The Institute of the Incarnate Word's Fulton Sheen House of Formation held the annual Universa Philosophiae exam on September 10th, 2011.
The Universa Philosophiae is a comprehensive and intensive review of all the philosophy studied in the seminary's three year philosophical course at the FSHF. During the summer the seminarians who were preparing for the Universa spent a month together in Upstate New York going over extensive philosophical material. You can read more about this summer preparation here.
In these times, the importance of everyone having a solid philosophical formation cannot be taken for granted, and especially for future priests. In his encyclical, Fides et Ratio, Blessed John Paul II detailed the errors and consequences of many modern philosophical systems which lead to atheism and despair. It is the responsibility of the Church to confront and refute these errors which challenge the existence of the truth and of an absolute.
In order to prepare the seminarians to respond to the errors of modern philosophy, the seminary's curriculum follows the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas who "as willed by Divine Providence, reached the height of all ‘scholastic’ theology and philosophy... and set the central pivot in the Church around which, at that time and since, Christian thought could be developed with sure progress" (Lumen Ecclesiae, n.13). "It is for this reason that the Church has given preference to the method and doctrine of the Angelic Doctor." (Blessed John Paul II)
This year Brothers Thomas Steinke, Daniel Vitz, Fernando Flores, Nathaniel Dreyer, and Juan Pablo Palacio took the Universa Philosophia test. All the students were given one hour to write a response to two randomly selected philosophical questions. Then they had to present their answer to the entire seminary and their responses were graded by a panel made up of Fr. Mariano Vicchi and Brothers Brian Dinkel (Ph.L)and Alwin Anbu (Ph.L). Following the oral presentation, the panel asked further questions on the presentation or another philosophical topic.
We congratulate all those who took the exam for their hard work and dedication and pray that God might bless them as they move on to the study of Theology.
St. Thomas Aquinas,
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