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Dolan meets and greets at the Mount
NEWBURGH – Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, made
his first visit to Mount Saint Mary College since its 50th anniversary
in 2009, when he was presented an honorary degree. Dolan delivered a Thursday
morning liturgy to open the Mount's four-day workshop, Aquinas and the
Mind/Body Problem, which runs until June 24.
Scholars from all over the world will be visiting to present at the workshop,
such as Fr. Charles Morerod, Bishop of Lausanne, Fribourg and Geneva,
Switzerland; Candace Vogler, Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and
William Carroll from Oxford University.
During the service, a communion in honor of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Archbishop
Dolan remarked on how congruous the occasion was.
"Here we are at a university founded by Dominican sisters at a
symposium in honor of a great Dominican saint, Thomas Aquinas, at a university
led by a Franciscan father celebrating the feast of a Jesuit, Saint Aloysius
Gonzaga. That's pretty ecumenical," he said. "I couldn't think
of a better setting to do it than here at Mount Saint Mary."
He quoted Pope Benedict XVI in saying that the temptation today is to
reduce Jesus Christ into simply a concept or an idea. Thomas Aquinas wrote
that there are certain things that can be known for certain, objective
truths written in natural law, said Dolan.
The Franciscan father he alluded to, College President Fr. Kevin Mackin,
updated the cardinal on the conversion of the Mount's Dominican Center.
The 90,000 square-foot building is being completely remodeled, gaining
a state-of-the-art library, a dining hall overlooking the Hudson River,
and new dormitories on the upper floors, which Mackin calls a "living,
The roughly $21 million project also includes new softball and baseball
fields and will begin construction next month, with most of it due to
be finished by August 2013.
Mackin said the center will transform the campus; it's a remodel done
in a similar vein to one recently appropriated at Stanford, and will provide
much needed space.
"More and more of our undergraduates want to live on campus, so what
we really wanted to do was create more residential hall space. Our resident
undergraduate population is increasing to the point where we're running
out of beds," said Mackin.
The new library will replace their current one in the adjacent Aquinas
Hall, which will be converted into office space and classrooms.