Faith in Action Blog
“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!
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.
Please join us in praying for alumna Alison Bright, who on Friday will be entering the Norbertine Canonesses of the Bethlehem Priory of St. Joseph in Tehachapi, Calif. Deo gratias!
- Related: Alumnae Norbertines
A 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.Read more
National 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.
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:
Col. Sam Shaneyfelt, USAF (’86), right, 35th Operations Group commander, assumes command of the operations group during an official change of command ceremony at Misawa Air Base.The alumni of Thomas Aquinas College put their faith into action in myriad ways. Consider Col. Sam Shaneyfelt, USAF (’86), who on September 5 assumed command of the 35th Operations Group at Misawa Air Base in Misawa, Japan. As such, he is responsible for flight operations, airfield management, intelligence, tactical air control, combat plans, weapons and tactics, and weather support for the Air Force’s 35th Fighter Wing. Previously he served as the Operations Director for the Combined Forces Air Component Commander at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.
“Thomas Aquinas College gave me a foundation which allowed me to seek truth in all things and to come by basic concepts of tactical weaponry and fighter employment more easily,” he says in this profile. “I’m also particularly thankful for obtaining a sound understanding of my faith and a closeness to the sacraments.”
We have learned the joyful news that another alumnus has entered the religious life. In August, Arden Mills (’08) was received into the novitiate of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, based in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. In addition to blessing him with the religious habit, his superiors also conferred upon him his religious name, Br. Peter — “after St. Peter the Apostle,” he writes.
The College is grateful for the prayers of all its alumni religious, and we continue to keep them all, including Br. Peter, in our prayers.