Portsmouth Institute’s 2011 Conference: The Catholic Shakespeare?

Portsmouth Abbey School, America’s premier Catholic boarding school, has announced its third annual Portsmouth Institute, a conference program focused on issues pertaining to Catholic life in the 21st century.
The 2011 Portsmouth Institute conference will be held June 10-12, on The Catholic Shakespeare?
“In the last twenty years,” commented Institute director James MacGuire, “There has been an explosion of scholarship on Shakespeare’s religion, especially in England, and we thought it timely to bring together leading scholars from our own country and the UK to discuss and illuminate this rich and fascinating subject.”
So far the Institute roster includes a number of distinguished speakers, including the Right Reverend Dom Aidan Bellenger, OSB, Abbot of Downside, Dr. Gerard Kilroy, Head of English at King Edward’s School, Bath, Clare Viscountess Asquith, Reverend Peter Milward, S.J. of Sophia University in Tokyo, distinguished archivist The Honorable Georgina Stonor, Reverend David Beauregard OMV, dean of studies at Our Lady of Grace seminary, Dr. John Cox of Hope College, Mr. Joseph Pearce of Ave Maria University, and Dr. Glen Arbery of Assumption College. The list of speakers is still in formation, and updates will be provided on a regular basis.
In addition to scholarly presentations, the Institute will feature dramatic productions based on Shakespeare’s plays by Kevin O’Brien’s, Theatre of the Word, and other companies. One of these productions will be performed in the newly restored Newport Casino Theatre on Bellevue Avenue, originally designed by Stanford White in 1888, which will afford attendees the opportunity to tour some of the treasures of that historic city. There will also be concerts featuring music associated with Shakespeare and his time, including William Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices.
The Portsmouth Institute will feature leadership and participation by Portsmouth Abbey’s resident Benedictine monks and faculty of the Portsmouth Abbey School, including retired English Department Chairman, Dom Damian Kearney O.S.B., current English Department Chairman, Dr. Michael Bonin, and Portsmouth Institute Music Director, Troy Quinn. Institute programs are designed to offer attendees frequent opportunities for informal discussion as well as access to recreational opportunities on the School’s campus and at Carnegie Abbey. In keeping with its mission, the Institute’s yearly sessions will also provide opportunities for attendance at Mass, the Divine Office, and “mini-Retreat” sessions centered around the Abbey’s landmark Church of St. Gregory the Great.
The Portsmouth Institute is a conference, study, recreation and retreat center for all those interested in Catholic life, leadership, and service in the 21st Century. “As with last year’s conference on Newman and the Intellectual Tradition,” MacGuire commented, “in addition to the formal sessions, there will be ample time for prayer, sport, music, humor, and friendship. We welcome any and all who might be interested in this year’s Newman conference to join us on our wonderful campus and promise that you will leave Portsmouth Abbey refreshed, stimulated, and inspired.”
“We look forward to welcoming old and new friends alike to Portsmouth Abbey and School,” said Dr. James DeVecchi, headmaster, “So that they can be better acquainted with the academic and spiritual excellence that has been nurtured here for the past eighty years on the beautiful shores of Narragansett Bay.”
About Portsmouth Abbey School:
Portsmouth Abbey School is a coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12. Founded in 1926 by a community of English Benedictine monks, the school is located on a 500-acre campus along the picturesque shores of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay.
The Portsmouth Abbey education is grounded in the Western intellectual tradition, from ancient Greece and Rome and continuing into this century. This classical curriculum is balanced by a focus on spirituality, science, athletics, the arts and fun.
The School’s mission encompasses the importance of reverence for God and the human person, respect for learning and order, and responsibility for the shared experience of community life.
For More Information:
The complete conference program as well as registration information for The Catholic Shakespeare? are available at www.portsmouthinstitute.org, by calling Cindy Waterman at (401) 643-1244, emailing her at cwaterman@portsmouthabbey.org, or writing her at Portsmouth Abbey School, 285 Cory’s Lane, Portsmouth RI 02871.
Additional queries may be addressed to James MacGuire at jmacguire@portsmouthabbey.org.

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