Saint Louis University

Originally conceived to celebrate the beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman, the Newman Convocation has evolved into an annual event. This event publicly and symbolically affirms the ongoing collaboration between the Archbishop of Saint Louis and the four Roman Catholic institutions of higher learning with theology faculties (Saint Louis University, Aquinas Institute of Theology, Fontbonne University, and Kenrick-Glennon Seminary). Events associated with the Newman Convocation are open to the public, and connect the work of scholars in these four faculties to a diverse audience - undergraduate and graduate students, laity, clergy, and religious of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, our ecumenical and interreligious friends, and beyond.

Sixth Annual Newman Convocation


Celebrating the Achievements
of the Second Vatican Council


Fifty years ago, on December 8, 1965, the Second Vatican Council closed with a solemn celebration on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This year we reflect on the council's lasting significance. We are privileged to have Joseph Komonchak with us to conduct a symposium on Gaudium et spes, deliver the convocation lecture on the achievements of the council, and preach at a solemn vespers at the conclusion of the day.

Newman Convocation

Parking available at the Laclede Parking Garage


Schedule of Events

10:00am - Symposium on Gaudium et spes with Fr. Joseph Komonchak, Faculty, Graduate Students, and Theology Majors | Sinquefield Stateroom, DuBourg Hall Room 409, Saint Louis University  

12:00pm - Mass, Feast of the Immaculate Conception | St. Francis Xavier College Church, Saint Louis University

3:00-4:30pm - Newman Convocation | Saint Louis Room, Busch Student Center Room 300, Saint Louis University

  •  30-40 minute address: Fr. Komonchak on the achievements of Vatican II
  •  Three responses from Saint Louis Catholic Faculty Members
  •  30 minutes for open Q&A

 7:30-8:45pm - Solemn Vespers. Begin the Year of Mercy with Archbishop Carlson, homily by Fr. Komonchak | Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis

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Download Solemn Vespers Flyer

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About our guest speaker

The Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak was born in Nyack, New York, in 1939. He was educated at Cathedral College, New York, and at St. Joseph's Seminary, Yonkers, New York, from which he received an A.B. degree in 1960. From 1960 to 1964 he studied at the North American College and at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in 1963 and earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Gregorian in 1964.

From 1964 to 1967 he served as a curate at St. Bartholomew's Church in Yonkers, N.Y., while also teaching theology at the College of New Rochelle. In 1967 he joined the theology faculty at St. Josephs Seminary, where he taught until 1977. He received his PhD in theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1976. Since 1977 he has taught theology in the Department of Religion and Religious Education at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He has taught courses on the Church, on ministry, on the Church's social teaching, on modern and contemporary Catholic theology, on the thought of John Courtney Murray, and on the history and theology of Vatican II.

In 1996 he was named the first occupant of the John C. and Gertrude P. Hubbard Chair in Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America. He is the chief editor of The New Dictionary of Theology. A specialist in the history and theology of the Second Vatican Council, he is the editor of the English edition of the five-volume History of Vatican II. He is the author also of Foundations in Ecclesiology (Boston: Lonergan Workshop, 1995). He has published well over a hundred articles in journals such as Concilium, Cristianiesimo nella Storia, The Journal of Religion, The Review of Politics, Revue d'Histoire Ecclésiastique, Theological Studies, and The Thomist.


Fifth Annual Newman Convocation


Lumen Gentium:
The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church


Wednesday, October 15, 2014
4:00 pm
Pere Marquette Gallery
DuBourg Hall
Saint Louis University


Keynote Speak: Dr. Daniel Finucane
Student Respondents: Stephen Lawson, Deacon Peter Fonseca, Kaitlin Hasenbeck

Sponsored by: Saint Louis University, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, Aquinas Institute of Theology

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November 5, 2013: Fourth Annual Newman Convocation


4th Annual Newman Convocation


This convocation seminar considered the influence of Dei Verbum on:

Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily-USCCB Document on Preaching
Verbum Domini: The Apostolic Exhortation on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church
Porta Fidei: the Apostolic Letter on the Year of Faith


with Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, D.D.


Facilitator: Fr. Randy Soto (Kenrick-Glennon Seminary)

Student Respondents: Sr. Meghan McElroy, O.P. (Aquinas Institute); Cristóbal Torres, O.P. (Aquinas Institute); Deacon Andrew Burkemper (Kenrick-Glennon Seminary); Charles Michael Shea (Saint Louis University)


Download the Newman Convocation Flyer as a pdf file




October 11, 2012: Third Annual Newman Convocation

Opening the Council: Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy

Download the Newman Convocation flyer as a pdf file

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Dr. Catherine Vincie, R.S.H.M.


The Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson,

the Archbishop of St. Louis


Catherine Vincie, R.S.H.M., Ph.D.,

Aquinas Institute of Theology


Dr. Daniel FinucaneRespondent:

Daniel Finucane, Ph.D.,

Saint Louis University

Respondent:Fr. Jason Schumer

Fr. Jason Schumer, S.T.L.,

Kenrick-Glennon Seminary


7:00pm. Thursday, October 11, 2012. Saint Francis Xavier College Church.


The Third Annual Newman Convocation took place at 7:00pm on Thursday, October 11th in Saint Francis Xavier College Church. This year the Convocation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican Council.

This Convocation, sponsored by Saint Louis University, involved the participation of the four theology faculties in the St. Louis area: Aquinas Institute of Theology, Fontbonne University, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, and SLU's Department of Theological Studies and Department of Mission and Ministry.

Archbishop Carlson addresses the Third Annual Newman Convocation

Keynote Speaker Dr. Catherine Vincie addresses the Convocation

The Third Annual Newman Convocation


Click here to read Joseph Kenny's article on the Third Annual Newman Convocation in the St. Louis Review (October 17, 2012)


Saint Francis Xavier College Church


Click here to read the full text of Sacrosanctum Concilium, Vatican II's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

Click here to read an introduction to the events commemorated by our Convocation, by John W. Padberg, S.J.

Click here to read Archbishop Carlson's own reflections on Vatican II's enduring impact and unfinished business.

Click here to read a reflection from the editors of America (10/08/2012) on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

Click here to read a reflection from the editors of Commonweal (10/12/2012) on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Council.


Previous Newman Convocations


November 9, 2011: Second Annual Newman Convocation


Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Opening the Windows: The Pastoral Vision of Blessed John XXIII

  Presider: Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson (Archbishop of St. Louis)

  Keynote: Randall S. Rosenberg, Ph.D. (Fontbonne University)

Randall S. Rosenberg, Ph.D.  Respondents:

  Colleen Mary Mallon, O.P., Ph.D. (Aquinas Institute of Theology)

  Lawrence J. Welch, Ph.D. (Kenrick-Glennon Seminary)


Click here to read Joseph Kenny's article on the Second Annual Newman Convocation in the St. Louis Review (October 26, 2011).


October 4, 2010: First Annual Newman Convocation


Cor ad Cor Loquitur: Heart Speaks to Heart

(Celebrating the Beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman)

Presider: Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson (Archbishop of St. Louis)

Keynote: Kenneth L. Parker, Ph.D. (Saint Louis University)


Jill Raitt, Ph.D. (Fontbonne University)

Rev. Michael Witt, Ph.D. (Kenrick-Glennon Seminary)

Click here to read a retrospective from Saint Louis University on the First Annual Newman Convocation.