received a kind of cool compliment today, particularly in light of my recent embarrassing moment of being asked to watch my language while I teach (a bit too casually Irish-American for some tastes, I'm afraid!). The Chair, Assistant Chair, and Director of Undergraduate Theology have asked me to lead a discussion for undergraduate Theology majors after the upcoming Père Marquette Lecture
on March 9th. The annual Père Marquette Lecture is always the
theological event of the year at Marquette. This year the speaker is Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, the John and Gertrude Hubbard Chair in Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, and co-editor of the magisterial five-volume History of Vatican II
with Bologna's Giuseppe Alberigo that has produced some recent controversy
According to the advance info, Fr. Komonchak’s address, "'Who Are the Church?', will explore the hypothesis that for every statement one makes about the Church, one should be ready to answer the question, 'Of whom am I speaking?' He supports his position with St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas and relates his views to those of Hans Urs von Balthasar and Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J.." I will apparently help facilitate a gathering of undergraduate Theology majors afterwards in talking over what was presented at the Lecture. It's not a great deal of work on my part: as long as I can read it in advance – and Deirdre Dempsey, our assistant Chair and all-around cool person, assured me that I could get an advance copy of the book form of the Lecture – then I should have more than enough material to have the right kind of questions on hand to get the discussion rolling and to keep it going. Mostly I'm just pleased to be someone the Department thinks of turning to in order to contribute to undergraduate education when they so easily could have had a member of the faculty do this as well, since some of them will be present at the discussion, too.