Allan Carlson: The Natural Family in the Post-Modern (and Much More Real) World

Allan Carlson, International Secretary of the World Congress on Families, delivers his talk entitled “The Natural Family in the Post-Modern (and Much More Real) World”. Mr. Carlson’s talk was part of the Challenging the Secular Culture Conference, sponsored by the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

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Dr. Patrick Fagan — Marriage and Family

Dr. Patrick Fagan, Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, discusses the importance of marriage and family to any society.

When the Government Takes Your Children

Many people who have followed the Justina Pelletier case—largely ignored by the mainstream media, by the way—have thought that there has to be more to it, or that it’s an outrageous out-of-the-ordinary affair. This is the case where the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families forcibly took custody from her parents over a year ago of a teenager who had been treated for years for mitochondrial disease (a genetic disorder), when they brought her to Boston Children’s Hospital for consultation about a related gastrointestinal problem and resisted a quickly-made diagnosis by a medical resident and a psychologist there that she instead had a mental problem. Justina has been confined to Children’s Hospital for over a year and then DCF assigned her to a group home and then foster care and a juvenile judge awarded the agency custody of her until she turns eighteen. Justina has written that she feels like a prisoner and she has been denied both schooling and the opportunity to attend Mass or receive Holy Communion—all this, while the hospital and DCF claim they’re “helping” her. Her parents’ have engaged in a protracted legal battle with DCF and now their attorneys have filed a habeas corpus action.

Read more at Crisis Magazine

Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons — Healthy, Holy Fathers

Join Host Michael Hernon, panelists Dr. Regis Martin and Dr. Scott Hahn, and special guest Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, Director of the Institute for Marital Healing, as they address the current crisis of fatherhood in our society: what factors are contributing to this problem and what can men do to buck the trend?

HANDOUT: Get Dr. Fitzgibbons’ handout for this episode.

Dr. Patrick Fagan — The Two Models of Society

Dr. Patrick Fagan, Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, contrasts a Christian Model of Society with a Planned Parenthood model of society.

This is an excerpt from the talk Dr. Fagan gave at Franciscan University of Steubenville on February 19, 2013. His talk, “The Vocation of Marriage and its Contribution to Society,” was part of the Distinguished Speakers Series.

Watch the full talk here: The Vocation of Marriage and its Contribution to Society

Dr. Patrick Fagan — The Foundational Relationship for All of Society

Dr. Patrick Fagan, Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, presents convincing data that the strength of a society depends on the strength of its marriages.

This is an excerpt from the talk Dr. Fagan gave at Franciscan University of Steubenville on February 19, 2013. His talk, “The Vocation of Marriage and its Contribution to Society,” was part of the Distinguished Speakers Series.

Watch the full talk here: The Vocation of Marriage and its Contribution to Society

Dr. Patrick Fagan — The Vocation of Marriage and its Contribution to Society

Dr. Patrick Fagan, Director of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, speaks to Franciscan University students on the role that marriage plays in society.

Dr. Fagan gave this talk at Franciscan University of Steubenville on February 19, 2013, as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series.

The Ethical Use of Supervision to Facilitate the Integration of Spirituality in Social Work Practice

By Dr. Jerry Jo Gilham, Associate Professor of Social Work at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

This article appears in Social Work and Christianity, vol. 39, no. 3 (Fall 2012).

Since the 1980s, the social work profession has experienced a renewed interest in spirituality and religion (Canda & Furman, 1999). The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics mandates that social workers obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of diversity and oppression with respect to religion (NASW, 2008). Current Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) standards require schools of social work to demonstrate their commitment to diversity throughout their curriculum. Furthermore, graduates must demonstrate competence in engaging diversity and difference in practice (CSWE, 2008).

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Franz Wright — Elderly Couple

Pulitzer prize-winning poet Franz Wright reflects on an elderly couple and the end of life in his poem titled “Elderly Couple.” Wright was on campus to read his poetry on September 13, 2012, as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Watch the full talk here: A Poetic Human Experience.

God Loves Marriage and Children: The 27th Week of Ordinary Time

The Readings for this Sunday provide the homilist with an ideal opportunity to teach Christian doctrine concerning marriage and children.  The opportunity is timely, too, as one of our political parties has taken an official stand supporting “same-sex marriage,” an arrangement that is not intrinsically related to the birth and rearing of children, does not provide the same benefit to society as true marriage, and can never be as optimal for the well-being of children as to be raised by their own biological father and mother.  In the midst of the confusion about the very nature of marriage and its purpose, these Readings shed the light of God’s revelation on how we should live this most intimate aspect of our lives.

What God Has Joined: Reflections on the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel, the Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a trick question.

Papal Teachings on the Family, the State, and the Social Question: A Summary

A chapter on Papal social teaching from Dr. Krason’s 2009 book, The Public Order and the Sacred Order: Contemporary Issues, Catholic Social Thought, and the Western and American Traditions.

This chapter summarizes the main elements of Catholic social teaching, as derived primarily from the papal social encyclicals. These elements provide one of the main criteria by which we go on to approach and evaluate the different public questions we take up later in this book. The elements fall basically into five categories: the family, the obligations owed to human life, the role of the state, the “social question” (involving the moral issues concerning economic activity and the relationship between capital and labor and the taking care of the welfare of the needy), and the “international question” (relations among nations, war and peace, and human rights). The limits of this chapter do not permit a detailed examination of all the social encyclicals. Instead, the major ones of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries⎯-from the time of the earliest social encyclicals in the latter half of the nineteenth century⎯-are focused on. The summarization of the social teachings, then, will come mostly from the following encyclicals: Rerum Novarum (The Condition of Labor) (1891), Quadragesimo Anno (Reconstructing the Social Order) (1931), Divini Redemptoris (Atheistic Communism) (1937), Mater et Magistra (Christianity and Social Progress) (1961), Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) (1963), Populorum Progressio (On the Development of Peoples) (1967), Laborem Exercens (On Human Work) (1981), Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (The Social Concern of the Church) (1987), and Centesimus Annus (The Hundredth Year) (1991). Other Church documents, encyclicals, and secondary source materials will also be referred to at different points in the summary.

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Jeff Cavins — “Offer it Up”: Opportunities to Grow in Holiness

Jeff Cavins, author and creator of EWTN’s Life on the Rock, spoke to Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2011 Applied Biblical Studies Conference “Unveiling the Mystery: The Book of Revelation.”  In this talk, “Redemptive Suffering”, Cavins addresses the problem of pain, speaking from personal experience and the wisdom of the Scriptures, popes, and saints.  He explains the mysterious gift given to Christians: we are permitted to suffer alongside Jesus as a witness and martyr. “What is lacking in the suffering of Jesus?” asks Cavins.  “Nothing.  But you are allowed to participate…Many of us are missing the opportunity for the Passion in our own lives, and it doesn’t become salvific.”

Kimberly Hahn — Parenting Teens and Young Adults with Biblical Wisdom

How can parents raise teens to honor the Lord? How can they support their young adult children as they mature in the faith? These can be daunting prospects in today’s secular culture, but Church teaching and Sacred Scripture provide valuable guidance to parents. Author and homeschooling mom Kimberly Hahn joins Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, and panelists Dr. Regis Martin and Dr. Scott Hahn of Franciscan University’s Theology Department in this discussion on a scriptural approach to parenting.

HANDOUT: Get Kimberly’s handout for this episode.

Cardinal Burke — The Value of a Catholic Education

Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal at the Apostolic Signatura, celebrated the 2011 Baccalaureate mass at Franciscan University of Steubenville.  In his homily, the Cardinal reflects on the conversion of St. Paul, the witness of love presented by St. Francis, and the Holy Spirit dwelling in the hearts of the believers, letting us pour out springs of living water into a thirsting world.  “Our Lord truly continues to meet us in the Church as he met Saul on the road to Damascus, and he gives us a mission in the world,” said the cardinal.  “Through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into our souls by means of the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, and through the healing and strengthening of the grace of the Holy Spirit within us by means of the forgiveness of sins in the sacrament of penance, and the nourishment of the life of the Holy Spirit within our souls with the heavenly food of his true Body, Blood, soul and divinity in the sacrament of the holy Eucharist, our risen Lord, seated in glory at the right hand of the Father, is also truly with us.”

Dr. John Crosby — Primordial Religious Knowledge: What it IS

Dr. John Crosby, professor of philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville, delivered a lecture during the spring 2011 semester on “Newman’s Personalist Way to God Through Conscience” at Franciscan University. It was the fifth in a series of five lectures by Dr. Crosby on “The Christian Personalism of Blessed John Henry Newman.”  In this talk, Dr. Crosby pursues Blessed Cardinal Newman’s discussion of a primordial, existential knowledge of God, “religious knowledge that involves a real apprehension of God.”  He discusses Newman’s distinction between the theological intellect and the religious imagination, compares Freud’s account of conscience with Newman’s, and points towards a synthetic understanding of the human person’s approach to God.

Primordial Religious Knowledge: What it is NOT

Dr. John Crosby, professor of philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville, delivered a lecture during the spring 2011 semester on “Newman’s Personalist Way to God Through Conscience” at Franciscan University. It was the fifth in a series of five lectures by Dr. Crosby on “The Christian Personalism of Blessed John Henry Newman.”  In this talk, Dr. Crosby pursues Blessed Cardinal Newman’s discussion of a primordial, existential knowledge of God, “religious knowledge that involves a real apprehension of God.”  He discusses Newman’s distinction between the theological intellect and the religious imagination, compares Freud’s account of conscience with Newman’s, and points towards a synthetic understanding of the human person’s approach to God.

Informal Inference: Where Reason Meets Personhood

Dr. John Crosby, professor of philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville, delivered a lecture during the spring 2011 semester on “Newman on the Personal Exercise of Reason” at Franciscan University. It was the fourth in a series of five lectures by Dr. Crosby on “The Christian Personalism of Blessed John Henry Newman.”  In this lecture, Dr. Crosby discusses Newman’s distinction between formal and informal logic, between narrowly defined terms inserted into nearly mathematical syllogisms and encountering truth in the full organic complexity of thought and reality.

The Relationship Between Reason and Historical Facts

Dr. John Crosby, professor of philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville, delivered a lecture during the spring 2011 semester on “Newman on the Personal Exercise of Reason” at Franciscan University. It was the fourth in a series of five lectures by Dr. Crosby on “The Christian Personalism of Blessed John Henry Newman.”  In this lecture, Dr. Crosby discusses Newman’s distinction between formal and informal logic, between narrowly defined terms inserted into nearly mathematical syllogisms and encountering truth in the full organic complexity of thought and reality.

Personal Encounter with God

Dr. John Crosby, professor of philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville, delivered a lecture during the spring 2011 semester on “The Human Person as a World of His Own” at Franciscan University. It was the second in a series of five lectures by Dr. Crosby on “The Christian Personalism of Blessed John Henry Newman.”  In this lecture, Dr. Crosby discusses Newman’s understanding of the human person.  Citing a “really memorable expression of Newman’s,” Crosby says, “[The human person] has a depth within him unfathomable, an infinite abyss of existence, and the social scene in which he bears part is but for the moment, like a gleam of sunshine upon its surface…Newman proceeds to say that only in relation with God can all the affections of which we are capable awaken, even though this encounter with God is in the darkness of faith…if we only lived in relation to finite beings, we would never know how vast our heart is, nor suspect the infinite abyss of existence in it.”  We come to discover in ourselves a capax dei, a capacity for God, and so an infinity in our hearts.

The Human Person Before God

Dr. John Crosby, professor of philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville, delivered a lecture during the spring 2011 semester on “The Human Person as a World of His Own” at Franciscan University. It was the second in a series of five lectures by Dr. Crosby on “The Christian Personalism of Blessed John Henry Newman.”  In this lecture, Dr. Crosby discusses Newman’s understanding of the human person.  Citing a “really memorable expression of Newman’s,” Crosby says, “[The human person] has a depth within him unfathomable, an infinite abyss of existence, and the social scene in which he bears part is but for the moment, like a gleam of sunshine upon its surface…Newman proceeds to say that only in relation with God can all the affections of which we are capable awaken, even though this encounter with God is in the darkness of faith…if we only lived in relation to finite beings, we would never know how vast our heart is, nor suspect the infinite abyss of existence in it.”  We come to discover in ourselves a capax dei, a capacity for God, and so an infinity in our hearts.

It’s Personal: The Difference Between Notional and Real Apprehension

Dr. John Crosby, professor of philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville, delivered a lecture during the spring 2011 semester on “Personalist Spirit of Newman’s Thought” at Franciscan University. It was the first in a series of five lectures by Dr. Crosby on “The Christian Personalism of Blessed John Henry Newman.”  In this inaugural lecture, Dr. Crosby identifies the major markers of the personalist school of thought and situates Blessed Newman in the personalist philosophical tradition.  “[Newman] engages us personally by his special gift of awakening in us real apprehension,” said Dr. Crosby, a real apprehension which “touched to life” the truths of the faith in the minds and hearts of his hearers once again.

Conforming to Christ in a Noisy World

Jeff Cavins, author and creator of EWTN’s Life on the Rock, spoke to Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2010 Defending the Faith Conference “Be Transformed by the Renewal of Your Mind.”   In this talk, “Walk With Eternity on Your Mind: How to Think and Live Differently”, he calls on all faithful Catholics to live in light of their eternal destination and always evangelize.  “Every person I meet is searching,” he said.  “They might act confident, they might act like they have it together, and their wallet might be bulging, but I know that inside, they’re searching.”  He described the modern sense of confusion without any overarching context for all the news and information that pours in every day and pointed to salvation history as a way to make sense of this overwhelming modern world.

There are 3 Types of Success, But Only One Matters

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household, received an honorary doctorate at Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2011 Undergraduate Commencement.  Father Cantalamessa calls the graduating class of 2011 on to true greatness: holiness.  He explains that the opposite of sanctity is not sin, but failure to reach for sanctity, pointing out that the saints have all transformed the world by first permitting God to transform them.  “Only with Jesus is there real joy in life.”

Happiness

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household, received an honorary doctorate at Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2011 Undergraduate Commencement.  Father Cantalamessa calls the graduating class of 2011 on to true greatness: holiness.  He explains that the opposite of sanctity is not sin, but failure to reach for sanctity, pointing out that the saints have all transformed the world by first permitting God to transform them.  “Only with Jesus is there real joy in life.”

Dr. John Bergsma — Young Adult Life

Dr. John Bergsma, biblical scholar and theologian at Franciscan University of Steubenville, shared his testimony at Franciscan University’s 2009 Defending the Faith Conference “Reasons for Hope.”  Dr. Bergsma speaks of his experience of God’s grace acting in his life to produce a true converso, a turning-around from Calvinism to the fullness of the faith in Catholicism.  “What I’m here to tell you about today is God grasping me and flipping me around,” said Bergsma, “to reveal a Catholicism that in a sense was always there, but I didn’t know it till it was revealed.”  In a journey that includes his father’s friendship with Cardinal John O’Connor, his parents’ openness to life, and encounters with the fidelity of Catholic priests, Dr. Bergsma gives a highly personal and remarkably powerful witness to the love of God and the grace mediated through God’s faithful servants.

PODCAST: Download a podcast of the full talk here.

Living Chastity in Today’s World

Kimberly Hahn, popular speaker and author of many books, gave the closing keynote talk entitled “Knowing God’s Will, Transforming Your Mind” at Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2010 Defending the Faith Conference “Be Transformed by the Renewal of Your Mind.”  In her talk, Kimberly exhorted the audience to embrace the path to holiness and give themselves entirely over to Jesus Christ.  “What has Jesus withheld from you?  Nothing,” she said.  “And he asks the same in return.  We are to give all of ourselves to him…Don’t be conformed to this world.  We don’t even know the ways we are conformed to this world!  We don’t even know the ways in which we are influenced!…How do we even begin to change the way we think if we are immersed in our own culture?  That comes from the transformation of our minds.”

PODCAST: Download a podcast of the full talk here.

Dr. Scott Hahn — Blasphemy with Breakfast

Dr. Scott Hahn, the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, speaks on “Abba or Allah: The Difference it Makes” at Franciscan University’s 2011 Defending the Faith Conference, “Ambassadors for Christ.” “For the last quarter of a century,” said Dr. Hahn, “I have shared a conviction with a growing number of people that Islam really does represent the single greatest force of the third millennium and also the single greatest challenge and threat to Christianity worldwide.”  Dr. Hahn explains the very different conceptions of God in Islam (as Allah, Master) and in Christianity (as Abba, Father) and their consequences for life, religion, and interreligious encounters.  “There’s a profound difference between slavery and sonship,” Hahn declared.  “Until the sons of God outserve the slaves of God, Christianity is going to continue to dissolve.”

PODCAST: Download a podcast of the full talk here.

Dr. Scott Hahn — Slaves and Sons

Dr. Scott Hahn, the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, speaks on “Abba or Allah: The Difference it Makes” at Franciscan University’s 2011 Defending the Faith Conference, “Ambassadors for Christ.” “For the last quarter of a century,” said Dr. Hahn, “I have shared a conviction with a growing number of people that Islam really does represent the single greatest force of the third millennium and also the single greatest challenge and threat to Christianity worldwide.”  Dr. Hahn explains the very different conceptions of God in Islam (as Allah, Master) and in Christianity (as Abba, Father) and their consequences for life, religion, and interreligious encounters.  “There’s a profound difference between slavery and sonship,” Hahn declared.  “Until the sons of God outserve the slaves of God, Christianity is going to continue to dissolve.”

PODCAST: Download a podcast of the full talk here.

Master’s Program Commencement Address

Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebraska) MA ‘96 received an honorary doctorate from Franciscan University at the 2011 commencement for graduate students.  In his address, he exhorts the graduate students to use their education for the betterment of their community and nation.  “Politics is downstream from the culture,” said Rep. Fortenberry, and the culture of death erodes our country since “the strength of a nation depends upon the strength of the family….Where do you want to live?  What sort of community do you want to live in?  Pray for that place, work for that place, fight for that place.”

PODCAST: Download the podcast of this talk here.

Government Comes from Culture, Not Culture from Government

Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebraska) MA ‘96 received an honorary doctorate from Franciscan University at the 2011 commencement for graduate students.  In his address, he exhorts the graduate students to use their education for the betterment of their community and nation.  “Politics is downstream from the culture,” said Rep. Fortenberry, and the culture of death erodes our country since “the strength of a nation depends upon the strength of the family….Where do you want to live?  What sort of community do you want to live in?  Pray for that place, work for that place, fight for that place.”

Watch the full talk here: Master’s Program Commencement Address.

Personal Spiritual Journey

Dion “The Wanderer” DiMucci, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and creator of such classic hits as “The Wanderer”, and “Runaround Sue,” delivered his testimony of faith at Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2011 Defending the Faith Conference.  He talks about the long road from early, immense success as a singer/songwriter to his descent into a hell of drug addiction.  Then his wife went for help.  Now, after over 40 years of sobriety, Dion knows and loves the Catholic faith of his childhood, thanking Jesus for his miraculous recovery.  “Millions of people hate the Catholic Church, but they don’t really know what it teaches,” said DiMucci, author of Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth. “I didn’t know. I had no idea how beautiful it was. It’s so different standing in the center of it, looking out than being on the outside cursing it and kicking at it and yelling at it. I thought I was so smart! I was in this meeting once, and I said, ‘I was anti-Catholic,’ and this one guy says, ‘Ooh! I was never that smart!’…I walked right into the confessional,” DiMucci continued, “and Father Joe was there, and I’m so used to the 12-step way of looking people in the eye that I just walked in. I said, ‘Father, do you know, I thought I loved the Lord—I do love the Lord. I’ve been anti-Catholic and really in rebellion with the Body of Christ,’ and he’s like, ‘Ah, thank God. Stand up kid.’ He gives me a hug and says, ‘Welcome home!'”  He shares his journey (and a little taste of his music) with his brothers and sisters in Christ.

Early Career and Married Life

Dion “The Wanderer” DiMucci, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and creator of such classic hits as “The Wanderer”, and “Runaround Sue,” delivered his testimony at Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2011 Defending the Faith Conference “Ambassadors for Christ.”  He talks about the long road from early, immense success as a singer/songwriter to his descent into a hell of drug addiction.  Then his wife went for help.  Now, after over 40 years of sobriety, Dion knows and loves the Catholic faith of his childhood, thanking Jesus for his miraculous recovery.  “Millions of people hate the Catholic Church, but they don’t really know what it teaches,” said DiMucci, author of Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth. “I didn’t know. I had no idea how beautiful it was. It’s so different standing in the center of it, looking out than being on the outside cursing it and kicking at it and yelling at it. I thought I was so smart! I was in this meeting once, and I said, ‘I was anti-Catholic,’ and this one guy says, ‘Ooh! I was never that smart!’…I walked right into the confessional,” DiMucci continued, “and Father Joe was there, and I’m so used to the 12-step way of looking people in the eye that I just walked in. I said, ‘Father, do you know, I thought I loved the Lord—I do love the Lord. I’ve been anti-Catholic and really in rebellion with the Body of Christ,’ and he’s like, ‘Ah, thank God. Stand up kid.’ He gives me a hug and says, ‘Welcome home!'”  He shares his journey (and a little taste of his music) with his brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Varied Legacy of John Paul II

George Weigel, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author of the two-part biography of Blessed John Paul II Witness to Hope and The End and the Beginning, spoke on “The Achievement of John Paul II–A Retrospective” at Franciscan University of Steubenville as part of the Distinguished Speaker series in spring semester 2011.  In this talk, Weigel examines the massive legacy of Pope John Paul II and highlights ten major contributions made by the late Holy Father to the Church and to the world.  “The papacy was not a role John Paul II sought,” said Weigel, “but it is a role he fulfilled in a striking way for 26 and a half years and fulfilled as a continuation, as an expression of the defining commitment of his life, which was to be a Christian disciple.”

Dr. Scott Hahn — Faith and Hope are Distinct

Dr. Scott Hahn, the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, spoke to Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2010 Defending the Faith Conference “Be Transformed by the Renewal of Your Mind.”  In his talk, “Should Catholics Have Assurance of Salvation?”, he explains the distinction between the belief that “once saved, always saved,” and the Catholic belief that followers of Christ may have the “assurance of hope.”  “Despair is like an act of spiritual suicide,” explained Hahn.  “You are never beyond the saving reach of God’s all-powerful mercy.  His love and his capacity to save us is always greater than our capacity to sin, if only we turn and repent.”

Some Notes on Mozart’s Requiem

Maestro Manfred Honeck, music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, gave the 2011 John Paul the Great Fine Arts lecture at Franciscan University of Steubenville, “The Courage to Pray.”  In this well-received lecture, he spoke of his work with the Orchestra, his marriage and family life, and the intersection of faith and culture.  “I try to communicate my faith and what it means to me through the music I conduct,” he said.   “My relationship with God is the same as my relationship with a close friend. If you want to have a close relationship with a friend, then you call them, every day.  The more you speak with your friend, the more you know them.  It is the same with God…If you break the connection between yourself and God, you will lose your values.”  Honeck often encounters surprise that he has time to pray amidst the demands of his career, but said he tells people, “I clean my teeth every day, so why not my soul?”

Do you want to go to heaven?

Maestro Manfred Honeck, music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, gave the 2011 John Paul the Great Fine Arts lecture at Franciscan University of Steubenville.  In this well-received lecture, “The Courage to Pray”,  he spoke of his work with the Orchestra, his marriage and family life, and the intersection of faith and culture.  “I try to communicate my faith and what it means to me through the music I conduct,” he said.   “My relationship with God is the same as my relationship with a close friend. If you want to have a close relationship with a friend, then you call them, every day.  The more you speak with your friend, the more you know them.  It is the same with God…If you break the connection between yo0urself and God, you will lose your values.”  Honeck often encounters surprise that he has time to pray amidst the demands of his career, but said he tells people, “I clean my teeth every day, so why not my soul?”

How Re-Defining Marriage Harms Society

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, spoke at Franciscan University of Steubenville as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series. In her talk, Same-Sex Marriage: Why Not?”,  she explained that “Children are ordinarily entitled to a relationship with both of their parents… This is justice for the child.  And every child has a legitimate interest in the stability of their parents’ union…The stability of the parents’ union is the ordinary way for the child to have a relationship with both of them.”  Said Dr. Morse, “Marriage is adult society’s proactive way of protecting the legitimate interests of children, interests which children cannot protect on their own.”

The Essential Public Purpose of Marriage

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, spoke at Franciscan University of Steubenville as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series. In her talk, “Same-Sex Marriage: Why Not?”, she explained that “Children are ordinarily entitled to a relationship with both of their parents… This is justice for the child.  And every child has a legitimate interest in the stability of their parents’ union…The stability of the parents’ union is the ordinary way for the child to have a relationship with both of them.”  Said Dr. Morse, “Marriage is adult society’s proactive way of protecting the legitimate interests of children, interests which children cannot protect on their own.”

First Comes Love: The Family Spirit (appendix)

Those interested in what Dr. Hahn has written about the Holy Spirit may read an online version of the revised and expanded chapter from First Comes Love (pp.152-174), including Sources and References (pp. 201-213).

The Church is our mother, and for that we should rejoice. Moreover, Jesus Christ has given us His own mother, Mary, to be our mother, too. Praise God for that—because if He has given us His mother as our own, He will surely deny us nothing! It almost seems an understatement to say He has not left us orphans. His gifts surely surpass all of mankind’s expectations for salvation.

Yet there is something penultimate in these gifts of motherhood. Great as they are, they point to a still greater gift that our Lord wants to give us.  Like all the good things of creation and the people and events in the Bible, these instance of holy motherhood are real, and we experience them powerfully, but God intended them to direct us to something still greater, something more real, something heavenly, eternal, and divine.  God intends for us to contemplate the biblical types and other creaturely images until we arrive at their uncreated origons. That, after all, is what creation is for, and that’s what revelation is for. It’s also what motherhood is for.

Read more at SalvationHistory.com, reprinted with the kind permission of Doubleday Random House.

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry — Master’s Program Commencement Address

Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebraska) MA ‘96 received an honorary doctorate from Franciscan University at the 2011 commencement for graduate students.  In his address, he exhorts the graduate students to use their education for the betterment of their community and nation.  “Politics is downstream from the culture,” said Rep. Fortenberry, and the culture of death erodes our country since “the strength of a nation depends upon the strength of the family….Where do you want to live?  What sort of community do you want to live in?  Pray for that place, work for that place, fight for that place.”

VIDEO: Watch the video of this talk here.

The Reconstitution of the Papacy

George Weigel, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author of the two part biography of Blessed John Paul II Witness to Hope and The End and the Beginning, spoke at Franciscan University of Steubenville as part of the Distinguished Speaker series in spring semester 2011.  In this talk, ” The Achievement of John Paul II–A Retrospective”,  Weigel examines the massive legacy of Pope John Paul II and highlights ten major contributions made by the late Holy Father to the Church and to the world.  “The papacy was not a role John Paul II sought,” said Weigel, “but it is a role he fulfilled in a striking way for 26 and a half years and fulfilled as a continuation, as an expression of the defining commitment of his life, which was to be a Christian disciple.”

Dr. Scott Hahn — Holding on to Hope

Dr. Scott Hahn, the Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair in Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization, spoke to Franciscan University of Steubenville’s 2010 Defending the Faith Conference “Be Transformed by the Renewal of Your Mind.” In his talk, “Should Catholics Have Assurance of Salvation?”, he explains the distinction between the belief that “once saved, always saved,” and the Catholic belief that followers of Christ may have the “assurance of hope.” “Despair is like an act of spiritual suicide,” explained Hahn. “You are never beyond the saving reach of God’s all-powerful mercy. His love and his capacity to save us is always greater than our capacity to sin, if only we turn and repent.”

Dr. Scott Hahn — Abraham: Father or Master?

Dr. Scott Hahn, the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, speaks on “Abba or Allah: The Difference it Makes” at Franciscan University’s 2011 Defending the Faith Conference, “Ambassadors for Christ.” “For the last quarter of a century,” said Dr. Hahn, “I have shared a conviction with a growing number of people that Islam really does represent the single greatest force of the third millennium and also the single greatest challenge and threat to Christianity worldwide.”  Dr. Hahn explains the very different conceptions of God in Islam (as Allah, Master) and in Christianity (as Abba, Father) and their consequences for life, religion, and interreligious encounters.  “There’s a profound difference between slavery and sonship,” Hahn declared.  “Until the sons of God outserve the slaves of God, Christianity is going to continue to dissolve.”

PODCAST: Download a podcast of the full talk here.

Franciscan University Presents on EWTN