Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Feb. 20, 1998

First Supple lecture is this month

by Steve Sullivan

The inaugural lecture of the Monsignor James Supple Chair of Catholic Studies will be Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Jaime Vidal, the first holder of the Supple Chair, will speak on "Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: Faith and Evolution."

de Chardin was a 19th century Jesuit priest and paleontologist who used science, theology and spirituality to integrate beliefs in evolution and Christianity.

The Supple Chair was established in 1997 through private gifts to Campaign Destiny: To Become the Best. The $1 million endowment was created through gifts from ISU alumni, Ames residents and the Supple Endowment Fund at St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Catholic Student Center. Previous gifts provided seed money for the chair as a visiting scholar program in 1994 in honor of Monsignor James Supple, who founded St. Thomas Aquinas parish in 1947 and still serves the parish as pastor emeritus.

Vidal joined the ISU faculty in fall 1997 and teaches courses in Catholic studies and the Latino religious experience. Vidal has done extensive research on St. Francis of Assisi, Franciscan spirituality and issues related to Catholicism and Latino culture.

Previously, Vidal was director of the Hispanic ministry program at the School of Theology of the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio; assistant director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind.; assistant professor of religious studies at Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J.; and a professor in the Hispanic diaconal training program, Archdiocese of New York.

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