Whom do we Trust? Fall 2019 Food for Thought Module I


In collaboration with the Year of Data, we are excited to announce the first module of the 2019 Academic Year, Whom do we Trust…? Or…how do we know what we know?  We will once again host our Food for Thought series (FFT) co-sponsored by and hosted in Harrison College House.

During our first module, we’ll explore questions of knowledge, self, and trust. We will explore thinkers like Descartes and Augustine, but also W.H Auden, A.A Milne, C.S. Lewisand Simone Weil, along with this year’s Penn Reading Project book Weapons of Math Destruction.

Please find the digital version of the reader here. Physical copies of the reader are available at each session.

Open to undergraduate students.

Dinner and Reader provided.

Details & Registration

Dates: Wednesdays, Sept. 4th – 25th

Time: 5:45 – 7pm

Location: Harrison College House, Seminar Rm. M20

Please RSVP here to save your spot and secure a copy of the reader.

Living the Humanities: The Pleasures of the Intellectual Life

Date & Time

9/20/19 | 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Event Description

Join the Collegium Institute for an evening conversation with Prof. Zena Hitz of St. John’s College, Annapolis. We’ll uncover the hidden freedom of an intellectual life and how to live out a life of the mind in whatever stage of life or field you find yourself in. Prof. Hitz recently received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend to dive into this topic which she explores in her forthcoming book, Lost In Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life, slated for release from Princeton University Press this Spring.

This event is co-sponsored by the Thomistic Institute.



2019 Open House

Date & Time

08/30/19 | 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Annual Open House Description

Stop by Fox-Fels Hall this Friday, August 30th for our annual Open House! Feel free to drop in any time between 3:00pm and 4:30pm, even if it’s just for a few minutes to say hello. We’ll have coffee, tea and sweets from DiBruno’s to celebrate the start of a new academic year! Get a chance to hear about all our upcoming programs, events and fellowship opportunities! We look forward to seeing many old faces and new!

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact Emmie Brown at 

NSO First Year Experience Session 2019

Date & Time

08/24/19 | 11:00 – 12:30pm

First Year Experience Session Description

Imagine if, after a sabbatical of some 2400 years, Socrates reawakened as your academic advisor: what wisdom might he have about how to go about getting an “education” here at Penn? In this NSO First Year Experience session (previously known as Preceptorials) we will reflect together on some of Plato’s writings on the conditions and ends of learning. Whether these issues have long bothered you or you’ve never considered them before, please join us for a convivial first seminar with Collegium at Penn. No prior reading. All brief excerpts to be handed out and discussed in session.


Dr. Ralph Rosen | Vartan Gregorian Professor of Humanities and Undergraduate Chair in the Department of Classical Studies

Dr. Daniel Cheely | Director of Collegium Institute and Perry Family Scholar of History, Religion, and Culture at the University of Pennsylvania


To register for this preceptorial, you must log into PennInTouch and search for the courses listed under the code PREC. Our preceptorial is listed as “PREC-409-001.” 

A more detailed account of the registration process can be found on the NSO Website

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jess Sweeney at


Arch 108, 3601 Locust Walk, University of Pennsylvania

God and the Good


The theme of the Philosophy Summer Reading Group this year is God and the Good, in coordination with our new and exciting partnership with the Philosophy by Postcard project. Starting with Plato’s Euthyphro, we’ll then move on to read Iris Murdoch’s essay “On ‘God’ and the ‘Good'” and G.E.M. Anscombe’s “On Piety, or: Plato’s Euthyphro.”  


If you’d like to join in the conversation, just email Jess to RSVP and to secure your free copy of the reader at You may then pick up a copy of the reader at our offices in 3814 Walnut St. 



Wednesdays | 5:15 – 6:30pm

7/10 | 7/17 | 7/24


Fisher Bennett Hall, Room 222

Faith In Fiction 2019


This summer we’ll dive together into a fictional world to explore a central text in the tradition of our Faith & Fiction summer program.

After consulting with the Collegium community, the winner for this summer’s novel of choice is:

Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin 

“Love, faith, and a quest for atonement are the driving themes of an epic, prizewinning Russian novel that, while set in the medieval era, takes a contemporary look at the meaning of time… With flavors of Umberto Eco and The Canterbury Tales, this affecting, idiosyncratic novel … is an impressive achievement.”

If you’d like to join in the conversation, just email Jess to RSVP and to secure your free copy of the book at


We’ll have copies available here in the office at 3814 Walnut St., so feel free to email and come by to grab your copy!



Wednesdays | 5:15 – 6:30pm






Fisher Bennett Hall, Room 222

Christ in the City Summer 2019


As part of the Christ in the City Summer of Service in Philadelphia, Collegium Institute will be running their Intellectual Formation Seminar. This seminar consists of two week-long courses on Catholic Social Thought and the New Evangelization, which are open to students in the area who may be interested in these subjects. 


May 29 & 31 | 10:00 – 11:30 am
Dr. John Buchmann on Catholic Social Thought

June 5 & 7 | 10:00 – 11:30 am
Dr. Rebecca Cherico on the New Evangelization


Penn Catholic Newman Center

Basement of St. Agatha & St. James Church


If you would like to RSVP to attend or have any questions, please send an email to Philippe Becker at

2019 Alumni Weekend Brunch

The Penn Catholic Newman Community and Collegium Institute welcome all alumni, family, and friends to join us for brunch and festivities, immediately following the Sunday Mass for alumni.

Our keynote speaker for this year’s Alumni Brunch will be Tim Reckart, an American animator and director based in Los Angeles, specializing in puppet stop motion. He is best known for his 2012 film Head over Heels, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2013. Most recently he was director of The Star, an animated film about the Nativity featuring Oprah Winfrey and Gina Rodriguez, which received a Golden Globe nomination, amongst other accolades.

Tour the new Newman facility and see plans for the fall expansion and hear the latest news about plans for our 125th Anniversary as the first Newman Center in the country, which will include a Newman Conference in October of 2019, co-sponsored by the Collegium Institute.

Enjoy a convivial meal, reconnect with friends, and meet the new members of the team!


Don’t forget to RSVP here!


9:00 am        Morning Mass at Sts. Agatha and James Church


10:00 am      Brunch Reception in the Lower Level of Church,

featuring a keynote on “The Catholic Artist,”  by Tim Reckart

Catholicism After the Crisis

Date & Time

Wed, May 8, 2019
6:00 PM


Penn Club of New York 

30 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036


Catholicism After the Crisis: Historical Reflections and Current Strategies for Governance, Reform, and Renewal

Collegium Institute’s Fifth Annual Penn Club of New York Reception


R. R. Reno, Editor of First Things magazine

John O’Malley SJ, University Professor of Theology, Georgetown University

Bronwen Catherine McShea, Associate Research Scholar, James Madison Program of Princeton University


$25 for Students

$55 Early Bird (until 4/24)

$70 General

*Cocktails/Hors D’oeuvres included 


Announcement: Installation of the Collegium Institute Anscombe Archive at the University of Pennsylvania

April 22, 2019


The University of Pennsylvania Libraries, the Department of Philosophy, and the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society (PRRUCS) are pleased to announce the installation of the Collegium Institute Anscombe Archive at the University of Pennsylvania.

According to Professor Michael Weisberg, Chairperson of the Penn Department of Philosophy, G.E.M. Anscombe (1919-2001) “was, perhaps, the most significant 20th century female analytic philosopher,” a world-renowned thinker whose “work spans many areas of contemporary concern especially in moral philosophy, the theory of free will, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of language.” Professor Weisberg also noted that while Anscombe “is primarily associated with Oxbridge, she and her husband Peter Geach-an accomplished philosopher in his own right-were regular visitors to Penn in the 70s and 80s.” Finally, speaking for himself and many other Penn colleagues, Professor Weisberg expressed being “thrilled” at the “prospect of Anscombe’s archive … coming to Penn.” 

Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe, FBA was professor of Philosophy at Cambridge University and a principal literary executor of Ludwig Wittgenstein.  Before Cambridge she — together with celebrated philosophers Philipa Foot, Iris Murdoch, and Mary Midgley — was a core member of what recent scholars have called “A Female School of Analytic Philosophy”, which transformed moral philosophy in wartime Oxford, culminating with Anscombe’s most famous essay, “Modern Moral Philosophy”, wherein she coined the term “consequentialism.”  Her opposition to consequentialist ethics was manifested in her public defiance of Oxford University’s decision to award President Harry S. Truman an honorary degree in 1956, since he had authorized the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   

In America, Anscombe was appointed an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania (1968-1980).  She was also a prominent Catholic public intellectual, and the Anscombe Archive was acquired by the Collegium Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture (CI) in Philadelphia.  CI is an integral partner of PRRUCS, particularly its Perry Scholars for Science, Spirituality, and Service Project.

Last year, through the support and generosity of Mr. James N. Perry (C’82), a former member of the Penn School of Arts and Sciences Board of Overseers, Dr. Matthew O’Brien of the Collegium Institute, and Mr. Vincenzo La Ruffa (C’02), and through a collaboration between the Penn Department of Philosophy and PRRUCS, the Collegium Institute Anscombe Archive was transferred to the Penn Library’s Kislak Center for Special Collections, where it will be housed and studied through June 2022. This study will build upon an invaluable preliminary cataloging of the Anscombe Archive, which was undertaken by Dr. Luke Gormally, who along with his wife, Dr. Mary Geach, the daughter of Anscombe, stewarded the Archive from Anscombe’s death in 2001 until its acquisition by the Collegium Institute.

The Anscombe Archive consists of over six hundred catalogued items (including unpublished manuscripts in various stages of revision, philosophical offprints with substantial marginalia, personal correspondence with major philosophical figures, and journals) in twenty-one archival boxes. It is a treasure trove of information for scholars seeking to deepen their understanding of Anscombe and her contributions to many different areas of philosophy.  Among the most exciting and intimate objects are a journal of remembrances of Wittgenstein, as well as the over eighty letter and postcard exchanges between Anscombe and Sir Anthony Kenny, former president of the British Academy and Royal Institute of Philosophy, on ultimate philosophical and theological questions.  These eighty exchanges were the spark for the international Philosophy by Postcard Project, of which the Collegium Institute is the American partner.

The Collegium Institute Anscombe Archive at the University of Pennsylvania is expected to become a nexus for new academic networks and learning opportunities on campus, including four annual conferences based on Anscombe’s work, other special events and seminars, and the appointment of undergraduate, graduate, and faculty fellowships.  Beginning their terms this fall will be two new PRRUCS Fellows, Dr. Janice Chik and Dr. John Peter DiIulio, who were recently appointed as the John and Daria Barry Foundation Fellow and the James N. Perry Scholar of Philosophy, Politics, and Society, respectively, and who will be devoted largely to scholarship on the archive.
On April 26-28, 2019, the Philosophy Department and PRRUCS will host the first Anscombe Archive Conference on Mind & Action, which will feature the premier display of the archive in the Henry Charles Lea Library (6th Floor Van Pelt Library) on Friday at one o’clock pm. Immediately before the academic conference, the Collegium Institute also will host a public engagement lecture and reception on April 25th at noon in which Professor Jennifer Frey of the University of South Carolina will deliver a lecture titled, “Living the Truth: On the Relevance of Elizabeth Anscombe’s Thought Today.”