Saint Vincent Center for Catholic Thought and Culture Introduced

by Public Relations | Aug 21, 2019

LATROBE, PA – Saint Vincent College has announced the creation of The Center for Catholic Thought and Culture, an interdisciplinary academic institute that advances the College’s mission. Through campus programs and sponsored research, it will engage today’s intellectual climate through sustained reflection upon the Catholic Intellectual and Benedictine wisdom traditions.

Under the direction of Dr. Jerome Foss, associate professor of politics, the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture will promote scholarship in the areas of theology, philosophy, politics, economics, rhetoric, marriage and family, art and science. The center will offer a variety of formative academic programs for students, faculty and the general public to better inform them of the intellectual rigor of Catholic scholarship and its ability to improve the lives of thoughtful individuals and the health of communities.

In continuing and strengthening the legacy created by the establishment of Saint Vincent as the first Benedictine monastery and college in North America in 1846 by Archabbot Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B., the Center will be guided by four core principles including listening carefully and searching for God; lawful freedom, responsibility and the 10 hallmarks of Benedictine education; intellectual charity and joyful inquiry; and participation in the Catholic Intellectual and Benedictine wisdom tradition.

The Center will offer several exciting opportunities for students, including reading groups, colloquia, lectures and the Saint Vincent College Summer Institute in Rome, a five-week summer program that will allow students to earn 10 academic credits while immersing themselves in the city’s rich culture and history.     

The Center will also now sponsor the College’s popular Benedictine Leadership Studies program as well as the Faith and Reason program for high school students.

Faculty will also be offered a number of opportunities through the new center, as it will sponsor annual seminars, reading groups and other opportunities to discuss the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and its importance to liberal education. The Center seeks to support the scholarly efforts of faculty who are actively pursuing research that particularly engages the College’s mission.

A number of Saint Vincent College faculty and administrators will join Foss in teaching and administrative roles for the Center, including:

  • Fr. Thomas Hart, O.S.B., Saint Vincent assistant to the president for mission, who is the Center’s faculty seminar leader.
  • Dr. Michael Krom, Saint Vincent professor of philosophy and director of the Benedictine Leadership Studies program, who will serve as the Center’s fellow in philosophy.
  • Dr. Catherine Petrany, associate professor of theology, who will serve as a fellow in theology.
  • Fr. Rene Kollar, O.S.B., professor of history who will serve as the Boniface Wimmer Chair in monastic studies.
  • Dr. Melinda Farrington, assistant professor of communication, who will serve as a fellow in rhetoric.
  • Dr. John Smetanka, vice president for academic affairs and academic dean, who will serve a fellow in science and religion.
  • Dr. Jennifer White, assistant professor of mathematics, who will serve as a fellow in logic.
  • Samantha Firestone, assistant to the vice president for student affairs and dean of students, who will serve as coordinator of both the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture and the Benedictine Leadership Studies program.

For more information on The Saint Vincent Center for Catholic Thought and Culture, visit its official website at or contact Foss at



Twitter: @MySaintVincent
Saint Vincent College 





Upcoming Events More