Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas,
Priest and Doctor of the Church
Today we celebrate the memorial feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, revered among many as one of the churches’ greatest theologians and philosophers. He joined the Order of Preachers much to the disappointment of his family who wanted him to follow the family tradition of becoming a Benedictine. Thomas taught, wrote learned books, and contributed in an outstanding way to philosophy and theology. His mentor and teacher was St. Albert the Great, also an accomplished member of the Dominican community.
I was taught by Dominicans in my early years and grew up to learn the importance of Thomas Aquinas especially as a learned teacher and preacher. He is known as the patron of all Catholic educational establishments. I was privileged to study, learn and pray with Dominicans during my years of formation in lay ministry. Aquinas College and Dominican Center at Marywood in Grand Rapids, MI as well as Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology hold special memories for me as times of profound spiritual and academic growth all under the patronage of Thomas Aquinas. Some of my first theology courses were taken at Aquinas College. I completed an internship in spiritual direction at Marywood and I spent many hours in prayer and celebration in Thomas Aquinas Chapel at Saint Meinrad during my course work leading to completion of graduate studies. The great St. Thomas Aquinas has inspired and challenged many in academia and spirituality over the years and continues to this day.
In reflecting on my past and present experiences of learning and growing in my faith, I am drawn to the words of scripture found in today’s first reading from the Book of Wisdom:
"I prayed, and prudence was given me:/I pleaded, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me." Wisdom 7:70
I continue to pray for wisdom and guidance from the great spirit who inspired Thomas Aquinas and all who walk this journey of faith. As we reflect on the many gifts Aquinas has blessed our church with on this his memorial feast, may we recommit ourselves to higher learning and living a faith-filled life.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, continue to inspire us to be steadfast in our quest for ongoing knowledge and the pursuit of an ever-deepening faith life. Amen.
Theresa Secord is a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.