Fall 2021 Logos

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Information for alumni, donors, and friends of Catholic Theological Union


FALL 2021


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Remembering Bob Schreiter BY S T E V E BE VA NS , S V D


ob Schreiter, C.PP.S., I think, profoundly embodied the spirit of CTU in his life, his scholarly work, and his ministry. His gracious humanity, his love of theology and learning, and his passionate commitment to teaching and pastoral ministry are gifts and commitments that CTU shares at its core. His innovative work in contextual theology and openness to people of every culture is what has distinguished CTU among the world’s great theological schools. His accessibility, respect for, and loyalty to his students are values for which the CTU faculty is recognized by anyone who has studied here.

Learning to See Water: William Becerra, DMin ’21


n conferring its third doctoral degree with a concentration in Hispanic Theology and Ministry—its first to a Latino candidate—upon William Becerra, Class of 2021, the Doctor of Ministry program, with the support of the Hispanic Theology and Ministry Program, has fully embodied and even evolved the founding vision of Catholic Theological Union, which from the beginning assigned a unique value to the diverse voices of women, men, lay ministers, and vowed religious from multiple orders and perspectives in the Church. Becerra’s doctoral thesis on Latin@ lay ecclesial ministers, which program director Dr. Carmen Nanko-Fernández calls “truly groundbreaking,” answers the call raised by Vatican II and the USCCB’s more recent Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord to attend to the needs and God-given potential of the laity.

1947 – 2021

In many ways, during his tenure as academic dean from 1977 until 1986, Bob made CTU what it continues to be today: a theological school with a world class faculty, an amazingly diverse student body, and a reputation as a place where women and men, clergy and lay, are all equally welcome. CTU would not be CTU without the presence, and now the legacy, of Bob Schreiter.

William’s journey to CTU has touched every corner of the globe. Born in Colombia, he left home at 18 to study philosophy in Bogotá—then followed a call to the mission field and theology school in the Philippines. “I didn’t know any English or Tagalog, and I’d never travelled outside Colombia,” he recalls. “I remember how powerless, even threatened, I felt by the humidity, the language barriers, all of it.” Slowly he acclimated, and when sent to Australia for further study, wrongly assumed he was prepared for culture shock. Subsequent travels and ministry assignments in Indonesia, Taiwan, and Mexico, all held discomfort and surprise at the cultural differences—and surprise at still being surprised. The phrase that captures this for William is, “Fish do not know they are in water until they are out of it!” BECERRA


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The Interfaith Mosaic of CTU’s Catholic-Jewish Studies Program


Three Women Elected to CTU’s Board of Trustees


Commencement Celebrates Graduates and Honorary Degrees


In the eight months that I have been President, a major focus has been to extend now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” CTU’s reach, especially by strengthening (Isaiah 43:19). As we begin to emerge from the Sr. Barbara Reid, OP existing partnerships and creating new ones with global pandemic, I am mindful of these words of the communities of men and women religious, dioceses prophet Isaiah to the Israelites as they were coming out (both in the U.S. and internationally), and colleges and of the Babylonian exile. Like them, many of us are eager to return universities. A planning grant from the Lilly Endowment’s to the way things were before, but we know that cannot happen. initiative, “Pathways for Tomorrow,” has enabled us to study the Ways of teaching and learning have changed. Ways of being with needs and desires of young adults, particularly from diverse each other have changed. The Church has changed. All the world communities such as Latinx, African American, Asian American/ has changed. CTU has changed. Pacific Islander, and LGBTQ+, and then to assess our own courses and structures to see how we can best enhance the student experience and attract more such students to study at Making every class available online has CTU. We are also planning to build on our work in interculturality contributed to an encouraging increase and anti-racism through an anticipated grant from the Hilton in the number of new students, Foundation’s Catholic Sisters Initiative. We will explore ways that particularly in the DMin program. women religious act as agents of reconciliation and transformative action toward a more racially just church and world. All hopes had been that we would start our new academic year The planning for these grants has coincided with a with classes, meetings, and events fully in person on campus for comprehensive strategic planning process that we began in the first time in eighteen months. But with the delta variant and January. Listening sessions involving representatives of all CTU the new rise in COVID cases, we find ourselves needing to constituents both affirmed our past efforts and pointed the exercise great caution again for the safety of all our students way for us as we reignite CTU’s commitment to the vision of and employees. Fortunately, we had planned for such an Vatican II in the era of Pope Francis to shape a 21st Century eventuality. During the summer, we equipped seven of our global Church that is inclusive, international, intercultural, and classrooms with the technology that enables us to have a limited social justice focused. number of people at a safe distance in the classroom while others participate remotely. Large screens, new cameras, and Finally, in early August we completed our institutional self-study powerful microphones in each room make it seem like the in preparation for our decennial visit in October for reaccreditation people at a distance are actually in the room. Thanks to the by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). All these resiliency and creativity of our faculty, staff, and students, we processes have helped us to recognize our strengths and our expect that we will make a smooth transition into this bi-modal areas for improvement as we co-create the church of the future. way of teaching and learning. Making every class available online While the new things God is doing may not yet be clear, we has contributed to an encouraging increase in the number of proceed on this faith journey with trust and courage toward a new students, particularly in the DMin. program. A new challenge future full of hope. P is how to create a seamless community as these new ways of being present to one another unfold.

CTU Strategic Plan 2021-24


TU’s 2021-24 Strategic Plan is a living document focused on CTU’s future plans in the areas of academics, campus life, enrollment, and resources. The planning process began in January 2021 by engaging the CTU community through listening sessions and data gathering. The plan will serve as a guide as we reignite CTU’s commitment to the vision of Vatican II in the era of Pope Francis to shape a 21st Century global Church that is inclusive, international, intercultural, and social justice focused. The key group guiding the process is the Institutional Planning and Assessment Committee, including the Leadership Council and members of the Board, faculty, staff, and formation council. The Strategic Plan is built upon three distinct but integrated goals: • Extending Our Reach Increase the number of students, including degree-seeking, certificate, auditors, and continuing education.


• Co-Creating the Church of Tomorrow Be an agent of transformation in the Church and World through offering outstanding theological, ministerial, and formational education.

• Strengthening Institutional Vitality Achieve financial stability.


On Campus, Zoom, Bimodal, Trimodal


odeled after facilities at our institutional partner DePaul University, CTU classrooms were equipped this summer as “Trimodal Classrooms,” a Zoom room-enabled classroom that allows for simultaneous face-to-face teaching, online synchronous teaching, as well as recording of the class session. CTU selected DTEN as a classroom technology model, used by many universities and colleges, to provides an interactive Zoom capabilities system that allows for live interaction of in person and remote participants, screen sharing, and content sharing. The system consists of three 75-inch monitors with cameras in multiple locations within a room.

The faculty have responded generously to this shift in teaching modalities. CTU enlisted the help of faculty from the Department of Education at DePaul University to offer a workshop on bimodal course development and pedagogies in May 2021. The successful response to the pandemic is clear evidence of the high-quality technological infrastructure and support maintained by CTU. The current IT strategy, funded in part by the Forward in Faith 50 th Anniversary campaign, is designed to address current needs and to provide for the evolving use and demands of technology. The strategy will provide best-of-class support, hardware designed to support current software and computing requirements, and advanced bimodal instructional equipment for many years to come. P

ELLEN ROMER NIEMIEC, MDIV joined CTU as Director of Enrollment in May 2021, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge of the graduate theological admission landscape. She holds a Master of Divinity from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry where she served for six years, most recently as Assistant Director of Admissions. Ellen’s experience is a rare combination of pastoral ministry and graduate admissions. Since moving back to Chicago, Ellen served as Senior Coordinator, Marriage Preparation and Adult Formation for the Archdiocese of Chicago. She approaches enrollment as its own unique ministry: “By modeling accompaniment and hospitality, my hope is to ground prospective and incoming students in discernment. I intend to help grow a robust and collaborative CTU student-centered community that begins with an applicant’s very first encounter with CTU.”

CTU Imagines “Co-Creating the Church of Tomorrow” Through Lilly Endowment Inc. Grant


n April 2021, CTU received a $49,500 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., through its Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative. The grant was made in the first phase of a three-phase Pathways initiative to support efforts that strengthen religious institutions and networks. It seeks to enhance their effectiveness and long-term sustainability by addressing key challenges and taking advantage of promising opportunities.


To create a consistent, focused, and appealing invitation to journey together with young adults from diverse communities (with attention especially to Latinx, as well as African American, Asian American/Pacific Islander, and LGBTQ+) to embody the church more fully in the world and increase the number of young adults engaging with Catholic Theological Union for degree, audit, and credential programs.

CTU proposed a multi-faceted program “Co-creating the Church of Tomorrow at CTU” which aspires to address the lay/clerical divide as well as racial and ethnic inequalities within a multicultural church through the unifying force of community. The central mandate of the initiative at CTU would be to increase the number young adult ministers inspired to serve as leaders in the Catholic Church.


To engage in an intentional and ongoing curricular, administrative, and faculty development effort to ensure that formation, coursework, and community life integrate around a preparation for inclusive ministry.


To strengthen existing partnerships and form new collaborative relationships with other institutions (undergraduate, graduate, and other) that foster a community of missionary disciples in order to broaden CTU’s exposure to new audiences, building a larger universe of prospective students. P

Steven Millies, PhD, director of Catholic Theological Union’s Bernardin Center, and Darius Villalobos, current CTU student and Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, co-led a 15-person planning team comprised of students, staff, and faculty to explore key issues and to develop CTU’s response. Program goals include:


Celebrating the Interfaith Mosaic of CTU’s Catholic-Jewish Studies Program


n speaking of Catholic-Jewish relations, the Vatican’s Pontifical Biblical Commission declared that “an attitude of respect, esteem and love for the Jewish people is the only truly Christian attitude.” That is precisely the spirit of CTU’s unique Catholic-Jewish Studies program. This has been true of CTU from the very beginning of its existence, when the list of founding faculty included the esteemed Jewish scholar Rabbi Dr. Hayim Perelmuter, leader of the distinguished KAM Isaiah synagogue in Hyde Park. He partnered closely with Fr. John Pawlikowski, OSM, the inaugural director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program (CJSP) and a recognized leader in the CatholicJewish dialogue. Over the years, thanks to continued investment and engagement, the program has grown to become an authentic hub of interfaith scholarship and dialogue. Through the Shapiro Lecture series and the annual Rabbi Hayim Goren Perelmuter Conference, world renowned scholars come to campus to speak on a range of topics of mutual interest in theology, current issues, and contemporary culture. In addition to these events, the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program provides our own CTU students with opportunities to experience firsthand the world of living Judaism outside of the classroom, including annual trips to the Illinois Holocaust Museum and movie nights which feature films about Jews and Jewish culture. At the heart of this distinctive program is the Professorship in Jewish Studies, which enables an outstanding Jewish scholar and faculty member to have a direct impact on future Christian leaders. This professorship, the Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies, generously endowed by the families of Lester and Renée Crown and Patrick and Shirley J. Ryan, has been occupied by the Director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich, since 2017. Under her leadership, the program embodies enacts the Jewish ideal that the world rests on three pillars: study, charity, and worship. The founders of CTU responded to the experience of Vatican II by proclaiming that the highest quality of academic study was essential to effectively form and prepare ministers of the Church. Similarly, Jewish tradition holds that reading, interpreting, and debating about the meaning of scripture is

essential to “tikkun olam”—the sacred obligation of repairing the world. The Shapiro Lecture series, established in 2001 through generous gifts from the Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, invites the CTU community into this vibrant tradition. The series follows a seasonal structure that encompasses a wide range of topics. The Fall lecture features a speaker whose topics involve more popular, non-technical appeal. The Winter lecture features young scholars who are beginning to make their mark in the world of scholarship. And the Spring lecture offers presentations dealing with the highest level of theological inquiry. This past May, for example, we welcomed Dr. Christine Hayes, the Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale, to CTU’s “virtual campus” for her Shapiro Lecture entitled “Divine Contingency: Law, History, Performance, and Play.” She illuminated the Talmudic conception of divine law in contrast to the common Christian conception as an absolute logos that exists outside of history. For the ancient rabbis, divine law was a contingent and dynamic phenomenon unfolding in historical time. Dr Hayes’ lecture applied insights from performance studies, as well as theories of humor and play, to illuminate this counter-cultural approach. Through the gift of technology, past lectures are available on video. Hopefully, this year’s events will take place in person! This year’s Shapiro series includes Marc Zvi Brettler of Duke University (Fall 2021), Devin Naar of the University of Washington (Winter 2022), and Clémence Boulouque of Columbia University (Spring 2022). This coming year’s scholars will join a distinguished roster of previous speakers, including Jon Levenson of Harvard Divinity School; Dov Weiss of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Naomi KoltunFromm of Haverford College; Sarit Kattan Gribetz of Fordham University; Steven Fine of Yeshiva University; David Nirenberg, Dean of the Divinity School at the University of Chicago; David Shyovitz of Northwestern University; Rabbi Dr. Alan Brill of Seton Hall University, and Rebecca Scharbach Wollenberg of the University of Michigan.

As valuable as it is, the Shapiro Lecture Series is only one piece of a program that aims to form and inform Christian understanding of Jewish spirituality and experience. The Introduction to Judaism course at CTU offers students a full semester course to explore the rudiments of Jewish history, Scripture, and tradition. Fr. Gustavo Amell Sanes, a member of the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity, currently serving as the Director of Lay Formation Ministry for a group of parishes in the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi, reflects on the value of this course:

When people think about Judaism, some immediately connect it to the Holocaust while others tend to connect it to the different “stereotypes” about Jewish people that exist in our society. Unfortunately, most of these stereotypes are created and spread by people who do not understand the Jewish faith. Some Christians, for example, only associate Judaism with “those who killed Jesus.” The problem with the stereotypes and inaccurate associations is that they help to fuel a spirit of anti-Judaism. The course “Introduction to Judaism” exposed me to the important elements of the Jewish Faith, and to its system of beliefs and traditions, most of which were unfamiliar to me. This immersion into the Jewish Tradition helped me to see beyond my own stereotypes and marvel at the richness of the Jewish faith. This course gave me a general understanding of the history, practices, customs, sacred books, and sacred days of Judaism. Additionally, the course gave me the opportunity to explore the similarities and differences between Judaism and my own faith tradition.

“Make for yourself a teacher,” says the oldest tractate of the Jewish Talmud. “Acquire for yourself a friend. And give everyone the benefit of the doubt.” These statements capture the highest Jewish values of study, fellowship, and openmindedness. For many CTU students, these values are experienced first and foremost in the person of CJSP director Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich. “She has so much knowledge and passion for what she is teaching,” says Amanda Bielat, MA ‘21, “it’s difficult not to be engaged in the material.” She continues: “Dr. Simkovich shows immense care not only for her area of specialization and Judaism, but for her students as well. She builds relationships with her students—even inviting them into her home for a Shabbat meal. I am a better teacher because of her.”

Dr. David Nirenberg, Dean of the Divinity School of University of Chicago, presenting Christianity Thinks with Judaism in 2019.

Dr. Steven Fine of Yeshiva University and Dr. Tzvi Novick of the University of Notre Dame, together with Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich and Dr. Steven Millies of CTU at the 2019 Hayim Perelmuter Conference on Jewish-Christian Dialogue at CTU.

Under Dr. Simkovich’s leadership, and in line with the way Jewish tradition continuously and consciously integrates study, charity, and worship, the CJSP creates a mosaic of experiences for students beyond the classroom and beyond the boundaries campus. At the Illinois Holocaust Museum, the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish United Fund, the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and more, students are invited to engage more deeply with Jewish perspectives, causes, hopes, and needs. Fr. Gustavo reflects:

“One of the highlights for me was the opportunity I had to participate in a Jewish Sabbath, which allowed me to visit a synagogue, experience a Sabbath service, and attend a Sabbath meal. These experiences gave me a new insight into the different ways people relate to the Divine. As a Christian, I tend to see life through my own Christian lens; however, the experience of participating in another faith expression allowed me to see the beauty in the different ways people express their faith. It also helped me become more sensitive and open when I am in contact or exposed to faiths and traditions different than mine.”

At the heart of Jewish study is the twofold belief that 1) God desires to be in relationship with humankind and 2) reading Scripture, interpreting Scripture, and even debating about the meaning of Scripture is a primary way for that relationship to unfold. Amanda Bielat, who is now a campus minister and theology teacher at Nazareth Academy, says, “I have been challenged by the opportunity to learn from distinguished Jewish scholars from all over the country doing groundbreaking research on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. I’ve been challenged to think more deeply about Judaism and the assumptions or preconceptions I hold. Ultimately, I’ve been challenged by the passion and care of Dr. Simkovich to become a better teacher and minister, and to become a better Christian partner in dialogue.” Simkovich reflects on her unique role in a Catholic school of theology, “It is a pleasure to teach students who are eager to learn more about Jews and Judaism in their ancient and contemporary contexts. Each semester, my students surprise and delight me with their commitment to learning and their panoramic insights. My ultimate goal is for all of these wonderful students to walk away from my courses unsatisfied: if they learn anything from me, it should be that there is so much more to know, and that my courses mark only the first steps in what I hope will be a lifelong effort to pursue friendship with Jewish people and a deeper understanding of the richly diverse world of living Judaism.” P



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BOB WAS BORN on December 14, 1947 in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on a farm that had been in his family for generations. His forebears had set sail from Germany in the late 19th Century on the ship Deutschland—the same fated ship that would later be the subject of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s famous poem. CTU legend tells of Bob’s elementary education in a one-room schoolhouse, and how he early on had read every book on the school’s one bookshelf—the novels of Zane Grey and the entire World Book Encyclopedia. As he progressed in his education, he helped the teacher by teaching children in the lower grades. In 1961 Bob entered the high school seminary of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, graduating after only three years, and then entering St. Joseph’s College in Renssalaer, Indiana. He finished college in three years as well, graduating in 1967 with degrees in philosophy and psychology. Instead of doing theological studies at a seminary in the United States, Bob was offered a generous scholarship to study in Europe, and chose to attend the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, a university made famous by the brilliant Dominican theologian Edward Schillebeeckx. Bob completed his dissertation under Schillebeeckx’s direction, writing on the language of eschatology in the light of linguistic philosophy. It won the award given only every 10 years for the best dissertation completed at the university. Bob’s close friendship with Schillebeeckx continued over the years until his mentor’s death a few years ago.

[The] cry of suffering and oppressed people impelled Bob to reflect deeply and powerfully on the nature of reconciliation, justice, and peacemaking… A FEW YEARS AGO, I was asked to write a chapter on Bob’s

theology for a Festschrift—a book written in his honor that would celebrate his work. What I discovered was that the center of Bob’s theology was spirituality. I suggested that Bob had been profoundly shaped by his community’s spirituality, and had contributed significantly to it through his writings and retreats for both his own confreres and the Precious Blood sisters. Key to his work, I think, is his early book In Water and in Blood, a rich articulation of Precious Blood spirituality, originally offered as a retreat for his congregation in Chile. This spirituality is built around the commitment to “hearing the cry of the blood” of the world’s “crucified people,” in Salvadoran martyr Ignacio Ellacuría’s haunting words. This cry of suffering and oppressed people impelled Bob to reflect deeply and powerfully on the nature of reconciliation, justice, and peacemaking, and on the need to develop truly local theologies in all Christian contexts— once again, commitments and values that CTU strives to imbue in its students.

He was offered positions at prestigious universities in the United States and around the world, but he turned them all down. At CTU, he said, he could really make a difference among women and men, religious, lay, and ordained, who came to CTU from all over the world… After post-doctoral studies at the University of Oxford, Bob arrived at CTU and quickly acquired a reputation as a brilliant teacher and a rising star in the theological academy. In 1977 he became dean and in 1984 published his first book, Constructing Local Theologies, a book that soon became a classic and has been translated into over a dozen languages. Some 30 authored and edited books followed in these last 37 years, including classics like The New Catholicity, Reconciliation, and The Ministry of Reconciliation, each also translated into multiple languages. During his years at CTU, Bob traveled extensively, lecturing and teaching in 50 countries, often in places of real danger like South Sudan, Southern Philippines, and Sri Lanka as he spoke of the theology of reconciliation, and listened and learned from people on the ground. All this time Bob remained a dedicated faculty member at CTU. He was offered positions at prestigious universities in the United States and around the world, but he turned them all down. At CTU, he said, he could really make a difference among women and men, religious, lay, and ordained, who came to CTU from all over the world, often as members of the many religious communities who made up the union.


Perhaps more than anything, CTU students, staff, and faculty will remember Bob for his simple humanity. He was actually rather shy, and not given to shows emotion, but everyone felt the respect that Bob had for them, and the dedication that he had for the school. He was a man of deep and broad wisdom, and offered his advice to whomever consulted him. He was a mentor to many, including me. I remember clearly one day when I met Bob in the hallway of our old 5401 building and he asked me if I would turn an article I had written on contextual theology into a book. It would be my first, and Bob pledged me his help in writing it and guaranteed that it would be published in a new series on faith and cultures that he was editing for Orbis Books. That book was published as Models of Contextual Theology and has been a hallmark of my life’s work in the years that followed. Like my own career, the careers of many scholars would not be what they have become had not Bob so generously guided and supported them.

STUDENT TRIBUTES He transformed me to be able to see with a different lens. That all things we may believe tragic may not be for those, who survive the chaos of the evils of war. Survivors see hope, and I quote, “the birds are singing, children are playing, and the sun is shining among the rubbles.” His wisdom opened my eyes to understand the need to build communion before acting on behalf of those you want to serve, and understand that it takes time to reconcile those wounds. — MARILU GONZ ALEZ , MAPS ’ 09

Dr. Bob Schreiter had the gift of connecting with his students. I remember listening to him in my Christology class in awe. However, his brilliant mind did not prevent him from sitting with us during our breaks. He was sincerely interested in my family. My son Matthew was serving in the United States Marines at that time. He was in Okinawa. Bob traveled to Japan frequently and continued to ask about Matthew. His prayers meant a great deal to me. A humble soul, he made the world a better place. I feel blessed to have known him. — NANC Y BIANC AL ANA- KER S TEIN, MAPS ’16

I was in Fr. Shreiter’s Christology and Culture course. I was very inexperienced, having grown up with the rules and not the reasons for the rules. He taught me to see what I believed, examine that belief through study, and be at peace with the questions. That process has guided me as I mentor students and continue to learn what it means to believe. — NOREEN C AMERON, CERTIFIC ATE IN PA S TOR AL S TUDIES ’ 8 4

Bob was an incredible person and educator. I loved his stories during class and still tell some. As a young man from rural Iowa with little understanding of what I was doing in a graduate program, it was inspiring to be taught and advised by a world-renowned scholar who himself had rural roots. — JACOB KOHLHA A S, MA ’ 06

I had the honor of meeting Bob on his first trip to Peru, where his presentation on Reconciliation was a great help for the government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I chose to pursue the DMin program at CTU precisely to work more closely with him. Bob was not only my mentor and best professor, but mainly a good friend, and each year when I returned to the States I would look him up. I hope that his many “disciples” can continue the great work which he began. — MATEO GARR , SJ, DMIN ’ 09

What he taught, what I retained, and how often I quote him renders him my best professor. Fr. Schreiter posited that when we accompany the dead for the Liturgy of Christian Burial, that the same ceremony is going on with the cloud of witnesses, the choir of angels and saints, and God Himself, to receive the person. As a funeral director, I often mention that at the funeral home before departing for Church. Requiescat in pace. — ROBERT MOYNIHAN, MDIV ’ 03

I remember one particular time at the end of the semester, and Bob was always quick to bow out the side door and avoid any accolades. Before he could disappear, a student stood up and proclaimed that we all needed to raise our hands in blessing for our Brother Bob. With that, the whole class stood and prayed a blessing over him. I’m sure he was dying inside, but he stood there and let us bless him. His humility in his great service to peacebuilding will remain with me. He was a humble servant. Blessed are the peacemakers, Brother Bob! We are better for knowing you. — DIANE MERC ADANTE, DMIN ’19, MA ’12

Prof Schreiter, as I affectionately called him, was a saint incarnate. His death is a great loss to humanity and the entire CTU family. Prof Schreiter stands out in his delivery and personal interactions. We in Ghana were heartbroken on hearing of his demise. We believe that the good Lord loaned him to us in this transient life for a task he had faithfully accomplished. May your good works follow you, Bob. We trust that God has a far better appointment for you in eternity. Rest peacefully in the bosom of the Lord. Damirifa Due! Onyankopon mfa wo nsie. — RE V. MAJOR NOAH BOAHEN, MA ’15

I pay my respect to Bob for enlightening me and thousands of others along the way with his writings, his teaching, his insightfulness, and extraordinary ability to articulate and reflect on God’s justice and presence in the world around us, with us, and within us. His insights and writings on peacebuilding, Reconciliation, racism and healing (among others) are most helpful for mission and ministry, most especially in the world we live in today. Like all of the CTU professors that I was privileged to study with, Bob was a part of the CTU experience, which was for me and others, a truly transformative experience. Thank you, Bob, for all you have given to the Church and all of God’s people. You will be dearly missed. — ANNA ALICIA CHAVEZ , MA ’ 09

So sad. In 1978 he had that great colorful poster in his office: “Ski Nebraska.” At lunch one day I tried to defend Matthew Fox’s book On Becoming a Magical Mystical Bear as serious theology. Bob thought I was joking. I made him laugh. I loved the guy! I was the only lay guy at CTU at the time. He always made me feel welcome. I now work with two true Precious Blood Brothers. Bob’s spirit is alive and well. — JIM WHITE, MA ’ 86


had begun to fail about fifteen years ago, and sadly it got worse and worse, especially in the last several years. He found traveling, writing, and teaching increasingly tiring, and was able to negotiate with CTU a series of sabbaticals that would alternate with his teaching and other faculty duties. But Bob continued to decline, and in the last months and weeks of his life he lost a great deal of weight, and suffered a great deal from exhaustion. “I can’t take care of myself anymore,” he said to me one day. As I said to Bob’s provincial Jeff Kirsch when he called me the morning after Bob’s death, I was shocked but not entirely surprised by his sudden passing. Looking back, I saw his life ebbing away slowly day by day. Bob’s community, his family, his friends, the academic and pastoral world, and CTU have lost an amazing human being. We mourn his loss, but celebrate his life. Bob’s contributions to our lives and the lives of so many people in the world will not easily be forgotten. May the reconciliation and peace that he so cherished and worked for in his life be his lasting gift to us all. P




from cover

In 2011, William’s journey brought him to the United States to work with immigrants in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Though he and many around him assumed he would fit easily into ministry with Hispanics in the U.S. Church—he speaks both English and Spanish, he has theological training, he is from a Latin American country—it took just one visit to a Sunday Mass in Chicago to know the U.S. Latinx Catholic culture was as “other” as any other place he’d lived. William says, “In the life of their faith experience, their worship experience, their church settings and ministry, there were many things I did not understand.” In 2016 William become Associate Director of the Office of Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, and he knew it was time to address the gaps in his understanding. Enter CTU and the Hispanic Theology and Ministry Program. “I’m so grateful that CTU has made the intentional commitment to study and learn from the Latino community,” William says. “If you do a little search on how many schools of theology do this, you will find there are very few.” In classrooms and a variety of conferences, the rich field and tradition of Hispanic theology opened up to him; CTU introduced him (in person) to all sorts of Latin@ and Latin American theologians, and even some of Pope Francis’ friends like Cardinal Ravasi and Carlos María Galli, a prominent Argentine theologian from the pontifical university in Argentina. But it was CTU’s own Carmen Nanko-Fernández who created what William says he most needed: “a haven for the unlearning I had to do.” “Carmen really challenged me to be more attentive to the lived reality of people—la vida cotidiana—in doing theology and professional ministry,” he says. “Rather than seeing ministry as an act of having and conferring answers, she pushed me to see it as an act of listening to the people you serve, coming alongside them in their struggles and letting their realities help shape your theological framework.” Learning and embracing this distinctive theological process Latinamente allowed Becerra to “see the water” of U.S. Latin@ Catholic culture and to identify the questions that would drive his doctoral thesis-project. Grounded in the traditions of Catholic theology and scholarly rigor, “Assessing Latinamente the Preparation of Latin@s for Lay Ecclesial Ministry” incorporates Hispanic theological frameworks and terms to bring clarity, cultural precision, and fullness—or what Becerra calls “the lens of diversity”—to an understudied population. Nanko-Fernández says, “He designed, implemented, analyzed and curated a database on Latin@ lay ecclesial ministry. He developed and disseminated what has to be one of the largest surveys of Latin@s in LEM, almost 400 respondents!” The project highlights the lived experiences of those Latin@s who are

A celebratory moment for Doctor of Ministry graduate, William Becerra, and his mentor, Dr. Carmen Nanko-Fernández, Director of CTU’s Hispanic Theology and Ministry Program.

prepared and will be preparing to assume pastoral leadership roles. In the Introduction, Becerra writes, “Failure to admit that ministers and theologians are embedded in the communities to which they belong and in the communities that they accompany pastorally is to ignore lived realities. Pope Francis has observed “realities simply are, whereas ideas are worked out. There has to be continuous dialogue between the two, lest ideas become detached from realities. It is dangerous to dwell in the realm of words alone, of images and rhetoric.” Yet Becerra remains hopeful about the current state of the Church. “I meet people who are so committed to the ministries to their vocation, particularly lay women, to continue helping the church build the Kingdom of God.” At the same time, he’s concerned that “the institutional Church is not paying close attention to the social location of the faithful—to Latin@s, to young people, to Asian Americans, to African Americans. In the U.S. Catholic Church, youth and adults in all these communities have so much to share about how they’re living their faith, how they’re living church, how their faith traditions are informing their struggles. It’s powerful, and it needs to be attended to more closely.” Surely the scholarship and devoted accompaniment of the HTMP’s first Latino DMin concentrator is helping the Church in that effort. What’s next for William Becerra? Fully rooted in the U.S., in his ministry in Joliet, and in continued professional scholarship, William embarked this past spring on a journey to yet another new culture: fatherhood! He and his wife Elizabeth have proudly welcomed their first son rightfully named: Emmanuel. P

JOLIET DIOCESE COLLABORATION IN SPRING 2021, CTU ENTERED INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE DIOCESE OF JOLIET to expand the Romero scholarship program and extend the Tolton Ministry program to its lay ecclesial ministers. A memorandum of understanding was signed by Very Rev. Ron Hicks, Bishop of Joliet and Sr. Barbara Reid, OP to deepen our partnership in the Oscar Romero Scholarship Program begun in 2017, and to extend participation in the Augustus Tolton Scholarship and Ministry Program to the Diocese of Joliet. The partnership aims to continue to bring idealistic and committed leaders with insight and experience to further ministerial formation at Catholic Theological Union, and to provide the Diocese of Joliet a formation path and an ongoing resource of well-prepared, effective ministers.


Three Women Representing Abrahamic Faiths Elected to CTU’s Board of Trustees


n July 2021, Catholic Theological Union’s Board of Trustees elected three new members, including its first representatives from the Jewish and Muslim faiths. The three incoming Board members unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees are Sr. Mumbi Kigutha, CPPS, Carole Segal, and Dilnaz Waraich.

Sr. Mumbi Kigutha

Sister Mumbi Kigutha is a member of the Sisters of the Precious Blood (CPPS) community in Dayton, Ohio. She was born and raised in Kenya and has worked with diverse vulnerable populations, including assignments with various United Nations agencies. A 2019 graduate of CTU, she currently serves as International Consultant for the Jesuit Refugee Services under the Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Department. Sr. Mumbi was also recently appointed as the organizing secretary of the Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network. Her theological interests center around Womanist and Africana interpretations, reconciliation, racial and gender equity and their intersection with other areas of social justice.

Carole Segal

In addition to founding the Crate & Barrel retail chain with her husband, Gordon, Carole Segal’s second creative effort was the Founder and CEO of Foodstuffs, a highly successful chain of gourmet food stores on Chicago’s North Shore.

Carole’s civic and philanthropic involvement is inspiring, most recently as a trustee of Rush University Medical Center, and chairman of the Board of Governors at Rush University. She is a trustee emeritus of Bates College, a life trustee of Illinois Institute of Technology, and a trustee of Chicago Theological Seminary. A graduate of Northwestern University who served as president of the NU Women’s Board, Carole is also a member of the Board of Directors of WBEZ-Chicago Public Media, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.

Dilnaz Waraich

With over 25 years of experience in education, community organizing, and interfaith engagement, Dilnaz Waraich is an engaged and compassionate civil servant.

Dilnaz immigrated from India, attended the Chicago Public Schools and formally trained to be an educator. Her moral code and drive to affect change breathes life into her philanthropic, community organizing, and interfaith engagements. Dilnaz is an influencer and holds multiple board appointed and committee positions through the Chicagoland area with WBEZ Chicago Public Media, Northwestern University School of Education, Interfaith Youth Core, Chicago Theological Seminary, and the Muslim Community Center. Dilnaz has dedicated her family’s philanthropic efforts in engaging with diverse stakeholders, furthering pluralism and helping build bridges. Dilnaz holds a Master in Literacy degree from Northwestern University, and an MS and a BS from Loyola University. She is currently working on a Master in Spiritual Leadership. P


AFTER YEARS OF MAKING INCREASINGLY LARGER ANNUAL GIFTS TO CTU, it was a simple matter to move to a different level and join The Way Society with a planned gift. But the more important question is why? Why did I decide on Catholic Theological Union as a priority in my personal philanthropy, especially since I’d actually spent most of my 40 years of post-CTU life outside of formal religious institutions and organizations? Although I did work in youth and parish ministry right after graduation, my career went in a different direction and ultimately landed me in 30 plus years working for independent, private foundations in the Detroit area. I retired this year from The Kresge Foundation, a large, national foundation, whose mission is to “expand opportunity in America’s cities.” Throughout my career in philanthropy, what I learned and took away from my educational and pastoral experiences at CTU have formed the basis of my perspectives and motivations in the work. The spirit of mission, of serving the poor and working towards reconciliation and liberation—these things never really left me. My early work in youth ministry and community organizing early on taught me to witness how much unjust structures and racism can oppress historically marginalized and excluded people. I’ve been especially gratified in the past ten years that I have led initiatives and investments that focused on supporting power-building in black and brown communities. One final word of gratitude: In my last year at CTU, I had decided to leave religious life, but I was permitted to finish out my final year. There is nothing I can do to repay this kindness fully, but now I have been fortunate enough that I can do something significantly through financial means.

Become a Member of The Way Society The first followers of Jesus called themselves the “people of the Way” because they were setting out on a courageous journey of faith that would bring the Gospel to the world. In that same spirit, CTU is helping build the future of the Church today. We ask you to take this journey with us in this critical time. We intend to build membership in The Way Society, our community of donors who have named CTU in their wills or other estate plans. Your estate gift will provide the critical support that CTU needs to do God’s work, to proclaim the gospel of peace and justice in a credible way. We ask you to partner with us in preparing a new generation of women and men, committed to renewing the life of the Church of the 21st century. If you have already included CTU in your estate plan, please let us know so we can recognize your legacy of generosity. If you would like to join The Way Society with this very personal level of support, please visit ctu.edu/forwardinfaith/waysociety or contact: Colleen Kennedy Vice President of Institutional Advancement 773.371.5417 | ckennedy@ctu.edu


HAPPENINGS Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, CTU produced a series of online lectures and programs on topics ranging from Racial Justice to Laudato Si. The magic of the technology helped bring and keep our community members together and allowed new friends to share in the wealth of theological and ministerial programming. We are most grateful to each of our guest presenters for sharing their expertise and experience with us.











All CTU lectures are available to view online: learn.ctu.edu

CTU Lecture (A) On January 24, more than 400 people joined online for Rev. Stephen Bevans, SVD’s Sundays at CTU lecture entitled Pope Francis’ Theology of Attraction. Catholic-Jewish Studies Program (B1, B2, B3) In February, The State of Antisemitism in America was presented by the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program featuring Dr. Pamela Nadella of America University, Dr. Miriam F. Elman of Syracuse University, and CTU’s Rev. John T Pawlikowski, OSM. Duns Scotus Lecture Spirituality in a Wintry Season: The Wisdom of the Franciscan Tradition in the Quest for Meaning Today, the annual Duns Scotus Lecture was presented by Rev. Dan Horan, OFM. Shapiro Lecture (C) Dr. Rebecca Scharbach Wollenberg of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan presented the Winter Shapiro Lecture, The Problem with the Bible: What Early Christian Reading Habits Taught the Rabbis about the Hebrew Bible.


Augustus Tolton Lecture (D) On March 3, dr. timone davis, DMin ’11 presented the annual Augustus Tolton Lecture, Revival: AfricanAmerican Story Telling and Intergenerational Catechesis. National Black Sisters Conference A Call to Transformative Love in Religious Life: Stories of Race, Place and Grace series continued this semester, co-sponsored with the National Black Sisters Conference. The panel and presenter contributions and the participant conversations were profound, thoughtprovoking and, we hope, galvanizing toward action. In Good Faith On March 16, CTU hosted an online In Good Faith panel, (Re)Imagining Faith & Worship during and after the Pandemic. featuring panelists Dr. Steed Davidson of McCormick Seminary, as well as CTU’s, Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich and Dr. Syed Atif Rizwan.

Sundays at CTU (E) Drawing over 1000 online attendees, Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, of Fordham University presented Enfolded with Affection: Imagining “Us” in Creation Theology as the second annual Dr. Barry Rankin Sunday at CTU Lecture Series on God’s Creation. Catholic-Muslim Studies Program (F) On March 24, the Catholic-Muslim Studies Program presented Criminal Justice and the Islamic Legal Tradition. Featured speakers were Susan C. Hascall, JD, and Haider Ala Hamoudi, JD. Shapiro Lecture (G) Dr. Christine Hayes, the Robert F. and Patricia R. Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale University presented the Spring Shapiro Lecture, Divine Contingency: Law, History, Performance, and Play. Thriving in Ministry (H) Listening to the Lives of Young People was presented in two sessions by Dr. Josh Packard of Springtide Research Institute as part of CTU’s Thriving in Ministry initiative made possible by the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Christine Grady Honored as Peacemakers


n Wednesday, April 28, Catholic Theological Union honored Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Christine Grady with the school’s highest award at its annual Blessed are the Peacemakers event. The virtual event, which was styled as a Chicago tribute to the couple, was hosted by award-winning journalist Carol Marin and featured a series of messages of gratitude from prominent religious and civic leaders across Chicago, as well as past Blessed are the Peacemakers honorees including Dr. Paul Farmer, Newt Minow, former president of Ireland Mary McAleese, Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ, Shirley and Pat Ryan, and Sen. John Danforth. The evening raised in excess of $700,000 for CTU’s mission. A highlight of the program was a “Spiritual First Responders” video featuring CTU alumni serving as hospital chaplains throughout the pandemic. The couple was honored with the Blessed are the Peacemakers Award for dedicating their professional lives to the common good as genuine public servants. As Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Fauci has been a voice of reason, compassion, and unshakeable integrity. As Chief of the Bioethics Department at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Grady has striven to establish proper ethical standards amid so much confusion and discord. Through their combined integrity, extraordinary skill, and generosity of spirit, they have brought solace and healing to the most vulnerable members of our society, particularly during this past year of pandemic. For more than 30 years, CTU has conferred its Blessed are the Peacemakers Award upon leaders in all walks of life who have made outstanding contributions to the good of society and reflect the values to which we are committed: justice, compassion, reconciliation, and peacemaking. To view the event recording, go to: ctu.edu/peacemakers Below is the citation entitled “For They Will Be Called Children of God,” given by Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, during the event.

Few human endeavors are more noble and more esteemed than that of healing. We remember with gratitude that Jesus of Nazareth himself was a remarkable healer, bringing his compassionate touch to lift away the burden of pain and to break through the isolation often imposed on those who were sick. He was a healer and a teacher, unafraid to speak the truth even at the risk of his life, and committed to standing in solidarity with those pushed to the margins. He embodied his own challenging words: “No greater love than this to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Today we are privileged to honor a truly remarkable couple, two exemplary healers and courageous teachers, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Christine Grady, the Chief of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health. Throughout our country and in the world beyond, the integrity, skill, and sense of public service exhibited by Dr. Fauci has been a source of inspiration at a time of urgent need. Similarly, Dr. Grady has exemplified extraordinary leadership and integrity in her unique role wrestling with the formidable ethical issues facing our healthcare system in this time of crisis. Through their exceptional skill, generosity of spirit, and authentic leadership, they have brought solace and healing to the most vulnerable members of our society, and for all of us have been a humane voice of reason, compassion, and honesty at a time of widespread anguish and confusion. The mission of Catholic Theological Union is to draw on our Catholic heritage to prepare men and women as religious leaders who will also be moved by compassion and infused with courage. The public witness and inspiration of other exemplary men and women from various walks of life, dedicated to the common good and bringing life-giving service to humanity, is as important for our students’ formation as the knowledge and skills they will acquire. It is for this reason that as a Catholic graduate school of theology, we thank Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Christine Grady for the witness of their lives and their professional commitment. It is a singular privilege for the students, staff, faculty, and Board of Trustees of Catholic Theological Union to confer on them our highest honor, the Blessed are the Peacemakers Award for 2021.


CTU Celebrates Graduates and Honorary Degrees at 53rd Annual Commencement

D FELLOW STUDENTS SELECT TRACY KEMME TO OFFER REMARKS AT VIRTUAL CEREMONY IN ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, the story of Pentecost begins with Mary and the disciples, all together in one place. Remember when we could do that? Oh, how we wish we could be together for our celebration today. But it’s what comes next in the passage that captures my imagination as I consider the gift of our CTU journey:

uring a virtual event held on May 20, honorary doctorates were presented to Sr. Mary Catherine Hilkert, OP, PhD, and Rami Nashashibi, PhD, at Catholic Theological Union’s 53rd annual commencement ceremony.

Dr. Hilkert, who received a Doctorate in Theology, honoris causa, is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, has served as Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame since 1995. In addition to her service in the Department of Theology, she is also a Faculty Fellow at the Kroc Peace Institute for International Peace Studies and an Affiliated Faculty member in the Department of Gender Studies. She is Past President of the Catholic Theological Society of America. Her teaching and writing focus on the interrelationship between theology, preaching, and spirituality. She is the author or editor of five books and numerous essays and book chapters. She has twice received awards at Notre Dame for excellence in teaching. Hilkert has lectured and preached in Catholic and ecumenical contexts in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and South Africa.

The Spirit trumpets in, enabling the disciples to proclaim the Good News in every language, and the Gospel comes to life in magnificent diversity. As a singer, I envision this scene set to music, with the Pentecost church as a brilliant, Spirit-filled, global choir. It is the church I have come to know at CTU. We are a vibrant ensemble, and rehearsing together has uniquely prepared us to serve the global chorus we represent. Today, we sing Alleluia, and then we go forth in the power of the Spirit to sing Good News in all the world. Some of the Alleluias we sing today are from relief. We did it, even through great disruption and loss. No more D2L, no more late-night paper writing, no more Zoom class! But the strongest, clearest Alleluias surely spring from deep gratitude for our generous voice coaches and conductors. Thank you, President Barbara Reid, Dean Roger Schroeder, Board of Trustees, esteemed faculty and staff, and all our loved ones. We sing for you, with you, and because of you… “Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Give the glory and the honor to the Lord!”

Sr. Mary Catherine Hilkert, OP

Rami Nashashibi

Dr. Nashashibi, who received Doctorate in Ministry, honoris causa, is the founder and Executive Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), a nonprofit organization incorporated in 1997 that fosters health, wellness, and healing on Chicago’s South Side and Atlanta’s west end by organizing for social change, cultivating the arts, and operating a holistic health center. In 2009, Nashashibi was named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. In 2014, the Center for American Progress listed Nashashibi as one of “14 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2014.” In 2017, Nashashibi was named a MacArthur Fellow, for “confronting the challenges of poverty and disinvestment in urban communities through a Muslim-led civic engagement effort that bridges race, class, and religion.” In 2018, he won the Opus Prize, a faith-based award for social entrepreneurship. Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, President of CTU, remarked that in a year when healing is sorely needed on so many levels in the church and world, these two honorees embody ways to accomplish this through their commitment to seek and proclaim truth and to act for justice. The ceremony celebrated the accomplishments of graduates representing 14 countries. Sixty-eight graduates received certificates or master level degrees in the areas of Intercultural Studies and Ministry, Mission Studies, Pastoral Studies; and Theology. Twenty-two received a Master of Divinity degree, and 7 received a Doctor of Ministry degree. P

Roger Schroeder, SVD, presents virtually from The Paul Bechtold Library at CTU.


I N M E MOR I A M Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Rev. Graham Golden, OPraem,

35 years old, died tragically in a car accident on May 21. Graham graduated from CTU in 2015, having completed a dual degree with CTU’s MDiv and the University of Chicago School of Social Work—in-depth preparation for his life-long commitment to social justice. Graham was the 2016 recipient of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s Cardinal Bernardin Award for his dedication and commitment to social justice. He served as pastor of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

V. Rev. Anthony Schueller, SSS, Provincial Superior of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and CTU Corporation Member, died on April 24. Fr. Tony served in many varied ministries before assuming leadership of his community. He was a gifted writer and speaker and an incredibly humble and kind man who touched many by his Eucharistic vision and living. His passion was collaboration with the laity, especially through the formation of our Associates of the Blessed Sacrament.

Rev. Larry Nemer, SVD,

Rev. Stan Uroda, SVD, MDiv ’75, died on March 18. He had been a teacher in Ghana for some years and then served as Formation Director and Rector at the SVD Theologate in Hyde Park, and Vice Provincial and Provincial of the Chicago province for 12 years. He also served as a generalate-appointed advisor for the newly formed SVD province in Vietnam. Stan was a great supporter of CTU and was instrumental in establishing the Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Chair at CTU, currently held by Interim Acting Vice President and Academic Dean Roger Schroeder, SVD.

who served on the CTU faculty from 1970 to 1990, died on June 9 at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Sydney. Larry was born on November 24, 1932, in Chicago. He professed First Vows in 1952, perpetual vows in 1958, and was ordained to priesthood in 1960, in Techny, Illiniois. Fr. Nemer held a Licentiate in Missiology from the Gregorian University in Rome, a Masters Degree in Church History from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, and a Doctorate in Church History from Cambridge University. He was instrumental in establishing a strong focus on world mission at CTU, which endures to this day.



PUBLICATIONS The following list includes a representative sample of some of the amazing scholarly work that CTU’s faculty is doing:

Kate Oxsen joined CTU as Assistant Professor of Old Testament Studies. Her research interests include the roles and portrayal of women in the Old Testament.

Rev. Ed Foley, Cap., published Preaching as Paying Attention Theological Reflection in the Pulpit; Liturgy Training Publications.

Rev. Gilbert Ostdiek, OFM, published Reweaving the Ministries: The Emmaus Paradigm; Liturgical Press.

Rev. vănThanh Nguyễn, SVD, published What Does the Bible Say About Strangers, Migrants, and Refugees?; New City Press.

Bro. Antonio Sison, CPPS, published The Art of Indigenous Inculturation; Orbis Books.


Steven P. Millies, PhD, (left) has been promoted to Full Professor of Public Theology. Bro. Antonio Sison, CPPS, (right) has been promoted to Full Professor of Systematic Theology, and was appointed to the Vatican Council II Chair in Theology.


BOOK AWARDS Congratulations to CTU faculty on their awards from the Catholic Media Association 2021 Book Awards. CTU faculty members, known as “those who write the books,” are prolific authors whose works are frequently incorporated in the curriculums of other seminaries and schools of theology.



First Place Religious Life for our World: Creating Communities of Hope by Sr. Maria Cimperman, RSCJ; Orbis Books.

Second Place Psalms Books 4-5 by Nancy L. deClaisséWalford; Liturgical Press. Third Place Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes), by Lisa M. Wolfe; Liturgical Press. Both publications above were edited by Sr. Barbara Reid, OP.

Rev. Stephen Bevans, SVD, the Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Professor Emeritus of Mission and Culture, received the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Missiology (ASM) in June. ASM is an inclusive professional association made up of members from Roman Catholic, Conciliar, and Independent (Evangelical, Pentecostal, etc.) communions of the Christian church.

ALUMNI NEWS Muhammed Aslan, MA ’19, is the Muslim chaplain and the staff chaplain at UChicago Medicine, providing spiritual care to patients, families, victims of gun violence, and medical staff. He is their first full-time Muslim chaplain. Before his chaplaincy work, Muhammed was an imam and Qur’an educator at the Turkish American Society of Chicago and the executive director at the Islamic Society of Midwest-Chicago.

“My work has focused on building bridges between different faith communities because I’ve always believed in the power of empathy and the importance of understanding each other,” — MUHAMMED A SL AN



Rev. Leslie Hoppe, OFM on May 29, 2021 Rev. Stephen Bevans, SVD on September 5, 2021

Christie Billups, MAPS ’01, DMin ’07, (above, left) was recently promoted to Associate Professor of Theology and Peace and Justice Studies at Lewis University. She also received the De LaSalle Medallion for Excellence in Community Engaged Learning (CEL) this year, in recognition of her role in founding the Office of Community Engaged Learning in 2010 and as an instructor who employs CEL in several of her classes. Christie co-founded the Peace and Justice Studies program at Lewis in 2015 and recently teamed up to grow the program to include a Peace and Justice Studies major. She is director of the Br. Jeffrey Gros, FSC Institute for Dialogue, Justice and Social Action and is working to grow the use of restorative justice practices on the Lewis campus and surrounding communities. Rev. James Cassidy, MDiv ’78, (below, center) is president of Arm In Arm In Africa (AIAIA), a nonprofit that has been active for more than 20 years in rural South Africa, as well as the townships in and around Cape Town. AIAIA continues to develop multiple partnerships in South Africa as the community struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on three areas of mission: healthcare, education, and food distribution. Fr. Cassidy encourages everyone to read the most recent newsletter at aiaia.org. Beyond his work with AIAIA, he ministers at the Church of St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis.

Sr. Mila Diaz-Solano, OP, MA ’09, went on from CTU to doctoral studies at the Franciscan Biblicum and then the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem. She defended her doctoral dissertation in March at the Ecole and not only passed but was recognized as Summa Cum Laude. Sr. Mila is on the leadership team for the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois. Rev. Richard T. Goodin, OFM, MDiv ’14, has been appointed administrator of St. Francis Church in St. Francis, Kentucky, and Holy Cross Church in Loretto, Kentucky, by Archbishop Joseph Edward Kurtz of Louisville. Since his arrival in the Archdiocese of Louisville, Fr. Goodin has served as associate pastor of Holy Trinity and Holy Name in Louisville, St. Augustine in his hometown of Lebanon, and Holy Name of Mary in Calvary. Prior to that, he was in residence at St. Patrick Church. Rev. Clifford Hennings, OFM, MDiv ’16, is associate pastor of the Church of the Holy Family in Novi, Michigan. He maintains a YouTube channel where he posts his weekly homilies. View Fr. Hennings’ homilies at: bit.ly/3zSRUP7 First Lt. Saleha Jabeen, MDiv ’20, graduated from the Air Force Basic Chaplain Course in February 2021 at Maxwell Air Force Base. She is the U.S. Military’s first female Muslim chaplain. Ruth Jandeska, MAPS ’08, and former Romero Scholar serves as Director of Pastoral Care at Provident Health in Columbia, South Carolina. Liz Kitamura, MA-Theology ’10, serves as Staff Chaplain at NYU Langone Health in New York City, where Liz is helping to relaunch the Clinical Pastoral Education program this fall. Learn more at: nyulangone.org Brian Michalski, MA, ’15, was recently appointed Program Director at the Religious Formation Conference in Hyde Park, Chicago. Dan Masterton, MA ’16, and Bernardin Scholar, who serves as assistant vocations minister with Clerics of St. Viator, published Exploring Faith: A Guide to Retreat Ministry with Young People, April by NCEA. Rev. Binh Nguyen, SVD, MDiv ’02, is celebrating his silver jubilee of 25 years in religious life. He is the chaplain for the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement and the Eucharistic Youth Movement in the USA. Rev. Matthew S. O’Donnell, DMin ’19, became the pastor of the consolidated parish of St. Moses the Black in Chicago on July 1, 2021. The Chatham/Park Manor grouping of St. Columbanus, St. Clotilde, and St. Dorothy recently combined into one parish as part of the Renew My Church initiative. Parish leadership and parishioners then discerned the new name of St. Moses the Black in recognition of the Ethiopian-born Desert Father who is also the patron saint of nonviolence. Rev. Cedric Pisegna, CP, MDiv ’90, is completing his 25th book, entitled Real Life/Real Issues/Real Solutions. Fr. Pisegna’s television and radio programs air on TBN Sundays and Daystar. For more information, visit: frcedric.org

Rev. Dennis Chriszt, CPPS, MDiv ’82, DMin ’98, recently published the second edition of his book Creating an Effective Mystagogy: A Handbook for Catechumenate Leaders, Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2021. Fr. Chriszt is a member of the CTU Board of Trustees and directs advanced formation for the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. Josh, MDiv ’11, and Ellen Salmi Van Cleef, MA’16, welcomed their first baby, Joy Josephine Van Cleef, on May 20. Rev. J. Eugene Contadino, SM, CPS ’84, celebrated fifty years as a Marianist priest in 2020. He served twenty-five of those years at the University of Dayton, working in campus ministry, the advancement department, and as rector of the university and board of trustees. Fr. Contadino is currently pastor of St. Francis de Sales in Cincinnati. Thomas Cook, MA-BM ‘12, and Dannis Matteson, MA ’14, were featured in a January 12 U.S. Catholic article entitled “In marriage, there’s more than one way to be fruitful.” In the article, they relate how “the seven years of their marriage have seen one call after another emerge in their lives.” Thomas is presently a jail chaplain, and Dannis is a doctoral student at Loyola University Chicago. Read the article at: bit.ly/3xewp9y

Jennifer Reid, MAPS ’20, contributed an article to the April 2021 edition of The Drum, the Black Catholic Initiative Newsletter of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Her article is entitled The benefits of the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program. Read the article at: bit.ly/2Vn3i6Z Rev. Dimitri Sala, OFM, MDiv, ‘84, published an article in the Spiritus journal, entitled Pentecostal Culture, or Pentecost of Culture?: Transformation, Paradigms, Power, Unity. View and download it at: bit.ly/2THNyL8 Michael Sanem, MA ’11, is the pastoral associate at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Missouri. He recently expanded on his position to work at Morning Glory Ministries, a social outreach ministry of the cathedral. Besides coordinating care for persons experiencing homelessness or recently released from prison, Michael also writes grants to help maintain and expand services. Additionally, he began writing for Give Us This Day, a resource for daily Catholic prayer, and the Catholic Key magazine. Michael writes regularly at: incarnationiseverywhere.com Sr. Peg Spindler, CSA, MAPS ’97, is retiring as executive director of Sojourner Truth House in Gary, Indiana, which provides social services to homeless and at-risk women and children. In retirement, she will volunteer with the Continuum of Care Network of NWI, of which Sojourner Truth House is a member. Sr. Peg will continue ministering with the homeless and will work on developing channels and funding to help them obtain housing. Jim Whealan, MA-JM ’19, teaches Theology at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers, Florida.


The Board of Trustees of Catholic Theological Union requests the honor of your presence at the inauguration of — Sr. Barbara Reid, OP, PhD — a s c t u ’s e i g h t h p r e s i d e n t



Logos is published twice a year with information for alumni, donors, and friends of Catholic Theological Union. PUBLISHER EDITORS Sr. Barbara Reid, OP Colleen Kennedy Kellene Urbaniak




Nonprofit Org. U . S . P O S TA G E

President Sr. Barbara Reid, OP is a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has been a member of the faculty of Catholic Theological Union since 1988, now serving as the Carroll Stuhlmueller, CP, Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies, and previously as Vice President and Academic Dean. Sr. Barbara has been actively involved in the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada, including service for two terms on their Board of Directors.

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