Faith in Action Blog

Faith in Action Blog

The Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone
The Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of California, at the 2009 dedication of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel

“If McDonald’s told its employees that it was unacceptable to diss its fast food as gross, disgusting, or unhealthy at either McDonald’s or in a public setting,” asks alumna journalist Katrina Trinko (’09), “would it elicit a heated reaction from lawmakers?”

The answer: “Probably not.”

Katrina Trinko (’09) Katrina Trinko (’09)Yet for myriad reasons, when the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco and the College’s 2008 Convocation Speaker, made a similar demand of the teachers in his schools, several California politicians called for an investigation. In a new column at the Daily Signal, Miss Trinko — the online magazine’s managing editor and a member of USA Today’s Board of Contributors — examines the criticism and complaints, and finds them wanting.

“Lawmakers may vehemently disagree with Cordileone’s decision,” Miss Trinko writes, but “religious leaders should be free to make such decisions without worrying about interference from the government.”

The full article is available at the Daily Signal.


/news/alumnus-tim-cantu-offers-career-advice-aspiring-attorneys

Five years after his graduation from Thomas Aquinas College, Tim Cantu (’10) returned to campus this past weekend to offer advice to students who hope to pursue careers in law.

An attorney with Pepple Cantu Schmidt PLLC, Mr. Cantu works with the firm’s Clearwater, Florida, and Seattle, Washington, offices. After graduating from the College in 2010, he attended Notre Dame Law School, graduating in 2013. While there he was a Notes & Submissions Editor for the Notre Dame Law Review, and he spent his summers working for Professor Richard W. Garnett and at the law firm of Miller Johnson in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His current practice focuses on the acquisition, sale, development, and financing of multifamily housing and related business and litigation matters.

Read the full story.


Good Fruit Grower magazine
Featured story about David O’Reilly (’87) in Good Fruit Grower magazine

David O’Reilly (’87) is the subject of a featured article in Good Fruit Grower magazine, which declares that the alumnus vintner “has perfected the art of producing high quality wines and matching them with stories that resonate.”

The article describes how, through this combination of superior craftsmanship and creative storytelling, Mr. O’Reilly, owner of the of Owen Roe winery in Washington’s Yakima Valley, has achieved great success in the competitive wine industry. It also notes that he “graduated from Thomas Aquinas College, a small, Catholic, liberal arts college in southern California,” where “he studied the great minds of Aristotle and Plato,” and “left believing he could do anything.”

While this education, as author Melissa Hansen admits, “has little to do with winemaking” per se, O’Reilly sees it as a natural fit for his line of work. “A number of graduates from the program are winemakers,” he says. “That’s not surprising, because we studied the true, good, and beautiful, the same essence of agriculture. A winemaker is really a glorified farmer.”

The full story is available via the Good Fruit Grower website, as is a PDF of the entire issue. 


Jillian Cooke (’04)Please pray for alumna Jillian Cooke (’04), who, by God’s grace, will soon be making her perpetual profession of vows with the Father Kolbe Missionaries of the Immaculata. “From the seeds planted at TAC,” she recently wrote in a note to College President Michael F. McLean, “the Lord has worked wonders in my life.”

Miss Cooke is a consecrated member of the Fr. Kolbe Missionaries, a worldwide secular institute of pontifical right, having previously taken vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In this capacity, she once observed, she seeks to live “the intimacy of the cloister in the world of secular society.”

Noting that she is “praying for the faculty, staff, students, board, benefactors” of Thomas Aquinas College, and that she is “thanking God for the many blessings received during my four years” on campus, Miss Cooke writes that “all are sincerely invited to share” in her sacred day. Her perpetual vows will take place on March 21 at St. Christopher Church in West Covina, California, during the 1:00 p.m. Mass.

Thanks be to God!

Related:


Rev. Thomas A. McGovern, S.J.

It is fitting that during this, the Church’s Year of Consecrated Life, Thomas Aquinas College marks the 30th anniversary of one of its most beloved priests, Rev. Thomas A. McGovern, S.J., who died on February 19, 1985.

A graduate of the Université Laval in Quebec, Fr. McGovern previously taught at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., before coming to Thomas Aquinas College in early 1972. He served as a member of the faculty and, later, the Board of Governors until his death in 1985. The following year he posthumously received the College’s highest honor, the Saint Thomas Aquinas Medallion.

Eleven alumni of the College have share some of their memories of the late tutor and Jesuit, which you can read here.


Dr. Christopher A. Decaen (’93)

Dr. Christopher A. Decaen (’93) now a tutor at the College, recently presented a Tutor Talk entitled, “Why the Burning Bush?” Audio of the talk is available via the player below, or by following this link.

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Nathan Haggard (’99, standing) and Justin Alvarez (’97, seated) were two participants in a recent on-campus panel for students interested in business and technology. Mr. Haggard is a systems engineer at Apple, where he manages the company’s technical relationship with some of its largest enterprise customers, such as Disney, Amgen, and Toyota. Mr. Alvarez is the founder of The Alvarez Firm, a law corporation based in Camarillo, California. Read the full story.


Dr. Andrew Seeley (’87) Dr. Andrew Seeley (’87)In response to a rising demand for classical liberal education in Catholic schools, some Thomas Aquinas College graduates are working to prepare the next generation of Catholic school administrators. Under the auspices of their Institute for Catholic Education (ICLE),  Dr. Andrew Seeley (’87) and  Michael Van Hecke (’86) are hosting a webinar for Catholic teachers who are interested in becoming headmasters and headmistresses.

“The word is getting out that a rising number of Catholic schools are flourishing!” declares an ad for the webinar. “Their secret? A renewed commitment to the traditions of Catholic education — serious grounding in the classical liberal arts, immersion in Catholic history and culture, attention to developing virtue — resulting in communities that rejoice in the truth. Catholic schools are in growing need of leaders who can turn these ideals into living realities. Appeals for qualified and committed educators are constant. Searches are no longer merely regional, but national in scope.”

Dr. Seeley is a tutor at the College and ICLE’s executive director. Mr. Van Hecke, the Institute’s president and founder, is the headmaster of St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, California. Among the educators who will be leading the seminar is another graduate of the College, Luke Macik (’87), headmaster of the Lyceum, a classical liberal-arts high school in Cleveland, Ohio.

The three-hour online discussion, Answering the Call — An Introduction to Catholic School Leadership, will include Catholic educators from around the country. The webinar will take place on Saturday, February 21, at 10 a.m. Registration is $25.


Rev. Christian Felkner, O.S.B. (’01) made a homecoming visit to his alma mater this week, and this morning he offered Mass in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel. Photos from this morning’s Mass are available in the slideshow below:

  • Fr. Felkner Mass 2015
    Slideshow: Homecoming Mass for Fr. Felkner
  • Fr. Felkner Mass 2015
    Slideshow: Homecoming Mass for Fr. Felkner
  • Fr. Felkner Mass 2015
    Slideshow: Homecoming Mass for Fr. Felkner
  • Fr. Felkner Mass 2015
    Slideshow: Homecoming Mass for Fr. Felkner
  • Fr. Felkner Mass 2015
    Slideshow: Homecoming Mass for Fr. Felkner
  • Fr. Felkner Mass 2015
    Slideshow: Homecoming Mass for Fr. Felkner
  • Fr. Felkner Mass 2015
    Slideshow: Homecoming Mass for Fr. Felkner
  • Fr. Felkner Mass 2015
    Slideshow: Homecoming Mass for Fr. Felkner
  • Fr. Felkner Mass 2015
    Slideshow: Homecoming Mass for Fr. Felkner

Fr. Felkner is a monk at Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek Abbey in Hulbert, Oklahoma, where priests offer the Mass in the extraordinary form. He is among the College’s newest alumni priests, having been ordained — along with Rev. Andrew Norton, O.S.B. (’06) — on October 26, 2014.


March for Life

Sean Fitzpatrick ('02)As a demonstration “that commemorates those lives snuffed out before seeing the light of day,” the annual March for life, writes Sean Fitzpatrick (’02), “is, perhaps first and foremost, a funeral march.” The headmaster of Gregory the Great Academy in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Mr. Fitzpatrick has penned a poignant and thoughtful reflection about today’s march for Crisis magazine, where he is a regular contributor. He observes:

“The March for Life is a witness to the Gospel of Life, demonstrating by the thousands that though abortion is common practice it is not common sense. The March is a positive outcry against the government’s failure to defend the defenseless and to protect women against the tortures of conscience. Abortion is not simply a failure of justice, but a failure of government itself. President Washington wrote in 1789, ‘The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government.’ When that pillar is compromised, the structure fails and falls. It is not out of the question to ask, ‘Who will be the next to lose their unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?’ In a statement given one year ago on this day to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Obama said, ‘this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.’ But at what point, at what precise point, does everyone become someone? Whenever it is, it is no longer self-evident.

“It is not enough to demand justice. Justice, as Our Lord taught, is to be hungered and thirsted after as a means of wellbeing. Just as hunger and thirst can never be forever satisfied in this life, neither can the requirement for the divine gift of justice. This is the truth that beats out the march of Christian soldiers. Though they mourn on this day as they march on the National Mall, they do it in the happiness and blessedness that is their claim, in honor of the dead.”

The full article is available via Crisis.com.