Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C. (Ex Corde Ecclesiae Medal) is the postulator of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and director of the Mother Teresa Center. He edited and wrote the commentary for the book Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Michael’s College of the University of Toronto, a M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Manitoba, a M.Div. in Theology from St. Joseph's Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from Saybrook Institute.

2012 Recipient


Mrs. Phyllis M. Taylor

Mrs. Phyllis M. Taylor was valedictorian of her high school class in Abbeville, LA. She is a graduate of Tulane University School of Law, and the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Mrs. Taylor served as law clerk for the Supreme Court of Louisiana and Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

Her career in the oil and gas industry began in 1972 when she became in-house counsel for John W. Mecom, Sr. Since the 1979 founding of Taylor Energy Company LLC, she has served as Executive Vice President and as a Board Member. She became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Taylor Energy upon the death of her husband Patrick F. Taylor in 2004. 

Mrs. Taylor serves as Chairman and President of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, a philanthropic organization that she started with her husband in 1985.  The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation is best known for its work in education through the promotion of the Taylor Plan/TOPS, but also supports law enforcement, military, humanitarian efforts, and Catholic causes.

For her generous support of the Graduate Programs in Theology at Ave Maria University, which now enjoy the name, The Patrick F. Taylor Graduate Programs in Theology, the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal is delighted to honor Mrs.  Phyllis M. Taylor with the 2012 Ex Corde Ecclesiae Medal.



2011 recipient

Is professor of theology and director of the undergraduate theology program. He previously taught philosophy at the University of San Francisco and theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary and Ave Maria College, both in Michigan. Dr. Riordan wrote his dissertation on divinization in the writings of Dionysius the Areopagite. He has expanded it into a fuller study which has been published under the title Divine Light: The Theology of Denys the Areopagite.

He is working on a new facing-page translation of the Mystical Theology by the same author (with introduction and commentary). His specialties include the areas of metaphysics, the doctrine of participation, and Trinitarian theology.

He holds the degrees of B.A. from St. Mary’s University of California, M.A. from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, and S.T.L. and S.T.D. from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome




2008 recipient

Matthew L. Lamb entered the Trappist monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia just before his fifteenth birthday. He plans on returning to a contemplative monastery after teaching. He received a Licentiate in theology (S.T.L.) "Magna cum laude" from the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome, Italy. His Doctorate in Theology (Dr. Theol.) “Summa cum laude” was done at the Westfälische Wilhelms Universität, Münster, Germany in 1974. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest and belongs to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received an honorary doctorate from the Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2002; and was honored with a Festschrift co-edited by Michael Dauphinais and Matthew Levering, Wisdom and Holiness, Science and Scholarship. He was named to the Cardinal Maida Chair at Ave Maria University in 2011.

He has taught in the Theology Department at Marquette University, and Boston College. He was a visiting associate professor at the Divinity School, the University of Chicago, and a Walsh–Price Fellow at the School of Theology, Maryknoll, New York. At present he is Professor of Theology and Chair of the Department of Theology at Ave Maria University, Naples, Florida. He assisted in the newly formed M.A. and Ph.D. programs in theology at this university.

He has lectured at universities in Europe and North and Central America including the Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster, the University of Louvain, the University of Hannover, the Catholic University of Eichstatt, the North American College, Rome, Concordia University, Montreal, the University of Toronto, York University, Universidad Iberoamericana of Mexico City, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the University of Chicago, Yale University, the Catholic University of America, Loyola Universities in New Orleans and Chicago, University of Dallas, Conception College, Franciscan University, University of Notre Dame, etc.

His books include Eternity, Time and the Life of Wisdom; Thomas Aquinas's Commentary on Ephesians. History, Method and Theology: W. Dilthey’s Critique of Historical Reason and B. Lonergan’s Methodology which received the University Excellence Award from the University of Münster. Solidarity with Victims: Towards a Theology of Social Transformation a translation of which was published in Japan in 1988. He edited Creativity and Method: Essays in Honor of Bernard Lonergan. Most recently he co-Authored Pan Para Todos: Aportes A Una Teologia Por El Pobre; and co-edited Vatican II: Renewal Within Tradition;.

He has published over a hundred and forty-five articles dealing with St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, theological method, religion and society, political theology, Catholic theological traditions, modernism and postmodernism, communication theory. Essays have appeared in such journals as Theologisches Revue; Concilium: An International Journal of Theology; Communio: International Catholic Review; Religious Studies Review; Horizons; The Ecumenist; Method; The Lonergan Workshop Journal; Review for Religious; American Behavioral Scientist; Philosophy of Science; Commonweal; America; Crisis: Politics, Culture & the Church; Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly; Fides Quaerens Intellectum: A Journal of Theology, Philosophy & History; Nova et Vetera.

He has contributed chapters to many books including Paradigm Change in Theology, Faith That Transforms, Kommunikation und Solidarität, The Desires of the Human Heart, Mystik und Politik, Theology and Discovery, Sociology and Human Destiny, Civil Religion and Political Theology, Cities of Gods: Faith, Politics and Pluralism in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; Habermas und die Theologie; La Pratique de la théologie politique; A Handbook of Christian Theologians; Habermas, Modernity and Public Theology; Dictionary of Catholic Theology; Dictionary of Catholic Social Thought; Dictionaire de Théologie; Theologische Realenzyklopädie, Anerkennung der Anderen; Theological Education in the Catholic Tradition; Continuity and Plurality in Catholic Theology; Jesus Crucified and Risen; Judgment Day at the White House; Gladly to Learn & Gladly to Teach: Essays in Honor of Ernest Fortin. Divine Creation in Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Thought: Essays in Honor of Dr Robert D. Crouse; Aquinas on Doctrine: A Critical Introduction; Reading John with St. Thomas Aquinas: Theological Exegesis and Speculative Theology; Aquinas the Augustinian; Philosophy & Theology in the Long Middle Ages, etc.



2007 recipient

Dr. Thomas M. Loome founded Loome Theological Booksellers with his wife, Karen, in 1981. Located in Stillwater, Minnesota, Loome Theological  Booksellers quickly became the central hub of theological bookselling in the United States. For over 25 years, graduate students and professors have benefited from Dr. Loome’s tireless pursuit of the best books in theology, philosophy, and biblical scholarship.

For almost a decade now, Dr. Loome has had a special relationship with the undergraduate, and more recently graduate, programs of Ave Maria University. With energy and dedication, he has assembled a broad and deep collection for the University that will serve generations of students well. In the past couple years, recalling his own distinguished mentor Max Seckler, Dr. Loome has put his resources behind ensuring that Ave Maria University will be able to provide continued support for graduate study in theology.

For his work on the library and his support of the students in the Graduate Program in Theology, the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal is delighted to honor Thomas M. Loome with the 2007 Ex Corde Ecclesiae Medal.



2006 recipient

Mr. Carlos Figueroa has extensive experience both in private business and in governmental service. He has worked for Shay Financial Services since January 1993. He previously worked for Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (1973-1976), Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico (1977-1978), Prudential Bache (1983-1985), and Kidder Peabody& Co. (1988-1990). Aside from experience in the securities industry, Mr. Figueroa has extensive experience in Latin America, specifically in the institutional and project finance area.

In public service for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Mr. Figueroa has served as Executive Vice President of Government Development Bank (GDB), Chairman of the Board of Banco Cooperativo de Puerto Rico, and Chairman of the Board of AFICA (Industrial Revenue Bond Issuing Agency).

Carlos Figueroa has been married to Amelia for 35 years, and is the proud father of 5 children and grandfather of 9.

He has carried over his experience and initiative to the work of foundingThe Apostles Foundation. As he put it in a letter announcing the founding of this crucial apostolate:

 “We face a challenge that will define the legacy of our moral values for future generations, and how those values will be characterized as different from those of our generation. It is my sincere and humble belief we can make a difference bythe promulgation of faith through education centered in the study of theology.Pope John Paul said it best… ‘promote dialogue between faith and reason …and bear harmonious witness to the unity of all truth’.

“With this mission in mind, we have incorporated The Apostles Foundation, Inc….Our intent is to join the efforts started at Ave Maria University in Naples, Fl. in bringing Theology to the forefront of this academic initiative. We have made a presumption in selecting Ave Maria University since we believe their program reflects best our Catholic values, and their fresh initiative is most deserving of our support.”