Jan. 27, 2014 — Fairfield University in Connecticut will dedicate a statue of its patron saint, Jesuit St. Robert Bellarmine, in a ceremony coinciding with its 2014 Bellarmine Lecture. Jesuit Father Michael Fahey, scholar in residence at Fairfield and former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, will speak about St. Bellarmine’s relevance today.
“It’s a unique occasion, to have the annual Bellarmine Lecture coincide with the dedication of a splendid new statue of St. Robert Bellarmine, Jesuit, cardinal and doctor of the church,” said Paul F. Lakeland, Ph.D., the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Chair in Catholic Studies and director of the Center for Catholic Studies.
The bronze statue was designed by Will Pupa, artist-in-residence at Jesuit-run Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and stands more than nine feet tall. Following the dedication ceremony on Jan. 28, will be Fr. Fahey’s lecture, titled “St. Robert Bellarmine: A Man for Our Time.” The Bellarmine Lecture series, sponsored by Fairfield University’s Center for Catholic Studies, provides the community with a chance to hear and interact with distinguished Jesuit scholars.
“Renaissance Jesuit Robert Bellarmine, patron saint of Fairfield University, was a controversial yet innovative theologian who stressed biblical and patristic sources to refute Reformation doctrines,” said Fr. Fahey. “In the service of the church, he designed the Gregorian calendar, undertook dangerous travels as papal advisor, and in defense of Galileo urged moderation. Had he not at papal conclaves several times refused election, he would have been the first Jesuit pope already in the seventeenth century.”
Fr. Fahey has received the John Courtney Murray Award for Distinguished Achievement in Theology. He served as editor of the journal Theological Studies and has published widely in ecclesiology and ecumenism.