Report on Acton U – II

Acton University, an annual event held in Grand Rapids, MI, is the most authentically ecumenical event I have ever attended. It doesn’t set up to be obviously ecumenical, of course. Perhaps that why you find an authentic ecumenism here.

Most of the participants have a base of common principles to work from and, therefore, conversation can be frank, tough and civil… and fascinating.

While there are some Muslim and Buddhist participants, I believe, the balance is – if I am not mistaken 60/40 Protestant/Catholic. There are some 30 protestant ministers here this year and quite a few priests, including some well-known names.

Each day there are Masses available for participants.

For example, the first morning Mass was offered in the Extraordinary Form at 0630 by H.E. Most Rev. Bp. Fernando Arêas Rifan, the Apostolic Administrator of São João Maria Vianney, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Over 20 participants attended.


I am on break between morning classes.

The first session was The Economic Thought of Augustine and Aquinas

The next session will be Economic Science and the School of Salamanca.


A friend, the great Fabrizio, has come from Rome for Acton U.


Mr. Azzola and Fr. Sirico

Fr. de Mariana (deceased):


In a class: Truth and Fiction: Economic History of the Great Depression


Enjoying an evening talk by Robert George.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. andrew a says:

    Father, do you know that Sacred Heart Parish in Grand Rapids has Latin Mass every Sunday at 12 or 12:30 (I am not sure which). It is on the west side of town.

  2. Christina says:

    Bishop Rifan will be doing Solemn Vespers in Norwalk, CT at St. Mary’s this Sunday 6/21 at 5:00.

  3. Anthony says:

    Bishop Rifan will also be pontificating at the 11am Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Chapel (FSSP) in Pequonnock, NJ this Sunday.

  4. Brendan says:

    andrew a – The Mass is at 12:30. the first and third Sundays of the month are Missa Cantatas, the other Sundays are Low Masses. I go to the Mass while at College and occasionally in the Summer if I am home. I’m so happy that we have the Extraordinary Form here in an otherwise liturgical abuse filled Diocese.

  5. andrew a says:

    Brendan, you got that right. Our diocese is very filled with liturgical abuse. However, one can find beautiful liturgy at St. Isadore’s parish and Sacred Heart parish and St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish.
    St. Isadore’s is the place to go to Confession, and there is a line there every Saturday. They even have confession before all Masses. The pastor is a great and holy man, and he says Mass at Sacred Heart at certain times in the month (a group of priests take turns saying it).

  6. David says:

    Brendan and Andrew,
    I live just around the corner from St. Michael, but have never been. Do you go often?

    (Perhaps we know one another – my wife and I attend Sacred Heart, but I don’t go to the 1230 as often as I’d like.)

  7. andrew a says:

    David, St. Michael is a great parish.
    The priest is very handicapped, but is a very holy man. He lives at St. Isadore’s
    He is assisted at Mass by a retired Melkite priest who worked in the Holy Land for 21 years.
    There is one woman there who went through a Nazi concentration camp, a Communist concentration camp, and I have heard that she was a spiritual child of Padre Pio.
    The people there are all very hospitable. My dad and I go there every once in a while.

  8. Jake says:

    I didn’t know the event was taking place at Grand Valley. That’s my alma mater!

    Also, up until three weeks ago I lived less than a mile from St. Michael’s, just behind St. James’ parish. What a small world!

  9. Andy K. says:

    Fr. Z….
    In your picture for the
    In a class: Truth and Fiction: Economic History of the Great Depression

    Do you know the man in the front row? I think he may well be my high school world history teacher. Very cool (if so!)

  10. Athelstane says:

    I did Acton University in 2007.

    Could not make it this year. I am envious.

  11. BLC says:

    Father Z, I wish I could afford to go to Acton U! Doing its program and the Mises U program would be my dream holiday… (I’m hoping to become an academic of some kind, but I’m in Australia so it’s prohibitively expensive for a university student to go and do these programs at the moment.)

  12. RichR says:

    Looks like a wonderful event!

    If Jeffrey Tucker of CMAA / NLM is there, tell him “Hi” from Rich in the Brazos Valley Schola Cantorum.

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