2014 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.



Russell Hittinger

Russell Hittinger graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame. He also received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from St. Louis University.

Since 1996, he is the incumbent of the William K. Warren Chair of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa, where he is also a Research Professor of Law. He is the Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion. Professor Hittinger has taught at Fordham University, in the School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America, and, as a Visiting Professor, at N.Y.U. and Princeton University. In 1991 and 1994, he was a Visiting Professor at the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum in Rome.

Since 2001, he is a member of the Pontificia Academia Sancti Thomae Aquinatis (Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas), to which he was elected a full member (ordinarius) in 2004. He serves on several boards and boards of advisors, including First Things, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, Nova et Vetera, the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.

In 1993 Professor Hittinger was invited by the Ministry of Culture of the Italian Government to give a lecture to mark the centenary of the death of Pope Leo XIII. In October 1994 he gave “Secularity and the Anthropological Problem,” as the Inaugural Claude Ryan Lecture in Catholic Social Thought, McGill University in Montreal.

His books and articles have appeared on the University of Notre Dame Press, Oxford University Press, Columbia University Press, Fordham University Press, the Review of Metaphysics, the Review of Politics, several law journals (American and European). In 2000, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, where he began research on a book Man and Citizen in Roman Doctrine on the Modern State 1800-1989, to be published in a new series of monographs prepared by the Law and Religion program at Emory Law School. His most recent book The First Grace: Re-Discovering Natural Law in a Post-Christian Age was published in Jan. 2003. His essays on papal social doctrine will appear later this year in a two-volume work Law and Human Nature: Teachings of Modern Christianity (Columbia University Press), edited by John Witte and Frank Alexander.

2012 Recipient


FR. Romanus Cessario, O.P.

Fr. Romanus Cessario, O.P. is Professor of Theology at St. John’s Seminary in Boston, MA and Visiting Professor at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C. and Melbourne, Australia.  In addition to his teaching responsibilities at St. John’s, Fr. Cessario serves as an Associate Editor of The Thomist, Rédacteur of Pierre d’angle, General Editor of the Catholic Moral Thought Series of the Catholic University of America Press, and Senior Editor of Magnificat.  Fr. Cesssario holds advanced degrees from the Dominican House of Studies, a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, and an honorary doctorate from The Institute for the Psychological Sciences.

Fr. Cessario has previously held academic positions at Providence College, the University of Fribourg, and the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception (Dominican House of Studies).  He is currently a member of the board of the Academy of Catholic Theology and since 1999 has been an Ordinary Academician of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Fr. Cessario has published over fifteen books, numerous translations, and more than one-hundred articles, essays and chapters in books.  His books include: Christian Satisfaction in Aquinas; The Godly Image: Christ and Salvation in Catholic Thought from Anselm to Aquinas; The Moral Virtues and Theological Ethics; Le Virtù; Perpetual Angelus. As the Saints Pray the Rosary; Christian Faith and the Theological Life; Jean Capreolus en son temps (1380-1444); Le thomisme et les thomistes; Introduction to Moral Theology; and A short History of Thomism.

In deep gratitude for his friendship and paternal guidance, for his remarkable appropriation of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Thomist tradition, the example of excellence and fidelity that he has given to a generation of students of Catholic theology, and his tireless service to the Church, the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal is honored to award the 2011 Veritas Medal to Fr. Cessario.



2011 recipient

Fr. Morerod entered the Dominican Order in 1983 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1988 in the city of Geneva, of his native country Switzerland. He holds the degrees of licentiate in philosophy and theology and a doctorate in theology from University of Fribourg in Switzerland, and holds a doctorate in philosophy from the Institut Catholique in Toulouse, France.

He is the author of eight books and has published over 100 hundred scholarly articles or chapters in books. Fr. Morerod's work is inspired by a wide range of theological and philosophical sources including, to name just two, his elder Dominican brother St. Thomas Aquinas, and his countryman, the noted Swiss theologian Charles Cardinal Journet. His devotion to Journet's work and legacy is particularly manifest in his ongoing and longtime editorial service to both the French and English editions of the journal Nova et Vetera, which was originally founded by Journet.

Fr. Morerod currently holds several posts to which he has been either elected or appointed. Since 2001 he has been a member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC); since 2005 he has been a member of the The Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue Between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches; in 2008 he was appointed to the pontifical academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Fr. Morerod is a consultor for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and in 2009 he was appointed Secretary General of the International Theological Commission. In September of 2009 Fr. Morerod was elected Rector of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, where he has taught since 1996 and held, prior to his election as Rector, the positions of Vice-Dean of the Theology and Dean of Philosophy.




2009 recipient

Dr. Robert Louis Wilken is William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has taught at Gregorian University, Institutum Patristicum “Augustiniam,” Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Notre Dame, Fordham University, and Lutheran Theological Seminary.

Dr. Wilken is the author of 10 books, including The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God (Yale, 2003), Remembering the Christian Past (Eerdmans, 1995), and The Christians as the Romans Saw Them (Yale, 1984). He is also the translator, along with Paul Bowers, of On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ. Selected Writings from St. Maximus the Confessor (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2003).

Dr. Wilken is an elected fellow of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, former president of the American Academy of Religion, and former president of the North American Patristic Society.




2008 recipient

Janet E. Smith holds the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. She is the author of Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later, editor ofWhy Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader. Her long list of published articles—-in academic journals as well as popular periodicals—-includes contributions in abortion, bioethics, feminism and women, moral philosophy, and Plato. She has taught at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Dallas as well as at Ave Maria College.

Prof. Smith has received the Haggar Teaching Award from the University of Dallas, the Prolife Person of the Year from the Diocese of Dallas, and the Cardinal Wright Award from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. She is serving a second term as a consultor to the Pontifical Council on the Family. Over a million copies of her talk,"Contraception: Why Not" have been distributed.

For her constant defense of the teachings of the Catholic Church in the areas of marriage and the family as well as life issues, for her constant search for truth ranging from her studies of Plato to her writings on Thomistic moral philosophy, for her readiness to serve the Church as the Church needs to be served as she now devotes her talents to the intellectual formation of priests, for all of these areas, the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal is most honored to award the 2008 Veritas Medal to Professor Janet Smith.



2007 recipient

The Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal is delighted to award Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, with the 2007 Veritas Medal. Cardinal Dulles’s extraordinary achievements have merited for him the title of "dean" of Catholic theologians in the United States, and he exemplifies the attributes that the Veritas Medal honors.

Cardinal Dulles is presently the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University, a position he has held since 1988. Previously he taught at Woodstock College and Catholic University of America, in addition to serving as visiting professor at many other eminent universities, including the Gregorian University, the University of Notre Dame, Oxford University, and Yale University.

The author of over 750 articles on theological topics, he has published over twenty books displaying his extraordinary theological competence and range, among them Models of the Church, Models of RevelationThe Catholicity of the ChurchThe Craft of TheologyThe Assurance of Things Hoped ForThe Splendor of Faith: The Theological Vision of Pope John Paul IIThe New World of Faith, and The History of Apologetics. His new book The Magisterium will appear this Spring from Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University.

He was named a Cardinal of the Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II.



2006 recipient

The Aquinas Center is pleased to announce the inaugural recipient of the Veritas Medal, Professor George Weigel. George Weigel is a Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He is the author of Witness to Hope: The Biography of John Paul II and most recently of God’s Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church. His other books include Catholicism and the Renewal of American Democracy, The Final Revolution: The Resistance Church and the Collapse of Communism,Soul of the World: Notes on the Future of Public Catholicism, The Truth of Catholicism: Ten Controversies Explored, The Courage To Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church, Letters to a Young Catholic, The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God, Tranquillitas Ordinis: The Present Failure and Future Promise of American Catholic Thought on War and Peace, among others. Click here to view all of his books.

Professor Weigel received the 2006 Veritas Medal before his keynote address to the John Paul II and the Holy Land conference on February 8, 2006.