At a 50th anniversary celebration for Thomas Aquinas College, Archbishop José H. Gomez encouraged students to “recover the truth of the imago Dei, the truth that creation and history have a divine direction and purpose.”

“In this moment in our society and culture, I think we can all see very clearly the essential need for higher education that is truly and distinctly Catholic,” he said in his homily at the Mass of Thanksgiving, held Sept. 26 in in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel on the College’s California campus with more than 500 students, faculty, and board members. 

Archbishop Gomez stressed that the ”privilege and duty” of the school is to proclaim the dignity of the human person, and that carrying on that mission can help to build “a culture rooted in an authentic Christian humanism.”

“Thomas Aquinas College is a great gift to the family of God here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” he said. 

Following the Mass, Bishop Robert Barron reflected on his pride that the college is in his pastoral region of Santa Barbara. “This place is very special to me,” he said. “It is a pleasure to see this place flourishing so beautifully 50 years after its founding. This is a place where the great values are cultivated and taught, and that’s indispensable for our society.”