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A Triptych on Catholic Identity

By Bridget Hardy, University of St. Thomas
January 17th, 2013
University of St. Thomas (stthom.edu)

Exploring one's Catholic identity is a natural part of faithfully experiencing one's faith. University of St. Thomas will host three events to underscore the range of Catholic culture and intellectual life through a thoughtful and reflective encounter with rock music, the Synod of Bishops and St. Thomas Aquinas. The events are free and open to the public on Jan. 23-24. 

"Three Chords and a Longing for the Truth"

The Crossroads Cultural Center is sponsoring an imaginative engagement with popular culture, particularly rock music, from the perspective of John Waters, Irish columnist for the Irish Times, writer and music critic, at 6 p.m. on Jan. 23 in Cullen Hall, 4001 Mt. Vernon. The event "Three Chords and a Longing for the Truth" will discuss how a song played on the radio, or an artist's message, can convey the desire of the human being for "something beyond."

Dr. Dominic Aquila, vice president for Academic Affairs and moderator of the event, said rock music was a cultural movement that was not supposed to last past the youth culture of the 50s and 60s, but now has a history and a tradition of more than 60 years. 

"The very recent movie 'Not Fade Away,' signals this realization: What was supposed to be an ephemeral event, meaning rock 'n' roll, has persisted and become monumental on cultural landscape," Aquila said. "In keeping with the spirit of the New Evangelization, Catholics must critically engage rock music, which is the theme of the Crossroads event."

For more information, contact Crossroads at 713-823-2263 or Houston@CrossroadsCulturalCenter.org.

Inside the 2012 Synod of Bishops

Three speakers will reflect on the experience of attending the recent Synod of Bishops on the topic, "The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith" at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 in Jones Hall. The event will continue the discussion of Catholicism's engagement with modern culture, reflecting inwardly on how the world's Catholic Bishops see this engagement in the process of advancing the faith in all the nations of the world.

View a live video stream of the event online at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 23.

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, CSB, chief executive officer of Salt + Light Catholic Media Foundation and a member of the UST Board of Directors, served as the English language media attaché of the Synod. Sister Paula Jean Miller, FSE, founder and director of UST Catholic Studies and professor of theology, attended the Synod as an expert. Sebastian Gomes, producer at Salt + Light Television will speak about his experience as a young person at the Synod.

Following the presentations, there will be a screening of "The Church Alive," an interactive show hosted by Cheridan Sanders and Sebastian Gomes for Salt + Light Television. The panelists will respond to audience questions.

"The Capacious Mind of St. Thomas Aquinas"

People are often called upon to make difficult choices. Both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have urged Catholics to return to the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas in making these decisions. The Rev. Kevin Flannery, S.J., professor of Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, agrees there is good reason to follow Aquinas for guidance.

Father Flannery will present the University of St. Thomas Center for Thomistic Studies Aquinas Lecture on "The Capacious Mind of St. Thomas Aquinas," at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 in Cullen Hall, 4001 Mt. Vernon St. 

Father Flannery will point out why familiarity with Aquinas' thought is more relevant than ever before as people, both young and old, are confronted with an increasingly complex world of moral choices.

"The Aquinas Lecture returns the University community to its annual reflection on the thought of St. Aquinas, the University's patron, drawing from it a constant inspiration and guidance for engagement with the intellectual currents of the 21st century," Aquila said.

For more information, call 713-525-3591.

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Pictured: Rev. Thomas Rosica

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