Author: Daniel Smith
Fr. Basil Cole, O.P. named Master of Sacred Theology
Emeritus Professor Father Basil Cole, O.P., was recently given one of the highest honors of the Dominican Order. He was named a Master of Sacred Theology and now follows in a long line of great theologians going back to the founding of the Order. With overwhelming support, the 2022 quadrennial Provincial Chapter of the Province of St. Joseph nominated Father Cole to the Master of the Order for this honor. After consulting other experts, the Master, Father Gerard Francisco Timoner, O.P. made Father Cole a Master of Sacred Theology on October 17th.
During vespers on Wednesday, January 10th in the Chapel of the Priory of the Immaculate Conception, the decree naming Father a Master was read and the insignia of the title were conferred. First, he received the ring as a sign that he has been espoused by Wisdom. In keeping with tradition, the ring is set with an amethyst stone. It also bears the shields of both the Dominican Order and the Province of St. Joseph. He was then given the black and red four-peaked biretta, which is a symbol of Masters of Theology, and is often worn during solemn academic ceremonies.
A festive dinner with guests and the community followed.
On Thursday, January 11th Father Cole delivered a magisterial lecture in Aquin Hall to an audience of nearly one hundred people. The title of his lecture was “Spiritual Beauty and the Challenge of the Life of Virtue.” Following closely the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, the singular Master of Theology, Father Cole elucidated the importance of the arts—particularly literature, painting, and music—in helping a person grow in virtue.
On receiving the honor, Father Cole noted that the honor belonged not just to him, but to all those who’ve encouraged him, supported him, and to all of his students over the years. He continues to write and publish. He has a number of manuscripts preparing for publication.