Reading the Scriptures with St. Thomas Aquinas

Everyone knows about St. Thomas’ Summa Theologiae and all the complicated philosophical questions it raises, but Thomas was also a writer of important spiritual works. The Communio Circle of the Diocese of Hamilton and St. Ann’s Parish, Ancaster present a three-day celebration of Thomas’ exciting commentaries on the Bible. All are welcome to attend any or all of the following events:
On Friday, January 28th, the Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas, we will begin with Mass at 7:00pm followed by a talk at 7:30pm given by Dr. Peter Erb, Professor Emeritus, Department of Religion and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University. This evening we will look at the way people approached the Bible in earlier days and how St. Thomas approached the Scriptures, how his commentaries served and can serve as guides for prayer and contemplation as well as understanding the Bible. We will focus on parts of St. Thomas’ “Commentary on the Gospel of John” (the texts will be supplied) and be doing a number of practical exercises, so bring along lots of scrap paper and a pen, and by all means a Bible (RSV or NRSV preferred, but any translation will do). There will be some “homework” assignments (not terribly onerous!) for the seminar on Sunday afternoon.
On Saturday, January 29th, Dr. Peter Erb will be keeping “office hours” in the Parish Centre basement from 2:00pm to 4:00pm for anyone who wants to discuss the “homework” for Sunday or has any questions that arising out of the talk on Friday night.
On Sunday, January 30th, at 3:00pm Dr. Peter Erb will be facilitating a seminar on the sections covered Friday night from St. Thomas’ Commentary on John. This will be an opportunity for you to share your “homework” assignment reflections and discuss them with others. At 5:00pm we will be concluding our three-day celebration with the Thomistic Toast and Turkey Roast (dinner provided by the Knights of Columbus).
For further details, please contact Fr. Mark Morley at or 905-648-6874, as well as
Dr. Peter Erb at or 1-888-690-1890.

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4 Responses to Reading the Scriptures with St. Thomas Aquinas

  1. C. Fernandes says:

    A glorious weekend gathering was held in honour of St. Thomas Aquinas at St. Ann’s, Ancaster. We began with Mass on Friday the 28th, the Memorial of St. Thomas. Fr. Mark Morley (Associate Pastor, St. Ann’s) presided with Deacon Charles Fernandes. The concelebrants were Fr. Dan Miehm (Pastor, St. Ann’s), Fr. Ed Henhoeffer (Pastor, St. John the Baptist, Guelph), and Fr. Michael Anderson (Associate Pastor, St. Michael’s, Oakville). Fr. Mark preached on the St. Thomas, speaking of the ecclesial nature of his vocation, and all of our vocations. In Jesus’ parable of the seed which is given growth (Mark 4:26-34), we can see how the fruitfulness of all callings comes from our participation in the life of the church.
    We then adjourned to the Parish Centre for our first public event, a talk by Dr. Peter Erb on St. Thomas Aquinas and the Bible. About seventy, or maybe seventy-two people, enjoyed Peter’s lively presentation, highlighting the man, the matter, the meaning, and the method of St. Thomas’s approach to the Bible. While we know him as a philosopher, he was a Master of the Sacred Page, and wrote many biblical commentaries. St. Thomas would have memorized the Bible, and many of the early Church Fathers’ commentaries as well. Participants were given a section of St. Thomas’s great commentary on the Gospel of John, and were shown how he approached the first few chapters by dividing them into meaningful segments, working from larger to smaller.
    Saturday afternoon, Peter was available for office hours. On Sunday about 40 of us reconvened to continue our study of St. Thomas and the Bible. Following a twenty-five year tradition, we concluded with a glorious dinner, hosted by the Knights of Columbus of St. Ann’s. Peter inaugurated the “Thomistic Toast and Turkey Roast” with a gathering of his students at his home, and a turkey he prepared on his barbecue. The event has been hosted by the Communio Circle of the Diocese of Hamilton since we began meeting about ten years ago. Previously celebrated in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Elmira, this is the first time it was held in Ancaster.
    Many thanks to Fr. Dan Miehm and all at St. Ann’s for being gracious hosts.

  2. Sharon Fazari says:

    A wonderful event! Many thanks to Dr. Peter Erb and all those involved in organizing this event. Thanks, also, to Deacon Charles for sharing his synopsis of Verbum Domini.

  3. Bill DeMarco says:

    Dr. Erb’s sessions were special. He demonstrated vision, passion, and scholarship about both Aquinas and Sacred Scripture. He has an ability to inspire, reflecting both his Wisdom and Witness.

    Dr. Erb is a teacher-scholar in the classic sense, with the ability to make the subject matter come alive, while never overwhelming his audience. I for one would welcome his return “visit” to St. Ann’s. Given that the study of Scripture is meant to be a life activity, we would be blessed with “Lesson Two” in the not too distant future!
    -Dr. Bill DeMarco

  4. Jessica says:

    After studying St. Thomas’ Summa Theologica I fell in love with the theology of Aquinas. The seminar on Friday night especially made me long to study Aquinas again. Dr. Erb is a fantastic and engaging professor who brought us from a general understanding of Scripture to a deeper more contemplative understanding. I do wish I could have him for a professor any day! Thank you for hosting and choosing such a phenomenal speaker!

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