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Centennial Committee Report

09/05/2023 11:17 AM | Anonymous

Dear Colleagues,

Greetings. I hope you all had a good summer, and that the new academic year, if you are teaching, is off to a good start.

I am writing to you now in my capacity as Chair of the Centennial Committee, and in follow-up to the Friday evening discussion we had in Milwaukee, “What Is the Future of the CTSA?”

All eleven groups at evening session had note-takers, and based on their input, Craig Ford, Jr. very ably prepared the attached report, an overview followed by the individual group reports. The Centennial Committee discussed the Report at our August 25 meeting, and strongly agreed that it was time to share the Report with all CTSA members. (We also expressed our great gratitude to Craig for his superb work.) The Report is attached.

As the next stage in this ongoing conversation, we earnestly request your feedback on the Report — elements and ideas that stand out, or that you strongly agree or disagree with, plus any ideas or questions you think are important but do not find in the Report. We hope you can help us to identify and highlight key points that should occupy our attention this year.

Please send your comments by email to me, as Centennial Chair, and I will collect them and share then with the Centennial Committee. If you can share your input by September 20, that would be ideal, since the Committee meets again on September 22.

Thanks very much, and on behalf of the Committee,


Major Themes Arising from the June 9, 2023
Evening Discussion on the Future of the CTSA


  • 09/06/2023 11:35 AM | Eugene Finnegan
    Dear CTSA,

    As an 84 retired theology professor emeritus, who has not been to a convention since Covid hit, I read your comments about the future of CTSA. What immediately struck me in all those discussions was the lack of any reference to Jesus Christ. Is not the primary role of any theologian to try to understand the meaning and purpose of Jesus Christ in the life of the Church and the world? The more we make the presence of Jesus Christ come alive in our discussions, churches, and classrooms, the more successful we will be.
    Obviously, this was a discussion about the structure of CTSA. Yet there should have been some time to think about the fundamental problems concerning the expressions of the role of Jesus Christ in our failed human Roman Catholic Church. Can Catholic theologians lead the way to making Jesus Christ more relevant in our Church and in our world? Why do we let so many cultural or social issues mute the message of Jesus Christ?
    All of us can spend more time trying to understand Jesus Christ, his cultural background, and his two-thousand-year-old message that has picked up so much cultural baggage along the way. Are we sure about the message? Is it still relevant today? Do the Catholic colleges, universities, and seminaries have anything important to say today? Have Catholic Universities lost their way, except for the big 3? Do the 27 Jesuit, aptly named Society of Jesus, Universities dominate American theology? Do you want to become a small group of elite theologians? Remember that is not a bad thing. Or do you want to be all things to all people? This is a more difficult task. Think about purpose and meaning as the fundamental problem for any expression of Christianity.
    Good luck on 2045! Think back 22 years to see the changes that have taken place.

    Peace – love – joy
    Gene Finnegan
    Professor emeritus of Calumet College of St. Joseph
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    • 09/07/2023 1:06 PM | Christine Firer Hinze
      Dear Prof. Finnegan, As a member of the Centennial Committee, I want to thank you very much for taking the time to share these thoughtful reflections. I hope others will follow your example and share their own thoughts. Wishing you peace, love, and joy as well! Christine Firer Hinze, Fordham University
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