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 (ST. LOUIS) Aquinas Institute of Theology conferred graduate degrees and graduate certificates on 44 men and women at a 7:00 pm commencement at St. Francis Xavier College Church (Saint Louis University) on Friday, May 10, 2013. 

Online photo albums with more pictures of the 2013 Aquinas Institute of Theology commencement can be found on their web page.

Of the 44 students graduating, 4 received a Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) in Preaching; 8 received Masters of Divinity (M.Div.), Masters of Arts (M.A.) in Theology, or both; 4 received a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (M.A.P.S.); 13 received a Master of Arts in Health Care Mission (M.A.H.C.M.); 15 received graduate certificates in Spiritual Direction, 2 received graduate certificates in Biblical Studies, 3 in Thomistic Studies, and 1 received a graduate certificate in Pastoral Studies. The graduates are a diverse body of men and women, represented by ordained, vowed religious and lay members of the Church.

Dr. Massimo Faggioli, Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, presented the Commencement address. Dr. Faggioli is a theologian internationally renowned for his study of the history and implications of Vatican Council II, having written and presented extensively, and has had his most recent book published, True Reform. Liturgy and Ecclesiology in “Sacrosanctum Concilium” (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2012).

Sr. Kathleen Hughes, R.S.C.J., and Rev. Gerard Austin, O.P. received honorary degrees (Doctors of Humane Letters).

Liturgical Theologian and former President of the North American Academy of Liturgy, Kathleen Hughes, R.S.C.J., is a sacramental theologian, teacher, speaker and writer. For nineteen years, Hughes was Professor of Word and Worship at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where she also served a term as Academic Dean. Hughes left CTU to become Provincial of her religious order, the Society of the Sacred Heart in the United States, and led her order for six years. She is now occupied with issues of spirituality and prayer and the retrieval and reinterpretation of traditional wisdom and practice for contemporary life.

Charles (Gerard) Austin, O.P, S.T.D., is Dominican Scholar in Residence in the Department of Theology and Philosophy at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. Dr. Austin is a Dominican Friar of the Province of St. Martin de Porres (Southern Province). As a teacher and scholar, Dr. Austin's interests lie in the areas of liturgical sources, sacraments, ecclesiology, and ministry, and his ministry and research have led him to publish many books and articles on liturgical and sacramental topics. As a professor, Fr. Austin has served on several university faculties, including Aquinas Institute of Theology, The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana.

Aquinas Institute of Theology, the only Catholic Institution in the world offering a Doctorate in preaching, is sponsored by the Order of Preachers, or Dominicans. Priesthood candidates at the school prepare for ordination alongside vowed religious and lay people pursuing careers in the Catholic Church or simply seeking a richer faith life.

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