Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Roger Scruton, to offer lectures on campus


Roger Scruton will offer a three-part lecture series beginning Oct. 6. He is currently a visiting professor at Oxford University, where he is also a Fellow at Blackfriars Hall; visiting professor (part-time) in the School of Philosophical, Anthropological and Film Studies at the University of St Andrews, Scotland; and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. His principal activity remains what it has been for the last 30 years, which is writing, and his books and articles cover a broad range of topics in several genres. See the flyer below for more information.
***PLEASE NOTE LECTURE TIME CHANGES***

Fr. McTeigue to speak at Catholic Medical Association Conference


Ave Maria University’s Fr. Robert McTeigue, S.J., is speaking at the Catholic Medical Association’s 83rd annual conference this weekend. Fr. McTeigue, adjunct professor in philosophy at AMU, will lead the opening Evening of Reflection: “St. Ignatius Loyola, Our Comrade-in-Arms.” In addition, McTeigue will offer three morning reflections based on Ignatian Spirituality and tailored to the needs and unique calling of healthcare professionals. On Friday morning, he will speak on “Moral Courage in Medicine.”

The conference, founded to strengthen and support American physicians in their faith, is taking place September 24-27 at Universal Orlando’s Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel. Other conference speakers include: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, George Weigel, Austin Ruse, Mike Aquilina, and more.

When asked about the role he will play at this year’s conference, McTeigue said:

 “As a Jesuit priest and as a professor of philosophy, I will be delighted to be in the company of and at the service of good people who have a deep commitment to the Catholic faith as well as to the noble art and science of medicine.”

The Southwest Florida Catholic Medical Guild, for which McTeigue is the chaplain, has very generously given scholarships so that half of the AMU students from McTeigue’s medical ethics class are able to attend the conference.

The AMU Women’s Schola, led by Dr. Susan Treacy, have been invited to provide the music for the opening Mass of the conference, which will be celebrated by Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke.

Fr. Robert McTeigue received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America, and his M.Th. from Heythrop College at the University of London.

Susan Treacy received her Ph.D. from the University of North Texas, her M.Mus in opera from the Manhattan School of Music, and her B.Mus. in voice from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.

Details about the CMA 2014 conference can be found here.

Ave Maria University Observes Constitution Day


This Wednesday is Constitution Day. On September 17th, 1787 the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton, best summed up the significance of the day when he wrote in the first Federalist Paper, “It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, to decide by their conduct and example, the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.”

To mark Constitution Day a panel of Ave Maria faculty (Dr. Seana Sugrue, Politics; Dr. Michael Breidenbach, History; Dr. John Colman, Politics) will discuss the following question:

“The U.S. Constitution: Christian or Secular?”

The colloquium will discuss the nature of the U.S. Constitution as a Christian or secular document.  The framers of the Constitution were in many respects products of the Enlightenment and its complex understanding of religion.  In some ways the Constitution reflects that complexity as evidenced by the continuing debates over the First Amendment.  Some claim that the Constitution is based on Christian values while others suggest that it is a secular document aimed at reducing religion’s influence on political life.  Is the Constitution Christian or is it informed by a strictly secular understanding of government and society?  Can it be argued that the uniqueness of the Constitution is that it is both secular and Christian?  Is such a thing possible?

The Colloquium will be held in the Demetree Auditorium in the Henkels Academic Building at 5 p.m.

Suggested Readings:

The Constitution (http://www.constitution.org/cons/constitu.htm)
Federalist Papers, No. 10 (http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm)
Pius IX, Syllabus of Errors (http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9syll.htm)
John Courtney Murray, We Hold These Truths:  Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition (London:  Sheed and Ward, 1960), chapter 2 (http://www.library.georgetown.edu/woodstock/Murray/whtt_c2_1954d) and 3 (http://www.library.georgetown.edu/woodstock/Murray/whtt_c3_).  The full book is available at http://www.library.georgetown.edu/woodstock/Murray/whtt_index. 

Ave Maria University asks federal court for more time


Ave Maria University continues its fight for religious liberty. AMU filed a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of a federal requirement to provide contraceptive coverage to employees beginning Nov. 1. The Fort Myers News-Press covered the re-opening of AMU's lawsuit. View the full article here.

Build the AMU Alumni Association through the “Drive for Five”


Ave Maria University is beginning a new chapter in its alumni outreach by kicking off the “Drive for Five” initiative. Graduates of Ave Maria are invited to update their records with the Office of Alumni Relations through a brief online survey. Those who complete the survey by the deadline will have a chance to win one of three $100 Amazon gift cards.

Watch as Zachary Crockett, Coordinator of Career Services and Alumni Relations, highlights the purpose of the initiative, and learn about how you can contribute to the growth of the alumni association! Find out more by messaging alumni@avemaria.edu.

Survey can be found here.

President Towey blogs, "Archbishop Lori Praises University Efforts in Religious Freedom Battle"


Archbishop William Lori’s ringing defense of the right of religious liberty which he delivered in his Convocation address to a rapt Ave Maria University community gathered in a jam-packed ballroom this afternoon, capped a remarkable week of activities to start the new academic year.

What an honor to have him on our campus and with our students! And his timing could not have been more providential as Ave Maria is in discussions with our lawyers regarding our continued fight against the Obamacare mandate. Archbishop Lori praised our University’s efforts and pointed out what was at stake for the Church in this battle with the federal government. He warned of the dangers facing those in any Catholic organization who formally cooperate with a mandate so immoral, mean-spirited, and hostile to religious autonomy and Church teaching.

After his talk he met with honors students at a reception. His morning began with – you guessed it – Ave students.

He capped off his visit to Ave Maria University with a tour of the Mother Teresa Project Exhibition Hall , accompanying the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Michael Timmis, and me.

His visit came on a day special to him and special to us. Mother Teresa of Calcutta went home to God on this day in 1997, when our freshmen were learning how to walk (as they are now!). Today is a First Friday, just like then.

And now the Archbishop knows just how true it is that Ave Maria University’s devotion to, and identification with, this saintly woman are unmatched in academia.

There simply is no campus that honors her the way Ave Maria does, and when Archbishop Lori celebrated Mass at noon today to over 500 attendees, he had his dear friend in mind. In his capacity as secretary to James Cardinal Hickey in Washington, D.C. in the 1980’s, and as a young monsignor, he worked closely with Mother and her nuns as they opened numerous homes in the area, including a home for people with AIDS.

He told me this morning that when he and Mother were looking for such a home, he drove by one of the Archdiocesan properties that housed their Catholic Charities offices and some day care programming. The building had previously been used as an orphanage. The Archbishop recalled that Mother looked at the building, prayed, and then placed a blessed medal on the wall, and how he instantly realized that the Archdiocese wasn’t going to own that property for much longer!

What a joy to have Archbishop Lori with us and what a great way to start the academic year! Ave has its largest entering class ever – just under 400. The total enrollment of undergraduate students on our campus now exceeds 1,000 – also a milestone. The academic excellence of our new students continues to improve, too.

It is going to be another great year at Ave Maria University. I’ll try to post as regularly as I can.

Have a great weekend!

Blessed Mother Teresa – pray for us!

– President Jim Towey

Click here to view an archive of President Towey's blog posts.