Theologians Kick-Off the Informal Start of the Eucharistic Congress in Denver

The historic National Eucharistic Congress meets in Indianapolis in July, but in one sense the Congress starts in Denver in June with a scholars’ colloquium.

Indianapolis Archbishop Charles Thompson said the special meeting of scholars at the Augustine Institute is a kind of beginning to the Congress.

“Though this colloquium will precede the Congress, it is still officially sponsored by the National Eucharistic Revival and National Eucharistic Congress,” he said. “We recognize the special role that scholars have to play in promoting love for our Lord, really and substantially present to us in the Eucharist.”

Two Benedictine College theologians are key participants at that colloquium.

A colloquium presentation by Dr. Matthew Ramage synthesizes the thought of influential figures in the Church today, including Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Robert Barron and the philosopher Robert Sokolowski.

Ramage is co-director of the Center for Integral Ecology at Benedictine College. In addition to his other scholarly and outreach endeavors, Dr. Ramage is author, co-author, or translator of over fifteen books.

Ramage’s presentation is called “On the ‘Altar of the World’: The Cosmic Character of the Eucharist.” “I had fun bringing forth some provocative but beautiful and true words on the nature of transubstantiation and what its implications might be for the broader created order,” he said.

Dr. Andrew Salzmann is also participating in the colloquium discussions, spotlighting key issues. He is a theologian and director of the Sheridan Center for Classical Studies at Benedictine College. In 2022, Salzmann teamed with Father Robert Spitzer to offer courses on Eucharistic miracles at the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Salzmann writes on Augustine and the Augustinian tradition, with particular attention to anthropology and pneumatology. He did his graduate work at Yale Divinity School and Boston College. While an undergraduate at Notre Dame, he helped revive the tradition of Eucharistic processions.

Dr. Kenneth Howell at the Augustine Institute said the Church has high hopes from the colloquium. “As teachers, researchers, and writers, our life is about formulating and conveying knowledge to others,” he said. “Our meeting is devoted to exploring how scholars can use their God-given talents to promote a greater knowledge of and love for the Holy Eucharist.”

The event is part of the National Eucharistic Revival headed by Minnesota Bishop Andrew Cozzens, who is one of seven 21st-century bishops who graduated from Benedictine College. Benedictine College has been a player in the Revival from the beginning. The college is a major sponsor of the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, and is a stop on the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, the largest Eucharistic Procession in history. Benedictine College alumna Diane Mahoney composed theme song for the National Eucharistic Congress, as chosen in a nationwide contest.

This is the second time the college has made the Eucharist the center of scholarly attention. The college hosted a national Symposium for Transforming Culture in 2023 focused on “Proclaiming the Real Presence.”

Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis said, “Nothing is more important than the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. We are determined to make that message very clear.”

Image: Augustine Institute file photo.

Editorial Staff

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