Aquinas Seminars

Over the course of the semester, the Aquinas Institute will sponsor several seminars to help you grow in your faith.

On Going Series


What Do Catholics Believe—and Why? 

Tuesdays, 7:45 pm-8:40 pm

@ Murray Dodge 103

04/9, 04/16, 04/23, 04/30

An examination of some of the most interesting and peculiarly Catholic doctrines, their history, and why Catholics believe them. Open to anyone, Catholic or otherwise, who’d like to learn a bit more about the Eucharist, Mary and the Saints, and the Catholic understanding of Justification and Salvation. All are invited.

Instructor: R. J. Snell helps direct the academic programs of the Aquinas Institute. 

french heroines.jpg

Little Known Heroines of Church History

Wednesdays, 12:35-1:25 pm

@ Murray Dodge 210, Lunch provided

03/27, 04/3, 04/10, 04/17

(Note: April 10th only is not at Murray Dodge. Location @ Aquinas House)

While some great female saints of the past, such as Teresa of Avila and Elizabeth Ann Seton, are well known to Catholics of our time, many other lay and religious women of the distant past who faithfully, actively, and pioneeringly served the Church are underappreciated in modern times. In this four-part seminar, students will encounter a range of such Catholic women of the early modern period, or the late fifteenth through early nineteenth century. Some of these women and the contexts in which they lived and worked are increasingly well known to scholars of Church history, women’s history, early modern literature and the arts, and other fields. But their stories are also part of the rich tapestry of Catholic lived experience and, if more widely known, might provide fresh inspiration for today’s faithful who are living through challenging times. The first session will focus on Renaissance-era Catholic women in Europe who were pioneers in education and the liberal arts. The second will focus on nuns and female lay catechists who actively assisted the early missionary growth of the Church in lands such as Japan, Canada, and Algeria. The third session will be devoted to the figure who is the subject of the instructor’s current book project, Cardinal Richelieu’s niece and heiress, the Duchesse d’Aiguillon, who in the 17thcentury helped to build and direct a veritable empire of Catholic ministries not only in her native France but also in other parts of Europe as well as in Africa, Asia, and North America. And the final session will focus on courageous Catholic women who stood up against some of the destructive, anti-Christian forces that were at work in the era of the French Revolution

Instructor:Dr. Bronwen McShea is an historian and currently an Associate Research Scholar with the James Madison Program at Princeton University. She has taught at the University of Nebraska Omaha, Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry, and Columbia University, where she was an ACLS New Faculty Fellow. Her first book, Apostles of Empire: The Jesuits and New Franceis forthcoming in July from the University of Nebraska Press. She received her B.A. in history from Harvard University, an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in early modern history from Yale University.