Bouquillon, Thomas Joseph
BOUQUILLON, THOMAS JOSEPH
Educator, moral theologian; b. Warneton, Belgium, May 16, 1842; d. Brussels, Belgium, Nov. 5, 1902. Bouquillon had a brilliant career as a student in the Collège of Saint-Louis in Menin, and later in the preparatory seminary at Roulers and the major seminary at Bruges, Belgium. He entered the Capranica in Rome and was ordained in 1865. Two years later, he received his doctorate from the Gregorian University and returned to the seminary in Bruges, where he was appointed professor of moral theology. In 1877 he was appointed to the Catholic University of Lille, France where he taught moral theology until 1885. He spent four years (1885–89) with the Benedictines of the Abbey of Maredsous, Belgium, and then accepted the invitation of Bp. John J. keane, first rector of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., to join the original faculty as professor of moral theology.
Bouquillon's theological knowledge was exceptionally wide, encompassing more than is usually included within the limits of moral theology. He was an expert on the theologians of 16th– and 17th–century Spain and the Netherlands. His influence on the academic development of the new university in Washington was considerable; he planned and selected a basic theological library of 30,000 volumes. He cultivated in his students a critical sense of history as the context for their theological understanding. A prodigious author and commentator on the subjects of the day, he published a pamphlet on education (1891) that aroused great opposition throughout the United States and Europe (see bouquillon controversy). In addition to more than 50 scholarly articles in several languages in such journals as Revue des sciences ecclésiastiques, Nouvelle revue théologique, Revue Bénédictine, American Catholic Quarterly Review, and The Catholic University Bulletin, his published works include Theologia Moralis Fundamentalis (1903), De Virtutibus Theologicis (1890), and De Virtute Religionis (2 v. 1880). He completed, but did not publish, three other works: "De Justitia et Jure," "De Eucharistia," and "De Penitentia." He edited and added critical notes to the following: De Magnitudine Ecclesiae Romanae of Thomas Stapleton (1881), Leonis XIII Allocutiones, Epistolae, Aliaque Acta (first 2 v. 1887), the Catechismus ad Parochas (1890), the Dies Sacerdotalis of Dirckinck (1888), L'Excellence de la très sainte eucharistie of Luis de Granada, and Synopsis Cursus Theologiae by Platel.
In June of 1902 Bouquillon left Washington for Europe, where he became ill and died in Brussels.
Bibliography: j. forget, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (Paris 1903–50) 2.1:1093–94. The Catholic University of America Bulletin 9 (1903) 152–163. c. g. herbermann, "The Faculty of the Catholic University," American Catholic Quarterly Review 14 (1889) 701–715. j. t. ellis, The Formative Years of the Catholic University of America (Washington 1946).
[j. p. whalen]