Why a Thomistic Institute?

St. Thomas Aquinas and the Thomistic tradition offer a profound and coherent approach to the Christian intellectual tradition that enable us to understand the nature of things and to have an ultimate perspective of things (wisdom). Thomism, following basic Aristotelian science (knowledge), includes both “an integral way of seeing the world, rightly” and a lively “engagement with the contemporary issues of one’s age, in the service of evangelization.”[i] Thomism “has been tested by the fires of time, and its wisdom endures through the ages.”[ii] We need a guide in being educated, and the Church teaches, continually and without reservation, that St. Thomas is the great master of the intellectual life.

Pope John XXII, speaking about St. Thomas, said before his canonization that “his life was saintly and his doctrine could only be miraculous … because he enlightened the church more than all the other doctors. By the use of his works a man could profit more in one year than if he studies the doctrine of others for his whole life.”[iii]

[i] Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., “Thomism After Vatican II,” 3. (accessible here:

http://www.op.org/sites/www.op.org/files/public/documents/fichier/white_thomism_after_vatican_ii.pdf). See also on page 9: “A living Thomism must not only transmit the integral knowledge of principles, but also engage contemporary issues in the service of evangelization.”

[ii] Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., “Why Should Christian Study Philosophy, Nova et Vetera (English Edition), Winter 2012, vol. 10, no. 1, 25. The author has a slightly different subject in mind – scholastic or Thomistic philosophy. But I am confident that he would also agree that his words are true of Thomistic theology as well.

[iii] Quoted in Ronald McArthur, “Saint Thomas and the Formation of the Catholic Mind,” 136 (accessible here: https://thomasaquinas.edu/a-liberating-education/popes-st-thomas); further papal quotes through 140.