Father Rene Kollar, O.S.B., Edits New Wimmer Lecture Series Book

Father Rene Kollar, O.S.B., Dean of the School of Humanities and Fine Arts at Saint Vincent College, has edited the second in a series of books in the Wimmer Lecture series.

“A Commitment to Truth” was the 19th lecture in the Wimmer Memorial Lecture Series (1947-1970) at Saint Vincent and was given in 1965. The lecture was given by noted Catholic historian, the late John Tracy Ellis (1905-1992).

It has been reprinted by Archabbey Publications in conjunction with Wipf and Stock Publishers, Eugene, Oregon.

The book is available online at
Monsignor Ellis taught at The Catholic University of America from 1935 to 1964 and from 1976 to 1989, and in between at the University of San Francisco. He was known as a leading Roman Catholic historian whose criticism of the church’s colleges and universities in the United States moved them to achieve higher academic standards.

He spent his early teaching career at Saint Viator College in Bourbonnais, Illinois, and at the College of Saint Teresa in Winona, Minnesota, where he was ordained in 1938. He earned a master’s degree in 1928 and a doctorate in medieval church history in 1930 from The Catholic University of America.

Author of more than a dozen books, he was a former managing editor of The Catholic Historical Review, a past president of the American Catholic Historical Association, and the first Catholic to be president of the American Society of Church History. Pope Pius XII named him a domestic prelate in 1955, and in 1989 Pope John Paul II made him a protonotary apostolic, the highest honor for a priest short of becoming a bishop.

Father Rene, a native of Hastings, received a bachelor of arts degree from Saint Vincent College in 1970, and a master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 1973. His graduate studies were done in history at the University of Maryland from where he received a master of arts degree in 1975, and a doctor of philosophy degree in 1981.

In addition to serving as dean, he is currently professor in history at Saint Vincent College.

His first books were published in England, Westminster Cathedral: From Dream to Reality (1987) and The Return of the Benedictines to London, A History of Ealing Abbey from 1896 to Independence (1990). In 1995, Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., of New York, published a book based on Father Rene’s doctoral dissertation, Abbot Aelred Carlyle, Caldey Island, and the Anglo-Catholic Revival in England, which was followed by A Universal Appeal. Aspects of the Revival of Monasticism in the West in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries a year later. Searching for Raymond, Anglicanism, Spiritualism, and Bereavement between the Two World Wars, published in 2000 by Lexington Books. In 2006, Father Rene edited and wrote the introduction for The Movement Toward Christian Unity in the Nineteenth Century, another book in the Wimmer Lecture series, published by Archabbey Publications.