Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tom Mengler's Legacy: "Why a Catholic Law School Should Be Catholic"

As I write this post, Tom Mengler is finishing his last day as dean at  St. Thomas.  Susan has already expressed the mixed feeling of sadness and peace that we feel as Tom and Mona follow their call to his new position as president of St. Mary's University (San Antonio).  I'm reflecting today joyfully on the many things that the law school has put in motion or carried forward during the 10 years of Tom's leadership--10 of the 12 crucial first years of our institution.  It's fitting, I think, to link to Tom's own description, from his 2009/10 speech and article at Villanova, of "why a Catholic law school should be Catholic" and what has progressed and might progress on that front both among schools generally and at St. Thomas.  From his conclusion:

As we at St. Thomas have together reflected on the core of a Catholic law school, we have tried to focus principally on two reasons why we believe a Catholic law school should be Catholic: the integration of Catholic thought, as well as other religious traditions, in faculty scholarship and throughout the academic program and the encouragement of everyone in the community – students, faculty, and staff – to continue on their journeys by searching actively for the truth in their lives. We believe ultimately that from these twin goals everything that is commonly associated with a Catholic law school follows – an embracing community, a service ethic that is focused on our most vulnerable neighbors, a commitment to the highest professionalism. Grounded in an intellectual, moral, and spiritual formation, we hope to prepare our students for purposeful lives as lawyers and servant leaders of their communities. In so doing, we try to fulfill the mission of a Catholic law school.

Thanks, Tom and Mona, and godspeed.


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