2012 Aquinas Symposium Speaker Announced

Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of
the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, Ind.
(574) 284-4579

January 5, 2012 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—Saint Mary's College is pleased to announce that the Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, is the speaker for the 15th Annual Symposium on St. Thomas Aquinas. The talk, which is open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 26 in the Student Center Lounge. Click for a campus map.

Bishop Rhoades’ lecture is titled “The Contemplation of Truth by Faith and Reason: St. Thomas Aquinas, Blessed John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI”. As the title of his lecture suggests, the Bishop will examine the great synthesis of St. Thomas Aquinas, which has informed Catholic teaching on the compatibility of faith and reason as well as the insights of other great Catholic thinkers, including Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. In the words of Blessed John Paul II, “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.” Bishop Rhoades will reflect on this as he looks at the relationship of faith and reason in the face of contemporary doubt and skepticism concerning ultimate truths.

Bishop Rhoades earned advanced degrees in dogmatic theology and canon law from the Gregorian University in Rome. He later served on the faculty of Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary and taught courses in systematic theology and canon law. In 1997, he was named the rector of Mount Saint Mary’s, a role he fulfilled until Pope John Paul II named him as Bishop of Harrisburg, Penn. in 2004. He left Harrisburg upon his appointment to Fort Wayne-South Bend, and was installed as bishop of our diocese on January 13, 2010, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne.

“We are honored to welcome Bishop Rhoades to Saint Mary’s so that he can participate in the vibrant theological community we have here.  We’re especially pleased that he’ll be speaking with us on the subject of faith and reason, which is integral to the mission of any Catholic college and of crucial importance in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas,” said Joseph Incandela, the Joyce McMahon Hank Aquinas Chair in Catholic Theology at Saint Mary's College. Incandela is also a professor of religious studies and the associate dean of faculty.

The Aquinas Symposium is held each year to honor St. Thomas Aquinas on or around his feast day (January 28) and is sponsored by the Joyce McMahon Hank Aquinas Chair in Catholic Theology. Past speakers include prominent theologian and Catholic evangelist Rev. Robert Barron, whose 2011 lecture “Thomas Aquinas and Why the Atheists are Right” can be found on this website (click on lecture title).

For more information on this year’s event, call Barb Westra, staff assistant in religious studies, at (574) 284-4534.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary’s College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2012 published by U.S.News and World Report. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.