Sunday Theology Forum
11:45 (after the 10:30 Mass)
Who is Mary? For Us? For Me?
Father Dominique Peridans
Father Dominique Peridans has shepherded Church of the Ascension & Saint Agnes since November of 2015. He was born in Washington, DC and raised in neighboring Maryland. After receiving his undergraduate degree in Psychology, Father Dominique spent 3 years with the L’Arche community (for adults with mental disabilities) in Brussels, Belgium, and then joined the Congregation of St. Jean, a French Roman Catholic monastic community, with whom he spent 14 years. While with them, he was ordained to the priesthood. In 2013, Father Dominique received a Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University, Maryland, and was received as a priest in the Episcopal Church by The Right Reverend Eugene Sutton of Maryland. Of Belgian immigrant parents, Father Dominique is bilingual French-English.
February 19 We are Not “Mere Christians”: Sacraments & Abundant Life
Mother Patricia Lyons
Mother Patricia Lyons currently teaches evangelism, works with the Lifelong Learning team, and serves as the Senior Advisor to the Dean for Evangelism Initiatives at Virginia Theological Seminary, in Alexandria, Virginia. She also directs the EvangelismFormationLab@VTS, a digital portal on YouTube and Facebook offering original content from the Seminary as well as thoughtful curation of resources in evangelism and formation for the wider church. Dr. Lyons was a lay chaplain and teacher of religion in Episcopal schools for 20 years before being ordained a priest and then serving parishes in Washington, DC, eventually serving as Canon for Evangelism in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. Currently, Triciaassists at the Church of Saint Clement in Alexandria, VA. Tricia is a member of the Presiding Bishop’s Strategic Cabinet on Evangelism and one of the original writers of the “Way of Love.” Tricia is an honors graduate from Harvard College, the Harvard Divinity School, and received her doctorate from the Virginia Theological Seminary. She is the author of four books on faith formation, The Soul of Adolescence, Teaching Faith with Harry Potter, What is Evangelism? and her most recent, The Evangelist’s Breviary.
March 5 “All Shall Be Well”? The Spirituality of Blessed Julian of Norwich
Professor Hannah Matis
Hannah Matis has been teaching Church History and Spirituality at Virginia Theological Seminary since 2014. Her areas of particular interest and expertise include early medieval biblical interpretation, late antiquity, and medieval history, Reformation history, Anglican studies, and the history of spirituality. She observes that many students have often never learned history specifically about the Church, and she loves watching them discover how relevant to their faith it can be. In her first book, The Song of Songs in the Early Middle Ages, Hannah examined how this book of the Bible was interpreted in the early medieval West by several influential monks and clergy. Reading the Song of Songs allegorically as a love song between Christ and the Church, Gregory the Great, the Venerable Bede, Alcuin, and others used the text as a blueprint for church reform and a way to shape an emerging sense of clerical identity. She has a particular interest in the religious experience of women in the Christian tradition and is currently at work on a book tentatively entitled A Women’s History of Christianity.
Professor Kathleen Staudt
Kathleen Henderson Staudt is a poet, scholar, teacher, and spiritual director. She has taught courses in literature, writing, and spirituality at Wesley Theological Seminary, in Washington, DC, Virginia Theological Seminary, and the University of Maryland, College Park. She also participates in the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross (SCHC), an intentional community of women dedicated to a life of intercessory prayer, thanksgiving, social justice and simplicity of life. Staudt has published scholarly studies of the Christian artist and poet David Jones. She has also published several books of poems, including Annunciations: Poems Out of Scripture (2003), Waving Back: Poems of Mothering Life (2009), Good Places (2017), and This Thing Called Poetry: An Anthology of Poems by Young Adults with Cancer (2019).
June 11 Social Media and Faith
Professor Jonathan Askonas
Jon Askonas, a parishioner at Church of the Ascension & Saint Agnes, is an assistant professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America, where he works on the connections between the republican tradition, technology, and national security. He is currently working on two books: A Muse of Fire: Why the U.S. Military Forgets What It Learns in War, on what happens to wartime innovations when the war is over and The Shot in the Dark: A History of the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group, the first comprehensive overview of a unit that helped the Army adapt to the post 9/11 era of counterinsurgency and global power competition. His writing has appeared in Russian Analytical Digest, Triple Helix, The New Atlantis, Fare Forward, War on the Rocks, and the Texas National Security Review.