Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles recently visited Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif., to bless bronze plaques and a book that honors the benefactors of the campus chapel, according to the College’s website.
The event took place on the 5th anniversary of the death of the College’s former president, Dr. Thomas Dillon, who worked tirelessly to make the chapel a reality and inspired many benefactors to fund the $23 million dollar construction of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel.
The College reports:
“As you all know, [Dr. Dillon’s] mission and dedication were a guiding force for this chapel and for this great school,” the Archbishop observed in his homily. “It is a great legacy he gave to the Church and to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.” In the prayers of the Faithful, His Excellency sought the intercession of the Chapel’s patroness: “We entrust the College to the maternal intercession of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity, she who is the daughter of the Eternal Father, the mother of the Eternal Word, and the Spouse of the Eternal Spirit. We thank you, O Father Almighty, for the gifts you lavishly bestow upon the members of this community within these sacred walls, and beg you to bless them with further gifts as they pursue a genuinely Catholic education on this venerable campus.”
Immediately following the Mass, the congregation reassembled in the Chapel’s loggia, where Archbishop Gomez blessed two new plaques, recently installed in recognition of the building’s major benefactors and those whom they chose to honor through their gifts. Designed by a graduate of the College and Dr. Dillon’s son-in-law, Domiane Forte (’00), the plaques contain names of major contributors to the Chapel’s design and construction. They also single out for special commendation Dr. Dillon, the Chapel’s patron, and the Dan Murphy Foundation, the principal benefactor for the project. The Archbishop additionally blessed a new Book of Gratitude, which is now displayed just inside the Chapel’s main doors, listing the name of every donor to the Chapel project — some 3,200 in all.
His Excellency incensed the book and both plaques, ensconced in the loggia’s limestone north and south walls, then sprinkled them with holy water. In his blessing, he noted that, “the College has the great benefit of a worthy temple in which to offer prayers to Your divine majesty, ‘a chapel that teaches,’ and teaches the one thing necessary for man’s salvation: knowledge of God.”
Thomas Aquinas College is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.
Catholic Education Daily is an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. Click here for email updates and free online membership with The Cardinal Newman Society.