At Thomas Aquinas College, the Catholic faith is more than a mere adornment on an otherwise secular education. The intellectual tradition and moral teachings of the Catholic Church infuse the whole life of the College, illuminating all learning as well as the community within which learning takes place. The curriculum is ordered toward theology — that is, the knowledge of God — and the College strives in all things to remain faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
Although founded nearly two decades before Pope St. John Paul II’s Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Thomas Aquinas College has always sought to operate in accordance with the principles that this encyclical elucidates. Thus the College requires members of the teaching faculty who teach theology to request the mandatum from their local ordinary, and that all of the tutors make a Profession of Faith and an Oath of Fidelity. Invited lecturers and honorees are likewise chosen for their loyalty to the teaching Church and the Holy Father.
Here students learn the Faith both inside the classroom and out. The College’s chaplains offer Mass twice each day in New England and four times in California, hearing confessions before and after each Mass. Attendance is not required, but because no classes are scheduled during these times, all students can — and most do — frequent the sacraments. Spiritual direction is free and available to anyone who desires it. And many students serve as acolytes and sacristans, in pro-life work, and in the Legion of Mary.
Retreats and vocations talks, processions and holy hours, the Rosary and the Liturgy of the Hours — all are regular occurrences among the student body. Every on-campus event, whether a dance, a concert, or a basketball game, is planned with an eye toward deepening faith and nurturing virtue. Each activity, as with each class, begins with a prayer.
Through the graces afforded by a rich sacramental life, the College has largely been successful in fostering a deep love of Christ and His church. The alumni make this love evident as they go into the world: Some 10 percent enter the priesthood or religious life, and nearly all serve the Church and society in some way — as spouses, as parents, as volunteers, teachers, educators, and leaders of every kind.