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The Great Works at the Acton Institute Open House

Thursday, November 4, 4pm - 8pm

By the time this message reaches readers, the dawning of spring will have arrived. Ever since I relocated to Michigan, I’ve found the season rife with metaphorical opportunities.

Of course, I’m not the first to recognize that spring represents rebirth of the Earth and the resurrection of our Lord. “Nature is the art of God,” wrote the Italian poet Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy.

In my humble estimation, never is the complexity and beauty of God’s art better displayed in all its myriad glory than in spring. From Chaucer’s “Prologue” to his Canterbury Tales to the mudluscious and puddle-wonderful observed by E.E. Cummings, the world begins another rotation around the sun and the natural world responds accordingly with warmer temperatures and more verdant landscapes.

“It’s a perfect time for sowing the seeds for bountiful crops that will be harvested at a later date.”

It’s a perfect time for sowing the seeds for bountiful crops that will be harvested at a later date. For the seeds to germinate in an optimal fashion, however, the soil must be fertile. This holds true as well in the fields wherein we toil at Acton.

First we fertilize and till the soil with our research, shared reading, publications, writings and well-articulated common goals. Our primary goal (or anticipated harvest, if you will) is the acknowledgment of the fundamental dignity of all humankind. How best to attain this includes alleviating hunger and poverty as well as the temptation to succumb to collectivism and other utopian schemes, which behave as weeds in our garden by abrogating freedoms and stifling liberties.

It’s also in spring when warmer temperatures cause the conversion of starch stored in maple trees over the winter months into sugar. This sugar sweetens the trees’ sap, which is collected and processed into syrup. We at Acton also store research information that we tap into when necessary in order to comment on contemporary issues related to our primary mission.

Finally, spring is typically announced with the loud crack of a bat connecting with a baseball as players take another type of field, otherwise called a diamond. These outstanding players comprise 30 individual teams – each working as one on behalf of their common goals. Our Acton team consists of all our wonderful employees and contributors and, as well, all our readers and supporters competing in the world of ideas and public opinion.

It’s spring once again, so let’s rededicate ourselves to the Acton mission!

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Rev. Robert A. Sirico received his Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic University of America following undergraduate study at the University of Southern California and the University of London.  During his studies and early ministry, he experienced a growing concern over the lack of training religious studies students receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today's social problems.  As a result of these concerns, Fr. Sirico co-founded the Acton Institute with Kris Alan Mauren in 1990.