Belmont Abbey College Hosts Colloquium on Catholic Statesmanship

Belmont Abbey College Hosts Colloquium on Catholic Statesmanship
July 14, 2023

Belmont Abbey College Hosts Colloquium on Catholic Statesmanship

Belmont, N.C. (June 27, 2023) – Belmont Abbey College announces the Colloquium on Catholic Statesmanship, at the Belmont House in Washington, D.C. this July. This four-day high school summer program examines the role of Catholic statesmanship in the American public square. Through daily seminars, rising junior and senior students engage with the writings and speeches of the most important Catholic intellectuals and politicians who grappled with the nuances of being both Catholic and American.

The Colloquium on Catholic Statesmanship at the Belmont House serves as an extension of Belmont Abbey’s work to return voices of faith to the public square. As a venue to bring together people of diverse beliefs, people in government, policy experts, students, and Catholic ecclesiastical leaders from around the world, the Belmont House opens its doors in service of Church and Country and seeks to spread the mission of Catholic morals and values on Capitol Hill.

Students will interact with professors and guest lecturers in a Socratic style, engaging in friendly, but spirited discussion on assigned texts. The seminar style lectures feature some of the most prominent and vocal voices of Catholic intellectuals today, including Robert A. Destro, Professor of Law at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. and Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. As Assistant Secretary, he led the State Department’s worldwide policy and foreign assistance programs on human rights and democracy issues such as free and fair elections, Internet freedom, and the growth of the surveillance state. Another guest speaker is Nina Shea, a human rights lawyer of 40 years and Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute, where she directs the Center for Religious Freedom. She works extensively for the advancement of religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy, as it confronts Islamic extremism, and authoritarian regimes around the world.

Seminar topics include Catholicism and Religious Liberty, Papal Reflections on the United States, The Declaration of Independence, and more, with tours of various D.C. sites, including the Heritage Foundation and the Capitol Grounds. Dr. Thomas Varacalli, Director of the Colloquium on Catholic Statesmanship and Honors College Professor at Belmont Abbey College, shares, “Our country needs young men and women to participate in the American public square as faithful Catholics. The Catholic Church has a rich intellectual tradition that can address many political, social, economic, and cultural issues. Our program introduces high school students to this tradition and ensures they develop the tools and resources necessary to engage in the public square as faithful Catholics.”

Brought to you by Belmont Abbey’s Honors College and generously supported by the Jack Miller Center, the Colloquium on Catholic Statesmanship explores the intersection of Catholicism and American politics. Learn more about the Colloquium on Catholic Statesmanship

Learn more about the Honors College at Belmont Abbey College. 

About Belmont Abbey College: Founded in 1876, Belmont Abbey College is a private, Catholic baccalaureate and liberal arts institution. Our mission is to educate students in the liberal arts and sciences so that in all things God may be glorified. Guided by the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Benedictine spirit of prayer and learning, we welcome a diverse body of students and provide them with an education that will enable them to lead lives of integrity, to succeed professionally, to become responsible citizens, and to be a blessing to themselves and to others. Our beautiful and historic campus is conveniently located just 10 miles west of Charlotte, N.C., and is currently home to more than 1500 students. For more information, visit

Download the press release.