Evan Bednarz, graduating from Aquinas Institute of Theology this May, has spent his time building a faith community and exploring the intricacies of Catholicism.
“It struck me as invaluable to become more intimately knowledgeable about the ground from which the Catholic faith sprang, historically and intellectually, so as to more creatively engage with the signs of the times in the Church and the world,” he says. “We will see how that works out in practice!”
On his journey to better understand the roots of the Catholic faith and its structure, Evan has realized the importance of diversity in opinions.
“From the Aquinas community to the larger St. Louis Catholic culture, I have come to appreciate the different ways people are nourished and inspired in their commitment to follow Christ” he says. “I might not agree with their points of emphases or find certain issues as important, but it has challenged me to see everyone as essential limbs in upbuilding the mystical Body of Christ.”
During his time at Aquinas, various questions rose to the forefront: “Can we claim the dual-naturedness of Jesus without wondering exactly what we really mean? Can there be sacredness within boredom? Who is really in the center and who is really on the margins?”
These questions eventually culminated in Evan’s thesis titled “Catholic Irony.”
“The topic of 'Catholic irony' captured my imagination for a number of reasons,” he says. “As a convert, I had the uncanny experience of being 'caught' between two worlds, that is, saying goodbye to a world that was no longer viable yet not quite totally committed to Christianity.”
Part of the worldwide Order of Preachers, Aquinas Institute of Theology is a Catholic, Dominican-sponsored graduate school of theology offering multiple graduate degree and certificate programs on its campus in Midtown St. Louis, MO.