Holy Ghosts

Presented by the Penn Newman Club for Newman Night

When: October 23, 2014; 7:00 p.m.
Where: Penn Newman Center

Matt Chominski, Theology teacher at Archmere Academy, regular contributor to Crisis and The Distributist Review.


The topic of ghosts is at once exhilarating, exciting, challenging, and perhaps frightening. Seemingly every town and region has some ghost lore, stories of some frightening or friendly spectre awaiting aid, sympathy, or the opportunity to terrorize. Philadelphia is certainly not lacking in this regard.

While ghosts lurk on the periphery of modern life, in the 16th-century the possibility and nature of ghostly activity was hotly debated by Protestants and Catholics. This talk will address fundamental concerns and questions elicited by this debate. It will further be seen that despite the historical distance of over four centuries, this early-Modern debate has much to suggest to present-day Catholics, aiding the formulation of answers to the question: “In what ways should a Catholic understand and interpret potentially ghostly phenomena?” In other words, “what does the Catholic have to say about the spooky and spectral?”

Tentative Outline:

  1. Introduction and Talk (25 minutes)
  2. Small Group Discussion (10 minutes)
  3. Large Group Discussion, Question & Answer (10 minutes)
Cosponsored by the Collegium Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture.