Faith in Action Blog
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.
Thank you to everyone who has been keeping Matthew Wise (’06) in prayer! Matthew has been hospitalized for three weeks due to a lung infection and resulting complications. Doctors have performed numerous procedures and operations, but he remains in intensive care, heavily sedated. His family is asking for prayers through the intercession of St. Gerard and Bl. Francis Seelos.
For regular updates on Matthew’s status, please see the Prayers for Matthew Wise Facebook page, established by his Class of 2003 classmate Steve Six. Please continue to pray for Matthew’s recovery and for the strength and well-being of his family.
Two classmates from the Thomas Aquinas College Class of 2003 have happily returned to campus this fall as the newest members of the teaching faculty.
“There were a lot of places I was interested in teaching at, but I always had it in the back of my mind that it would be sad if I could never do Euclid again,” says Jared Kuebler (’03). “It was always my dream to come back, particularly for the community of tutors here and the opportunity to teach across the curriculum.”
“It is special to be amongst a faculty that loves what they do," says Elizabeth Reyes (’03). “It is such an honor to be here.”
Welcome home, Mr. Kuebler and Miss Reyes!
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
Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer sends along an update on the status of Matthew Wise (’06):
Matthew Wise ’06 has a very serious case of pneumonia. He's in the ICU and in an induced coma. His pneumonia has not been responding to antibiotics. Here is a message that I just received from Matthew's Mother:
The cardiologist wants to do a heart-lung procedure on Matthew as soon as possible. So, right now. The kids and I just got home from the hospital and are going to kneel down and pray during the operation (it will be done in his room, he is too sick to be moved). Asking for angels to guide the doctor's hands, for healing for Matthew, intercession of the saints, and for peace for Mike and Anthony who are up there right now with him. Mike will probably post an update under my name as soon as he can. Thanks so much for all of your prayers! Please join us in extra prayers during this heart-lung procedure!
Please keep Matthew and his family in your prayers. Thank you.
For more, please see the Prayers for Matt Wise Facebook Group.
Two alumni who have returned to the College as members of the teaching faculty, Dr. Christopher Decaen (’93) and Dr. Paul O’Reilly (’84), have recently given talks on campus. You can access their remarks at following links:
- Dr. Decaen: “‘I have set before Joshua a single stone with seven facets bearing his inscription…’ (Zech. 3:9): The ‘Jesus(s)’ of the Old Testament” (audio)
- Dr. O’Reilly: Flannery O’Connor and “The Enduring Chill” (text)
Director of Alumni Relations Mark Kretschmer sends along the following prayer request:
Matthew Wise (’06) has a very serious case of pneumonia. He's in the ICU and in an induced coma. His pneumonia has not been responding to antibiotics. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. Thank you.
For more, please see the Prayers for Matt Wise Facebook Group.
“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
The Anchoress has posted the following, delightful video, featuring the Norbertine Canonesses of the Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph in Tehachapi, Calif.
Three alumnae of the College are currently members of the “Sisters of the Mountains,” including Sr. Mary Oda (Jenny Tilley ’02). In addition to participating in the Sisters’ rich life of prayer and devotion, Sr. Mary Oda also serves as their cook, cares for their livestock, and is earning a master’s degree in theology.
At the 4:00 mark of the video, Sr. Mary offers a beautiful testimonial about why she left an Ivy League school to come to Thomas Aquinas College, and how the College helped her to find her vocation:
“I went to Princeton University first, and I was Protestant, but I came to a fuller understanding of the Catholic faith, and so I converted while I was there. Then I decided that I wanted a deeper experience of living that Catholic faith and knowing more about it, so I transferred to Thomas Aquinas College in California. Part of my thought in going there was that it would be a good place to find a good Catholic husband, but I found a really good husband in Christ as my spouse. I came to realize that really I was being called to the consecrated life.”
Sr. Mary Oda appears again at the 16:53 mark, and the video then shows scenes from her solemn profession on January 29, 2011. The whole production, however, is so edifying and inspiring that it deserves to be watched in its entirety!