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UST Dinner, Lecture Celebrates Faithful Citizenship

By Bridget Hardy, University of St. Thomas
October 27th, 2012
University of St. Thomas (stthom.edu)

The University of St. Thomas Center for Faith and Culture held its second annual Faithful Citizenship Dinner and Lecture on Oct. 3. About 130 friends, supporters and students of the CFC gathered at River Oaks Country Club to celebrate faithful citizenship and engage with Georgetown scholar Dr. John Borelli on the topics of Vatican II and interreligious dialogue.

HOUSTON, TX (Catholic Online) - The event was held in gratitude to the individuals who have supported the mission and programs of the CFC. Four members of the episcopate of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston were present: Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Auxiliary Bishop George Sheltz, Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Fiorenza and the retired Bishop Vincent Rizzotto.

Other guests in attendance included Jan Duncan, St. Thomas President Dr. Robert Ivany, Darby and Judy Seré, Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson and Raye G. White.

After dinner, the Rev. Donald S. Nesti, CSSp, director of the Center, presented Carl and Lois Davis with the Faithful Citizen Award. The Faithful Citizen Award is given each year to recognize leaders of faith and culture who are a light in the midst of our way of life.
 
"Both Carl and Lois have exemplified the highest Christian standard of living in their family life, business and public service," Fr. Nesti said. "Carl's word is his bond. What you see is what you get, both in his life and how he ran his business. And Lois has given herself so unselfishly to the service of the church, in particular as a member of Our Lady of Walsingham parish."The presentation of the award was followed by Borelli, who spoke on "Vatican II: Yesterday and Today."

"Dr. Borelli gave a thorough overview of the Second Vatican Council and its effect on Church life today," Archbishop Fiorenza said. "There is no doubt that the liturgical life now -- more solidly based on scripture and openness to ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, as well as to the world -- is the result of Vatican II."

Borelli, special assistant for Interreligious Initiatives to the president of Georgetown University, lectured on a range of topics discussed at the Second Vatican Council, such as interreligious dialogue, religious freedom and freedom of conscience, before fielding questions from the audience.
 
"The purpose of the Faithful Citizenship Dinner - and the subsequent Archbishop Fiorenza Lecture - is to embody intellectual charity and the way we assist each other in expanding our vision of truth and deepening our faith commitment," Fr. Nesti said. "These events afford the Center for Faith and Culture the opportunity to present the general public and friends of the CFC with stimulating intellectual dialogue."

The Center offers a Master of Arts in Faith and Culture degree program at St. Thomas. Since its founding in 1994, the Center for Faith and Culture has also organized conferences, symposia, interreligious dialogue and parish outreach programs all dedicated to facilitating an interaction between faith, American culture and the formation of faithful citizenship.

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Pictured (left to right):
Father Donald S. Nesti, CSSp, Darby Seré, Judy Seré, Archbishop Fiorenza, Lois Davis, Carl Davis and Dr. John Borelli

Thumbnail Photo: Father Donald S. Nesti, CSSp, and Dr. John Borelli
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The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houston's only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers.

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