Internationally recognized expert Fr. Thomas Lucas to speak at Fairfield University


Image: T LucasFrom their beginnings in the 16th century, Jesuit ministries and Jesuit educational institutions have focused on urban populations. Noted Jesuit historian Fr. Thomas Lucas, S.J., will trace the Ignatian strategy of urban involvement and commitment to cities across the globe when he speaks at Fairfield University, on Wednesday, October 23, 2013, at 8 p.m., in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room. 

Free and open to the public, Fr. Lucas's talk - "From Space to Place: The Landscapes of Jesuit Higher Education" - is the 2013 Catholicism and the Arts Lecture. It's part of Fairfield University's area of focus on cities, and promises to be a richly illustrated lecture. Fr. Lucas is an internationally recognized expert in Jesuit art history, and is well known as a liturgical designer and artist with an international portfolio.

"Cities are at the heart of the Jesuit mission, and Jesuit colleges are found at the heart of great cities around the globe," said Fr. Lucas, who in 2013 was named rector of the Jesuit Community at Seattle University, where he also serves as university professor and curator of the University Art Collection. 

As a graduate student, Lucas designed and directed the restoration of the sixteenth century rooms of St. Ignatius in Rome, and curated an exhibit on Jesuit architecture at the Vatican Library. In the course of that work, he also edited, contributed to, and designed the exhibit catalogue "Saint, Site, and Sacred Strategy" (Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana Press, 1990). His book "Landmarking: City, Church, and Jesuit Urban Strategy" (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1997) won an Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) National Book Award in 2000. He has also edited a festschrift and is the author of a dozen articles.

After serving for three years at the United States Jesuit Conference in Washington D.C., he joined the faculty at the University of San Francisco in 1995. There he was founding chair of the Fine and Performing Arts and founding director of the Thacher Gallery at USF (1998) and the Kalmanovitz Sculpture Terrace (2008). He curated more than 80 exhibits on campus. Lucas has also lectured at more than 20 universities in the U.S., Europe, Mexico, and Asia.

His work as a liturgical designer has been recognized with an award from the American Institute of Architects, and his projects range from glass and liturgical furnishing designs for more than a dozen churches and chapels to service as design and technical consultant for the restoration of the St. Ignatius Cathedral in Shanghai.

This event is sponsored by Fairfield University's Center for Catholic Studies. Directed by Paul Lakeland, Ph.D., the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies, the Center provides an inter-disciplinary inquiry into the intellectual tradition, history and culture of the Catholic Christian tradition. For more information, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 3415 or visit http://www.fairfield.edu/cs/.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 4, 2013

Vol. 46, No. 67