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Thomas Dillon, Faithful Servant

04/22/2009 Comment

Frequent Register contributor Paul Kengor has written a nice eulogy to Thomas Dillon, “the remarkable president of the remarkable Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, Calif.”

Kengor’s “Tom Dillon vs. the Relativists” got that title for this anecdote:

“Dillon had been at a recent meeting of university presidents. A matter of morality came up. One of the presidents, naturally assuming they were all secular relativists — excellent odds — casually chimed in: ‘There are no absolutes.’”

Then, “amid the nods and chuckles of the other university presidents, Dillon, no shrinking violet, refused to tolerate this affront to faith and reason. He quickly protested: ‘Are you absolutely certain about that?’”

“As Dillon told me the story, with an impish grin, I eagerly asked what happened next. He said that all the other presidents quit laughing, became dead silent, pushed their chairs back from the table — a parting of the sea, or, actually, by Dillon’s description, more like a clearing of an Old West saloon—and eyed up the two cowboys.”

Grove City College’s Kengor (author of The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism and The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Top Hand) describes visiting TAC this way:

“The whole experience, and the college itself, was an exercise in virtue. Prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance; faith, hope, and charity. Both Thomas Aquinas College and Thomas Dillon were testimony to the harmony of faith and reason — fides et ratio — long ago elevated by their namesake: St. Thomas Aquinas.”

He ends: “Thomas Dillon was a faithful servant, who now earns his heavenly reward. May he rest in peace, forever conversing with absolute Truth.”

Filed under thomas aquinas college, thomas dillon

About Guest Blogger/Tom Hoopes

Tom  Hoopes
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Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.