On Sunday evening the Thomas Aquinas College community congregated on the picnic area by the basketball courts for a barbeque dinner in honor of Head Chaplain Rev. Joseph Illo, who is departing this summer to found an oratory in San Francisco.
On behalf of the College, Dean Brian T. Kelly presented Fr. Illo with a gift of St. Thomas’s Commentary on the Pauline Epistles. Fr. Illo then spoke a few words  to those gathered. He recalled his two years on campus with pleasure, saying, “Thomas Aquinas College is all about truth, but even more obviously for brief sojourners like me, the College manifests beauty. The afternoon sun on Santa Paula Ridge, for example; the morning sun that first touches the Topatopa bluffs; young voices ringing out the glory of God in a perfectly proportioned chapel; students sprawled under spreading oak trees with Plato and Aquinas, or playing soccer on broad green swards; spirited Shakespeare plays and Gilbert and Sullivan operettas somehow rehearsed to near-perfection alongside ambitious academic loads.... I thank you for affording me a brief stay with you; I ask your prayers for our fledgling Oratory of priests in San Francisco, and assure you of ours.”
Following the dinner, Fr. Illo lead a procession to the Lourdes Grotto for a May crowning of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.