Masters of Sacred Theology

Fr. Basil Cole, O.P., was awarded Master of Sacred Theology by Prior Provincial Fr. Allen Moran, O.P., at a ceremony held at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC in January. Photo courtesy of the Dominican House of Studies.


Masters of Sacred Theology
By Blackfriars Staff

Fr. Basil Cole, O.P., and Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., were both awarded the title of Master of Sacred Theology by Fr. Gerard Timoner, O.P., Master of the Order. This honor is an academic title within the Dominican Order and is given to friars who have noteworthy achievements in the field of theology and who have contributed to the promotion of studies in the Order.

Fr. Basil, who was awarded the honor at a ceremony in Washington, DC, is Emeritus Professor at the Dominican House of Studies and has authored numerous books including Music and Morals and co-authored with Paul Connor, O.P., Christian Totality: Theology of Consecrated Life. He has written articles for The Priest, Homiletic and Pastoral Review, Reason and Faith, and Angelicum, and has been a long- time collaborator for Germain Grisez’s four- volume series of moral theology, The Way of the Lord Jesus.

Fr. Thomas Joseph, awarded the honor in Rome, is Rector of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (the Angelicum) and author of various books including Wisdom in the Face of Modernity: A Study in Thomistic Natural Theology; The Incarnate Lord, A Thomistic Study in Christology; The Light of Christ: An Introduction to Catholicism; and The Trinity: On the Nature and Mystery of the One God. With Matthew Levering, he is the co-editor of the academic journal Nova et Vetera.


Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, O.P., conferred the honor of Master of Sacred Theology on Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., at a ceremony held at the Angelicum in Rome in December. Photo by Cristian Gennari.


Befitting Masters of Sacred Theology, both friars gave magisterial lectures to mark the occasion. Fr. Basil’s talk, entitled “Spiritual Beauty and the Challenge of the Life of Virtue,” elucidated the importance of the arts— particularly literature, painting, and music—in growing in virtue. And Fr. Thomas Joseph’s talk, “Mariology and the Sense of Mystery: The Virgin Mary and the Spiritual Practice of Catholic Theology” examined the nature of the Virgin Mary’s divine maternity in the order of grace, how that grace relates to the mystical body, and her role in the spiritual life of the theologian.

Fr. Thomas Joseph said this honor is an indication of the Dominican Order’s commitment to the public intellectual life in service of the Church. He noted that the Province of St. Joseph has a long-standing commitment to higher studies in service of our key institutions—the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception and Providence College. He also noted there are a number of friars serving at the Angelicum in Rome, “to the great good of the international life of the Church.”

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