October 18, 2022

Ave Maria University Meets Pope Francis

AMU Communications

AMU Well-Represented at Thomistic Congress in Rome 

Five faculty members from the Department of Theology at Ave Maria University were invited to speak at the 11th International Thomistic Congress in Rome September 19–26, 2022.

This rare event—which has occurred only 11 times since 1925—was hosted and organized by the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. The goal of the Congress was to stimulate discourse on pressing topics of the faith today through the lens and study of Thomistic theology.

“We are more than honored to have the opportunity to attend and present at this rare, international Congress at the Angelicum in Rome. AMU will be well-represented at the Congress, and we are looking forward to sharing our insights into the theology of the great St. Thomas Aquinas.”
—Dr. Roger Nutt, Provost and Professor of Theology at AMU

Among the University faculty members that presented at the Congress were Dr. Daniel Lendman, Kara Logan, Dr. Steven Long, Dr. Roger Nutt, and Dr. Adam Van Wart. Additionally, one alumna from the AMU doctoral program, Sr. Albert Marie Surmanski, also presented. The topics of the presentations ranged from Aquinas and Edith Stein on the sexual differences of man and woman, to the hypostatic union and sacramental honesty of Aquinas.

“The 11th International Thomistic Congress provided an opportunity to engage with many of the foremost Thomistic theologians and philosophers of our day. I was honored and humbled to be there and to present my own modest offerings regarding Theological Anthropology.”
—Dr. Daniel Lendman, Professor of Theology at AMU

To present at the Congress, one either must be invited by the Academy or submit a proposal and have it approved by a review board. AMU had the most presenters of any institution in North America; besides their high level of participation in the Conference, the faculty got to privately meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday, September 22.

“After having Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, we were escorted to the Sala Clementina inside the Apostolic Palace, where we individually met with Pope Francis,” said AMU Provost Roger Nutt, who also had the opportunity to meet Pope St. John Paul II during his papacy. “It was truly an honor.”

Dr. Adam Van Wart—assistant professor and director of Undergraduate Studies in Theology at AMU—said that, upon meeting and “exchanging smiles” with the Holy Father, an “already sublime morning quickly spilled over into the surreal.” Van Wart shared that Pope Francis spoke of the need for theologians to follow the contemplative example of St. Thomas. “It’s a message I hope always to communicate to my students.”

The University is very proud of its faculty members, whom the Angelicum calls “the best international specialists in the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.”
If you would like to support AMU’s faculty and staff, you can join their Annunciation Circle: a community of members who support Ave Maria University through their prayers and monthly donations of $10 or more. You can join or learn more here.

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