The Christian Heritage Centre

The Search for Happiness:
The Cardinal Virtues & the Good Life
[residential course]

26th -29th August 2022

Philosophical & theological workshops
on foundational themes for happiness

When we speak of virtues—not only these cardinal ones, but all of them, every virtue—we must always have in mind the real man, the actual man. Virtue is not something abstract, detached from life, but, on the contrary, it has deep “roots” in life itself, it springs from the latter and forms it. Virtue has an impact on man’s life, on his actions and behaviour
(Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio)

In partnership with

Explore together four pillars of the good life – prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance – and how they orient and transform us in our search for happiness.

CEPHAS 2022 consists of philosophy and theology workshops on the cardinal virtues, giving participants the opportunity to reflect together on core human questions about our desires and affections, and about how we approach difficult decisions and respond justly to the challenges of the contemporary world.

Plenty of opportunity for discussion and debate, as well as for Mass, communal prayer and reflection. Evening guest talks and good wine!

  • An introductory session to the theme of Happiness and the Virtues
  • Four pairs of philosophy and theology workshops, addressing each of the four cardinal virtues
  • Two guest talks on complementary themes

The course requires no prior qualification or knowledge, but is intended to serve as an introduction or primer to Catholic, Thomistic philosophy and theology.

The course is offered to anyone wishing to engage in this area. It may be of special interest to future, current or former students of philosophy and theology, and secondary-level teachers of the same.

For queries about the course content or requirements, please contact Dr George Corbett at

Dr George Corbett is Senior Lecturer in the School of Divinity, University of St Andrews. Previously, he held positions as Junior Research Fellow in Philosophy, Trinity College, and affiliated lecturer in Italian, University of Cambridge, where he also taught English literature and theology. He received his BA (double first), MPhil (distinction), and PhD (AHRC-funded) from the University of Cambridge. He has also studied in Pisa (as an Erasmus-Socrates exchange scholar at La Scuola Normale Superiore), Rome (Institutum Pontificium Alterioris Latinitatis), and Montella (Vivarium Novum). 

Dr Corbett directs CEPHAS (a Thomistic Centre for Philosophy and Scholastic Theology), TheoArtistry (a project linking up theologians and artists), and is leading on a new collaborative MLitt in Sacred Music. 


Sr Valery is a Dominican Sister of the Stone Congregation. In the early 1970s, she was introduced by Fr Romuald Horn O.P. to a particular method of studying the Summa Theologica of St Thomas Aquinas. Since then, she has run numerous S Thomas study days and weekends.



Sr. Magdalene is a Dominican sister of the Stone Congregation. She received a Master’s degree in Theology (Ave Maria University, Florida), a Licentiate in Sacred Theology in Thomistic Studies (Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C.), and she is currently pursuing doctoral studies with the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome. Sr. Magdalene teaches courses on the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas online, and has developed a website called, as well as a Youtube channel, Facebook, and Instagram pages.

Theodore House offers a wonderful venue for any residential course. The tranquil and beautiful surroundings of the Stonyhurst estate offer a peaceful setting with endless opportunities for walks. Guests will enjoy the comfortable recreational spaces and a beautifully lanscaped garden.

For more information about Theodore House, please click here.

  • Arrivals from 3pm (Friday)
  • Course commences with dinner at 7pm (Friday) and introductions; lectures commence Saturday at 9:15am.
  • Departures after lunch (Monday)

Single room: £240 p.p.*

Twin room (sharing): £190 p.p.*

Non-residential, (includes lunch and dinner): £120 p.p.

*Costs include full board from Friday dinner to Monday lunch inclusive.

Bursaries are available for anyone (whether employed or not) who would like to come but would benefit from financial assistance. Please contact Dr Corbett for further information.


Please register below (includes £50 p.p. deposit payment):