Dominican Speaker Series – Fr. Michael on “All About Angels”

Guest Post: Pastor Fr. Michael J. Hurley, OP

On Thursday, January 16th,  we launched our DOMINICAN SPEAKER series.  The goal of this series is to provide regular lecture presentations on interesting and relevant aspects of the faith which are not normally treated by our regular faith formation.  One of the blessings of St. Dominic’s Parish is the presence of the larger Dominican community which resides in both here at the Priory and at St. Albert’s, our House of Studies in Oakland.  The wealth of intellectual acumen and spiritual wisdom of our Dominican communities and staff provides welcome forum for delving into the mysteries of our faith.

IMG1308JPG180x134I was honored to give the inaugural talk titled “All About Angels.”  It was a wonderful evening of reflecting on the nature of spiritual creatures and our relationship with them.  I was surprised by the attendance.  Anticipating a group of about 50, we had over 100 people pack the Hall.  It was standing room only.  It was a pleasure to meet folks who came, not only from the parish, but from San Jose to Half Moon Bay.  There were also a healthy number of students from Marin Catholic High, who are studying Dante and whose questions were particularly incisive.  Also, a warm shout out to those good friends who traveled from my former parish, St. Dominic’s Benicia!

If you were not able to come to the talk, no worries! An audio recording for the evening can be found here.

IMG1319JPG300x168Another frequent question that emerged in the post lecture chit chat was “what is an intelligent but accessible book for learning more about the angels?”  Though my talk was most based on St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, I recognize that this work is not the most approachable, due to its use of scholastic method and vocabulary.   A good, popular, yet academically sensible, book is Angels (and Demons) by Peter Kreeft.  It is a book based on his college class on angels and is in a Q&A format. It’s a good blend between scholarly and anecdotal.

These events don’t happen without support.  Thank you to the Friends of Christ who activity promoted and hosted the evening.   Thanks to Simon Berry and Scott Moyer, I was able to record the talk and post it on our website.  Also thank you to Zanna de Sant’Anna for her photos which beautifully captured the evening.

 

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