Chaplains' Corner

The Idea of a Catholic University

‘What are these universities now if not the tombs of God – monuments to the death of Godwithin an academic culture?’
February 5, 2021


The purpose of this paper is to examine the question of Catholic identity in Western academic

culture and assess how best it might be re-imagined so as to be at the service of faith and

the promotion of justice in the contemporary context. Regard will be had to Buckley’s theorem

on higher education and the extent to which it – in the spirit of Ex corde ecclesiae2 – offers

a normative basis for revivifying the genius and unique academic promise of the Catholic

university. A critique of current cultural trends, in academia specifically, and society generally,

will be offered. Particular attention will be paid to their compatibility with the ideals of

Christian humanism. In this context, themes of conversion, conversation and intellectual solidarity

will be treated with a view to demonstrating that Nietzsche’s morbid assessment of the

place of faith and the sacred in general academic culture, need not also read as an epitaph for

the Catholic university.


Conscious of the ‘religious atrophy’3 which has marked the historical development of the

world’s great seats of learning, Buckley offers a theorem which seeks to revivify the genius and

unique academic promise of the Catholic university. He proposes that it is a place called:

. . . to be an intellectual community where in utter academic freedom the variant lines of

Catholic tradition and thought can intersect with all of the traditions and convictions that

constitute contemporary culture and move toward a reflective unity between world culture and

the self-revelation of God.4

Buckley’s vision is one which coaxes the Catholic university out of the shadows of a vacuity

‘that offers neither challenge nor much direction’5 and invites it to reflect on and re-imagine how

best it might honour its age-old commitment to be at the service of faith and the promotion

of justice. Buckley is uncompromising in his belief that any movement toward meaning and

truth is inchoatively religious. The foundational claim of the Catholic university is that the

religious and the academic are intrinsically related and mutually enriching. Rather than reduce

the pursuit of fides quarens intellectum to a bourgeois6 morality or a general social ethic, it is

incumbent upon the Catholic university, in all enquiry and knowledge, to grapple with questions

of ultimacy and to aim ‘toward a completion in which an issue or its resolution finds place in

a universe that makes final sense, that is, in the self-disclosure of God, the truth of the finite’.7

Such pursuit eschews any Procrustean bifurcation of knowledge and faith, in favour of ‘resacralisation

and the medieval synthesis of Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome.’8

Buckley’s theorem is, of course, consistent with his general hypothesis that if religion is

to contribute to public discourse in a meaningful, rationally defensible way, it must do so on

its own terms. 9 Religion must accept that foundational thought, lest it admit of self-betrayal,

needs to be attentive to the data of religious experience. It must acknowledge and argue for

the intellectual cogency of, inter alia, sense, intuition, awareness, perceptive consciousness

and praxis. It must rest secure in the wisdom derived from the witness of personal and

institutional histories, tradition, prayer, profound reverence and religious commitment.

If intellectual enquiry takes seriously the pursuit of truth, it too must be predisposed to the

possibility that religion has something worthwhile to offer that pursuit. If it is to be truly

reasonable, it must acknowledge the cognitive value not only of the notional, but also the

real. The data of religious experience must be admitted to such enquiry not as a concession

to an inferior or lessor form of knowledge, but with equity, recognising its inherent intellectual


The difficulty for Buckley is that, whilst his theorem ‘is as normatively true now as it ever

was, the facts of history have been rendering it an abstract velleity.’10 The critical mass of

Catholic educationalists have themselves been educated in a desacralized culture and ‘are . . .

wedded to the empiricist interpretation claims and committed to the cultural order sponsored by

instrumental rationality,’ what Lawrence dubs ‘the managerial ethos with its rationalised or

bureaucratic legitimacy.’11 They already worship at popular sovereignty’s twin altars of negative

freedom and individuality. How then, when they no longer share in ‘the ongoing tradition of

questions and axioms’12 from which Buckley’s theorem originates, might they give a sympathetic

hearing to any summons for them to possess a deeper, more articulate sense of who and

what they are called to be?


The cultural milieu of Western academia has unquestionably been marked by ‘the dialectical

tension between laicist progressives and clericalist reactionaries,’13 however that tension may

not possess the polarising force it once did. The period from which these tensions emanate was

one which evidenced a preoccupation with progress and change. Modern man could well have

been styled a neophiliac and his creed was the:

unarticulated, and perhaps unconscious, assumption . . . that change [was] going somewhere;

it [had] an end or what the Greeks called a telos. In the language of philosophers, change

[was] teleological. Change [was] good because it [was] a move to the better on the way of

history toward some unspecified, and perhaps unspecifiable, good. Such [was] the faith of


The sophistocrats of that age would refuse to be limited by tradition, or any notion of

received wisdom. Such were at best a prelude for what was to come. The claim, however, that

change – and the ‘progressive’ movement towards that change – was necessarily for the good,

was exposed to be at the very least, counter-intuitive.15

What has replaced faith in change as gestell is a postmodernist distrust in all institutions ‘as

manipulative forms of oppression by the powerful.’16 What characterises the contemporary

psyche is no longer neophilia but rather ‘hyperbolic doubt’.17 ‘And why should we accept that?’

is the all-too-familiar refrain of the skeptic or malcontent who could be likened to ‘the child who

has learnt the power of the question “Why?” to elicit a response from its distracted parents’.18

In its less aggressive guise, this cultural malaise can be discerned in a passive or superficial lived

postmodernity characterised by apathy, floating lifestyles and provisional commitments.19 It

remains that the rejection of God as telos has brought the horizon of our reality painfully close

and in so doing, the unity of reality is broken: the grand vision is replaced by a plurality of small

visions, and the sense of things is fragmented and reduced, ultimately to nothing but the self.


What can also be discerned, however, is a mode of thought and way of being which is

characterised by humbler searching, a desire to heal old wounds, a seeking after liberating zones

of life, and a shift in sensibility towards the spiritual, ecological and feminine.20 This creative

postmodernity is a cultural phenomenon which the Catholic university appears uniquely capable

of engaging with in a meaningful, life-giving way. The pursuit of new connectedness and

the re-evaluation of holistic thinking is anticipated, in no small part, by Newman who was

tireless in his efforts to discover new ways of enlarging the meaning of reason as ‘a deeply

personal capacity’21 and to accord due recognition to the intuitively sound process of reasoning

engaged in by the man on the Clapham omnibus (to borrow from the legal lexicon).22 Such

reasoning was rooted in common sense and led to practical judgment. It eschewed the ‘paper

logic’ for which Newman had ‘a natural distaste.’23

The paradigmatic shift towards historicist, personalist, phenomenological, and existential

reflection that Newman inaugurated was ‘courageously counter-cultural.’24 This is no more

evident than in his comparative discourse on the notional and the real in Grammar of Assent.

For assent to truth claims to be considered real, rather than notional, those claims must be

‘discerned, rested in, and appropriated as a reality, by the religious imagination.’25 Only this

imagination is capable of having a ‘living hold on truths.’26 If the imagination remains unkindled,

belief in truth can only ever be notional and is therefore powerless to nourish ‘our

emotional and moral nature’ or provide ‘a principle of action.’27 Evidently, notions of real and

imagination are, for Newman, interchangeable. Gallagher, drawing on the influential work of

Coulson, describes this epistemology of imagination as both ‘synthetic and evocative, capable

of interpreting the data of experience and of stimulating decision.’28 He continues, ‘it is a

vital means of experiencing the real and hence of “realising” religious reality in the ordinary

adventure of faith.’29


It was the ordinary, common sense nature of Newman’s epistemology, or ‘phenomenology

of cognition’30 that captivated one of the most significant thinkers of the previous century,


I was looking for someone who had some common sense, and knew what he was talking about.

And what was Newman talking about? About judgment as assent; and real apprehension

and notional apprehension, notional assent and real assent. He was answering the liberal view

that all judgments are more or less probable but nothing is certain. And he could give


Integral to Lonergan’s notion of human authenticity is the need for conversion, intellectually,

morally and religiously. The conversion he speaks of is a transcendence to authenticity,

or better, authentic subjectivity. The resultant converted self is good, and the only perspective

or horizon from which to view this good is through the authentic self. The dialectic movement

toward self-transcendence, and therefore conversion, originates in what could well

equate with Newman’s blueprint for ‘imaginative self-involvement,’32 his ‘existential interiority’.

33 Crucially, if the dialectic is implemented by a fully converted and therefore authentic

subject, then the ‘investigator will know from personal experience just what intellectual,

moral and religious conversion is.’34 Moreover, ‘he will have no great difficulty in distinguishing

positions from counter-positions.’35 His view of history will be better than reality

(cumulative tradition), and it will be supported by other similarly converted (or at least

partially converted) subjects. What then is the (highest) fulfilment of our capacity for selftranscendence?

The experience of ‘being in love’ with others, a form of authentic intersubjectivity,

and the religious experience of ‘being in love with God’ which ‘can be as full

and as dominant, as over-whelming and as lasting an experience as human love.’36 The latter

never results from our achievement of authenticity, it is never the product of our intelligence

or freedom:

on the contrary, it dismantles and abolishes the horizon in which our knowing and choosing

went on and it sets up a new horizon in which the love of God will transvalue our values and

the eyes of that love will transform our knowing.37

With our values transvalued and our knowing transformed, we will be capable of authentic



Authentic inter-subjectivity is at the core of Christian humanism, and manifests itself in the

university context, through dialogic pedagogy and the cultivation of a world view which is

communitarian in scope and compassionate at heart. It is of no small import that conversion

is etymologically linked to conversation.We exist conversationally, a truth rooted in the primal

theological principle of logos. The task of the Catholic educator must be to firstly engage the

student in a conversation with self, the process of authentic subjectivity, so that they might

become ‘sacramental beholders,’38 capable of discerning ‘grace at the roots of the world.’39

Crucial to this dialogue with self is the cultivation of ascetical practice, not that of selfpunishment

but rather ‘the gradual stripping away of the self so that one can see what is there,’

the ‘learning not to look in the mirror long enough that one might begin to look out the

window.’40 Secondly, the educator is tasked with engaging the student in a conversation which

is ‘transtemporal as well as transpatial,’41 inviting them to dialogue with the communion of

saints so that they might come to know and value the richness of tradition’s received wisdom.

In so doing, the educator frees the student from ‘the most degrading of all forms of servitude –

of being merely a child of one’s time’42 and opens to them a horizon of meaning which

transcends both time and space. Finally, the task of the Catholic educator is to lead by example,

living a life which is informed by virtue and an authentic humanism:

The way to find virtue that enables you to determine other virtues is by living with virtuous

people. To become virtuous, live among the virtuous and imitate what they do . . . the way to

become authentically human is to live among the authentically human.43



Conversation, and the conversion attendant upon it, necessarily happens in communion. True

conversation always puts conversants at risk, because you cannot truly converse without risk of

conversion. It necessitates a willingness to take other persons seriously enough to engage them

in dialogue and debate about what makes life worth living, including questions of virtue and the

common good. What is referred to here goes well beyond contemporary notions of tolerance,

which are often nothing other than forms of epistemological agnosticism, a ‘strategy of noninterference

with the beliefs and ways of life of those who are different.’44 Rather, authentic

conversation’s chief resource, in the context of the Catholic university, is a commitment to

intellectual solidarity:

The spirit of intellectual solidarity is similar to tolerance in that it recognizes and respects

these differences. It does not seek to eliminate pluralism through coercion. But it differs

radically from pure tolerance by seeking positive engagement with the other through both

listening and speaking. It is rooted in a hope that understanding might replace incomprehension

and that perhaps even agreement could result. Where such engaged conversation about the

good life begins and develops, a community of freedom begins to exist.45

Authentic conversation is, as has been observed, a risky business, one that poses the very

real potential for conversion whether the conversants ‘begin as fundamentalists convinced of

their certitude or agnostics convinced of their doubts.’46 This element of risk speaks to the

vulnerability and fragility at the heart of Christian humanism, a humanism which is forever

under the shadow of the Cross.47 The encounter with human suffering and misery which is an

inescapable part of the human narrative must be interpreted through a hermeneutic prism

which is cruciform. Only a humanism of compassion, a ‘humanism under the sign of the

[C]ross’ is capable of withstanding ‘the disenchantment of . . . grandiose reason and the

disillusionment produced by twentieth-century experience.’48 Only ‘compassion, not malevolence,

is the deepest attribute of the ultimate mystery behind the many shards of our fractured

world’49 and therefore the only appropriate basis for a Christian response to humanity’s

existential poverty, in all its forms. It is thus in authentic community and in genuine conversation

that the culture of communion is best experienced and which is most conducive to

authentic inter-subjectivity.

In this context a participative consciousness awakens, moving the student beyond theory to

praxis, a direct engagement in social justice and service to others, so that others might see the

concrete difference that faith-based truth claims make. It is in the best traditions of the Catholic

university to form intellectuals who are courageous and go out in search of the flesh of Christ

rather than rest content with being highly-educated and starch-pressed, prepared only to discuss

matters of intellectual import over tea.50 There is always the danger that a smug sense of

superiority sometimes associated with Oxbridge and the Ivies (and those which would be like

them), can support and perpetuate the misguided notion that just being part of a conversation

at such a prestigious institution should be reward (and process) enough – enough to pass on the

mentioned sense of superiority from one generation of students to the next. This is the chief

cultural good being appropriated. If, however, the Cross is adopted as the interrogative for

intellectual endeavour, it necessitates a measure of humility and compassion and an acknowledgement,

on the part of the university and wider intellectual community that ‘it is not made up

of gods, that it deals with mystery at all times, and that not all that it achieves is free of the desire

for domination and control.’51


Whilst it remains an ever-present danger that ‘all the crosses on the towers of Catholic campuses

. . . will go the way of the Christo et Ecclesiae in Harvard’s motto,’52 the final analysis must be

one which favours hope-filled optimism over the morbid pessimism alluded to at the beginning

of this enquiry. It would be foolhardy to underestimate the many and varied cultural challenges,

from both within and without, which call into question the continued value of the Catholic

university. As Buckley’s theorem demonstrates, however, its inherent genius and academic

promise remains. Central to any renewal of Catholic identity within the intellectual community

is a commitment to holistic thinking which attaches cognitive value to the real, as well as

the notional. There must be an openness to dialogic pedagogy and the cultivation of a learning

experience which is conversational in form, communitarian in orientation, imbued with a spirit

of intellectual solidarity and directed toward the compassion of the Cross. Such conditions are,

it is submitted, most conducive to conversion and authentic inter-subjectivity which must be the

telos of Christian humanism in every age, not least our own. In the final analysis, it is not for

the Catholic university to ‘strive to be like Harvard or Oxford, but like Bethlehem, Nazareth,

Cana, Calvary, and the Upper Room at Pentecost . . . with Mary, as the ‘Word becomes flesh’

in the one who called Himself ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life.’53


Church Documents

Ex Corde Ecclesiae


Buckley, At the Origins of Modern Atheism, (Yale, 1990)

Gallagher, Clashing Symbols, (London, 2003)

Gallagher, Faith Maps, (London, 2010)

Himes and Pope (Eds.), Finding God in All Things: Essays in Honour of Michael J. Buckley SJ, (New York,


Lonergan, Collection, Crowe and Doran (Eds.), (Toronto, 1988)

Lonergan, Method in Theology, (London, 1972), p. 251.

Morelli and Morelli (Eds.),The Lonergan Reader, (Toronto, 1997)

Newman, Grammar of Assent, (London, 1903)

Newman, The Idea of the University, Svaglic (Ed.), (Indiana, 1982)


Buckley, ‘Modern Atheism’ in Latourelle and Fisichella (eds.), Dicitionary of Fundamental Theology,

(New York, 1995).

Buckley, ‘The Catholic University and its Inherent Promise’, America, Vol. 168 (19), pp. 14–16.

Casey, ‘Faith in Search of Understanding’, in Costello (Ed.), Credo: Faith and Philosophy in Contemporary

Ireland, (Dublin, 2003), pp. 1–14.

Gallagher, ‘Newman on Imagination and Faith’, Miltown Studies (No. 49), Summer 2002, pp. 84–101.

Hammond, ‘The Influence of Newman’s Doctrine of Assent on the Thought of Bernard Lonergan: A Genetic

Study’, Method 7 (2) (1989), pp. 95–115.

Himes, ‘Living Conversation’, Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education, Vol. 8, Iss. 1 [1995], Art. 5.

Hollenbach, ‘The Catholic University Under the Sign of the Cross’, in Himes and Pope (Eds.), Finding God in

All Things: Essays in Honour of Michael J. Buckley SJ, (New York, 1996), pp. 279–298.

Hollenbach, (1998) ‘Is Tolerance Enough? The Catholic University and the Common Good’, Conversations on

Jesuit Higher Education, Vol. 13, Iss. 1 [1998], Art. 3.


Lawrence, ‘Aiming High: Reflections on Buckley’s Theorem on Higher Education’, in Himes and Pope (Eds.),

Finding God in All Things: Essays in Honour of Michael J. Buckley SJ, (New York, 1996), pp. 318–339.

Neuhaus, ‘The Idea of Moral Progress’, First Things, Issue 95, August–September 1999, pp. 21–27.


Pope Franics addressing members of ecclesial movements of new lay communities and associations, Pentecost

Vigil (18th of May, 2013), St. Peter’s Square, Rome.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, speaking at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony,

19th of May, 2013.

See further, Williams, ‘Cardinal Dolan to Notre Dame Grads: “Will you let God take flesh in you?” ’, First

Things, 20th of May, 2013.


* LL.B. M.A. (Dubl.) LL.M. (Cantab.) S.T.B. (Greg.) The author is an M.Phil. candidate at the University

of Cambridge.

The author gratefully acknowledges the advice and guidance of Rev. Prof. Michael Paul Gallagher S.J. on

earlier drafts of this article. All opinions, errors and omissions remain those of the author.

1 Quoted in Buckley, ‘The Catholic University and its Inherent Promise’, America, Vol. 168 (19),

pp. 14–16, p. 14.

2 John Paul II, apostolic constitution Ex corde ecclesiae, 15th of August, 1990; Acta Apostolicae Sedis 82

(1990) 1475–1509.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid., p. 16.

5 Ibid, p. 15.

6 Lawrence, reflecting on Metz’s critique of ‘bourgeois’ religion observes that: ‘comfortable selfpreservation

is the only public norm, and free choice is restricted only by the laws of the market and of

competition and the functional commands built into the bureaucratic administration business requires . . .

Metz’s contrast of “bourgeois” religion and messianic Christianity does not grow out of some nostalgia for the

halcyon days of medieval Christianity, but is a prophetic theological critique of what has happened to Christianity

in modern times.’ Lawrence, ‘Aiming High: Reflections on Buckley’s Theorem on Higher Education’,

in Himes and Pope (Eds.), Finding God in All Things: Essays in Honour of Michael J. Buckley SJ, (NewYork,

1996), pp. 318–339, p. 328.

7 Buckley, loc. cit.

8 Lawrence, loc. cit., p. 324.

9 See generally Buckley, At the Origins of Modern Atheism, (Yale, 1990). For a synthesis of his work, see

‘Modern Atheism’ in Latourelle and Fisichella (eds.), Dicitionary of Fundamental Theology, (NewYork, 1995).

10 Lawrence, loc. cit., p. 323.

11 Ibid.

12 MacIntyre, Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry, (London, 1990); and Whose Justice? Which Rationality?

(New Haven, 1987), quoted in Lawrence, ibid., p. 322.

13 Lawrence, loc. cit., p. 324.

14 Neuhaus, ‘The Idea of Moral Progress’, First Things, Issue 95, August-September 1999, pp. 21–27,

p. 21.

15 Neuhaus cites in aid W.B. Yeat’s reflection on ‘The Second Coming’ in which he observes that ‘Things

fall apart; the centre cannot hold.’ Ibid., p. 23.

16 Gallagher, Clashing Symbols, (London, 2003), p. 102.

17 Casey, ‘Faith in Search of Understanding’, in Costello (Ed.), Credo: Faith and Philosophy in Contemporary

Ireland, (Dublin, 2003), pp. 1–14, p. 4.

18 Ibid.

19 See generally, Gallagher, op. cit., pp. 98–114.

20 Ibid. There is a danger when we speak of a shift in sensibility toward the spiritual, ecological and feminine

that we favour a rhetoric of victimhood and blame which sees the process terminate with the robust expression

of one’s complaints. Without more, such rhetoric underplays or cheats the contrapuntal need to assume


responsibility for one’s final condition, that is, the need to intervene and become the agent of one’s own natural

formation, rather than leaving it to others and then blaming them for it.

21 Gallagher, ‘Newman on Imagination and Faith’, Miltown Studies (No. 49), Summer 2002, pp. 84–101.

22 Newman, like Buckley after him, applies his general epistemology to the particular context of the

university in his oft-quoted work The Idea of the University, Svaglic (Ed.), (Indiana, 1982).

23 Gallagher, ibid.

24 Gallagher, Faith Maps, (London, 2010), p. 14.

25 Newman, Grammar of Assent, (London, 1903), p. 98.

26 Ibid., p. 117.

27 Ibid., p. 214.

28 Gallagher, ‘Newman on Imagination and Faith’, loc. cit.

29 Ibid.

30 Hammond, ‘The Influence of Newman’s Doctrine of Assent on the Thought of Bernard Lonergan:

A Genetic Study’, Method 7 (2) (1989), pp. 95–115, p. 106.

31 Lonergan, quoted in The Lonergan Reader, Morelli and Morelli (Eds.), (Toronto, 1997), p. 6.

32 Hoyler, ‘Religious Certainty and the Imagination: an interpretation of J.H. Newman’, The Thomist 50

(1986), pp. 395–416, p. 405, quoted in Gallagher, ‘Newman on Imagination and Faith’, loc. cit.

33 Gallagher, Faith Maps, op. cit., p. 13.

34 Lonergan, Method in Theology, (London, 1972), p. 251.

35 Ibid.

36 Lonergan, Collection, Crowe and Doran (Eds.), (Toronto, 1988), p. 231.

37 Lonergan, Method in Theology, op. cit., p. 106.

38 Himes, ‘Living Conversation’, Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education, Vol. 8, Iss. 1 [1995], Art. 5,

p. 5.

39 Rahner, quoted in Himes, ibid., p. 4.

40 Himes, ibid., pp. 5–6.

41 Ibid., p. 7. Himes likens the Catholic educator to the host of a cocktail party:

There you are at the door of a room in which hundreds of people are milling about. You are wondering

how you can possibly enter into this sea of humanity. And then over to you comes the host or hostess

whom you will never forget and says ‘Wonderful to see you! So glad you could come! Now let me

introduce you to so-and-so, a very interesting person who is involved in such-and-such. And here’s

someone else, the well known whatever. And this is yet a third who has recently been engaged in. . . .’

And after you have begun to talk with enough people who lead you to still others, the host or hostess can

leave you to make your own progress deeper and deeper into the crowd and can return to the door to begin

introducing someone else.Well, it seems to me that teachers are the hosts and hostesses at what is at this

point a four-thousand-year-old cocktail party’. Students are the newcomers standing at the door wondering

how, to begin the conversation, and we are the ones who take them by the arm and say, ‘Wonderful

to see you! Let me introduce you! Here’s Socrates – fascinating fellow, you’re going to love Socrates.

And this Shakespeare – what a character! And Einstein – great with numbers! And Emily Bronte! And

Bach! And Kant! And Augustine! And. . . .’ We introduce people into an enormously immense conversation

with people of different places and extraordinarily different times. One of the richest elements

in the Catholic intellectual tradition is its notion of the communion of saints, and within the Jesuit

educational tradition one of the richest elements is the insistence on engaging in a transtemporal as well

as a transspatial conversation. Our students desperately need such traditions so that they are not limited

to their own contemporaries for companionship. This is a very important issue for those of us who teach

in those traditions to consider: how do we introduce people into a living tradition, whether within the

sciences or the humanities (and, I hope, both)?

42 Ibid.

43 Ibid.

44 Hollenbach, (1998) ‘Is Tolerance Enough? The Catholic University and the Common Good’, Conversations

on Jesuit Higher Education, Vol. 13, Iss. 1 [1998], Art. 3, p. 13.

45 Ibid.

46 Ibid.

47 Hollenbach, ‘The Catholic University Under the Sign of the Cross’, in Himes and Pope (Eds.), op. cit.,

pp. 279–298.

48 Ibid., p. 293.


49 Ibid.

50 Pope Francis addressing members of ecclesial movements of new lay communities and associations,

Pentecost Vigil (18th of May, 2013), St. Peter’s Square, Rome.

51 Ibid., p. 295.

52 Ibid., p. 289.

53 Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of NewYork, speaking at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony,

19th of May, 2013. See further, ‘Cardinal Dolan to Notre Dame Grads: “Will you let God take flesh in you?” ’,

Williams, First Things, 20th of May, 2013.

The Idea of a Catholic University
Fr Dominic McGrattan

Fr Dominic McGrattan is from Portaferry and a priest of Down and Connor Diocese. He studied law and theology in Dublin, Cambridge, Rome and Louvain.  

He previously served as parish curate, hospital chaplain and an associate of the Diocese’s pastoral planning office, Living Church. He currently assists in nearby St Brigid’s Parish.

Related Posts