To Jesus Through Mary – A Theological Exploration of the Four Marian Dogmas
“What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ. “ (CCC 487). Join Dr. Richard H. Bulzacchelli, Lecturer in Theology for Catholic Studies Academy, as he leads a live, virtual four-session seminar on the central dogmas concerning the Virgin Mary formally recognized by the Catholic Church. What evidence do we have for these dogmas in Scripture? How did the Church gain clarity on them over the course of the centuries? How do they fit in with the proclamation of the Gospel?
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Session 1: Mary’s Perpetual Virginity – Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at 7:00PM CST
Session 2: The Divine Maternity – Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 7:00PM CST
Session 3: The Immaculate Conception – Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 7:00PM CST
Session 4: The Assumption – Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 7:00PM CST
Method: Each session will begin with a presentation by Dr. Bulzacchelli on the Scriptural witness, historical development, and theological significance of the dogma, followed by open discussion. Bring your curiosity and your questions.
Recommended background text: Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Daughter Zion: Meditations on the Church’s Marian Belief (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1983).
About the Presenter
Dr. Bulzacchelli has a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the International Marian Research Institute with a specialization in Mariology and concentrations in theological anthropology and the thought of Karol Wojtyla/Pope John Paul II.
For me, philosophy and theology have been essential aids in helping me make sense out of the world and my own life. I shudder to think what my life would be like now if
I’d never studied these disciplines. They help me to know God and to see myself through his eyes.
I had questions, which only makes sense if there are answers to be found, and I sought them. When I did find them, or when I at least started to catch a glimpse of them, I couldn’t contain my excitement, and I wanted to share what I’d found with others, because what I found was so important, and so good, and so life-changing. I remember sitting in my college dorm room with a copy of the Summa theologiaein my lap. But I was mostly defending the faith against the unreflective relativism embraced by my schoolmates. One thing I did know was that the proposition “No truth is absolute” is a contradiction, and thus can’t be true, and no amount of “open-mindedness” was going to change that fact.
After years of non-stop study, I hit a brick wall. I wrote papers for academic conferences. I taught my first college classes. I even published my first scholarly article in this period, but I couldn’t concentrate on my dissertation for the S.T.L.
This is when I married Kay. We lived in a tiny town in Western Pennsylvania, served by an “exile” parish. Through the simple faith of the people in that community, many of whom didn’t have college degrees (much less advanced degrees in theology), I moved from having a predominantly abstract knowledge about God, to having a personal knowledge of God. Only once that happened was I able to write. Thanks to what I learned from those good people, I finished my work.
Since then, I’ve been a full-time philosopher and theologian, and have gone on to earn the pontifical doctorate in theology as well. I’ve written two books so far, and, as of right now, I’ve presented twenty-six academic conference papers and written fifteen scholarly articles and book chapters, and that’s just the scholarly work I’ve done. Not bad, I think, for someone who barely graduated high school.
More than anything, though, my scholarly record is a monument to God’s saving grace, and to the people he’s brought into my life as channels of it. It’s my goal to be a channel of God’s grace for those around me, too. So, behind everything I do is my desire to introduce others to God, and to help them see the world as it appears to me through the eyes of faith.
I’ve been blessed with great educational opportunities, which, for a variety of reasons, many others will never have. When I was asked to become a part of Catholic Studies Academy, I saw a new opportunity to share with others the theological formation I so thankfully received, and, more importantly still, to show them how that formation actually connects, in real and living ways, with my life of faith.