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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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"Upon the road, René was always occupied with God. His words and the discourses he held were all expressive of submission to the commands of Divine Providence, and showed a willing acceptance of the death which God was sending him. He gave himself to God as a sacrifice, to be reduced to ashes by the fires of the Iroquois, which that good Father's hand would kindle. He sought the means to bless Him in all things and everywhere. Covered with wounds as he himself was, Goupil dressed the wounds of other persons, of the enemies who had received some blows in the fight as well as those of the prisoners. He opened the vein for a sick Iroquois. And he did it all with as much charity as if he had done it to persons who were his best friends."
— St. Isaac Jogues (writing in 1643)

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Fides et Ratio
published 15 November 2015 by Fr. David Friel

ERE TODAY not Sunday, we would be celebrating the feast of St. Albert the Great. From the time I venerated his tomb during World Youth Day 2005 in Köln, Albertus Magnus, O.P. has been a saint I much admire for his learning and balance of life.

Noteworthy as a philosopher and theologian (indeed, a “Doctor of the Church”), St. Albert was also well trained in the physical sciences. It is for this reason that he is the patron saint of scientists, among other things.

St. Albert had a stalwart appreciation for the compatibility of faith and reason. So, too, did St. John Paul II, who wrote a magnificent encyclical on the subject. The sense that faith and reason are not contradictory, but mutually supportive, is fundamentally lacking in much of modern society, and it needs to be reclaimed.

The tension and collaboration of fides et ratio has long been an interest of mine. This interest has found expression in numerous blog posts over the years, which I would like to share with you again today:

The Dawkins Delusion: Faith as Evidence (11 August 2013)

Faith Seeking Understanding: Anselm of Canterbury (21 April 2013)

Catholic Education & the Epiphany: The Hidden Teacher (10 January 2012)

The Resurrected Christ: We Are Witnesses of These Things (24 April 2012)

In honor of the feast of St. Albert the Great, I invite you to delve into the richness of our faith, which can never be separated from right reason.

“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.” (Pope St. John Paul II)