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Rev. Paul Philibert, O.P. ’58

Randall Professor to Lecture on ‘New Pope, Old Problem: True and False Reform in the Church'

Forty years after his last teaching assignment at Providence College, Rev. Paul Philibert, O.P. ’58 is back on campus as the Rev. Robert J. Randall Professor in Christian Culture for the 2013-14 academic year.

Father Philibert, whose academic specialty is pastoral theology, will present his first lecture, “New Pope, Old Problem: True and False Reform in the Church,” on Thursday, October 10, at 4:30 p.m. in Aquinas Hall Lounge.

Father Philibert was assistant professor of theology at PC from 1968-1973, leaving just before the arrival of Rev. Robert J. Randall, for whom the Randall chair is named. The Randall Professorship was established in 2002 to honor Father Randall, who taught for more than 25 years in the Department of English, the Development of Western Civilization (DWC) Program, and the Liberal Arts Honors Program.

Father Philibert is teaching two seminars to juniors and seniors in the Liberal Arts Honors Program, Christ and Culture in the fall and Maturity of Faith in the spring. He also will lecture in the spring at the 2014 Rev. Robert J. Randall Conference on Christian Culture.

“I’m delighted to be back,” said Father Philibert. “I think the DWC Program is an incredible achievement. To be involved with the Liberal Arts Honors Program is a wonderful privilege.”

Father Philibert, who was ordained in 1963, has taught theology around the country and the world, including at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland; the University of Notre Dame; the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, Calif.; The Catholic University of America; and St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. Most recently, he was chaplain at the Dominican Monastery in Lufkin, Texas.

Father Philibert came to PC as a pre-ecclesiastical student in 1954 and entered the novitiate of the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Joseph. He joined the Southern Province when it was created in 1979 and has served in all four Dominican provinces.

Father Philibert received a doctorate in sacred theology from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. He is one of a select group in the Dominican Order to be awarded its highest academic honor, the Master’s in Sacred Theology, an honorary title given for singular intellectual contributions to the Church and the Order over a lengthy period.

Father Philibert is the author of many published books and articles. He plays flute, keyboard, and organ. He developed his interest in pastoral theology as a high school student in Baltimore, spending two summers working with a priest to evangelize portions of the South that had never been introduced to Catholicism. Sometimes they went house to house knocking on doors. Other times the priest set up camp chairs and spoke outside.

“The idea was evangelization from scratch,” said Father Philibert. “We established seven or eight parishes as a result.”


— Vicki-Ann Downing


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