In October 2003, Penn State Catholic Campus Ministry, staffed by St. Vincent Benedictine Monks, held a symposium on a currently very popular, pressing topic: the relationship between religion and spirituality. Fr. Stephen Honeygosky, Ph.D. Director of Catholic Campus Ministry at Penn State, organized the conference under the title “Religion and Spirituality: Bridge-Building in the Postmodern World.”
In addition to keynoters Fr. Richard Rohr and Fr. Carl Arico, presenters included Bishop Anthony Bosco, Sr. Roberta Campbell, Ms. Camille DeBlasi, Fr. Demetrius Dumm, Sr. Barbara Fiand, Fr. Vernon Holtz, Fr. Stephen Honeygosky, Dr. Arthur Schwartz.
The event was sponsored by one anonymous grant and another by the John Templeton Foundation. There was a full house. Attendees consisted of students and professors, administrators and staff in higher educations, parishes, and diocesan ministry, as well as people in the pews who are simply on the journey and interested. There were married, single, ordained, and religious.
The purpose of this symposium, according to Father Stephen, “was to repair (perceived) dichotomies in a world in which religion too often presumes spirituality, and spirituality just as often dismisses religion — each taking to the high ground, instead of the plain, where real conversation and communion foster their capability rather than disconnection and mutual exclusion. Today, the church’s youth, adults and ministers have, on the one hand, squeezed out the intellectual from the emotional and experiential; and, on the other hand, squeezed out the emotional and experiential from the intellectual.”
“Our symposium was aimed at responding to the current cultural challenge which increasingly pits the spiritual against the religious, and the realm of the holy against the real world.,” he continued. “This tension exists, of course, well beyond the Catholic sphere. The world is especially in need of reintegration.”
The two keynote addresses, respectively, by Fr. Richard Rohr and Fr. Carl Arico, were recorded, as well as the other nine panel presentations. The recordings are available in either CD or VHS — each containing 4 items. Cost is $30 for the 4-CD set (a $50 value) and $50 for the 4-VHS set (an $80 value). They can be ordered from Archabbey Publications, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, PA 15650-2690, or by visiting Archabbey Publications’ web store at http://www.stvincentstore.com.