The CTSA awarded the Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) at Loyola University Chicago a grant to meet with Auxiliary Bishop Ron Hicks. On September 26, IPS faculty and staff members Michael Canaris, David Dault, Timone Davis, Peter Jones, Heidi Russell, Bill Schmidt, Nathaniel Samuel, Deborah Watson, and John Fontana along with Bishop Hicks discussed Synodality in the life and mission of the Church, a study by the International Theological Commission, that serves in an advisory capacity to the Pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on current relevant topics.
Bishop Hicks, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago, previously served as regional director at an orphanage in El Salvador between 2005 and 2009, and for that reason IPS chose to enjoy Salvadorian food (including the local staple — pupusas!) for this meeting. The bishop was also at one time Dean of Formation for St. Joseph College Seminary in its earlier iteration as an academic unit at Loyola.
The conversation included an ongoing commitment to mutual active listening by those seeking to live in the community of the faith at all levels. Both Bishop Hicks and the IPS professors commented on how modeling such behavior is an important antidote to the tribalism and silos of our day. Oscar Romero was frequently invoked in the discussions.
As the convener of the session, long stand CTSA member Michael Canaris expressed his gratitude for the project. “It came up in my colleagues’ comments that we are in an anomalous historical and political situation where an outside grant is sometimes necessary to spur dialogue in some places between Catholic higher education and local ordinaries. We are thankfully in a much healthier context here in Chicago, where Bishop Hicks, Cardinal Cupich, and the wider archdiocesan apparatus are largely supportive of the work in which we are engaged in forming lay leaders and advocates for social justice here at Loyola in general, and in the IPS in particular. However, I remain thankful for this CTSA initiative which enabled us to deepen these relationships and plan for future collaboration and mutual support. We will be following up with our local leaders when we host some events at the USCCB meetings alongside them this November, as is our recent tradition here.”
The above text was copied and edited from IPS's blog http://blogs.luc.edu/ips/lunch-with-auxiliary-bishop-ron-hicks/
More information about the grant initiative can be found here: https://ctsa-online.org/TheologicalGroupDiscussions