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The Good Life: Grace, Virtue, and the One Thing Necessary

  • St. Albert's Priory 5890 Birch Court Oakland, CA 94618 USA (map)

St. Albert’s Priory - Oakland, CA


  • Begins with check-in at 4:00pm on Friday, March 22nd

  • Concludes with check-out at 12:30pm on Sunday, March 24th


  • Prof. Steven Jensen - University of St. Thomas (Houston)

  • Fr. John Corbett, O.P. - Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception

Conference Titles: 1. Principles of the Moral Life ||||| 2. The One Thing Necessary: The Last End and Beatitude ||||| 3. Our Good and God: Our Place Within the Greater Good ||||| 4. In Us Without Us: The Infused Virtues ||||| 5. Beyond Human Means: The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Description: In the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, all creation proceeds from God and returns to him. With the complication of sin, that return is complicated. In Jesus Christ and through the sacraments, God orchestrates the redemption of sinful man by gradually introducing him into the life of divine communion. And, in that movement, man is engaged not merely as a passive recipient, but also as an agent—as a protagonist.

Given this understanding, questions of morality cannot simply be boiled down to do’s and don’ts. For St. Thomas, the moral life is first about God and then about the way we are called to return to Him. This is what we mean by “the good life.”

In this intellectual retreat, we will consider the rudiments of St. Thomas’s teaching on the moral life. Beginning with an introduction of principles, we will then pass through four central themes which strike at the heart of the moral transformation he envisioned. The retreat will have seminars and discussions and as well as the traditional elements of a retreat (Mass, adoration, confession, Divine Office, etc.).

Application: Preference will be given to leaders and members of Thomistic Institute student chapters, but is open to other students and young adults who express interest. Email Fr. Gregory Pine at with any questions.


Tentative Schedule

Friday, March 22nd

4:00 pm           Check-in 

5:00 pm           Mass and Vespers

6:15 pm           Dinner

7:15 pm           Compline and Eucharistic Adoration with Confession

8:15 pm           Introduction & Logistics

8:25 pm           Conference I

9:15 pm           Recreation

Saturday, March 23rd

7:30 am           Office of Readings and Lauds

8:15 am           Mass

8:45 am           Breakfast

9:30 am           Conference II

10:30 am         Break

11:00 am         Conference III

12:00 pm         Lunch

1:00 pm           Free Time or meet with a priest

3:00 pm          Conference IV

4:15 pm          Quodlibetal discussion

5:30 pm          Vespers

6:15 pm          Dinner

7:15 pm          Compline and Eucharistic Adoration with Confession

8:15 pm          Brainstorming

9:00 pm          Recreation

Sunday, March 24th 

8:30 am         Office of Readings and Lauds

9:30 am         Mass

10:30 am       Brunch

11:15 am       Conference V

12:30 pm       Check-out 

1:00 pm Departure