FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2010
Contact: Charlie McKinney
Phone: (603) 880-8308, ext. 21
(Merrimack, New Hampshire)—On November 1, the faculty, staff, and students at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts gathered together on the Feast of All Saints to renew its consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“Pius XII referred to the devotion to the Sacred Heart as the ‘devotion of devotions,’” said Thomas More College President, William Fahey. “It is a simple spiritual and intellectual acceptance of the person and mission of Our Lord. I like to explain the Sacred Heart devotion as a deep meditation on the Kyrie of the Mass—we accept Jesus as the Christ, the redeemer, as our Sovereign Lord, and we accept His mission as a mission of mercy for all men.”
Dr. Fahey added that, “both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have emphasized that our own humanity is best understood to the degree that we know and experience the humanity of Christ. It seems natural that our College, which is so focused on the humanities, should have this as a central liturgical moment in its academic year.”
Faculty, staff, and students joined together in praying the ancient Litany of the Sacred Heart and in pledging to the Sacred Heart to strive in “person…life…actions…pains, and sufferings… to do all things for the love of Him, at the same time renouncing what is displeasing to Him.”
Thomas More College freshman, Tom LaCour, said, “I thought the ceremony consecrating the campus to the Sacred Heart was very moving. I feel that this will bring our community even closer. Being united in prayer will help us keep our minds and hearts focused on the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
Through the late 19th and early 20th centuries, entire states consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart, including Ireland, Poland, Spain, Portugal, and Ecuador. In the United States certain schools and colleges, religious communities, and families would enthrone the Sacred Heart and make the act of consecration.
In 1943, one day in Chicago alone, 125,000 people made the act of consecration. In 1953, the Catholic University of America consecrated itself to the Sacred Heart. A large painting of the Sacred Heart once faced all those who entered the University’s central building, McMahon Hall.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart has nearly disappeared among Catholic academic institutions and the images have largely been moved or taken down.
“It’s sad that there hasn’t been a greater revival,” remarked President Fahey. “Leo XIII firmly established the devotion; Pius XII enriched its popular appeal. John Paul II spoke about the devotion again and again, and Pope Benedict has always been a proponent of the Sacred Heart. Recently, he issued a letter to the Jesuits encouraging its revival, and last summer he opened the Year of the Priest on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. I expect the newly appointed Cardinal Burke, well-known for promoting the devotion, will further advance the practice of consecration.”
Several weeks ago, the faculty at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts recited the Profession of Faith before the Tabernacle. The Profession contains the Creed as well as a testimony accepting the entirety of Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and the ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Church. It also calls for the professor to promise to “adhere with religious submission of will and intellect” to all authentic Catholic teachings which are presented by the “Roman pontiff or the College of Bishops” whenever they “exercise their authentic Magisterium.”
Dr. Fahey explained that the Oath of Fidelity and Profession is taken by all those in a place of leadership at Thomas More College. They pledge to safeguard “the deposit of faith in its entirety” and “faithfully hand it on and explain it.” Both the Profession and the Oath are required by Canon Law, but the knowledge of this law appears to be little known and its observance rare. In addition to taking the Oath, all of the faculty who teach theology or Sacred Scripture at Thomas More College have also received the Mandatum from the Bishop of Manchester.
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 students how to reason, engage in academic discourse, and to write. Students from Thomas More College are shaped into becoming faithful leaders who will be able to pursue the individual vocations which God has given each of them.