Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Gonzaga University offers lecture series in honor of Father Patrick Hartin

the Inland Register

(From the January 21, 2016 edition of the Inland Register)

Father Patrick Hartin (IR file photo by Eric Meisfjord)

“The Church and Her Scriptures” is the theme of a series of free public lectures to be offered at Gonzaga University in honor of Father Patrick Hartin, a priest of the Diocese of Spokane, on the occasion of his retirement from his post as professor of religious studies at the university.

This is the first event co-sponsored by Bishop White Seminary and the Faith and Reason Institute of Gonzaga University. The first trio of lectures will be given Monday-Wednesday, Feb. 15-17. Also sponsoring the lectures is the university’s Socratic Club.

• Dominican Father Benedict T. Viviano, professor emeritus of New Testament at the University of Fribourg, will come in from Vienna to lecture on “Matthew Today: Paradoxes and Politics” on Monday, Feb. 15, at GU’s Wolff Auditorium at 7 p.m.
• Father Hartin himself will speak on “A Catholic Interpretation of the Scriptures,” on Tuesday, Feb. 16, in the Barbieri Courtroom, 721 N. Cincinnati in Spokane, at 7 p.m.
• Catherine Brown Tkacz, Research Professor of Theology at the Ukrainian Catholic Church (Lviv) will speak on “Susanna and Matthew’s Passion Narrative” on Wednesday, Feb. 17, also at Wolff Auditorium, at 7 p.m.

Resistance to social injustice is a lifelong characteristic of Father Hartin. When he was a boy of 12 in his native South Africa, “the Apartheid Government demanded that the Catholic Church hand over her schools to the Government. The Catholic Church refused and conducted a campaign among all Catholics to stand for what we believed and to raise money to support these schools. As a consequence, the Catholic Schools remained open. … To be identified with those who are willing to stand up for their beliefs is something I have always treasured. My Catholic Faith is an essential part of my very identity.”

Father Hartin’s University teaching career began at the University of the Witwaterstrand in Johannesburg, an institution he describes as being “in the forefront of social change and resistance to the Apartheid structure of South African society.” This liberation ethos influences his teaching and scholarship, for he seeks “social justice inspired within the Catholic Tradition.”

Desiring to teach at a Catholic university, Hartin came to the U.S. Since 1995 he has taught at Gonzaga University in the Department of Religious Studies.

The Letter of James “fascinates” him because “it is the only Scriptural writing that condemns discrimination unambiguously.” Among his 18 books are A Commentary on the Letter of James, in the prestigious series Sacra Pagina; A Spirituality of Perfection: Faith in Action in the Letter of James; and most recently A Window into the Spirituality of Paul.

In August 2003 he was incardinated into the Diocese of Spokane. Currently he celebrates Mass in Spokane at Our Lady of Fatima and Mary Queen parishes, and at Gonzaga University’s Student Chapel. He has also served numerous other parishes, including St. Paschal; has long been a spiritual director for diocesan seminarians; and is the Ecumenical Officer for the Diocese.

Additional public lectures on the theme of “The Church and Her Scriptures” are planned for 2017 and 2018.

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