Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Chaplain appointed for Anglophone Students

The Rector of the University, Fr. Charles Morerod, OP, has appointed Fr. Dominic Holtz, OP, from the Province of St. Albert the Great (USA), as the new chaplain to offer pastoral and spiritual support to Anglophone students and staff at the Angelicum.
Fr. Holtz has recently joined the Angelicum teaching staff as Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Philosophy. Fr. Holz replaces Fr. Benedict Croell, O,P who has returned to his Province of St. Joseph (USA) as Vocation Director.

"I was trained as a Medievalist, which means that I am something of a generalist, but I have a special love and interest in historical theology, especially the thought of Thomas Aquinas, as well as historical Christology, sacramental theology, and liturgy. To me, Medieval theologians are both intrinsically interesting (that is, worth one’s time even without any desire to do anything about it) and directly relevant (that is, able to weigh in and hold their own in contemporary questions). It is fascinating and refreshing to read about questions both central and marginal to Christians of the past which inspire no interest in the present, and not only as a wholesome escape from present troubles and trials. Chesterton has reminded us of the “democracy of the dead,” of allowing past voices a place at the table and letting their voices be heard. If my work helps in some small part to expand theological suffrage, I will be satisfied.

What I most enjoy about teaching students is the opportunity to spread a little of the same infectious enthusiasm for the Christian faith which I received from my teachers. It is a real privilege to watch that initial interest spread, branch out, dig roots, blossom, and bear fruit, and to have been a part in that. However, even more than teaching students, I enjoy seeing what happens after they have been taught: to hear of a student citing from St. Anselm or St. Thomas in another class, to be told that a student found himself thinking of his studies of the Confessions while on retreat, or to hear that another student has come to be reborn in baptism and found her studies of Medieval Christian theology a source of strength during her time as a catechumen. Like the Angelic Doctor, I see that it is better to illumine than merely to shine.

When not enjoying the still and quiet air of delightful studies, I am something of a fan of movies (not “the cinema,” which is far too mannered a word to cover my tastes), anything from serious drama to romantic comedy to action/adventure or horror. If I am not reading, or in my Dominican community, or in front of a glowing screen, I am probably at the zoo (and St. Louis’ zoo is one of the country’s finest), no doubt still working through my childhood dreams of studying the great apes"

*From the Faculty & Administration page of the Aquinas Institute of Theology (St. Louis, MO, USA).

Check out Fr. Holz preaching blog: