The Catholic Studies Department congratulates its fall and spring graduates and wishes them the best in their endeavors.

This spring 49 Catholic Studies majors, 18 Catholic Studies minors and nine Catholic Studies graduate students will graduate from St. Thomas. In December 2009, eight students graduated with a major in Catholic Studies, two with a minor in Catholic Studies and four with a Master of Arts degree in Catholic Studies.

Of the undergraduate majors, 46 are double majors and three are triple majors. These students have combined Catholic Studies with such fields as biology, Spanish, music, English, education, theology, economics and entrepreneurship.

This spring, 13 students will graduate cum laude, 10 will graduate magna cum laude and seven are candidates for summa cum laude. Two students graduated summa cum laude in December. Students must pass an oral examination in order to graduate summa cum laude.

Consistent with St. Thomas’ strong study-abroad tradition, about 73 percent of our graduating seniors took advantage of studying abroad through our Catholic Studies Rome program.

Among our graduating seniors are:

Joseph Kuharski, who will continue his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome after graduating from St. Thomas with a double major in Catholic Studies and philosophy.

Shelia Kenney, a Catholic Studies and Spanish double major. She will spend a month volunteering at an orphanage run by the Servants of Our Lord in Peru. Her hope is to work with the Hispanic community in the Twin Cities, specifically with families who have children with special needs or developmental problems. She also plans to get a master’s in early childhood special education.

Kylie Bennett, who is graduating with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and minors in Catholic Studies and aerospace studies (Air Force ROTC). She will be commissioned into the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant and has been assigned to the 510th Combat Sustainment Squadron at Hill Air Force Base Utah as a general project engineer. She will continue with active duty in the Air Force for the next four years and will get married in the fall.

Rick Halbur, a triple major in Catholic Studies, philosophy and theology. He will attend William Mitchell College of Law. He credits his semester abroad in Rome and his interactions with the then-U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Mary Ann Glendon, with his decision to study law.

Sarah White, who will serve with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students as a missionary for the next two years. FOCUS is a national collegiate outreach that invites college students to examine the meaning and purpose of their lives.

Sharon Reed, a Catholic Studies major and a convert to Catholicism. She will join the Missionaries of Charity this summer.

Benjamin Novak, a double major in Catholic Studies and philosophy. He has applied to join the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in the South Bronx of New York City. This community has a twofold mission: to care for the needs of the poor and destitute and to evangelize both the faithful and those who have not yet heard the Gospel. He first felt called to religious life after attending a silent retreat where he realized he was drawn to a life of prayerful contemplation, care for the poor and promulgation of the Gospel.

Max Haben, who will pursue college outreach and ministry through St. Paul’s Outreach, an evangelistic Catholic campus ministry that serves university students and young adults. Haben says, “There is a huge need for this work on college campuses, and as a student who has seen the challenges college presents firsthand, I have a great zeal and passion to spread the Gospel.”

Thomas Megargle, graduating with Catholic Studies and philosophy majors. He will join the Institute of the Incarnate Word, a religious order in Washington, D.C. Before joining the order at the end of June, he will do mission work with them in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Lindsay Adornato, who is graduating with majors in Catholic Studies and economics with a minor in French. She plans to work in a teaching program for two years while studying toward a Master of Arts degree in education. She is grateful for the Catholic education her parents gave her and is eager to help other students share in the same gifts and opportunities she was given.

Gregory Crane, who will graduate with a double major in Catholic Studies and chemistry and a minor in biology. He hopes to either work in the industry profession or teach science at a Catholic high school.

If you are doing something that you think the Center for Catholic Studies would like to hear about, please e-mail ljstierman@stthomas.edu.

Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 Master’s Essays

Laura Zeckser, “The Eucharistic Nature of Motherhood in the Thought of John Paul II”

Martha FritzHuspen, “John Paul II and Ratzinger: Does the Authority of the Church Oppose Freedom of Conscience?”

Dean Hilgers, “The Apse Mosaic at San Clemente, Rome”

Elizabeth Parsons, “The Catholic Faith and Aging Well”

Kevin Clemens, “‘When I Would Search the Truths That in Me Burn’: On the Germination and Maturation of John Henry Newman’s Theory of Doctrinal Development”

Aana Bendson, “Sing to the Lord: Assessing the Liturgical, Pastoral, and Musical Judgments”

Therese Lewis, “Incarnational Aesthetics in Flannery O’Connor”

Matthew Broback, “DeLubac’s Unfinished Drama of Atheist Humanism”

Edward Ryan, “Authority’s Essential Character in Securing the Demands of Faith”

Thomas Winninger, “Is the Permanent Diaconate Valid in Post Modern Times?”

Lynn Varco, “Marsilius of Padua’s Political Education for the City”

Andrew Steck, “Desideramus legittimum tenere imperium: The Ideals of Frederick Barbarossa”

Elizabeth Schiltz, “Theology of Disability”

Michael Adkins, “Why the Catholic Church Needs the Latin Language”

Latin Honors

Cum laude: a cumulative GPA between 3.500 and 3.699 Magna cum laude: a cumulative GPA between 3.700 and 3.899Summa cum laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.900 or higher

Summa cum laude candidates:Leandra HubkaGary KoenigsknechtTodd KoenigsknechtTimothy LangeThomas MegargleJacob RheinErin Lyle

’09 December Graduates:Marie CoulterAndrew Allen