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August 28, 2008 - 8:34 PDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY

MERIMACK, NH (AUGUST 28, 2008) - Through the college's Center for Faith and Culture, four Thomas More College students journeyed to Oxford, England this summer to study in the private library of Catholic apologist, poet, and novelist G.K. Chesterton.

Thomas More College students Anna Maria Mendell, Michael Lichens, Rebeka Lamb, and Joe Mazarella travelled to England to take a private two-week course entitled "Chesterton and His Age." The course examined the lives and thoughts of Chesterton and other major English Catholic thinkers, such as John Henry Cardinal Newman, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
The trip was made possible through the generosity of Rev. Ian J. Boyd, CSB, founder of The Chesterton Institute.

Leading the program were tutors Stratford and Leonie Caldecott, who jointly direct the College's Center for Faith and Culture in Oxford. Stratford has published widely on all the topics of the course, and is the G.K. Chesterton Fellow at St. Benet's Hall, Oxford. He is also editor of Thomas More College's journal, Second Spring: An International Journal of Faith and Culture. Léonie has written on Cardinal Newman, and organized pilgrimages, tours, and summer schools in Europe for over a decade. She is the author of What Do Catholics Believe? (Granta, 2008).

The students were blessed (mostly) with good weather, which made the guided tours and excursions even more enjoyable. As much as possible, they studied these Catholic writers "on site," exploring the places where they lived and worked in order to bring them alive in the imagination.

Thomas More College's Artist-in-Residence David Clayton joined the tour to discuss Oxford's remarkable architecture and museums. Léonie Caldecott offered seminars on Newman and Hopkins, and Rev. Richard Duffield of the Oxford Oratory led students on a Hopkins-themed tour of Oxford.

Students explored all the key sites associated with John Henry Cardinal Newman--visiting his two Oxford colleges, the University church where he preached as an Anglican, and the retreat center in Littlemore where he was received into the Catholic Church in 1845. To better appreciate the situation of Catholics in England during times of persecution, Léonie also took the group to the recusant house of Stonor, where St. Edmund Campion had hidden and set up a secret printing press, before his arrest and execution.

The group visited Tolkien's grave in Wolvercote, saw one of his houses, and the pub where he and the other Inklings frequently met, and went on a delightful guided tour of The Kilns, C.S. Lewis's house outside Oxford where the two friends would often meet. The students had an exciting and lively dinner with Walter Hooper, who knew both Tolkien and Lewis personally.

Chesterton, of course, loomed large in the course. Lectures were held mainly in the G.K. Chesterton Library where the College is the caretaker of a significant collection of books and memorabilia. The College is making Chesterton's private library and belongings available for the first time to scholars and students who wish to conduct in-depth research into Chesterton's life and writings. The library is maintained by the College's Center for Faith and Culture in Oxford, England.

The students also visited Cotswold hills and read Chesterton's great poem The Ballad of the White Horse on the side of the White Horse itself--a great chalk figure carved into the side of the Vale as early as 1000 BC, or (some say) by King Alfred the Great to celebrate his victory over the Danes in AD 871. They sat on nearby Dragon Hill (where St. George is reputed to have killed the dragon) looking out over the valley for a seminar on Catholic historiography with visiting historian Joseph Stuart.

The students' reactions to this program were effusive. Said senior Michael Lichens: "The chance to study the greatest minds of the last 150 years was a dream come true in every sense of that overused phrase. As a convert I owe a great debt to Chesterton for literally saving my life, and all college Catholics look to Cardinal Newman as a source of learning and inspiration. So this journey felt much like a pilgrimage."

Newly minted alumna Anna Maria was equally enthusiastic. She said, "Studying the thinkers of the Catholic Revival brought to the forefront the vibrant unity of Catholicism and the intellectual life in a way that was inspiring. As a recent college graduate, I know that what I learned and the memorable experiences I formed will help shape my pursuits in the future."

Rebeka Lamb, another recent graduate of Thomas More College, is preparing to enter graduate school in the coming weeks. She said that her trip to Oxford "was an excellent academic and spiritual preparation for the Masters in English Literature that I am pursuing in the fall. The thinkers of the English Catholic revival strove to show how the Catholic imagination embraces all that is real and true about the world. I especially find Chesterton's ability to look at the world with wonder, wisdom, and humor a source of inspiration and guidance. Oxford was an intellectual and spiritual opportunity to refine all of the body's senses and the soul's sensibilities."

Based on the success of this pilot program, Thomas More College is now planning a full-scale course in 2009, which would be open to wider participation.

Contact

Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
http://www.thomasmorecollege.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=
NH, US
Thomas Syseskey - Librarian, 603 880-8308

Keywords

Chesterton

Category

Catholic Schools & Religious Education

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The CatholicTV Network to air coverage of Pope Francis' Apostolic Journey to the Holy Land
May 20, 2014 - 12:58 PDT

Renowned boys of St. Paul's Choir School ink international recording deal with AimHigher Recordings
May 19, 2014 - 7:12 PDT

The CatholicTV Network to Air Ordinations to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston
The CatholicTV Network
May 16, 2014 - 7:55 PDT

Damon Owens to Appear on The CatholicTV Network
The CatholicTV Network
May 15, 2014 - 7:54 PDT

The Catholic University of America Baccalaureate Mass to air LIVE on The CatholicTV Network
May 15, 2014 - 7:32 PDT

Clean comedy cleans up at box office
May 13, 2014 - 12:59 PDT

Cardinal, Bishop, and EWTN CEO Address the Class of 2014
Franciscan University of Steubenville
May 13, 2014 - 10:45 PDT

Saint Benedict Press Named Exclusive Publisher for Catholic Scirpture Study International
Saint Benedict Press, LLC/TAN Books
May 12, 2014 - 1:40 PDT

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow to Appear on The CatholicTV Network
The CatholicTV Network
May 12, 2014 - 7:53 PDT

'MOMS' NIGHT OUT' DEBUTS TODAY: MOM-COM FOR THE WHOLE FAM NO. 3 IN TICKET PRE-SALES
Carmel Communications
May 09, 2014 - 10:18 PDT

SoulCore Founders to Appear on The CatholicTV Network
The CatholicTV Network
May 08, 2014 - 11:57 PDT

It's now or never to build a just and humane society
May 08, 2014 - 8:50 PDT

3 Nat'l Catholic Leaders Elected to Nonprofit Board of Directors
Catholic Leadership Institute
May 08, 2014 - 8:46 PDT

Media Advisory - Messenger of the Truth documentary to air in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo
May 07, 2014 - 10:48 PDT

Father Rocky Hoffman to Appear on The CatholicTV Network
The CatholicTV Network
May 06, 2014 - 9:59 PDT

Catholic Novel Wins National Secular Award
Little Flower Strategies
May 05, 2014 - 12:53 PDT

Mass of Thanksgiving for the Canonization of Pope Saint John XXIII and Pope Saint John Paul II
The CatholicTV Network
May 05, 2014 - 9:58 PDT

Nat'l Catholic Leader Frank Hanna Joins Catholic Leadership Inst. Board of Directors
Catholic Leadership Institute
May 02, 2014 - 6:24 PDT

Father Jim Martin to Appear on The CatholicTV Network
The CatholicTV Network
May 01, 2014 - 9:56 PDT

TAN Books Named Exclusive Publisher for Confraternity of the Precious Blood
Saint Benedict Press, LLC/TAN Books
April 30, 2014 - 11:31 PDT

Media Advisory - Messenger of the Truth documentary to air in Denver and Colorado Springs
April 30, 2014 - 10:39 PDT

What happens when you realize that God's not dead?
April 29, 2014 - 10:20 PDT

CAMPAIGN FOR AWARD-WINNING CATHOLIC DOCUMENTARY LAUNCHES ON KICKSTARTER
April 28, 2014 - 12:20 PDT

World Apostolate of Fatima Co-Hosting Marian Eucharistic Conference
April 28, 2014 - 4:31 PDT

Veritas Conference Champions Authentic Religious Freedom
Franciscan University of Steubenville
April 26, 2014 - 10:18 PDT

Walsh University Hosts Spring Commencement Ceremony, Sunday, May 4 Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love to Keyn
Walsh University
April 24, 2014 - 9:38 PDT

Media Advisory - Messenger of the Truth documentary to air in San Francisco
April 24, 2014 - 7:22 PDT

Media Advisory - Messenger of the Truth documentary to air throughout South Carolina
April 24, 2014 - 7:19 PDT

Franciscan University Solidifies Ties With Historic Landmark- Kartause Maria Thronus Iesu
Franciscan University of Steubenville
April 23, 2014 - 7:26 PDT

FOUR PAULINE BOOKS & MEDIA TITLES AMONG ACP AWARD FINALISTS
Pauline Books & Media
April 22, 2014 - 2:14 PDT

Picking Up Where John Paul II Left Off
Saint Luke Productions
April 22, 2014 - 11:12 PDT

Concert Series Concludes with Let's Sing!
April 22, 2014 - 6:14 PDT

Saint Faustina Drama Comes to Historic Baltimore Church
April 21, 2014 - 7:18 PDT

Massive Online Open Seminar on Women Deacons June 9-July 8, 2014
Hofstra University
April 20, 2014 - 8:27 PDT

Irish Indie Chart Topper for Good Friday 2014
One By One Ministries
April 17, 2014 - 3:06 PDT

Dr. Ben Carson Praises Vitae's 'Compassionate' Efforts
Vitae Foundation
April 17, 2014 - 1:28 PDT

Akron General Hosptial namesWalsh University Student is 2014 Outstanding Student Nurse of the Year
Walsh University
April 17, 2014 - 6:58 PDT

'Life as a Sister'--A Unique Website Goes Live
Sisters of Bon Secours
April 16, 2014 - 1:21 PDT

The CatholicTV Network to Provide Canonization Coverage
The CatholicTV Network
April 16, 2014 - 8:18 PDT

Media Advisory - Messenger of the Truth documentary to air in Montana
April 15, 2014 - 10:47 PDT

Media Advisory - Messenger of the Truth documentary to air in South Dakota
April 15, 2014 - 10:45 PDT

Media Advisory - Messenger of the Truth documentary to air in Oklahoma
April 15, 2014 - 10:44 PDT

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Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:9-14
9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen to me, Yahweh, answer me, for I am poor and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:27-32
27 When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 13th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine de Ricci
February 13: St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her ... Read More