Wyoming Catholic professor wins pontifical prize for thesis, meets Holy Father
John Mortenson, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Wyoming Catholic College.
John Mortenson, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Wyoming Catholic College.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A U.S. Catholic professor was recently awarded an audience with Pope Benedict XVI and an almost $30,000 prize for his doctoral thesis, which he wrote to help “unfold the beauty of Catholic teaching.”

John Mortenson, an Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Wyoming Catholic College, received the award on Jan. 27 for his work titled “Understanding St. Thomas on Analogy.” The award was given to him by the Coordination Council of Pontifical Academies, a committee that was established by the late John Paul II in 1996.

“The prize for theology and St. Thomas is given every four years by the Pontifical Academies of Theology and St. Thomas Aquinas,” Mortensen explained to CNA. “My thesis director asked if I would like to submit the thesis, and I consented, and sent my CV and copies of the thesis to Rome.”

Reflecting on his personal faith and what led him to pursue his career as a Catholic professor, Mortensen said, “I was drawn to theology and to teaching through love. I wanted to grow in my Catholic faith, and studying theology and philosophy provided a richness to my spiritual and intellectual life that I had not thought possible.”

“When I first began to study Thomas Aquinas, I was amazed at the clarity and succinctness with which he presented Catholic doctrine,” he added. “I wanted to unfold the beauty of Catholic teaching present in Aquinas and present it to others.”

Mortensen outlined the purpose of his thesis and said that “The question of analogy is foundational for theology and philosophy. The way we speak about things and the way things exist can only be understood if one understands analogy.”

“My thesis aimed at clarifying a much-debated point in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas about the way he uses the word ‘analogy,’” Mortensen explained. “This clarification is important as a starting point in the whole question of analogy, since without getting this issue right, many errors and misunderstandings are bound to follow.”

When asked what his experience of meeting the Holy Father was like, Mortenson told CNA that “Pope Benedict was very warm and loving to us. He blessed each of our children, and spent time asking about our family.”

“We love him like a father, and we told him so.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 19, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27