By Ella Fordyce, Class of 2019
Each year at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts brings with it a host of new faces; the 2018-2019 academic year is no exception. In addition to all its new students, TMC is proud to welcome a new teacher, Father Thomas Crean, O.P. A Dominican friar, Father Crean will be teaching The Good Life 1: Ethics, and the St. Thomas on Human Emotion tutorial. Both classes will greatly benefit from his theological expertise.
Born in England, Father Crean joined the Dominican Order in 1995. He continued his education with them, studying in both Oxford and Toulouse. After being ordained to the priesthood in 2001, Father Crean taught catechists and deacons at the Maryvale Institute. From there, he went to Austria to teach at the International Theological Institute, as well as pursue his doctorate.
In 2016, Kathy Sinnott, founder of Newman College Ireland, contacted Father Crean, asking him to come teach at the new institution. This school is the only Catholic liberal arts college in all of Great Britain and was founded in accordance with St. John Paul II’s apostolic constitution for Catholic colleges. Given Ireland’s shifting cultural ideologies, the founding of the school could not have come at a more appropriate time. Recognizing the value of such a school, Father Crean left Austria to go teach philosophy and theology at NCI.
The college, however, lacked a permanent location. After some time moving from place-to-place—including TMC’s Rome campus—NCI decided it would be best for the students to finish out the academic year at TMC. Father Crean came with them, both to teach and to provide a level of educational continuity for the Irish students. TMC and NCI already had an association before this new arrangement; as NCI was unaccredited, it was agreed that NCI students could do one year at TMC so as to graduate with an accredited degree.
NCI hopes to find a permanent campus soon and is currently in talks with an Irish Cistercian abbey about renting a wing to be the college’s new base. In the meantime, TMC is happy to have both Father Crean and the Irish students. Father Crean looks forward to teaching his students, new and old. God willing, this will be the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between TMC and NCI. In both Europe and America, the Church is in great need of young men and women strong enough in their faith to impact the world around them. TMC and NCI hope to educate such young Catholics through the willing efforts of teachers like Father Crean.