REQUIESCAT IN PACE:
HONORING KENNETH SCHMITZ
Jude P. Dougherty
The Catholic University of America
Jude P. Dougherty reports the recent death of our colleague Ken Schmitz. As a memorial to Ken, he has sent along to us the following reflections he delivered at The Catholic University of America under the auspices the JP II Institute as a tribute to Ken when he was leaving Washington for the last time.
It is privilege to participate in this event honoring a man I like to think of as Professor Dr. Kenneth Schmitz. I will first say something about his career and then something about the man. I know whereof I speak. I have known him for 55 years, all of my professional career, and all but six years of his. I first encountered Professor Schmitz the year we were both appointed to the faculty of Marquette University. I met him outside his office. I can’t say what my first impression of him might have been, but I was impressed by the young lady who was tutoring him in German so that he could master the texts of Hegel. Alas - I was studying John Dewey at the time.
Sometime later I got a call from Thomas Langan who was then chairman of the philosophy department at Indiana University. Langan wanted to know what I thought of Schmitz and how he was regarded at Marquette University. The result of Langan’s multiple inquires led to the appointment of Schmitz at Indiana, in part no doubt because of a greater salary and a lesser teaching load. In the meantime, I had moved to Louisville, Kentucky, the ancestral home of the German side of my family. At Bellarmine College in Louisville I was able to invite both Langan and Schmitz to address two organizations that I had brought into being, the Bellarmine Faculty Forum and the Kentucky Philosophical Association. Thus began a tripartite relationship that bore fruit in later years.
Indiana University in the years Schmitz and Langan were members of its faculty could boast the strongest faculty in Continental European philosophy in the United States. Schmitz, Langan, and Stalneck, complemented by Henry Veatch and others, covered a lot of territory, including Aristotle and Aquinas. But good things often come to an end. A graduate dean decided that philosophy at Indiana ought to resemble that at Princeton, Harvard, and Cornell and brought in someone from Cornell to change things; thus began the diaspora. Langan went to Toronto, Veatch to Northwestern. In the meantime I had become dean of the School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America, and, with the support of the faculty, was able to bring Schmitz to Catholic University. But that, too, was not to last. That dastardly Langan found it easy to persuade Ken to accept an appointment to the faculty of Trinity College, University of Toronto. As a Canadian, he was home again and a member of the university faculty where he had studied. But as you know, the story does not end there. With the Founding of the John Paul II Institute, Processor Schmitz was a natural recruit. He had over the years become a personal friend of Karol Wojtyla and then a student and expositor of his philosophy. Schmitz was again teaching on Michigan Avenue. Under an informal arrangement he taught some courses open to graduate students of philosophy on the CUA campus in an exchange agreement that enabled JPII students to take CUA’s philosophy listings without formal enrollment or payment.
And now the man. Kenneth Schmitz at some point in his career may have made a personal enemy, but I doubt it. Certainly, I know of none. Always a gentleman, he was habitually kind and understanding. He could take an adversarial point of view and develop it further than the proponent himself. I have never known anyone more kindly disposed or willing to put the best face on things, persons, or opinions. Etienne Gilson, with whom Schmitz once studied, is remembered for a remark he made, “The trouble with us Catholics is that we are not proud enough of the Faith.” Schmitz will tell you that he once thought of himself as an atheist. But that was early in his life. In later years he placed his intellect in the service of Christ the King as he, Langan, and I jointly prepared a number of texts in response to calls from the Magisterium. Together we produced a text on Catholic higher education and another that, unknown to us at the time, was a precursor to Fides et Ratio. That is not to say that we had any influence on the papal encyclical that finally emerged.
On a personal note, Ken and I were no strangers in each other’s homes. Ken’s wife, Lil, was the perfect hostess and a good cook and always had a bed ready if I needed one when in Toronto. In my home, Ken served as a model for my sons. He could not blow smoke rings like Ralph McInerny or imitate train whistles like Thomas Langan, but at the keyboard he could play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, all movements, through to the very end. Here was a big manly guy, and a philosopher to boot, who had accomplished something that none of my sons was able to do in spite of a $500 dollar reward that is still in the bank.
Kenneth Schmitz recently honored me by dedicating one of his latest books to me. Ken, I cannot at this time reciprocate in kind, but I can offer you a copy of one of my own fairly recent books, Religion - Gesellschaft - Demokratie: Ausgewählte Aufsätze. It is in German; it had to be translated from the English because I never mastered enough German to write in the language of Hegel. Whatever happened to that young lady who tutored you?
● Report from Our Colleagues at the University of St. Thomas, Houston
While Hurricane Harvey has done extensive damage to the city of Houston, our colleagues John Hittinger and John Knasas report the faculty members in the Center for Thomistic Studies and the University have largely weathered the storm safely.
Let us keep them in our prayer and donate monies to the recovery effort there.
REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENTS, EVENTS, AND DATES
Catholic Education Foundation Awards Event
Solemn Mass at the Church of the Holy Innocents at followed by the banquet at Arno’s Restaurant on 38th Street
$250 per plate or $2000 for a table of ten
The Catholic Education Foundation has announced its awards event for , in Manhattan. The evening will begin with a Solemn Mass at the Church of the Holy Innocents on 37th Street and Broadway at , followed by the banquet at Arno’s Restaurant on 38th Street.
Those being honored this year are:
Rev. Msgr. Sabato Pilato of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, who for nearly two decades served as a high school principal and then as superintendent of secondary schools for the Archdiocese;
Atonement Academy in San Antonio, the first Catholic school of what is now the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (the jurisdiction for former Anglicans/Episcopalians);
Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools in Michigan, which has experienced such growth that a major capital campaign is underway to expand facilities;
Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, whose sole apostolate continues to be the staffing of Catholic schools;
Dr. William Thierfelder, president of Belmont Abbey College in Charlotte, North Carolina, for providing an appropriate environment in higher education for graduates of Catholic elementary and secondary levels.
The dinner speaker is Judge Andrew Napolitano, who is a distinguished jurist and professor of law, perhaps best known for his commentary on Fox News and also for his strong promotion of natural law theory. He will speak on the importance of Catholic schools for the Church and society-at-large in a secular culture.
Foundation executive director Father Peter Stravinskas notes that “this is a wonderful opportunity to honor the all-too-often unsung heroes of Catholic education today, as well as a moment to support efforts to make Catholic education both authentic and affordable.”
Tickets for the dinner are $250 per plate or $2000 for a table of ten. Checks should be made payable to: Catholic Education Foundation. Proceeds from the dinner will go to the Foundation’s scholarship fund for Catholic high school students and to provide financial assistance to high schools desirous of participating in the Foundation’s Catholic identity assessment. Further information on the Foundation can be found at:catholiceducationfoundation.
Reservations or questions should be directed to:
Mailing address is: Catholic Education Foundation, 601 Buhler Court, Pine Beach, NJ 08741
The Catholic Education Foundation has long been a supporter of the work of the Aquinas Leadership International. Please attend or donate monies toward this event if you can and encourage others to do so!
● The École Pratique des Hautes Études Celebrates Gilson as Part of its 150th Anniversary Celebration in 2018
The École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris is pleased to announce that it will include a series of events related to the work of Étienne Gilson as part of the celebration of the school's founding in 1868. For more information about the celebration, see:
or contact Coordinateur de l’événement Michel Cacouros, Maître de conférences Habilité, Sciences Historiques et Philologiques at:
● Global Scholarly Publications, International Journal of Decision Ethics
Professor Parviz Morewedge informs us that Volume X, Spring 2017, issue of the International Journal of Decision Ethics is now available.
For those not familiar with this journal, it is an affiliate of Global Scholarly Publications (GSP), GSP, in turn, is an affiliated wing of the Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy (FID). It publishes books and journals in the humanities and social sciences. It also holds conferences and serves as a liaison among various universities and other institutions that globally foster the dissemination of scholarly works.
The International Journal of Decision Ethics invites scholarly contributions in areas of decision ethics including: politics, history, culture, business/economics, and higher education. With the exception of two invited papers, all papers included within a volume are double-blind-reviewed. Every article is confidentially peer reviewed for inclusion and accepted only on the basis of merit. The author(s), not the members of the editorial board or journal sponsors, is responsible for the positions expressed in an article.
If you have specific questions regarding Global Scholarly Publications, e-mail the following divisions or persons:
· Book orders: firstname.lastname@example.org
· International Journal of Decision Ethics (IJDE): Dr. Samuel M. Natale, SammyMN@aol.com
· International Journal of Shi'i Studies (IJSS): email@example.com
· Journal of Chinese, Indian, and Islamic Cultursal Relations: Dr. Yihong Liu, firstname.lastname@example.org
· Journal subcriptions: subscriptions@
· Manuscript submission: manuscripts@gsp-
· Website: webmaster@gsp-online.
· General inquiries: email@example.com
For all other inquiries, contact the director of GSP:
Global Scholarly Publications
220 Madison Avenue, Suite 11-G
New York, New York firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Scholarly Publications
220 Madison Avenue, Suite 11-G
New York, New York email@example.com
● Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (Aquinas Leadership International Affiliated) Blogspot
Our colleague Terrence Berres is doing yeoman’s work managing a blogspot for the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas. The Center graciously offers access to this site to Aquinas Leadership International members to post items of interest. See the following link and contact me if you have something you would like to post.
● Thomistic Institute, Washington, DC Upcoming Eventsl
For more information on the conference visit thomisticinstitute.org
School of Philosophy, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, Upcoming Lecture Series
See information immediately below about the CUA School of Philosophy’s fall lecture series:
● Society of Thomistic Personalism
Check out the link immediately below for events being sponsored by the Society of Thomistic Personalism
● Aquinas School of Philosophy Site: Rich in Resources Related to St. Thomas
For anyone interested in studying, or teaching courses on, St. Thomas, the Aquinas School of Philosophy site offers a wealth of educational information you might want to check out. See:
● Aquinas and "the Arabs"
For information about Richard Taylor's "Aquinas and the 'Arabs'" International Working Group and upcoming conferences and seminars hosted by this organization, see:
● Call for Papers, January 19–21, 2018 Telos–Paul Piccone Institute
Constitutional Theory as Cultural Problem: Global Perspectives
The 2018 Telos-Paul Piccone Institute Conference
New York, NY
Organized by Xudong Zhang (International Center for Critical Theory and New York University) and David Pan (Telos-Paul Piccone Institute and the University of California, Irvine)
About the Conference
The International Center for Critical Theory and the Telos-Paul Piccone Institute will jointly host a conference entitled "Constitutional Theory as Cultural Problem: Global Perspectives," to be held at New York University, New York, from .
If you are interested in participating, please submit a 200-word abstract along with a short c.v. to telosnyc2018@
● Membership in the International Étienne Gilson Society
Information about how to become a member of, or renew membership in, the International Étienne Gilson Society may be obtained at the link below. If you have not renewed your membership, please do so! Membership dues are used to help defray cost of the Aquinas Leadership International World Congress and other events.
● Studia Gilsoniana Journal
Check out the following link for recent and past issues of the Studia Gilsoniana journal:
● New from Brill Publishers in the Gilson Study Special Series
Brill Publisher has recently announced publication in the Gilson Study Special Series of Brian Kemple’s masterful
Ens Primum Cognitum in Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition: The Philosophy of Being as First Known
For information about this work, see: http://www.brill.com/products/
● En Route Books & Media
Check out the link immediately below for latest scholarly publications for En Route Books & Media:
● New from St. Augustine’s Press
Check out the following link for new book publications and new issues of The St. Austin Review