Tuesday, May 09, 2023

The First Adeodatus Conference on Catholic Education and Culture

Pasadena, California, June 21-24th. Theme for 2023: Major Sources of Catholic Education and its Renewal

I am delighted to be able to bring to your attention details of what promises to be an exciting and influental conference, Adeodatus. You can read about it at their website: Adeodatus.com. There is a star-studded line-up of speakers and numbers are limited to only 150 attendees, so if you are interested please book early.

A deep educator discount is available. Visit the Adeodatus website and use promotional code Educator to receive 50% off the complete registration fee. Streaming options for individuals and schools are also available.

The speaker list is as follows:

Michael Waldstein, Andrew Kern, James Matthew Wilson, Ed Feser, R. Jared Staudt, Mike Foley, David Deavel, Fabio Reali, Josef Froula, Fr. Robert Spitzer, Arthur Hippler, Paul Shrimpton, Joe Heschmeyer, Fr. Sebastian Walshe, Margarita Mooney Clayton, Dale Ahlquist, David Whalen, RJ Snell, Andrew Seeley, Deal Hudson, Michael Naughton, and Pater Edmund Waldstein.
In addition there will be a closing Mass for which the music will be Frank LaRocca’s Mass of the Americas, and a pre-conference presentation by myself and Dr Brandon Cook.
Hosted by Alex E. Lessard PH.D., the conference will outfit educators with the tools they need and the confidence to succeed regardless of their backgrounds. Top-level speakers will provide a comprehensive “crash course” in Catholic Liberal Education. My wife Margarita (who is also speaking) and I were privileged to meet Alex at the Scala Conference last month and we spent much time discussing his upcoming conference and the growing Catholic education movement. We are excited to be involved.
Brandon and I will be presenting an idea for specialised Classical Academies for the arts that devote their extra curricular activities predominantly to one creative pursuit, so as to raise the standards of artists serving the Church.
Brandon approached me about 18 months ago with a vision for a new sort of Classical Academy. Would it be possible, he asked me, to create an curriculum of study of art from K-12? The ideas was that by the time they are 18, students will have skills and knowledge of tradition superior to those of most current MFA graduates. The template for this comes from the tradition of choir schools as feeder institutions for the great choirs in England. What is important is that the choir schools do so without compromising academic standards. This not only will be a springboard for those who wish to be artists, but the deep formation in creativity and the Catholic imagination it engenders in all students, regardless of their artistic ability, will give them the capacity for supernatural creativity that can be employed, in principle, in any human activity. This is the training that will form the research scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs and culture influencers of the future.
We have been considering how this might work for painters, but in principle, we feel, these could become a model for specialised classical academies in a variety of pursuits; musical performance, musical composition, visual art in its many forms, architectural design and so on. The point is that each academy narrows the focus of the artistic pursuit they offer so as to take the students more deeply into the mystery of being a Catholic creative, a role which then has application in all human activity.
Our inspiration here is Pius XI, who wrote in his encyclical of 1929, Divini illius Magistri, that: 
94. The proper and immediate end of Christian education is to cooperate with divine grace in forming the true and perfect Christian, that is, to form Christ Himself in those regenerated by Baptism, according to the emphatic expression of the Apostle: “My little children, of whom I am in labor again, until Christ be formed in you.” For the true Christian must live a supernatural life in Christ: “Christ who is your life,” and display it in all his actions: “That the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”

95. For precisely this reason, Christian education takes in the whole aggregate of human life, physical and spiritual, intellectual and moral, individual, domestic and social, not with a view of reducing it in any way, but in order to elevate, regulate and perfect it, in accordance with the example and teaching of Christ.
Hence Christian education of the sort we envisage forms us into something greater than Superman, that is Supernatural Man! When we partake of the divine nature we put on Christ and can strive to imitate Him, His Blessed Mother and the Saints. This is more than Superman ever did. It is the saints who are the true type for superheroes.
Peter Paul Rubens: The Crowning of the Virgin
Peter Paul Rubens, The Last Judgement
Peter Paul Rubens, St George and the Dragon

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