CASC Lumen Magazine_Spring 2022

CSMA Profile

Below left: Barker runs for a touchdown as a wide receiver for the Minnesota Gophers. Above: Barker teaches religion to high school students at Saint Thomas Academy.

found the answers I was looking for,” he says. “I could confidently say ‘yes’ to each of the statements in the Creed. I finally found God.” Fast forward through his conversion and entrance into the Church. Barker next started down a path of inquiry that led him to Catholic Studies. None of this happened easily or overnight, but it happened with Barker-style purpose. In December, after two years as a part-time CSMA student, Barker successfully defended his thesis, “Toward the Common Good: The Natural Law and the Modern World,” with honors. Thus, Barker’s new mission has begun. Now, all within a context of faith and reason, he speaks passionately about the integration of faith across the spectrum of a Catholic school – in the hallways, the classroom and on the playing

field. He frequently asks, “How do these students see themselves?” and “How do they see God and the Church?” Barker knows that his students do not yet have the answers, but he believes these are the questions that should permeate the culture in which they are being formed. The Catholic Studies mission of exploring the impact of the Incarnation on thought and culture is Barker’s new mission. “I can’t make a student holy, but I can try to expose him to the content of virtue and holiness,” he says. “I believe that is the core of Catholic education – that we are teaching more than just mathematics or science or language or history. Sharing in the life of grace opened to us through and in Christ is the point of it all. It is truly worth everything.”

For more information on Catholic Studies graduate programs and scholarships, please contact …

Vincent Ruiz-Ponce Program Manager or (651) 962-5713

St. Thomas Lumen Spring 2022 Page 5

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