Thomas More College to Host Fides et Ratio Seminars

by Thomas More College on May 19, 2010

For Immediate Release
May 19, 2010
Contact: Charlie McKinney
Phone: (603) 880-8308, ext. 21
Email: cmckinney@ThomasMoreCollege.edu 

(Merrimack, New Hampshire)— In 2010 and 2011, The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, in collaboration with the Fides et Ratio Seminars at the Faith and Reason Institute (Warner, NH/Washington, DC), will host a two-year program entitled, “Introduction to the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.”

 These summer seminars aim at acquainting and reacquainting up to 30 invited faculty from Catholic colleges, universities, and seminaries with the thought and teachings of the Church fathers, doctors, and popes—as well as significant works of art in the Catholic tradition.

According to Dr. Patrick Powers, Executive Director of the Fides et Ratio Seminars, “We are pleased that Thomas More College will co-sponsor these events, along with Donald and Michele D’Amour, the patrons of the Fides et Ratio Seminars, as well as the Faith and Reason Institute and Dr. Robert Royal. The College’s newly established curriculum, with its emphasis on education in the liberal arts, humane letters, and the disciplines of philosophy and theology is the kind of undergraduate formation that the Seminars seek to strengthen through faculty study of the Catholic intellectual tradition.”

Dr. Powers pointed out that the fittingness of the collaboration between the College and the Fides et Ratio Seminars is aptly expressed in the motto of the Seminars’ mission: “Nurturing the souls of young men and women by strengthening Catholic liberal education.”

Authors whose works are covered in the summer Seminars range widely, from the Bible and the works of St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and Dante, up through modern contributors to the Catholic intellectual tradition such as Walker Percy, Graham Greene, Czeslaw Milosz, G. K. Chesterton, Josef Pieper, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Dorothy Day and George Weigel, among others. The seminars have also covered works of art, including presentations on Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and the symphonies of Gustav Mahler.

Thomas More College President Dr. William Fahey welcomed the Fides et Ratio Seminars’ partnership with the College: “We are delighted and honored to host these seminars on the Catholic intellectual tradition.  The partnership between Thomas More College and the Fides et Ratio Seminars at the Faith and Reason Institute is a natural one, given our shared commitment to careful reflection upon and transmission of the intellectual life of the West—the heart of which has always sprung up from Catholic culture.” 

“Anyone who examines the structure, rigor, and purpose of our curriculum,” said Fahey, “will see why the organizers of the Fides et Ratio Seminars felt that they would find a warm welcome at our College.  Their decision to establish the new Seminars here proves false the notion that only large universities can support intellectual, artistic, and scholarly endeavors.” 

Dr. Christopher Blum, Dean of the College, attended a Fides et Ratio Seminar in 2008, finding it “refreshing.” Dr. Blum noted that “University professors today are often forced to devote their summers to research projects that are increasingly recondite and incommunicable; the Seminar participants, however, were able to spend a week together conversing about what they hold in common: their love of the truth and their desire to serve students by bringing them to the truth that is Christ.”

Dr. John Zmirak, literature professor and Writer-in-Residence at Thomas More College, took part in the 2007 Fides et Ratio Seminar. He said, “It was academically intense, with a serious body of reading that was discussed at a high intellectual level. I felt privileged to meet so many talented teachers and scholars from such a wide swath of institutions, and to join them in exploring works both great and good.”  

The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts provides a four-year undergraduate education which develops young people intellectually, ethically, and spiritually in the Catholic tradition and in faithfulness to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.   Thomas More College introduces its students to the central questions of Western civilization – and to the Church’s response.  It teaches skills in reasoning, speaking, and writing that will allow its graduates to become faithful leaders according to the individual vocations which God has given them.

The Fides et Ratio Seminars generate fresh thought and action by bringing together religious and secular faculty devoted to the Catholic intellectual tradition and Catholic liberal education.  Previous meetings of the Fides et Ratio Seminars have been held at Benedictine College (Atchison, KS), University of St. Francis (Fort Wayne, IN), Providence College (Providence, RI), University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN), Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, NC) and St. Malo Catholic Retreat Center (Allenspark, CO).

In summer, 2010, five Fides et Ratio Seminars will be held at The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, Notre Dame Seminary (New Orleans, LA), Wyoming Catholic College (Lander, WY), University of Notre Dame and St. Malo Catholic Retreat Center for 131 faculty from 65 colleges, universities, seminaries and institutes, as well as several high schools, in 30 states, Chile, Italy and Peru.   

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If you would like to schedule an interview with President William Fahey or Dr. Patrick Powers, please contact Charlie McKinney at (603) 880-8308 or by email at cmckinney@ThomasMoreCollege.edu.

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