Skip to main content

Center for Catholic Thought and Culture presented with 2022 Projektenmacher Award

by Public Relations | November 30, 2022

LATROBE, PA – The Center for Catholic Thought and Culture (CCTC) received the 12th annual Saint Vincent College Projektenmacher Award in recognition of its initiatives that, in the spirit of founder Archabbot Boniface Wimmer, “brought vision to reality through hard work and perseverance.”

Saint Vincent College’s president, Father Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B, presented Dr. Jerome Foss,Professor of Politics in the Alex. G McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government and Endowed Director of the CCTC; Dr. Michael Krom, Professor of Philosophy in the School of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) and director of the Benedictine Leadership Studies (BLS) program; Dr. Lucas Briola, C’13, Assistant Professor of Theology in AHSS; and Ms. Samantha Firestone, C’17, G’19, coordinator of the CCTC with the award at the FoundersDay Honors Convocation on Thursday, Nov. 17, in the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica.  


“Boniface Wimmer,” Father Paul began, “as many of you know, was a dreamer. He dreamed of bringing education and pastoral ministry to the United States, particularly for this country’s immigrants. However, his dreams were typically met with ridicule or brushed aside as fantasy by his fellow monks.

“Mockingly, Wimmer was given the name of Projektenmacher, or project maker, for his dreams and visions in the opinion of others were not realistic. For the sake of each of us today, we thank God that Wimmer was not deterred by the doubts of others. Without his dreams, we would not be here today, continuing to move forward, always forward, 177 years later.”

The CCTC acts as a versatile institution that guides students to reflect on their liberal education influenced by the Benedictine Wisdom Tradition and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. The Center houses the BLS Program, the Faith and Reason program for high schoolers and the SVC Summer Institute in Rome, alongside a number of other opportunities and resources.

According to Father Paul, the Center “works to move scholars and students together for the catholic intellectual tradition, Benedictine pedagogy and to support and create academic programs for Saint Vincent College.”

Dr. Foss gave remarks about the surprise award, thanking many individuals including Father Paul, Brother Norman Hipps, O.S.B; Father Tom Hart, O.S.B; and Archabbot Emeritus Douglas Nowicki, O.S.B.

“This is their vision, too,” Foss told the audience.

I’m honored to be contributing to the ongoing fulfillment of Boniface Wimmer’s mission to America,” Dr. Foss commented. He continued by adding that “whatever the contributions [the Center has] made so far, they seem, to me at least, meager.”

Dr. Foss mentioned that the CCTC offers a sense of stability for students, both incoming and outgoing. Wimmer offered the Benedictines stability, which others did not, and now the Center continues Wimmer’s wish far beyond 1846—the year of the College’s founding.

Alongside its many programs, the CCTC has also published its first two installments of its academic journal, Conversatio: A Journal in the Tradition of Catholic, Benedictine, and Liberal Education.” The journal contains a collection of alumni- and student-written essays analyzing historical texts, peer reviews of faculty books and an introductory essay produced by Father Nathan Munsch, O.S.B.

-Madison Kozera, English major, of Abingdon, MD