The Gregorian Institute Shield, composed of the crossed gold and silver keys of the Papal Insignia, an open book with the words 'Via Veritas Vita' ('The Way, the Truth, and the Life') written on its pages, three golden six-sided stars on a red banner, and a Germanic cross.




Left to right: Dr. Robert George, Speaker Paul Ryan, Immaculee Ilibagiza,
Fr. Michael Gaitley, George Weigel

The Gregorian Speech Digest

The Gregorian is a free speech digest published by The Gregorian Institute at Benedictine College, Kansas. Each issue of the publication brings you speeches by noted speakers from events hosted by The Gregorian Institute.  Subscriptions to The Gregorian speech digest are free. Why not take a moment to order now by contacting us at the email address on the right?

Equipping Leaders

The crisis of our day is the separation of faith from public life. We bring you crucial speeches from the world’s most inspiring figures, who bring Faith and Reason to bear on the critical issues that confront our country and our world. Faith, politics, business, social policy, science, technology, the environment – you’ll find the entire range of human experience reflected in The Gregorian. And it is brought to you FREE by Benedictine College.

Past Speeches

JimToweySquareJim Towey, President, Ave Maria University
What Can Mother Teresa Teach the Academy?

Mr. Towey came to Ave Maria after serving as president of Saint Vincent College from 2006-2010. Prior to leading Saint Vincent, Mr. Towey served as an Assistant to the President of the United States. He was a member of President George W. Bush’s senior staff and attended meetings of his Cabinet. As director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from 2002 to 2006, Mr. Towey oversaw billions of dollars in federal grants that were awarded annually to faith-based charities serving the poor. He and his wife Mary have five children.

CardinalSchonbornCardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna
Pope Benedict, Regensburg, and the Controversy of Creation and Evolution

Cardinal Schonborn is a highly regarded author, teacher, and theologian. He was a student of Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) and with him was co-editor of the monumental Catechism of the Catholic Church. He studied theology and philosophy in Bornheim-Walberberg, Vienna, and Paris. He was ordained a Dominican priest by Cardinal Franz König in December 1970 in Vienna, and later studied in Regensburg. From 1975 he was professor at Freiburg im Uechtland.

In 1980, he became a member of the international theological commission of the Holy See, and in 1987 he became editorial secretary for the Catechism. He speaks six languages and has written numerous books.

FrRobertSpitzerSquareFr. Robert Spitzer, S.J.,
Evidence of Creation and Supernatural Intelligence in Big-Bang Cosmology

Fr. Spitzer is the newly-appointed auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, and the president of the Spitzer Center on Catholic Organizations and Chief Educational Officer for the Ethics and Performance Institute. He has published five books, published articles in the International Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophy in Science, the Business and Professional Ethics Journal, the Journal of Ultimate Reality and Meaning, and the Journal of Jesuit Business Education. He has founded seven major national institutes.

Bishop Spitzer has produced several series on cable’s EWTN including: Healing the Culture; The Spirit of Catholic Leadership; Suffering and the Love of God; Finding God Through Faith and Reason; Five Pillars of the Spiritual life; and Jesus-Emmanuel.

RobertGeorge2SquareDr. Robert George, Ph.D., McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence at Princeton University
The Life of Faith and the Moral Life

George is the founding director of the James Madison Program. He served on President George W. Bush’s Council on Bioethics, and is also a member of the UNESCO World Commission on the Ethics of Science and Technology. He previously served as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. He is the author of several books.

His scholarly articles and reviews have appeared in such journals as the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, and the Review of Politics. Professor George is a recipient of many honors and awards, including the Presidential Citizens Medal awarded December 10, 2008.

gregorian_shankmanDr. Kimberly Shankman, Dean of the College, Benedictine College
Reason, Truth, and Democracy: The Enlightenment and its Alternatives

Kimberly Shankman received her PhD in Political Science from Northern Illinois University.  Subsequently she taught in the Politics and Government Department at Ripon College from 1985-2001, when she left to take her current position at Benedictine College.

Her research interests are American political thought and constitutional law.  She is the author of Compromise and the Constitution: The Political Thought of Henry Clay.  Additionally, she has published articles relating to the privileges or immunities clause of the 14th amendment and other aspects of constitutional law.  She spoke recently on “Truth and Democracy” at the University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy, and on “Human Capital in Caritas in Veritate” at Columbia University in New York.

ImmaculeeImmaculée Ilibagiza, Author, Speaker
A Witness to Mercy

Ilibagiza is a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide in 1992 that killed most of her family members when she was an engineering student in Rwanda. She recorded her memoirs of the events in her New York bestseller Left to Tell. Now a highly sought-after speaker, Ilibagiza visited Benedictine College in 2012, when she spoke of her experiences during the Genocide and described how her faith helped her through the horrors of those days and the emotional healing that came after. In the summer of 2013, she inspired the college again when she led a group of Benedictine students on a mission trip to Rwanda.

PaulRyanSquarePaul Ryan, Speaker of the House
Free Enterprise, Faith, and the Common Good

Ryan is the Speaker of the House after serving as Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means and as Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget. He has been the Representative of Wisconsin’s 1st district since 1999, and ran for Vice President with Mitt Romney in 2012. A runner-up for Time magazine’s 2011 Man of the Year, Ryan came to Benedictine College in 2013 as the Commencement speaker, addressing graduates on the relationship between free enterprise, faith and the common good. Ryan lives in Wisconsin with his wife and three children.

GeorgeWeigel2SquareGeorge Weigel, Papal Biographer, Political and Social Commentator
Defending Religious Freedom in Full: A Generation’s Challenge

Weigel was Assistant Professor of Theology and Assistant Dean of Studies at St. Thomas the Apostle Seminary School of Theology in Kenmore, Washington, and Scholar-in-Residence at the World Without War Council of Greater Seattle before becoming a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He is also the founding president of the James Madison Foundation. Weigel is the author of the Pope St. John Paul II biographies Witness to Hope and The End and the Beginning. In 2012 he came to Benedictine College as the Commencement speaker and presented a speech on the Millennial generation’s challenges in defending religious freedom. Weigel lives in Maryland with his wife and three children.

FrGaitleySquareFr. Michael Gaitley, M.I.C., Author, Director of the Association of Marian Helpers
Consecration to Mary: Key to the Future

Fr. Gaitely is a priest of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. As director of the Association of Marian Helpers, he leads over 1 million people in devotion to Mary. Since his appointment as director, he has launched Hearts Afire: Parish-Based Programs for the New Evangelization (HAPP), a new pastoral initiative to spread the Good News. His book, 33 Days to Morning Glory, is a bestselling retreat for preparation for consecration to Mary, used by hundreds of Benedictine students before their own consecration.

Sister Veronica Daniels, O.S.B., St. Martin’s Ministries in Ridgely, M.D.; Nurse to Mother Teresa
As Mother Lay Dying

A Benedictine College alumna who graduated from Mount St. Scholastica College, one of our founding institutions, Sister Roni, as she is called, served as a nurse to Blessed Mother Teresa in Washington, D.C., and in Calcutta in the last year of her life at Mother Teresa’s request. Sister Roni, along with three Missionaries of Charity sisters, unveiled the “Mother Teresa Nursing Center” sign on Benedictine College’s campus on the 100th anniversary of the future saint’s birth, Aug. 26, 2010.

A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Sister Roni entered the Benedictines in 1962. She has worked as a pediatric nurse, a family practice nurse, and a nurse educator. Currently, Sister works at Saint Martin’s House, serving the poor in Ridgely, Md. She also works two days a week in Washington, D.C., where she provides health care to the homeless and serves as a clinical instructor.

SamBrownbackSquareSam Brownback, Governor of Kansas
The Wisdom of Mother Teresa

Brownback is a former U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Kansas. A former administrator, broadcaster, teacher, attorney and author he also served as Kansas’ Secretary of Agriculture. Brownback and his wife, Mary, have five children, two of them adopted. Raised a Methodist, Brownback converted to Catholicism in 2002 and is currently a member of Christ the King Parish in Topeka. He has spoken on issues of faith and politics at Benedictine College many times, including during the 2010 dedication of the Mother Teresa Center for Nursing & Health Education.