Christendom College welcomed benefactors and distinguished guests for its annual Summer Consortium event, focused the theme “The Kingship of Christ and Defending Religious Liberty.” Featuring talks from Dr. Ryan Anderson, Fr. Francis “Rocky” Hoffman, and others, the event provided a rich intellectual and spiritual journey for participants as they discussed the deep questions that challenge the Catholic Faith in our present age.
Each year, Christendom hosts an exclusive Summer Consortium event for the college’s President’s Council, St, John Paul II Legacy Society members, and others, providing them with a weekend representing the height of the Christendom College experience. Fr. Francis “Rocky” Hoffman, the Executive Director and CEO of Relevant Radio, kicked off the proceedings on Friday evening with his talk “St. Joseph: Protector of the Universal Church.”
During his talk, Fr. Rocky illuminated the importance of St. Joseph, particularly during this special “Year of St. Joseph” being celebrated in the Catholic Church in 2021. His example as a husband, father, and as protector of the Catholic Church is one to emulate during these confusing times, said Fr. Rocky, pointing to St. Joseph as a guide in the days ahead.
“When we get caught up in the difficulties and challenges and surprises of everyday life, remember St. Joseph, Protector of the Universal Church, and he will help us,” said Fr. Rocky.
On Saturday, participants were treated to a full day of talks, beginning with a lecture from College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell titled “On Quas Primas — The Universal Kingship of Christ.” Turning to both theology and the history of the Catholic Church, O’Donnell spoke eloquently on the importance of recognizing Christ as King and the need for society to do so again.
“Let’s pledge our loyalty to Christ our King,” said O’Donnell. “Let us think concretely how we, in our lives, can help build this civilization of love. If we can enthrone the Sacred Heart, acknowledging the Kingship of Christ, in our homes, in our families, in our businesses, in our parishes, in our schools, in our colleges, let’s do that, that one day our nation and our world will acknowledge Jesus Christ as Our King. May His Kingdom come.”
Following Mass in Christ the King Chapel, celebrated by former college chaplain Fr. John Riley, participants heard from Christendom’s Theology Department Chairman Dr. Owen Vyner. During his talk, titled “Sacramental Penance and the Triumph Over Sin: Participation in Christ’s Kingship,” Vyner provided a powerful look into the theology behind the nature of sin and how each person can more fully follow Christ through the Sacrament of Confession.
“Contrition, confession, and satisfaction undoes sin at its root, but more deeply, aided by grace, we are sharing in God’s own freedom,” said Vyner. “To do battle and to seek to overcome sin is to have the freedom of a king. More specifically, it is to share in Christ’s Kingship and his victory over sin on the cross. Thus to engage in this battle, through the sacrament and the virtue of penance, is to have royal freedom — the freedom of the sons and daughters of God.”
Defending religious liberty, the second focus of this year’s Consortium, took primacy on Saturday evening. A delicious dinner, provided by award-winning college Executive Chef Don Higby, preceded the keynote address from Dr. Ryan Anderson, acclaimed author, speaker, and the President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Anderson, who has previously spoken at the college on multiple occasions and taught as an adjunct professor as well, delivered an address titled: “Religious Liberty Is Important, But It’s Not Enough.”
In his address, Anderson pointed to recent victories and failures for religious liberty in court cases, providing a sobering account of the current state of religious liberty in America. Still, there are signs of hope, according to Anderson, and a need to work and pray harder for a better future in America.
“There are three truths from the very beginning of the Bible — that we’re made in the image and likeness of God, that were created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other,” said Anderson. “Whether it’s the abortion debate, the transgender debate, or the gay marriage debate, those are the truths that are most threatened today. But Christendom students are living these truths out. They are forming families, having babies, and coming back as faculty members. They are doing work that is bearing witness to the truth in their personal life, professional life, and in their intellectual and spiritual life.”
The 2021 Summer Consortium provided a unique opportunity for benefactors and friends of the college to pursue wisdom together, all within the context of a rich Catholic culture. The end result was an unforgettable weekend, as all forged ahead in the pursuit of restoring all things Christ.
For more information on how to be a part of the President’s Council, the St. John Paul II Legacy Society, or how to give to the college, visit here.
To view all talks from this year’s Summer Consortium, please visit here.