26 August 2011


A growing part of Vanderbilt Catholic is iFACTS, the Institute for Advancing Catholic Thought and Studies. Chad Cunningham is the director of the Institute. This year the curriculum moves into year two. The first course is called College Catholicism. It is basically a romp through the parts one and two of the Catechism: doctrine, liturgy, and sacraments. This course will be available for viewing on-line @ www.newmanconnection.com. The second year will deal with the Church's social teaching this semester and virtues next semester. The third year will roll out Theology of the Body and vocations.

But that is not all for iFACTS. Inaugurating a program of integrated studies this semester will be a course on Dante's Divine Comedy, simply the Commedia in Italian. This course will be taught by Professor Robert Benson, retired Professor of English at my alma mater, the University of the South. This course will be offered on Wednesday nights. This is a treasure!

We will also be offering a Catholic lecture series with speakers from many disciplines, including an exorcist! This should be an intellectually stimulating year at Vanderbilt Catholic.

25 August 2011

No Duplicity

On the feast of St. Bartholomew yesterday, I was preaching at Mass about the desire and need for integrity and wholeness of life as a remedy for the division caused by sin. One of the places that this integrity can be seen communally is among the monks of Norcia. Read here about this remarkable community.

21 August 2011

We are off!

Move-in Mass last night went very well. I am blessed with such tremendous student leaders (Grace, Alec, Madison, Josh, and Stephanie and all their collaborators) and FOCUS missionaries (Elizabeth, CeeCee, Frank, and Jerome), with a great director of campus ministry, Chad Cunningham, and newest to the team, my assistant Kathleen Cordell.

Please pray that our efforts to propose Jesus Christ are faithful and effective. It looks good so far. Thanks be to God!

Today, the first Masses for returning students!

20 August 2011

14 August 2011

...and Florida State?

The best football conference in the country might just end up being the best Catholic campus ministry conference in the country too, if Texas A&M and Florida State bolt the Big 12 and the ACC for the SEC. The campus ministries at these two schools have been models and inspirations for me since coming to Vanderbilt -- especially the Aggies! In this contest, Vanderbilt is keeping up better than in football!

13 August 2011

What V+C did this summer...

Contrary to popular belief, we don't just eat bon bons all summer around here.

Take a look!

Chad Michael Cunningham is the man!

12 August 2011

Aggie Catholics in the SEC? Sweet!

Could it be a matter of prayer for Texas A&M to join the SEC? Well, that's the rumor. Vanderbilt Catholic, for one, says welcome to the Aggies! Jesus, Whoop!

St. Clare, Pray for us!

For those of you who heard my rambly (like that narrows it down at all!) homily yesterday on the feast of St. Clare, here is an awesome quotation from her as well as pictures of her hair and habit that I was talking about. I think that she must have been a striking woman in just about every sense.

I really went off on a tangent in the homily (again, what's new). I had meant to focus in on virginity. St. Clare is no caricature of virginity. Look at the quote linked above or the one in the Office of Readings for her feast. There is no prudery in her! Her virginity, like everything else in her, is so powerful, strong. It makes her more human, not less. More attractive, not less. Why? Because it has united her with the Lord Jesus, the true Man and Beautiful one. This is true virginity.

06 August 2011

God is Good

Once again I realize that I am about the most blessed man in the world. The Courage Conference is such a sign of hope in the Church today. Joy, peace, and loyalty are such beautiful fruits of mercy. What if we believed what we believe? Well, in Courage they do...and FOCUS, and Rachel's Vineyard, and Totus Tuus, and, dare I say it, Vandy Catholic?

3 To Get Married, too...etc.!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

03 August 2011


I will be out of town for a few days for a conference. I have just worked it out to be able to go. I have mentioned it to a few of you, mainly mentioning some of the awesome speakers: Cardinal Burke, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, etc. But I deliberately had not said what the conference is. It is the national Courage Conference. Courage is a Catholic apostolate working with those who experience same sex attraction to live lives of chastity. It is aptly named Courage. I have been in the process in collaboration with a few others of trying to introduce this apostolate to Nashville. So I ask for your prayers that this project that has been under consideration for a long time might come to a beginning here.