Fairfield University to dedicate St. Robert Bellarmine statue, lecture planned


Image: Bellarmine StatueOn Tuesday, January 28, 2014, Fairfield University's 2014 Bellarmine Lecture, with Rev. Michael Fahey, S.J., will coincide with the dedication of an exquisite statue of St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J., the patron saint of the University. Designed by Will Pupa, artist-in-residence at Loyola Marymount University, the more than nine-foot tall bronze statue with carnelian granite base was recently installed near the DiMenna-Nyselius Library, where a ceremony will take place at 4 p.m., rain or shine, followed by the lecture at 4:30 p.m. in the Kelley Center Presentation Room. The festivities are sponsored by Fairfield University's Center for Catholic Studies.

"It's a unique occasion, to have the annual Bellarmine Lecture coincide with the dedication of a splendid new statue of St. Robert Bellarmine, Jesuit, cardinal and doctor of the church," said Paul F. Lakeland, Ph.D., the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies and director of the Center for Catholic Studies. "Distinguished Jesuit theologian Michael Fahey will talk about Bellarmine's relevance for today, and no doubt St. Robert himself, patron of Fairfield University, will crack a secret smile as he watches over our students going in and out of the library."

Rev. Fahey, scholar in residence at Fairfield and former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, will deliver a lecture entitled, "St. Robert Bellarmine: A Man for Our Time." The event is free and open to the public.

"Renaissance Jesuit Robert Bellarmine, patron saint of Fairfield University, was a controversial yet innovative theologian who stressed biblical and patristic sources to refute Reformation doctrines," said Fr. Fahey. "In the service of the Church, he designed the Gregorian calendar, undertook dangerous travels as papal advisor, and in defense of Galileo urged moderation. Had he not at papal conclaves several times refused election, he would have been the first Jesuit pope already in the seventeenth century."

Fr. Fahey received the John Courtney Murray award for distinguished achievement in theology. He served as editor of the journal Theological Studies and has published widely in ecclesiology and ecumenism.

The Bellarmine Lecture series provides the community with a chance to hear and interact with distinguished Jesuit scholars. The series is sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies. For more information about other events, visit http://www.fairfield.edu/cs/lectures/.

The committee overseeing the statue consisted of David Frassinelli, Jim Fitzpatrick, Rev. George Collins, S.J., and Tom Curran.

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

Posted on January 8, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 148