Women In The Church & The Catholic Mystical Tradition
A short couse by Dr. Anthony Lilles
A online course exploring the contribution of women in the mystical traditional of the Catholic Church.
Women have played an integral role in developing the Catholic Mystical Tradition. Join Dr. Anthony Lilles, Dean of Academics at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park California, as he guides students on an exploration through the lives and works of the Church’s most important women teachers of Catholic mysticism. This class is open to everyone, but it’s especially geared towards catechists, parish leaders, evangelists, parochial religion teachers, those discerning a vocation, and those interested in growing in their life of prayer.
The course will build upon the following illustrious spiritual masters:
- St. Hildegard of Bingen – the Mystery of the Church and Benedictine Spirituality,
- St. Catherine of Siena – Love of Truth and Dominican Spirituality,
- Bl. Angela di Foligno – Devotion to Christ and Franciscan Spirituality,
- St. Teresa of Avila – Mystical Wisdom and Carmelite Spirituality,
- St. Therese of Lisieux – Divine Mercy at the Dawn of the New Millennium, and
- St. Elizabeth of the Trinity – The Divine Indwelling and a Spirituality for the Future.
The Mystical Wisdom of the Church is a largely untapped resource for Christian living and the women mystics of the Catholic Tradition have been the special custodians of this treasury. This mini-course surveys the teaching of women mystics over the last millennium and opens to the horizons that lay ahead.
Our purpose is to make the case that even after two thousand years, we have only scratched the surface of the unfathomable riches of Christ and theological study imbued with this wisdom is vital for the mission of the Church today.
To this end, our exploration unfolds chief characteristics of mystical wisdom including the mystery of the Church, love of the truth, devotion to Christ, contemplative prayer, Divine Mercy, and the Indwelling of the Trinity. Each session includes a thirty minute lecture on the mystic’s life, approach to spirituality, and an important doctrinal theme followed by a twenty minute question and answer period. The instruction intends to be mystagogical rather than simply informational, offering those fully initiated into the Catholic Church the opportunity to deepen their encounter with Christ and receive anew His transforming love.
Such an exploration is suited especially for catechists, parish leaders, evangelists, parochial religion teachers, those discerning a vocation, and those interested in growing in their life of prayer.
The class schedule is as follows:
- St. Hildegard of Bingen – the Mystery of the Church and Benedictine Spirituality
- Bl. Angela di Foligno – Devotion to Christ and Franciscan Spirituality
- St. Catherine of Siena – Love of Truth and Dominican Spirituality
- St. Teresa of Avila – Contemplative Prayer and Carmelite Spirituality
- St. Therese of Lisieux – Divine Mercy at the Dawn of the New Millennium
- St. Elizabeth of the Trinity – The Divine Indwelling and a Spirituality for the Future
- Closing Lecture – Conclusion
Taught live by Dr. Anthony Lilles from St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park
Anthony Lilles, S.T.D. has served the Church and assisted in the formation of clergy since 1994, and now is the academic dean of St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park. Having served the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as Academic Dean and associate professor of theology at St. John’s Seminary, he holds a BA in theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and has both the ecclesiastical licentiate and doctorate in spiritual theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome (the Angelicum). He was a founding faculty member of Saint John Vianney Seminary in Denver where he also served as academic dean and coordinator of spiritual formation for the permanent deacon program. He has published Hidden Mountain Secret Garden, Omaha: Discerning Hearts (2012) and Fire from Above: Christian Contemplation and Mystical Wisdom, Manchester: Sophia (2016). He blogs at www.beginningtopray.com. His podcasts can be found at www.discerninghearts.com.