Catholic Culture Series on "Faith and Reason"

Oct 4May 31, 2024
Ruth Lake Country Club
6200 South Madison Street
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Fr. Peter FunkMonastery of the Holy Cross

The West Suburban Catholic Culture Series returns in 2023 with a monthly series on
"Faith and Reason as the Two Wings:
The History and Enduring Importance of Catholic Philosophy




(Business casual attire encouraged. For questions, please email Marial Corona at

Schedule: 6:30 p.m. Drinks | 7:00 p.m. Dinner, Lecture, & Q&A | 8:30 p.m. End 


October 4:
The One Thing Necessary: Monasticism and Philosophy
Prior Peter Funk, OSB (Monastery of the Holy Cross)

By integrating rigorous study and assiduous prayer within a life oriented towards the Truth, monasticism became a fertile ground for philosophical reflection, which starkly contrasts with modernity's tendency towards analysis and fragmentation. 

In this lecture, Prior Peter Funk, OSB will explore the perennial contributions of monasticism to philosophy and show how St. Benedict's motto ora et labora can aid our own philosophical reflections. 



In his 2006 Regensburg Address, Pope Benedict XVI argued that "it is necessary and reasonable to raise the question of God through the use of reason, and to do so in the context of the tradition of the Christian Faith."

Christianity shared a sense of "reason" with Greek philosophy. Jesus himself was the Word (Logos), the Greek word for reason and speech.  St. Paul himself reminded us that Christian worship is "reasonable worship" (logike latreia) (Rom. 12:1), and while love "transcends" knowledge and can perceive more than thought alone, it remains the love of the God who is Logos (Eph. 3:19).

Faith and reason support one another; however, many have tried to tear them asunder. The Reformation tried to get to a “pure” faith without reason; modern atheism has claimed that nothing can be “known” about God. When faith and reason are pulled apart, we lose sight of God and of ourselves, since we are made to know and love God.

In this year’s WSCCS, we will challenge the all-too-common assumption that the Church’s faith stands in opposition to reason. Join us as we examine the philosophical, monastic, and artistic geniuses who have borne the Church aloft through their engagement and enrichment of worldly wisdom.

Each month, we will gather at Ruth Lake Country Club. Over dinner, we will listen to a sophisticated yet accessible lecture offered by accomplished academics. The lectures will introduce insights from the treasure house of the Church's intellectual tradition and their bearing on contemporary themes and issues, presenting faithful Catholic teaching in a way that avoids the acrimony of the culture wars.



September 13: Golden Calf: Philosophy and Theology in the Early Church
Kenneth Calvert (Professor of History, Director of the Oxford Program, Hillsdale College)

October 4: The One Thing Necessary: Monasticism and Philosophy
Prior Peter Funk, OSB (Monastery of the Holy Cross)

November 9: Integrity, Creation, and a Restless Heart: Augustine's Contribution to Philosophy
Jared Ortiz (Professor of Theology, Founder and Executive Director of the St. Benedict Institute, Hope College)

March 20: Women and Philosophy in the Catholic Tradition
Bronwen McShea (Professor of History, Augustine Institute)

April 10: Recovering Philosophy for the Faith: The Story of Aquinas
Fr. Stephen Brock (Professor of Medieval Philosophy, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross)

May 15: On Philosophy and the Renaissance
Matthew Gaetano (Professor of History, Hillsdale College)



Fr. Peter Funk, OSB, is the Prior of the Monastery of the Holy Cross, a contemplative Benedictine monastery in the South Side neighborhood of Bridgeport. Fr. Peter received his B.A. in music from the University of Chicago. After graduating, he was a choral conductor at St. Thomas the Apostle parish and the University of Chicago. He entered monastic life in 1997. Fr. Peter received a Master’s degree in Theology at St. John’s School of Theology in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he majored in Scripture. In 2012, he helped to found the choir Schola Laudis, whose mission is to reintroduce the Catholic tradition of polyphony at the monastery's celebration of Vespers. Fr. Peter has composed numerous motets and four a cappella settings of the Mass.