Archived Letters from Interim Director Fr. Howell, SJ

A holy day has dawned upon us. Today a great light has come upon the earth. (Gospel Alleluia verse for Christmas Day)

Posted by Pat Howell, SJ on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 10:12 AM PST

The holy season of Christmas rolls around once again, and we have the Advent opportunity to enter into the quiet of these darkened days, letting God dwell more fully in our minds and hearts. It’s a time for family and friends, greeting cards, sacred music concerts, and, sometimes, by a quirk of grace, a surprise visit from an old friend. May it be a time of blessing for each of you.

We have had a FULL year here at the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture. Our core work of assisting faculty and staff to inculcate the Catholic tradition into their teaching and research continues. It is one of those quiet, but crucial aspects of advancing the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, of shedding light on reason through faith, and challenging our faith through reason. 

We were most fortunate this year in receiving a $3 million endowment from a generous donor and lifelong friend of Seattle University. Such gifts enable us to have a much more vigorous, strategic focus for hosting and funding these programs:

·  the popular, three-part Catholic Heritage Lecture series,

·  strategic stipending faculty for summer research and course preparation in the Catholic intellectual tradition,

·  partnering with the Archdiocese of Seattle on crucial social justice issues of immigration and racism,

·  addressing the sexual abuse crisis in the Church through three major events, including public lectures and faculty/staff discussions,

·  sponsoring a broad variety of interdisciplinary faculty reading groups,

·  hosting an ongoing interfaith dialogue on crucial issues of faith, culture, art, and science.

May this time be one of many blessings for each of you and for your families. 

Patrick Howell, S.J., interim director
Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture

A wreath three lit purple candles in the middle and a bookshelf in the background


Happy Advent and Merry Christmas from the ICTC!