The Saint Albert the Great Center
for Scholastic Studies
Studies is an organization dedicated to the promotion of sacred theology
undertaken according to the mind and method of the great scholastics. Albertus Magnus
In the first place, this means that we seek to promote and study primarily scholastic authors, from the golden age of scholasticism in the high middle ages to the neo-scholasticism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with pride of place given to the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, of whom Pope Benedict XV said that “he was divinely raised up that the Church might have a master whose doctrine should be followed in a special way at all times.”
Secondly, this means that we prioritize a dialectical method in the study of sacred theology; that is, a method that aims to arrive at knowledge of truth through reasoned discourse involving discussion and disputation.
Finally, and above all, this means that we seek to carry out our studies in a spirit of prayer and contemplation nourished and sustained by the sacred liturgy of the Church, especially the Holy Eucharist and the divine office.
Our motto seeks to express our mission through the words: Oratio, Lectio, Disputatio:
- ‘Oratio’ (prayer) refers to the prayerful and contemplative spirit in which we seek to carry out our studies.
- ‘Lectio’ (reading) refers to our emphasis on direct contact with the primary texts of the great masters of the scholastic tradition.
- ‘Disputatio’ (disputation) refers to our use of the dialectical method, and especially to our formal scholastic disputations.
St. Albert the Great, known as the Doctor Universalis, was chosen as the special patron of our organization both because he was a great master of scholastic theology in his own right and because he was the teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas, and our goal is not only to study the doctrine of St. Thomas (and other great scholastic authors) but also to study as St. Thomas himself would have done.
Thomas died in 1274, St.
Albert is said to have declared that the light of the
Church had been extinguished. St.
Albert died on November 15, 1280. He was beatified in
1622, and then canonized and proclaimed a doctor of the Church
in 1931. His feast day is celebrated on November 15.
Our Coat of Arms
Our coat of arms bears our motto (Oratio – Lectio – Disputatio) and reflects our namesake,
the Great. The falcon is a traditional symbol of St. Albert both because he wrote a treatise
on falconry (De falconibus) and
because the falcon rises up toward the sun of divine wisdom.
The color scheme reflects the red and white of
own coat of arms and the black and white of the Dominican order to which he
belonged. The yellow background at the top of the shield represents the sun,
which is a symbol of divine wisdom, toward which the falcon rises. The sun is
also a symbol of St. Thomas Aquinas, who bears an image of the sun upon his
breast. The star at the bottom of the shield is a symbol of divine guidance and
of St. Dominic, who bears a star upon his brow.