Dominicans to mark 800 years with Aquinas symposium

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Dominican Br Matthew Boland OP (right) on 7 July, the day of his ordination to the diaconate. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli
Dominican Br Matthew Boland OP (right) on 7 July, the day of his ordination to the diaconate. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

On the cusp of the 2016 Academic year, the Dominicans in Sydney will celebrate their 800-year Jubilee with a two-day symposium on the Broadway campus of the University of Notre Dame, Broadway on the wisdom of St Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of Catholic education, universities and students.
The symposium – on 20-21 February – will feature some of the most creative and inquiring minds in the Church, internationally and locally, with Scottish philosopher John Haldane joining Melbourne bishop and liturgical expert, Bishop Peter Elliott, and New Zealand’s award-winning liturgical musician Robert Loretz, among others.
Dominican vocations promoter and organiser Fr Thomas Azzi said the symposium would celebrate a teacher and saint who made an unparalleled contribution to theology in the life of the Church.
“One of the greatest gifts of the Dominican Order to the Church, the wisdom of St Thomas Aquinas has shaped the teachings of a many a saint after him,” Fr Azzi told the Catholic Weekly.
“Praised by numerous popes including the late Pope John Paul II as the model for philosophical and theological learning, St Thomas Aquinas has been bestowed the title of “Common Doctor” by the Church meaning that his teaching is so sublime and encompassing as to make him the doctor not merely of one area of theology, but of every area and indeed of all theology.”
Bishop Peter Elliott, auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne and director of the JPII Institute for Marriage and the Family in Melbourne, will present a paper on Aquinas’ contribution to the Church’s teaching on marriage, a topic that will dominate public discussion over the next few years given the planned plebiscite on “same-sex marriage” in Australia. A presentation will also be given by a renowned philosopher and Vatican adviser, Prof John Haldane, on Aquinas and contemporary philosophy.
A musical lecture on the importance of getting parish music right will be given by Robert Loretz, New Zealand’s Most Inspirational Teacher for 2011, who combines his passion for music with religious education.
Other presenters include Dr Christine Wood (director of Evangelisation for the archdiocese of Hobart), Prof Hayden Ramsay (senior deputy vice chancellor for Notre Dame University Australia), Andrew Wood (director of the St John Centre for Biblical Studies) and Fr Mannes Tellis OP (Chaplain to the University of Sydney).
The symposium will be opened and closed by the Provincial of the Australasian Dominican Province, Fr Kevin Saunders OP.
With Mass on both days, lunch, and a trivia competition, the symposium will provide an opportunity to meet and celebrate with the Dominican Friars of Sydney and the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia.
Bookings can be made through trybooking.com/JQWA (early bird offers end 3 February).

For more information, contact Fr Thomas Azzi OP on 0411 602 474 or email: [email protected]