Dahlgren Chapel Sacred Lecture

The early Jesuits instituted a practice called sacred lectures, popularizing and significantly amplifying a tradition that existed before the founding of the Society of Jesus. Sacred lectures were distinct from their ministry of preaching within the context of a liturgy. The lecturer sat in a chair or bench in the main body of the church, and did not stand at a pulpit as if preaching a sermon. Sacred lectures were not strictly academic exercises. Seeking to instruct, edify, and challenge, the Jesuit lecturer applied the content of the lecture to the daily life of lay people who usually composed the audience. In purpose and style, the sacred lectures today would be called adult education or adult faith formation. We have adapted this tradition for the current times seeking out diverse voices of wisdom in our midst.