June 21, 2012

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Cardinal Dolan visits MSMC

Cardinal 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, learning" center.

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.


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