This year saw the Supreme Court handing down rulings with far-reaching consequences. In the same measure the Legislature has enacted statute breaking new ground. I can foresee that even more challenging, trying and intricate questions will come before the court this coming year and in the years ahead, even as our Legislature forges ahead with game-changing legislation.
In all this, there are assumptions about the human person, human nature and what a “good life” in an organized community should be. These are intensely philosophical questions — but without clear answers, no matter that they may be subject to revision later on — the law remains blind, clueless and rudderless.
Answering questions of this sort is the task of a Graduate School of Law. It is my good fortune to have had the honor to invite some of the most respected persons in the field of legal and juridical academia. They form our professorial corps, and I have absolutely no doubt that they lead our students through exciting and at the same time involved explorations far below the surface of the terrain on which law schools tread. After all, a Graduate School of Law is not and should not be a continuation of law school.
But because we keep ever before us our Benedictine heritage, our Graduate School of Law strives to serve the Church. For us, this is not some adventitious concern. It is at the heart of our existence. This year, therefore, we have commenced a new specialization in our Master of Legal Studies and Master of Laws program — Canon Law. We are also extremely pleased to graduate our first batch of priests who have completed the Master of Legal Studies, utriusque juris course.
Light in the darkness — that is who Benedict was. That is what ever Benedictine monastery is. Ora et Labora — without frills, without fanfare. That too best characterizes our Graduate School of Law.
That in all things, God may be glorified.
Fr. Ranhilio C. Aquino, PhD, JD, JSD
Dean, Graduate School of Law