STA Launches Discussion Program Inspired by Namesake
Posted on 01/31/2024
In the spirit of St. Thomas Aquinas's relentless pursuit of knowledge, St. Thomas Aquinas High School – Edison inaugurated a new discussion program that opens the door to thought-provoking inquiry on questions that set the stage for a dynamic and introspective discussion. This initiative draws inspiration from the program's namesake, aiming to foster curiosity, explore the depths of knowledge, and empower individuals to better comprehend the world around them and their place within it.

“Our vision in spearheading these discussions was to reignite our relationship with our patron saint, offering students and community members an opportunity to explore the interplay between faith and reason and to better understand God and the world us as St. Thomas Aquinas was so exceptional at doing,” said STA Principal Harry Ziegler.

Each session in the program is propelled by a knowledgeable guide who provides a comprehensive framework for the selected topic. The guide poses an initial question to stimulate thoughtful discussion, with conversation organically evolving from this starting point.

On Tuesday, January 30, STA held its first two discussion sessions, one for students and one for adults, both led by Father Bartholomew Calvano. Father Bartholomew holds a B.A. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry/Mathematics/Computer Science, with a minor in Chemistry, from Rutgers. Later, he earned an S.T.L. (Licentiate in Sacred Theology), a pontifical degree, from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC, focusing his graduate studies on St. Thomas Aquinas and Inter-religious Dialogue. 

The topic of the inaugural discussion topic was "The importance of religion in today’s society." The discussion was not confined solely to religious perspectives; rather, it delved into the intersection of faith and reason, incorporating Thomistic Evolution and the profound words of St. John Paul II, whose assertion that "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth" resonated throughout the discussions, adding depth and philosophical insight to the dialogue.

Thomistic Evolution, a concept rooted in the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, emphasizes the compatibility of faith and science, urging individuals to seek a harmonious understanding of these seemingly disparate realms. The discussion, guided by Father Bartholomew's expertise, wove these elements into a tapestry of intellectual exploration.

In attendance were individuals from various backgrounds, contributing their perspectives and experiences to the thought-provoking discourse. The success of this inaugural "conversation" sets a promising precedent for the St. Thomas Aquinas Discussion program, fostering a space for open-minded inquiry and dialogue on topics of profound societal relevance.

One of the students who attended the first Aquinas Discussion session, senior Justin Moscaritolo, commented on being a participant: “It was thought-provoking and opened my mind to better understand religion and how it connects with reason.”

As the program continues, it is anticipated that these discussions will further enrich the intellectual fabric of the school community and inspire a broader understanding of the complexities that shape our world. The public is welcome to attend future sessions. Check for dates and additional details.