LATROBE, PA – The Saint Vincent Center for Catholic Thought and Culture recently hosted a faculty seminar entitled “Our Benedictine Heritage,” which examined monasticism, the Benedictine heritage and the place of Saint Vincent College within that heritage.
Twenty-two Saint Vincent College faculty and staff members attended the three-day seminar at the Fred M. Rogers Center, led by Fr. Thomas M. Hart, O.S.B., assistant to the president for mission, and Dr. Jerome Foss, associate professor of politics and director of the Saint Vincent Center for Catholic Thought and Culture.
“While most faculty members have attended our seminar on The Catholic Intellectual Tradition,” said Fr. Thomas, “the time seemed right to have a seminar which amplifies Benedictine history and its role in education and culture through the centuries, down to our present task of preparing young men and women for a successful and happy life.”
Attendees were given a reading packet and several books to guide their conversation, while they were also treated to presentations by a leading Saint Vincent historian and a number of Benedictine monks.
Fr. Thomas said, “As one participant put it, ‘It was enlightening and enriching.’ And another, ‘I have been on the faculty for almost 20 years and there were so many wonderful things about Saint Vincent and the monastic approach to education in general that I was totally unaware of.’”
Foss agreed, saying, “Faculty have unanimously reported that they learned a great deal from the experience and that they now have a deeper appreciation for the history of the Benedictine order.”
The readings discussed by the group included some of the most influential books on the history and development of monasticism, including “The Rule of Saint Benedict,” “The Life of Antony” by Saint Athanasius and “The Life of Benedict” by Saint Gregory.
A highlight of the three-day seminar was a presentation on Saint Vincent Archabbey and College founder Archabbot Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B., by noted historian Dr. Jerome Oetgen. Oetgen is the author of Wimmer’s definitive biography “An American Abbot: Boniface Wimmer,” as well as “Mission to America: A History of Saint Vincent Archabbey, the First Benedictine Monastery in the United States.”
Other presenters included Br. Bruno Heisey, O.S.B., on Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman’s “The Mission of Saint Benedict” and “Benedictine Schools;” Br. George DeFazio, O.S.B., on the history of Saint Vincent; and Fr. Cyprian Constantine, O.S.B., on Gregorian chants.
PHOTO: Fr. Thomas Hart, O.S.B., leads discussion at the “Our Benedictine Tradition” faculty and staff seminar in the Fred M. Rogers Center on the Saint Vincent campus.
YouTube: Saint Vincent College