Garaventa Center: Mission
The Garaventa Center is dedicated to the examination of the intersection of the Catholic Intellectual Life and American Culture. It fosters an ongoing intellectual exchange between Catholicism and the culture in search for meaning and understanding that is rationally, morally and spiritually grounded.
The Catholic intellectual tradition has been developing through two millennia as it engages and is engaged in the world – a world marked by a plurality of communities of discourse, belief, and political affiliation. It is a tradition informed and shaped by the word of God as revealed in the Scriptures, the work of scholars in every generation, the teachings of the Magisterium, and the work of women and men of good will. The tradition is characterized by systematic and rational discourse in pursuit of truth as well as the development and living of a moral vision.
Some elements in American culture are increasingly secular and at odds with this Catholic moral vision. While the contemporary culture presents new and exciting opportunities for human growth and development, it also poses new threats to human dignity and life, and is frequently intolerant of or even hostile to intellectual and moral traditions and worldviews which challenge it.
The Garaventa Center is a visible and dynamic expression of the University of Portland’s commitment to bring to bear the values of the Catholic tradition on the development of American culture. It will strive to integrate study and reflection within the various colleges and professional schools of the University to transform the public and personal lives of students, faculty and staff, alumni and alumnae, and friends so that they might become agents of peace and justice now and in the future. The Garaventa Center seeks no less than to contribute significantly to the transformation of culture in America.