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Remembering Robert Schreiter, C.PP.S. d - June 2, 2021

06/02/2021 1:41 PM | Anonymous

The CTSA mourns long-standing member Robert Schreiter, C.PP.S.
CTSA President 1998 - 1999

May Bob rest in peace.

Antonio D. Sison, C.PP.S.'s video on Bob titled:

"Robert Schreiter: His Life in 10.5 Minutes"

I made this vid for Bob on the occasion of his 65th birthday celebration on January 4, 2013. Created at short notice "guerilla" style using analog tech and a very early version of the freeware iMovie. It turned out to be an intimate portrait, with precious material from his earlier life. I recorded Bob on audio as he told his own narrative. Precious. I would often rib him about how a farm boy from Nowhereland turned out to be such a brilliant mind and a polyglot, he would laugh when I told him my theory: he was implanted by an advanced alien civilization. Join me in this meaningful recollection. 

Watch here:


Antonio D. Sison, CPPS, PhD
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
Chair, Historical and Doctrinal Studies Department

Text from Sr. Barbara Reid, O.P., President, Catholic Theological Union, to the CTU Community follows:

June 2, 2021

To the CTU Community:

The CTU Community grieves profoundly the loss of our long-time colleague and world-renowned

scholar, Robert Schreiter, C.PP.S. Bob joined the CTU faculty in 1974 and his outstanding contributions

are too numerous to list. His work on Reconciliation, in particular, was unparalleled, both in his

international accompaniment of Church leaders in peacebuilding and in teaching standing-room-only

crowds of students every year.

Bob served as Vice President and Academic Dean for nine years and was instrumental in founding CTU’s

D.Min. Program. His vision and wisdom also shaped the Bernardin Center, as its founding Director.

These are only a fraction of his unparalleled contributions to CTU.

As we mourn this great loss, we pray that Bob now be enjoying the fullness of God’s love for all eternity.


Contributions to the CTSA's Proceedings:

Theology and Culture from a Caribbean Perspective 

Comparative Ecclesiology and Global Catholicism 

Catholicity & Mission: When Basic Values Collide

Public Theology and Postmodernity

Presidential Address: Development of Doctrine in a World Church


  • 06/02/2021 3:10 PM | Christine Firer Hinze
    This is a sad loss for the CTSA, for our larger theological anc ecclesial community, and in particular for everyone who knew, learned from, worked with, and cared about Bob. May the angels lead him into paradise, and may he rest in peace.
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    • 06/02/2021 3:20 PM | Carla Mae Streeter OP
      Bob was a theologian who gave depth meaning to the term 'catholic.' Hi mind was broad and welcoming, ready to welcome truth wherever he found it. We have been blessed by his academic ministry.
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  • 06/02/2021 3:18 PM | Maria-Pilar Aquino
    My sincere condolences to the CTU faculty and to Bob's family and religious community. My prayers and solidarity with them. Bob made abundant contributions to the Society, to the theological academy and to the Church. He will be missed. May he rest in peace.
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  • 06/02/2021 3:32 PM | Jaisy Joseph
    wow, I am genuinely sad. His work on the New Catholicity has been foundational to my own work. He was also so very encouraging of my thoughts and critiques when we celebrated him at the AAR. He is a giant in our field and will be surely missed.
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    • 06/02/2021 3:40 PM | Dr Peter C Phan
      Besides being a great theologian, Bob was known for his intellectual humility and kindness to all. It will take a long, long time before another theologian of his stature and kindness will grace us with her or his presence among us.
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  • 06/02/2021 3:39 PM | Francis X Clooney, SJ (Administrator)
    Bob was a pioneering scholar of the emerging World Church, and a man of boundless energy, who seemed able to visit every part of the earth without ever getting tired out. He was an incisive and very clear thinker and writer - and always gracious and ready to listen and learn from everyone else in the room. He blessed CTU, the CTSA, and so many others with his presence and service and love for so many years. RIP.
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  • 06/02/2021 3:40 PM | Anna Floerke Scheid
    Dan (Scheid) and I are heavy with grief at this news. Bob taught both of us, and directed both of our MA theses at CTU in the early 2000s. He was a profoundly generous mentor, minister, and friend. I would not be the theologian or the person I am today without his influence, whether talking in his CTU office, listening to his course lectures, reading his books. Bob always had so much to do, and yet, he was always available to talk. He reminded me and Dan of the adage, "If you want something done, ask a busy person" because he always seemed calm, capable, and kind even in the midst of his incredibly urgent and necessary work helping build peace and reconciliation all over the world. He was without ego despite his stature, which is rare and holy.
    There are dozens of stories Bob told us that illustrate the joy and humor of teaching and doing theology across cultures, at which (as we all know) he was a leading expert. We still tell these stories over and over again. When you see us next - ask us to tell you a few of them please, so we can remember Bob together.
    Dan and I were honored to have Bob con-celebrate our wedding in 2006, and he baptized each of our three children. Once, when chatting with my mother-in-law about his wonderful presence at our kids' baptisms, he referred to himself our "family priest." We've lost not only a theological visionary, but an incomparable friend. Bob, may you know the eternal reconcilation God has prepared for all of us. We will miss you so much.
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    • 06/02/2021 4:20 PM | Maria-Pilar Aquino
      Hugs to you and Dan, dear Anna. My condolences and prayers with you and your family. María-Pilar
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  • 06/02/2021 3:44 PM | Daniel Scheid
    It's hard for me to express the impact he has had on me as a thinker and a person. He was a fantastic professor, a brilliant mind, a caring person, and a beloved family friend. He con-celebrated at our wedding and he baptized all three of our children. I cannot fathom how much he accomplished in his life and career. His courses on Reconciliation were rightly famous, and his lectures always had ministry and mission at the forefront of his mind. As a thinker he gave me a love for cross-cultural dialogue, and he deepened my love of the Catholic Church. He will be deeply missed, by Catholic theologians, the Church, and his thousands of students.
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  • 06/02/2021 3:56 PM | David Hollenbach
    Bob was a wonderful friend and a great colleague. His reflections on the global aspects of Christian faith were truly important. We both spent some time trying to assist the church in the war-torn country of South Sudan. I know from my conversations there that Bob's contribution in Sudan, as in many other places, will be a lasting one. I am sure he is already being sustained by the love of God. But we will all miss him.
    David Hollenbach, S.J.
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    • 06/02/2021 5:26 PM | Rev Thomas P Rausch SJ
      I was so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. I learned much from him about global Catholicism and the world church. His was a gracious presence, and always helpful. We will miss his warmth and his wisdom. Come to meet him, angels of the Lord!
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  • 06/02/2021 5:17 PM | Susan Ross
    I first met Bob when I was a graduate student interested in Schillebeeckx. Bob was enormously helpful to me, sharing unpublished material, and arranging an interview with Schilebeeckx when he was in Chicago. Bob's own work helped to open up US theology to the world. His vision, generosity and dedication are an example to us all.
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  • 06/02/2021 6:36 PM | Brett Hoover
    Bob surely had the gift of bilocation, as he seemed to be present everywhere. I ran into him once in the Ruhr Valley of Germany where he spoke at a conference comparing German and American parish life. Many theologians know him for his work on global Catholicism and reconciliation, but he also quietly contributed to pastoral projects with impact (I think of the USCCB's Building Intercultural Competencies for Ministry project). I didn't ask get the opportunity to ask him for a lot of advice, but when I did, it was golden.
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  • 06/02/2021 7:04 PM | Robert Gascoigne
    I cherish the memory of Bob’s hospitality and generosity, when visiting CTU Chicago and sharing a meal when he visited Sydney during World Youth Day in 2008, as well as benefiting from his illuminating insights in teaching our students at Australian Catholic University.
    May he Rest In Peace.
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  • 06/02/2021 10:41 PM | Ruben Habito
    I join all those who loved and knew Bob as a friend, mentor, colleague, and much more, in mourning his passing. As everyone who has commented on this thread already noted, Bob is such a caring and warm person with whom one easily becomes close to, and to whom one can relate to readily knowing that he is attentive and listening to you. I am personally indebted to him for his going out of his way to make me feel welcomed and part of his circle of friends. His work on inculturation, contextualization, globalization, and the retrieval of catholicity in a multicultural and multifaith world forged new horizons for all of us seeking to live and witness to, and reflect on the implications of the Gospel in our twenty-first century world. I remain forever indebted to you, and convey my heartfelt gratitude for the gift of your life for all of us. Sincerely, ruben
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  • 06/03/2021 6:59 PM | Edmund Kee-Fook Chia
    It is indeed sad to hear of the passing of a theological giant, who I am honored to have had as teacher, colleague, mentor, and friend. I first met Bob exactly 20 years ago at Nijmegen in the Netherlands. He was serving as the first Schillebeeckx Chair and I was a doctoral student. He then co-supervised my dissertation. Shortly after I defended, Bob alerted me to a job opening at CTU and simply stated: "apply". It turned out he was chair of the search committee and, as the saying goes, the rest is history. Having Bob as colleague at CTU was truly a blessing. I not only learned so much from his brilliant mind but also his work ethics and generosity. Even as he travelled abroad so much (he was a frequent flyer million miler), he still did more than his fair share of teaching and, in fact, had more students in his classes than many of us. He was also the most sought-after thesis supervisor and sat on numerous committees. Plus, he was a fabulous chef. We all looked forward to the departmental dinner as Bob always volunteered to cook. Farewell Bob, my teacher and mentor; you will be sorely missed, but you rest now in eternal peace and love.
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  • 06/03/2021 8:17 PM | Gideon C Goosen
    When I was on sabbatical many years ago, at the Theological Union, Bob was the one who welcomed me when I arrived after a long flight, and took me out for a meal. I will never forget this act of kindness. He was also most encouraging regarding one's theological work. His generosity in supporting others was something to experience. I continue to meet Bob at conferences all over the world. May he rest in peace!
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  • 06/03/2021 9:37 PM | Gemma Tulud Cruz
    I met Bob many years ago while I was a doctoral student in Nijmegen, where he came for brief visits as the holder of the Schilebeeckx Chair of Theology and Culture. Since he stayed at the university's house for postgraduate students during those visits, my enriching encounters with him extended from the classroom to the breakfast table. My first CTSA convention was memorable partly because Bob invited me (and my husband Edmund Chia) to be his guest (for the awardee's tables) as he received the John Courtney Murray award that year. The rest is history as Edmund wrote in his post. What I most appreciate about Bob is how he graciously and generously shared his wisdom and personal time. No request - be it writing the foreword for a book, providing a recommendation letter, presenting at a session I'm coordinating, etc. - was ever declined. Most of all, I deeply appreciate how he took time and effort to nurture the connection, from never missing the annual CTSA Thursday dinner with myself, Edmund, and Steve Bevans, as well as sending (or responding to) emails to keep myself and Edmund posted on his health battles. While he was not my dissertation supervisor he was, and will always be, in every sense of the word a true mentor. Vale, Bob. You will never be forgotten and will forever be missed.
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  • 06/07/2021 8:07 PM | Carmen Marie Nanko-Fernandez
    Here is the link to the official obituary from Bob's religious community the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.
    Link  •  Reply

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