a very different capacity — as the full-time mother of her baby daughter, Chiara. “I have decided to stay home with her,” writes Mary Rose, “and see what opportunities God provides us.”

Baby Chiara is a blessed child. Thomas Aquinas College offers prayers of thanksgiving for her, her parents, and all of her mother’s great work — past, present, and future.


Two alumni who regularly promote and defend the faith in the public square have new offerings:

Brooks Brothers CatalogOn 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.

Related:


Theologian / ethicist / cultural commentator Dr. Pia de Solenni (’93) has a new column in Headline Bistro about the “strange, weird, and … largely unregulated world of assisted reproductive technologies.” In it she makes an important distinction between “having a child and being a parent,” noting:

“There are many opportunities for people to become parents, either by having their own children naturally or by adopting children desperately in need of a home (and parents). In either case, there may still be situations where people view children as a fancy accessory or possession. The fact that they’re having a child naturally or adopting doesn’t mean that their intentions are necessarily good. But at least the child isn’t being custom ordered like a car or a piece of furniture.”

Dr. de Solenni is also a regular guest on the Catholic Answers Live radio program, and recently defended the Church on NPR.


A Little Way of HomeschoolingA great success among recent Catholic educational titles is A Little Way of Homeschooling, the second work by author and alumna Suzie (Zeiter ’87) Andres. The book has generated a favorable review from the Catholic News agency as well as this laudatory post on the Catholic Media Review blog. Mrs. Andres also discussed the book on a recent episode of the “Catholics Next Door” radio program.

Read on for our own review of A Little Way of Homeschooling by alumna Becky (Loop’96) Mohun.

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September
30, 2011

Mary, Mother of the UnbornNational Review Online currently features an extensive interview with Greg Pfundstein (’05), Executive Director of the Chiaroscuro Foundation, about his work in New York City on various pro-life causes. In it Mr. Pfundstein discusses his efforts to combat a one-size-fits-all approach to sexual education in the city’s schools, as well as a recent analysis of New York’s abortion data broken down by zip code.

That analysis yielded a fascinating datum: The zip code with the lowest abortion rate in all of New York City happens to be the home of a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Mother in her capacity as mother and defender of unborn children. Mr. Pfundstein writes about the Chapel of Mary Mother of the Unborn — and its implications for the pro-life movement — over at The Catholic Thing.

Related:


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: