AMU student Peter Atkinson shares his experience reading about Pope St. John XXIII.
Originally posted on The Browning Version:
In 2014, I will be blogging through Pope John XXIII’s Journey of a Soul. Each Monday I will post a reflection on the previous weeks selection. Feel free to keep pace reading by picking up a copy here. I am borrowing Leah Libresco’s method of blogging through Pope Francis’ book because I am scared at the prospect of never writing a review until months later, when I finish reading the volume.
“If we are to understand the bold direction given to the Church by Pope John, we must enter into his interior solitude.”
- Fr. Giulio Bevilacqua, childhood friend to Pope John XXIII (p. xxv)
In 1895, when he was 14, Angelo Roncalli began writing in his journals and did not stop until he, as Pope John XXIII, was 81, shortly before his June 1963 death. His habit gives us the unique privilege of witnessing his spiritual growth leading up to and during his papacy…
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Today’s Supreme Court news in the Hobby Lobby HHS contraception mandate case reverberated in Ave Maria rather loudly. While the impact the decision will have on lawsuits by non-profits such as AMU is not clear, AMU president Jim Towey (an attorney) sees today’s decision as a good development. AMU is represented by the Becket Fund, the same law firm that prevailed in today’s Hobby Lobby case. The Ave Herald’s coverage is here.
The Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby HHS mandate case was today’s big news. The court held that closely held corporations (ones without a lot of shareholders) have religious freedom to refuse to pay for abortion and birth control for their employees due to the religious beliefs of those who control the corporation. Many residents, students, faculty and others associated with the Ave Maria projects and Ave Maria, Florida, are closely following the outcome. These are some of the cases that will be impacted by today’s decision (although the impact on non-profit corporations is still not clear):
- Legatus/Weingartz Supply Co. (E.D. Mich. Dec. 20, 2013) – Legatus was founded by Ave Maria founder Tom Monaghan and its headquarters is located in Ave Maria, Florida.
- Domino’s Farms (E.D. Mich. Mar. 14, 2013) – Domino’s Farms was built and is owned by Ave Maria founder Tom Monaghan.
- Mersino Management (E.D. Mich. July 11, 2013) – Attorney is Ave Maria School of Law alumna Erin Mersino, whose parents-in-law are the plaintiffs. Law firm is Thomas More Law Center, which was founded by Ave Maria founder Tom Monaghan.
- Mersino Dewatering (E.D. Mich.filed Dec. 13, 2013) – Attorney is Ave Maria School of Law alumna Erin Mersino, whose parents-in-law are the plaintiffs. Law firm is Thomas More Law Center, which was founded by Ave Maria founder Tom Monaghan.
- Ave Maria University (M.D. Fla. filed Aug. 29, 2013)
- Ave Maria School of Law (M.D. Fla. filed Nov. 12, 2013)
- Ave Maria Foundation (E.D. Mich. Jan. 13, 2014)
- FOCUS (D. Colo. Apr. 23, 2014) – Fellowship of Catholic University Students is a lay ministry movement that has recently been holding its annual summer training in Ave Maria and has a missionary team on campus (FOCUS is independent and is not otherwise associated with Ave Maria).
- Franciscan University (S.D. Ohio Mar. 22, 2013) – Many of the people who founded Ave Maria College and University had ties to FSU, including Tom Monaghan and Nick Healy. Many alumni and friends of FSU are also part of the Ave Maria projects.
As a side note, one of the foremost commentators on the HHS mandate and religious liberty issues is Matt Bowman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund who is an alumnus of Ave Maria School of Law.
Summer can be a nice time for some armchair traveling. Vicarious journeys are a lot less stressful and expensive – and so easy to enjoy now that seemingly everyone lifeblogs in some way (even Classics people).
Someone with close ties to Ave Maria is having a nice time in Italy “on a somewhat Chaucerian pilgrimage” in Padua.
While elsewhere Classics students at Ave Maria University enjoy the privilege of a curated journey through Rome.
The thing about Ave Maria is that it is still new, and therefore it makes sense that people aren’t quite sure what to make of it (i.e. the community, which consists of both town and university). This blog is an exercise in trying to help people have information so they can know what to make of it. And so is this article by professor Michael Pakaluk, which explains how some of the best things that can happen are happening here:
… So, simply with respect to what was found to be best at Harvard, it seems we can conclude that Harvard and Ave Maria are equivalent (or better, if London Pride at the Queen Mary Pub is better than tea). … It would be absurd to claim that Ave Maria has everything that Harvard has. For instance, we do not have the noise, pollution, and crime which are found in a city. We do not have any dirty piles and pools of slush to trudge through in March. …
Of course Michael’s keen wit is worth reading. Go click - it’s short and funny (and he makes some great points). And the quote from A Man for All Seasons is precious.
Our neighbor Novak’s deft reply to New York Times’ attempt to pit Pope Francis against Pope Saint John Paul II
Queerly, the New York Times seems to be advocating that papal pronouncements ought to influence culture and public policy, and in that vein has posed this question and then published five responses:
Jesus drove money changers out of the Temple, calling them “a den of thieves.” Of the profit-centric world view, Pope Francis warned, “We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market,” to provide economic justice. Others call Christianity and capitalism inextricable. Is contemporary capitalism compatible with Christian values?
Interestingly, that setup by the Times ignores how Pope Saint John Paul II described capitalism in the magisterial encyclical Centisumus Annus:
… an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector … circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality.
But Michael Novak did not let the Times get away with that omission (or the Times’ lame attempt to pit Pope Francis against his canonized predecessor John Paul); Novak’s is one of the five published responses, and it begins with the saint’s definition and discusses why capitalism is the most moral of the economic systems. It is worth reading.
Back from Calcutta, President Towey says heart of AMU education is “learning about your faith and putting your faith in action”
Mother Teresa continues to influence the Ave Maria University campus. In this video, AMU students discuss their experience travelling to Calcutta on a recent trip with with AMU president Jim Towey.
According to Towey, “at the heart of what Ave Maria’s education experience is all about is learning about your faith and putting your faith in action.”