Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic World News

Thomas More College Launches new initiative with Phil Lawler, Anthony Esolen

December 04, 2017

Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, in Nashua, New Hampshire, today announced the inauguration of a new initiative: the Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture.

The Center is designed to address the crisis of our age: the crisis of a civilization that has drifted from the principles on which it was founded. Its mission is a revival of Christian culture in New England: a region that has always been a seedbed of new ideas and ideals—a region whose original European settlers first sought to build “a shining city on a hill.”

The Thomas More Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture will invite speakers, host seminars, and organize conferences. The Center will encourage both intellectuals and civic leaders to take part in discussions, bringing town and gown together and exploring the practical applications of ideas. The Center will support active involvement in the arts, in politics, in literature, in education, and above all in the life of faith.

The founding Fellows of the Center are:

  • Dr. William Fahey, the president of Thomas More College;
  • Dr. Anthony Esolen, the translator of Dante’s Divine Comedy and author of Out of the Ashes and other books;
  • Philip Lawler, the editor of Catholic World News and author of The Faithful Departed and other books.

William Fahey revealed that the idea of establishing a center for cultural renewal was present in the minds of the administrators at Thomas More College since the school’s foundation. The project became a practical possibility, he said, when Esolen and Lawler agreed to join the Thomas More College community.

“Esolen is one of America’s foremost writers and a trenchant observer of our cultural malaise,” explained Fahey, “and Lawler has had years of experience commenting on the ebb and flow of Catholic leadership within America and the wider world, always with a wise sense of how we should direct our attention and renew our conversation.”

Anthony Esolen explained that he was attracted to the project because “the actual thing, culture, is disappearing from the West—certainly from the United States and Canada.” He added: “We are in the midst of massive culture amnesia.”

Phil Lawler added that he was particularly happy with the Center’s local focus. “I firmly believe that New England could be the place where a new, positive, and distinctively Christian vision of America’s purpose will emerge: first, because the region has always been a nursery for new ideas and new movements; second, because the pendulum has swung so very far in New England—prevailing public opinion is so far from the truths that are inscribed on the human heart— that a reaction is inevitable.”

“This is one of the most promising new initiatives in decades,” said Robert Royal, the president of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, DC. “Lots of people have written and spoken about what’s gone wrong with Catholic thought—as well as ways of life and community. This is one of the few things I’ve seen that may actually do something about bringing them all together again in a faithful and viable whole. And its right to begin with a specific region in mind. Given the scope of problems we face, they can only be dealt with first at a more local level. I hope that this project not only grows rapidly, but that it is is imitated and adapted to many other parts of the country, and the world.”

“I heartily support the Thomas More Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture,” said Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute. “The family needs defenders in all academic disciplines and from all walks of life. May this Center become a focal point for a great renewal of all that is good and worthy in Christian civilization.”


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  • Posted by: marianjohn7861 - Dec. 07, 2017 11:10 AM ET USA

    Am so happy to hear about a Catholic center comparable to Hillsdale College here in Michigan. I always appreciated Hillsdale because they take no government money and have emphasis on the founding of this country but felt uneasy about it because it is protestant.

  • Posted by: timothy.op - Dec. 05, 2017 9:00 AM ET USA

    Prayers & blessings on this noble undertaking! May Mary Immaculate & St. Michael fend off the enemies of all that is good, holy & true, so that this work may prosper. - Fr. Timothy, OP

  • Posted by: MatJohn - Dec. 04, 2017 9:11 PM ET USA

    Someone had to take the initiative and two outspoken minds have joined to bring sense, sensibility and revival to a Christian Culture that has lost its way. That it will happen at an institution of higher learning named for a saint martyred for his refusal to compromise his Catholic faith is noteworthy and more than apt. To Lawler and Esolen our thanks and praise.