Dean's Corner

Ad Extra - Vol. 2, n.1: September 2012

Dean's Corner

September 2012

by C. J. Renz, OP

They're here!

Hoping to make the world a little bit smaller and our community a lot richer, DSPT is happy to welcome friars from the Province of Poland. Beginning this Fall, two student brothers will join us for a year of academic study. In Spring 2013, Fr. Marcin Lisak, OP will join us as a visiting scholar and will teach a course (more on that next semester). As part of this exchange, Fr. Mike Fones, OP, Master of Students for the Western Dominican Province, and two of our own students traveled to the Province of Poland for a workshop (see the September Ad Extrafor details). Please offer a special welcome to Brs. Mark and Greg when you see them.

DSPT Professor and Students in Poland for Preaching Workshop 2012

L to r: Br. Marek (Mark) Rozplochowski, Fr. Mike Fones (Master of Students, and DSPT Adjunct Faculty), Br. Brad Elliott, Br. Kevin Andrew, and Br. Grzegorz (Greg) Kuras.

Faculty Updates

Fr. Joe Boenzi, SDB, will on sabbatical for Fall 2012.

CONGRATULATIONS to Fr. Michael Dodds, OP, whose book, Unlocking Divine Action: Contemporary Science and Thomas Aquinas dodds, was just published by The Catholic University of America Press.

Fr. Michael attended the Catholic Theological Society of America Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, this past June, and responded to two papers in the “Theology and Science Topic Session.” The papers, by Terrence Ehrman, C.S.C., and Marian Maskulak, C.P.S., explored aspects of the question of the relationship between body and soul in human beings. In his response, Fr. Michael compared body/soul discussions to tightrope walking-- with the ever-present danger of falling off into materialism on one side or dualism on the other. He noted that both talks found sure footing on the hylomorphic theory, especially as they intertwined it with contemporary philosophy and science. In closing, he asked whether mind/brain or soul/body questions might not themselves exceed the limits of empirical science and expressed his gratitude to DSPT student David Basile for the suggestion that the "delicate empiricism (zarte Empirie)" of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe might be useful here. A summary of his remarks dspt may be found in Catholic Theological Society of America Proceedings, 67/2012: 113-114.

Fr. Mike Fones, OP, traveled this summer with two student friars, Br. Kevin Andrew and Br. Bradley Elliott to Krakow, Poland. They spent a week at a preaching camp in Korbielow, a small town in the mountains south of Krakow where the Polish Dominicans operate a retreat center and staff a small parish. The preaching camp was led by Fr. Jacek Buda, OP, a Polish friar working at the University of Arizona Newman Center, and Fr. Peter John Cameron, OP, editor of Magnificat magazine and author of the book, Why Preach? It was a wonderful discussion of Pope Benedict's Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini and how it might challenge the way we preach. Imagine six Dominican priests (two Americans and four Poles) and six student friars (two Americans, two Poles and two Irish) talking about preaching, scripture, prayer, literature, communication and evangelization for seven days! There were excursions to local pubs, hikes in the mountains, and a visit to a local Marian shrine staffed by two intrepid Polish Dominicans who enjoy electricity from a generator a few hours each week.

After the camp, the two Polish brothers, Br. Marek Rozp³ochowski, OP and Br. Grzegorz Kuraœ, OP, became tour guides for the Americans. Kraków, Czestochowa, Auschwitz, Warsaw, the Shrine of Divine Mercy and seemingly innumerable churches were some of the places we explored. A few good Polish beers were also enjoyed along the way!

Sr. Barbara Green, OP, is on sabbatical for Fall 2012. From September 12-26, 2012, she will be lecturing on the Bible and Spirituality to graduate students at the University of the Free State in South Africa, and will also give two public lectures: "What Michal Wants: Interpreting an Enigmatic Character," and "Why Is Jonah Angry?"

Fr. Bryan Kromholtz, OP, as Regent of Studies of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus (Western USA), hosted a meeting of all the Regents of Studies of the five provinces of Dominican Friars in the USA and Canada, from July 3rd through 5th, at St. Albert Priory (Oakland). The Regent of Studies for a Province oversees its life of study of all the friars in the Province. Each regional grouping of Regents is scheduled to meet every three years (there are five regions in the world). The purpose of such meetings is to evaluate the needs and resources for our intellectual apostolates, to suggest regional strategies for collaboration, and to offer input to the Order's Commission for the Promotion of Studies (on which Fr. Bryan serves). The participants included Fr. Bryan as Coordinator of the Region; Fr. Michel Gourgues, St. Dominic Province (Canada); Fr. Thomas McDermott, St. Albert the Great Province (Central USA); Mark Wedig, St. Martin de Porres Province (Southern USA); and Fr. Paul Keller, Promoter for Continuing Education of St. Joseph Province (Eastern USA), representing its Regent, Fr. Joseph Torchia. The participants were pleased with the chance to take advantage of the regional and international ties that are present in the Dominican Order.

Fr. Hilary Martin, OP, attended “Yves Congar and Vatican II,” this summer, sponsored by the Catholic Institute of Sydney (Australia). You can read more about the conference in his summary article.

Fr. Michael Morris, OP, will have many of the biblical movie posters (from the Old Testament) from his collection featured at The Jewish Museum of Australia (Melbourne) in a show called “EPIC! 100 years of film & the BibleDSPT which will run from August 30, 2012 to February 3, 2013.

Fr. Augustine Thompson, OP, attended the annual meeting of the Medieval Academy of America this past March 2012 at St Louis University, where he chaired the session “Branding Friars: New Perspectives on Mendicant Identity in Medieval Church.” Papers focused on the identity of mendicant orders both as presented by the orders themselves as well as from their critics.

Marga Vega, PhD, attended the annual meeting of the Pacific Region of the American Aesthetics Association. Among the speakers were Robert Stecker, Stephen Davies, Peter Kivy, James Hamilton and David Davies, who discussed topics relating to art and science, ethics and aesthetics, and film and literature.