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Old Truth in the New World: About SVC’s Newest Chapter, the Thomistic Institute

By Erin Brody, Arts and Culture Editor

Humanities students here at Saint Vincent College are well aware of the many reading groups and organizations that are aimed at helping students further their interaction with old texts and Catholic ideals. This semester, a new organization was established, and it's called the Thomistic Institute.

“The Thomistic Institute’s mission is to promote Catholic truth in the contemporary world through providing campus chapters on college campuses which provide resources for furthering intellectual pursuits and questions concerning a broad range of topics in relation to Catholicism,” Sophie Bringman, sophomore politics and philosophy double major, said.

Bringman first got involved with the Thomistic Institute when assistant professor of philosophy, Dr. Jessica Jones, Ph.D., approached her and fellow student Peter Feng with the idea. Originally, the Thomistic Institute was founded in Washington, D.C., with the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas as their standard. In 2015, the institute was able to extend its mission to over 80 campuses, and thanks to Dr. Jones, Feng, and Bringman, one of the newest chapters was established at St. Vincent.

“I’m so excited to have a part in leading it!” Bringman said.

The Thomistic Institute tackles a variety of subjects “ranging from the mystery of the Holy Trinity to the ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence.” With that being said, the Institute does not subscribe solely to Catholicism.

“This group is for anyone looking to meet people who are interested in not just Catholicism, but in pursuing truth or other liberal arts interests as well,” Bringman added.

Because it’s the Institute’s first semester in action, there are a small number of members who are in the organization. There are currently no weekly meetings that take place, but with the meetings that have taken place, Bringman said the Institute has a reading discussion or an activity planned.

If you’re wondering whether or not the Thomistic Institute is for you, Bringman outlines the type of person that would enjoy the Saint Vincent chapter: “I encourage anyone looking for a social outlet that engages the intellect on various topics in the liberal arts and wants to be brought together with like-minded people to consider joining!”

If you or someone you know would be interested in the Thomistic Institute, email Sophie Bringman ( or Dr. Jones (


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