Religious Life Lecture Series 2008-2009


Albino Luciani, who took the name John Paul, served the Roman Catholic Church as Pope for thirty-three days in the late summer and early fall of 1978.

“Ilustrissimi” are a collection of letters written by Pope John Paul l when he was Patriarch of Venice.  The letters were originally published in the Italian Christian paper “Messaggero di S. Antonio” between 1972 and 1975 and were published in book form in 1976.  The letter stands as one of the few writings in public circulation that indicate what sort of person John Paul l was and what sort of Pope he might have been had he lived longer.

Inspired by his sense of inclusivity and diversity, and to his various and manifold ways of approaching the mystery of salvation, this year’s lecture series invites us to reflect on God and the church from a wide variety of perspectives and vantage points.

Theresa, the love you gave God (and your neighbour for love of God) was really worthy of him.  This is how our love should be; a flame fed by all that’s great and fine in ourselves; a rejection of all that’s refractory in us; and a victory that carried us on its winds and takes us as a gift to the feet of God.”  (Luciani’s Letter to St. Theresa of Lisieux).

September 18, 2008
Judy Cannato
Judy Cannato, M.Ed., M.A., CSJ Associate
"Radical Amazement:  A Spirituality of Awe and Wonder"

Abraham Heschel said that the only appropriate response to an encounter with the Holy is one of “radical amazement.”  The discoveries of modern science over the last century provide us with new images for reflection, new metaphors for understanding. As this new telling of the Universe Story seeps into our awareness it challenges the way we think and respond to the life around us.  As clearly as the parables told by Jesus challenged his listeners, so the Universe Story challenges us.  Join us for an exploration of the cosmos that evokes radical amazement and invites us into a contemplative awareness of the connectedness of all creation.

Judy Cannato is a spiritual director at River’s Edge at St. Joseph Centre in Cleveland, Ohio and the author of Quantum Grace:  Lenten Reflections on Creation and Connectedness and Radical Amazement:  Contemplative Lessons from Black Holes, Supernovas and Other Wonders of the Universe, which won a 2007 Catholic Press Association award.
Sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of London
September 20, 2008
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Judy Cannato
Judy Cannato
"Radical Amazement:  A Hopeful Response to the Ecological Challenges of Our Time"

A day long seminar presented by the Spiritual Ministries Network of the Sisters of St. Joseph and Associates

To register telephone:  519-432-3781 Ext. 567 

Sponsored by the Spiritual Ministries Network of the Sisters of St. Joseph and Associates and the Office of Campus Ministry, King’s University College
September 25, 2008
John Dyson
John Dyson
"Climbing the Invisible Mountain"

John Dyson will share his story of living with a learning disability from a place of understanding and empathy as well as a newly discovered sense of passion.  He will be joined by a panel of individuals whose goal is to assist and empower people with learning disabilities.  Together they will explore the changes that must occur to ensure inclusiveness in both our educational facilities and places of employment.

John Dyson recently completed his Arts and Science Diploma from Fanshawe College, and attained employment at TD/Canada Trust as a Telephone Banking Specialist.  In addition he conducts workshops and presentations for community agencies, regularly writes articles that are shared with the community and advocates for people with learning disabilities in many circles including the influential ears of London area MPP’s. Panelists will include Heather Haldane Learning Disabilities Services Coordinator at ATN Access Inc., Chris Giulekas, Senior Manger, Call Centrefrom TD/Canada Trust and Michael Allegretti, Disabilities Counselor here at King’s University College. 
October 9, 2008
Clare Fitzgerald
Sister Clare Fitzgerald, SSND, Ph.D.
"Discipleship in a Post-Christian World"

Karl Rahner is quoted as saying, “In today’s world one is either a mystic or a non believer.”  On the road of discipleship one must travel from Bethlehem to Baptism, to Bethany and hopefully to the Beatific Vision.  That journey demands courage, conviction and commitment --- in other words, these disciples have to be holy men and women, even saints and mystics.  The question today is, have we lost our way?

Sister Clare Fitzgerald, a native Bostonian received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of Notre Dame in Maryland, earned her Master’s Degree at Catholic University in Washington, DC and was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy by St. Louis University. In 1994 she received the prestigious William H. Sadlier Dinger Award for distinguished contributions to Catholic Education and leadership, and in 1998,received the C. Albert Koop Award for her commitment for excellence and scholarship in the training of Catholic Education Leaders in the United States.
Sponsored by the London District Catholic School Board
October 16, 2008
Rev. Thomas Collins

Most Reverend Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto

"Discipleship and the Culture of Life"

In this evening, Archbishop Collins will reflect on the mission of Jesus who came to bring us life. We too, as his disciples, must always be committed to the culture of life in every aspect of society.

The Most Reverend Archbishop Collins was named Archbishop of Toronto in December of 2008.  Since his first appointment as Bishop 10 years ago, he has been active in the CCCB as a member of its Permanent Council.  He is currently liaison bishop with the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Canada.
October 23, 2007
Steven Kimbrough
Steven Kimbrough

"Sweet Singer"
A musical play about Charles Wesley, the sweet singer of Methodism

Sweet Singer is a musical drama which tells the story of Charles Wesley, prolific poet and man of God. It presents some of Wesley’s best loved poems, such as Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, and many more, which relate his reaction to an unjust world and his quest to answer the question:  What shall I do to make the most of a short life?  Sweet Singer deals with Wesley’s struggle against poverty, reluctant acceptance of Holy Orders, social and spiritual reform, personal transformation, courage in the face of violence, family devotion and conflict, as well as poetic genius. 

Steven Kimbrough is well known as a recital and concert singer through many appearances at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and with symphonies in the USA and abroad. A regular guest on European radio and television, he has starred in musical films for television and has portrayed leading roles in many musicals such as Man of La Mancha, South Pacific and Carousel.
November 6, 2008
Rabbi Aaron Flanzraich

Rabbi Aaron Flanzraich, Senior Rabbi, Beth Sholom Synagogue

"Judaism and Christianity : Are we text or context? A Jewish Viewpoint"

Judaism, like the other great confessional faiths, shares a remarkable relationship with the Word.  And in many ways Judaism was born not the result of a single, majestic revelatory moment but on the basis of the revelation of the Word of God.  Yet, while we are born from the Word, living with it poses unique and challenging elements.  Recent history has shown us that the battle to understand how we can live with the Word, and live with others is one we need an answer to.

Beth Sholom Synagogue’s Rabbi Aaron Flanzraich, was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1966.  A graduate of Bar llan University, he was admitted into the University’s prestigious Advanced Talmudic Institute.  In 1990, he received a dual ordination from Yeshivat Sha’ar Ephraim, and the Israeli Chief Rabbinate. He is president of both the Toronto Board of Rabbis and the Christian Jewish Dialogue of Toronto as well as a board member of the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus.  Rabbi Flanzraich is a frequent guest on TVO, Vision TV and the CBC.
Sponsored by the Centre for Catholic-Jewish Learning
November 20, 2008
Rev J. Michael Miller

Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB, Archbishop of Vancouver, BC

"Catholic Education in the Global Context"

This talk will consider several major trends affecting Catholic higher education in Canada and around the world, including globalization, information technology and dominance of market forces. Catholic colleges and universities will flourish only if they reaffirm their commitment to the great tradition of learning, scholarship and service that they have developed in the course of their almost millennial history:  a love for truth, a conviction about the harmony of faith and reason, a concern for educational solidarity and a reawakening of integral Christian humanism.

The Most Reverend J. Michael Miller was named coadjutor archbishop for the archdiocese of Vancouver in June of 2007.  Born in Ottawa on July 9, 1946, Archbishop Miller joined the Basilian congregation in 1966 and was ordained to the priesthood by Pope Paul VI in 1975.  He was appointed titular Archbishop of Vertara and Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education in 2003 by Pope John Paul II. 
Annual Christ the King Lecture
January 22, 2009
Gerald Fagan Singers
Gerald Fagan Singers

"The Moral Value of Choral Music"

Using the performance practices of the Gerald Fagan Singers, Mr. Fagan would like to explore the intent of the composer in setting religious text, the creative process that takes place in transferring the text to a choral setting and the inevitable decision on the part of the individual chorister to instill their life experience to the performance.

Since their inception in 1979, the Gerald Fagan Singers have established themselves as one of Canada’s premiere chamber choirs.  As well as performing a full concert series annually in London, the Singers take their choral enthusiasm to various parts of Ontario and Canada. Previous touring has taken them to England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Monaco and Spain – always to enthusiastic and supportive audiences.
February 12, 2009
Pamela Cushing
Dr. Pamela Cushing
"Imagination, Disability and Diversity in L’Arche"

What is lost for all of us when, as a society, we refuse to work at finding ways to include the devalued diversity that disability represents?  It takes more than mere exposure for the public to learn to recognize the person behind the disability. Dr. Cushing discusses how the gospel-inspired ideas of Jean Vanier provide an alternative lens for imagining disability that is lived out in the context of L’Arche communities. Members of the L’Arche community of London will support this discussion with song, an opening prayer and their unique presence.

Dr. Cushing is an Assistant Professor at King’s University College. She has written many journal articles on disability, caregivers and formation and recently collaborated with Jean Vanier and others in social action research to articulate distinct beliefs about humanness emerging from the L’Arche experience.

March 26, 2009
Eva Solomon
Sister Eva Solomon, CSJ
"Jesus as Paradigm and Practitioner of Interculturation of Faith:  'Build me a Church That Will Honor My Son'"

This presentation will provide information on the process of interculturation of faith.  It will focus on the mystery of the incarnation of Jesus as paradigm of interculturation of faith, relating that to the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico and its impact on the Aboriginal peoples of the Americas. It will also reflect on the Gospel of John, Chapter 4, concentrating on Jesus as the practitioner, par excellence, of interculturation of faith.

Sister Eva Solomon is a native Ojibway from Northern Ontario. She has been a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie for over forty years.  Shehas a strong commitment to the development of a truly native Catholic Church. She has served on the Tekakwitha Conference Board dedicated to the growth and development of the Native American Catholic Church.