Study Circles


300 Foxcroft Ave., Ste. 302
Martinsburg, WV 25401

Contact: Dr. Donald Patthoff

2020 Update:

The Martinsburg Study Circle met 2020’s Coronavirus challenges by accepting Mr. Thomas Jacobi’s invitation to meet jointly with their Circle in San Francisco and other Study Circles throughout the country via Zoom. After several phone conversations with Mr. Jacobi, a few of their members joined the live Zoom session in September to meet with Carol Zaleski (Professor of world religions at Smith College) to talk about her short essay: “‘Further Up and Further In!’: C. S. Lewis on Heaven” (Spring 2015).

Shepherd’s Gate Christian Life Community (CLC) continued its collaboration with Mr. Jacobi and selected a second article for a Zoom meeting with Prof. Michael Hanby in November to discuss his article “The Descent of Man: On Evolution and the Devolution of Nature, History, and Truth” (Fall–Winter 2019). Dr. Hanby, who teaches at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington, DC, presented an overview of his article, which offered an account of Darwin’s theory of evolution and the subsequent “Darwinization of everything”—a kind of functionalization of all reality. According to Donald Patthoff, DDS, leader of the Martinsburg Circle, “This has radically changed philosophy since the nineteenth century, most critically in its conception of man. Dr. Hanby takes on the new atheists and reveals our own—perhaps unrealized—narrow technocratic view of contemplation and reason.

Lastly, St. Joseph’s parish and the local community continue to support the Circle and seek new people who might be interested in participating. Their current plan is to develop a series of deliberations on Pope Francis’s Fratelli tutti.