Course Descriptions

Early Christian Treasures

Instructor: Fr. Edward P. Pepka, Ph.D.

Text: Various, including Early Christian Fathers, edited by Cyril Richardson

This is a continuing series on the early Church, held on the third Saturday of each month.  Participants can attend at any time, please check calendar for specific dates and times. 

Religious Liberty: A Catholic Understanding of Politics and Economics

Instructor: Nicholas J. Cammarota, Esq.

Texts: 10 Books that Screwed Up the World and 5 Others that Didn’t Help by Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D.; excerpts from Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas.

Mr. Cammarota has conducted this class using the Socratic Method, that is, he guides participants in the understanding of what the author intends and then discusses the degree to which the work is true and practical in various ways.  

Evangelical Catholicism

Instructor: John S. Hamlon, M.A.

Text: Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church by George Weigel 

This is a 3-session class on George Weigel's game-changing book, Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Centuray Church. In Part One—The Vision of Evangelical Catholicism—Weigel compares Evangelical Catholicism with "Counter-Reformation Catholicism" and "Progressive Catholicism" and argues that the New Evangelization should be the present and future movement of the Church.  Why?  Because it is both culture-forming and countercultural.

Part Two—The Reforms of Evangelical Catholicism—covers ongoing reform at every level of Church life, including the priesthood, the liturgy, the consecrated life, lay vocations, the intellectual life, public policy advocacy, and the papacy. 

Author Mary Eberstadt says that Evangelical Catholicism “Is nothing less than a blueprint for the re-evangelization of the West and the re-invigoration of the rest of the world.”  

Key to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Instructor: John S. Hamlon, M.A.

Text: Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd edition, green cover)

In this 2-hour class, you'll see the "rhyme and rhythm" of the Catechism, that is, why it's laid out the way it is. You'll learn what's in it, how to maneuver through it, and where to find what you're looking for. And, during the last half hour, you'll get to test your traversing ability!

The Four Cardinal Virtues

Instructor: John S. Hamlon, M.A.

Text: The Four Cardinal Virtues by Josef Pieper  

This is a 3-session course on Josef Pieper's classic work, The Four Cardinal Virtues (Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance).  To have prudence, what must one be able to see?  Why is prudence the foundation of the other cardinal virtues?  Why, without the cardinal virtues, are we headed for moral anarchy?  These and other questions are posed and answered in this course. 

The Three Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Love

Instructor: John S. Hamlon, M.A.

Text: Faith, Hope, Love by Josef Pieper  

This is a course on Josef Pieper's class work on theological virtue, Faith, Hope, Love.  What are the respective essences of faith and hope as theological virtues?  Why does Pieper spend most of the last section talking about love at the natural level?  How does his treatise on love tie in to John Paul II's Theology of the Body?  What makes the theological virtues "theological"?  These and other questions are posed and answered in this course. 

The Meaning of Love: An Introduction to the Thought of John Paul II

Instructor: John S. Hamlon, M.A.

Texts: Man and Woman He Made Them: A Theology of the Body by John Paul II

This is a 9-session, inroductory course on John Paul II's thought and witness. John Paul II has brought us to a new place where the dignity of the human person is paramount, and where marriage takes center stage in the meaning and drama of human love. Like Jesus, John Paul II starts with our experience and works towards the self-giving life within the Trinity. Jesus used parables; John Paul II uses a philosophical approach that he purposely roots in Scripture. His hope is twofold: (1) That we fully grasp the wonder and value of ourselves as created in the image and likeness of God and redeemed by Christ, and (2) that, by seeing and appreciating reality through God’s eyes, we can better answer the call to love as God loves.      

Life in Christ: An Introduction to Christian Ethics

Instructor: John S. Hamlon, M.A.

Text: The Sources of Christian Ethics by Servais Pinckaers, O.P.

What do we mean when we say that Christ “reveals us to ourselves”? Why is the Sermon on the Mount the starting point for living our lives as followers of Jesus? Why is human dignity the cornerstone for our moral outlook and actions? How do we “find ourselves,” really? What is the fundamental and innate vocation we all share? Why is freedom so important in living out that vocation? From what sources can we draw to know and embrace our calling?  These questions and their answers make an enormous difference in how we live our lives in Christ.  How we see leads to how we act. 

In this semester-long course (12 two-hour sessions), we’ll first examine the Scriptural, philosophical, historical, and doctrinal sources of Christian ethics. The overarching questions will be, “How did we come to Vatican Council II?” and “Has Vatican II brought us back to our ethical roots?” Particular areas of study will include the dignity of the human person, the goal of happiness, the importance of virtue, two views of human freedom, and our natural inclination toward truth and love.

In the latter one-third of the course, we’ll discuss the major ethical issues of the day: contraception/abortion, assisted suicide/euthanasia, bioethics, and “same-sex” marriage.

By the end of the course, students will thoroughly know the philosophical and theological background for the Catholic view of the moral life (life in Christ) and be conversant with the pro and con arguments having to do with hot-button, contemporary, moral topics.

Note: The text used—The Sources of Christian Ethics—is a game-changer, an extraordinary overview and critique of the Catholic faith through a very clear and helpful lens. Through Sources, the moral life, that is, life in Christ, has never looked so positive, so comprehensive, so promising.

Spiritual Care for Those with Dementia

Instructor: Diane Walsh, M.A., C.P.G.

Dementia causes changes in the brain function; does it change the soul of the relationship with God?

We are more than our mind. Could it be possible that those who have dementia experience a stronger faith and relationship with God? Could it be possible that they are God’s instruments to teach us and strengthen our faith, if we take time to listen?

In this presentation we will discuss the spiritual beauty of those who have dementia and the ways we can continue to support them in their faith. The following questions will be addressed:

What can we do to offer spiritual support to those with dementia?

What concerns and issues might need addressing?

What are the benefits of spiritual support?

What gifts do we receive when we spend time with someone who has dementia?

The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Instructor: Fr. Art Wehr, S.J.

Text: A Do-It-At-Home Retreat: The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola by André Ravier, S. J.  $14.95

Father Wehr opens up the Spiritual Exercises with an overview of St. Ignatius’s timeless masterpiece.  This class is “designed for those who want sincerely to place themselves ‘face to face’ with God so as to order their lives along his loving designs.”

Great Adventure Bible Study - Various Modules

Instructors: Ana Ramirez-Palmer, M.A. 

 

This highly acclaimed series covers the scriptures and because the "Bible is at the heart of our faith and our relationship with God", it is an opening to a much deeper faith. Various modules will be offered, each with DVD commentary and class discussion led by Ana Ramirez-Palmer, M.A. 

 

Radical Islam through Catholic Eyes

Speaker: Tom Carroll

Part I: Radical Islam is a destructive modern ideology. The radicals are often decried, but rarely understood.

As Catholics, we are heir to an intellectual tradition that casts a unique and penetrating light on Islam, including the fundamentalist strain. We can understand Muslims in a way others cannot.  Join Tom Carroll for a discussion of the ideas and historical currents that shape Middle East, and the crucial role of the Catholic Church.

Our special focus will be on the radical Islamists. We will explore their pivotal ideas about the Shari'a (Islamic law), along with their unrelenting, thoroughly modern attack on traditional Islam.  Learn how the radical Islamists are, in important ways, Muslim versions of the Protestant Reformers—with consequences any Catholic can readily appreciate. 

Part II: Building on the foundation laid in Part I, Tom will detail the historical forces behind the crisis facing contemporary Islam—the very crisis that gave rise to radical Islam in the first place.  We will discuss the concept of jihad and how the radicals use it to attack those who oppose them, especially the traditional Muslims.  And much more.As always, Tom will draw on the intellectual resources of our Catholic faith to elucidate Islam in with clarity rarely seen in contemporary, secular discussions.

Orthodoxy 

Instructor: Spencer Roundtree

Text: Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton

 

A discussion of the classic by G.K. Chesterton, serves to introduce the heart and mind of Mr. Chesterton to a new audience. This is for those who want to have a better understanding of this prolific author and his many works. 

Christian Literature for Our Time

Instructor: John Hamlon, M.A.

Text: Various

 

This ongoing series invites conversation as we read through and examine classic literature. Authors read include, Leo Tolstoy, Graham Greene, Sigrid Undsett, Leo Tolstoy, Wallace Stegner, Georges Bernanos, Willa Cather, C.S. Lewis, Flannery O'Connor, and others.


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