News Service


Mary Sawyer, Religious Studies, (515) 294-3341
Jaime Vidal, Religious Studies, (515) 294-2675
Rev. Ev Hemann, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, (515) 292-3810
Steve Sullivan, News Service, (515) 294-3720


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

The lecture, sponsored by the ISU Lectures Program, is free and open to the public. Pierre Teilhard 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. Conducted by the ISU Foundation, the $300 million campaign is aligned with Iowa State University's strategic plan to become the best land-grant institution in the nation.

The $1 million endowment for the chair was created through gifts from ISU alumni, Ames residents and the Supple Endowment Fund at St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Catholic Student Center, Ames. 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 continues to serve the parish today 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 and writing on St. Francis of Assisi, Franciscan spirituality and issues related to Catholicism and Latino culture.

Prior to coming to ISU, 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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