"There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours." (Psalm 86:8)
The St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies has announced its theme for their 2016 summer theology program: "The Transcendent Christ: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews".
From July 10-24th, the St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies will hold a summer session in Norcia, Italy. In partnership with the Monasterio San Benedetto, this will be the fifth year they have held the Summer Institute.
The St. Albert the Great Center is dedicated to the revival of higher studies in theology undertaken according to the mind and method of the great scholastics, and in particular the work of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Building upon the study of the two previous summers, this summer's program will focus on St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews. With the sacred text as the primary source, participants will also follow along the interpretive tradition of the Church by reading commentaries of the Fathers and in particular St. Thomas's commentary on the epistle.
While the Letter to the Romans speaks about the subject of grace in itself (Summer 2014), and the subject of the First Letter to the Corinthians is grace as it is found principally in the Sacraments (Summer 2015); the Letter to the Hebrews offers the opportunity to explore in depth the subject of grace as it is found in its source, Jesus Christ, the head of the mystical body. In particular, St. Paul's letter focuses on how the excellence of the work of Christ has a three-fold extension: to the whole of creation, to the rational creature, and to the justification of the saints.
This year, in addition to the regular AMCSS tutors, the program is privileged to have Dr. Peter Kwasniewski of Wyoming Catholic College as a guest tutor who will help lead seminar discussion. Besides the daily seminars, there will be a guest lecture by Fr. Cassian Folsom, OSB, the founder and prior of the monastery, as well as from other monks of the monastery. The two-week program reaches its climax in an authentic scholastic disputation, moderated by one of the monks.
In addition to the academic program, there is the opportunity to participate in the daily life of worship (High Mass, Divine Office) of the Benedictine monks who live and pray at the birthplace of SS. Benedict & Scholastica. Optional excursions will be planned to other nearby pilgrimage sites, as well as a longer weekend trip to Rome at the end of the program in order to have a relaxing but formative experience in the Eternal City, the glorious foundation seat of the Church.
To me, though I am the very least of the saints, this grace was given, to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God"
~ Ephesians 3:8
The subject of the 2015 Albert the Great Summer Program has been confirmed. Building on the study from the 2014 program, Paul's Letter to the Romans, where we studied the subject of Grace in itself, we will gather this summer in Norcia, Italy from July 12th-25th in order to study Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians.
The theme, "Light unto the Mysteries of God", reveals the subject matter which we will be studying, which is the subject of grace as it is found principally in the sacraments.
In particular, St. Paul's letter focusses on the sacraments of Baptism, Matrimony, and the Eucharist, and so participants will gain a greater understanding not only of these sacraments, but also an understanding of how grace works through the sacraments so as to order man to his end.
We have been working hard this past year, not only to continue to develop solid summer programs, but also to sure up our foundations as an organization in order to be able to grow and develop in the future.
To that end, this past year we have become a registered non-profit corporation in the State of Minnesota, and, as an early Christmas gift, we received confirmation from the Federal Government that our application for tax exempt status was accepted!
This means that we can now receive tax deductible donations. If you have never made a tax-deductible contribution, this works by our supplying you a letter confirming your gift on a particular date, which you can then use as a deduction when you are paying your taxes.
Our goal is to raise $10,000 to support our operations in 2015. This includes providing scholarship for university students or seminarians to come to our summer program, support for planning future conferences, and also keeping our very minimal infrastructural bills paid.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution online, please visit our Support page. If you would like to make a donation by mail, please contact Chris Owens via our Contact page.
The Albert the Great Summer Program 2015 will be taking place in Norcia, Italy from July 12th-25th. The cost is 675€, and includes room and partial board.
We will be posting more information on the website after Christmas, including this summer's curriculum, the tutors who will be with us, the excursion itinerary, and (hopefully!) some information about scholarships.
Perhaps this is a question that you have been thinking - "an academic program is great, but why should I study for two weeks in Norcia?" We believe firmly that the academic study of theology is an endeavor that is first done on one's knees. Theology is unique among all of the sciences because it has God as its object (Cf. ST Iq1a7). While one may be able to demonstrate conclusions from principles in any science, the principles of theology are received through revelation and accepted by faith (Cf. ST II-IIq2). For this reason, it is imperative that those engaged in theological pursuits first immerse themselves in a life of prayer. St. Thomas himself received his first education in Monte Cassino, the monastery founded by St. Benedict. Perhaps it was there that St. Thomas first began to be formed in the school of prayer and contemplative life that would foster his theological endeavors later in life.
Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict, is a small fortified town in the heart of the Sibilline mountains of Italy, known for its wild boar and black truffles found in the surrounding area. From nearly anywhere in the town, you are a mere 5 minutes walk to the gate of the town, which opens up to walks in the countryside and surrounding mountains. The heat of the summer is restrained by the mild mountain nights, and the fresh spring water is available from any of the many fountains located around town.
The monastery of St. Benedict is in the heart of the town, providing a liturgical rhythm to daily life that elevates the experience of the natural beauty in the area to become the perfect atmosphere for contemplating the higher truths of God. (Cf. ST II-IIq180a4)
Just as St. Thomas was first educated in a Benedictine school of prayer, consider joining us in Norcia this summer in an atmosphere perfectly disposed to contemplating the divine truths.
The St. Albert the Great Center for Scholastic Studies is committed to hosting programs which are within the financial means of every qualified student. For this reason we endeavor to keep our prices as low as possible. As it is, our prices just barely cover our own operating costs. We are relying on our generous donors in order to keep our programs running. Please CLICK HERE to see how you can support our work!