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  • 06/15/2021 12:44 PM | Anonymous

    75th Annual Convention of the CTSA

    Liturgy of the Word 

    Homily offered by Elsie Miranda, DMin.

    On the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I extend an invitation to all of us who have gathered across time and space to reflect together on todays readings in light of the theme, “All You Who Labor: Theology, Work and Economy”-- nested within the celebration of the CTSA’s 75th Anniversary.

    In Luke’s Gospel, we hear an unusual story about Jesus’ youth, when at the age of 12, he chose to stay behind in Jerusalem, where he sat in the temple, listening, and asking questions of the teachers for three days.  In the Jewish tradition it wouldn’t have been uncommon for a boy of 12 to prepare for his Bar Mitzvah- his coming of age ritual. What is unusual however, is his apparent disobedience in choosing not to return with his family back to Nazareth, and to venture on his own to be with the teachers after the celebration of Passover (we don’t know what the teachers found astounding in Jesus, but that’s for another reflection).   Filled with angst his parents searched for him for three days.  When they finally found him, Mary asks, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” As a good Jew, Jesus responds to Mary’s question with two questions: “Why are you looking for me?” and “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

    Luke ends this story by saying that Mary kept all these things in her heart.”  A heart that we know would be wounded many times, pierced by sorrows, grief, and sins that would test her endurance —yet Mary would remain faithful to the steadfast Love of God.  On the Memorial of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, I encourage all of us, to reflect on the many times we have been grief stricken by the sins of our world and our Church--- together however, as a community, we have found the courage in our hearts to endure, to support one another and remain faithful.

    As we continue to labor, in “our Father’s house,” I wonder how often our decisions over time might have been interpreted as disobedience, because we chose to listen to the people, to ask questions of our teachers, of our Church, and of each other-- to question the unexamined norms, to rely on our informed conscience, and reinterpret the meaning of stories we had long taken for granted.  How often has our labor of Love for God, been judged or deemed unfit-- by authorities that did not understand our theological responses, or our questions of life’s ever-evolving, and liberating truths? 

    I wish to believe that in a similar fashion, during the last years of the second World War, when our founding fathers worked to establish the Catholic Theological Society of America, as a decisively American-- Catholic, Theological Society, they did so impelled by the Love of Christ-- as Paul reminds us in the first reading.   At a time when Europe was in rubbles, global strife was ongoing, the atrocities of genocide could no longer be denied, rampant fear, propaganda, and the perpetuation of lies that legitimized the systematic oppression of the other-- shed light on the complicit silence of the Catholic Church in Europe.  Perhaps these sins of humanity led our founding fathers to labor, and to give birth to something new.  (Charlie’s book on the history of the CTSA can shed more light on these undergirding realities) but I find this history relevant because although 75 years have passed the seeds of division, fear, and distrust are being planted again within our own Church. Where are the opportunities for dialogue that may yield astonishment—if we cannot even listen to one another?

    Recently I did a review of the 60 Catholic schools that are members of ATS (see appendices to review data).  I found that 38% of the accredited Catholic schools are Diocesan seminaries whose primary mission is “to form” or “the formation” of men for ordination and service to the Church.” 100% of these students are enrolled in MDiv programs and they have their education completely subsidized by the Dioceses where they will eventually serve and have life-long job security. Of these 23 schools 1/3rd, are explicitly driven by The New Evangelization (a “return to Orthodoxy” form of Roman Catholicism and interestingly very well-funded).   Meanwhile 43% of Catholic Schools accredited by ATS have a primary mission of “educating/preparing/ or forming women and men for scholarship/ leadership/ and ministry to the Church and world.” Almost all of these schools are run by Religious Orders, with mission statements that include words like leadership, justice, transformation, Catholic-Intellectual-Tradition, and whole person, (just to name a few) representing a parallel educational experience to the Diocesan Seminaries. Among these schools the completion rates of MA degrees by women has been consistently higher for the past 27 years, yet at a higher cost to the students both personally and financially, even though job security and a just wage cannot be guaranteed-- yet still they prevail.

    In this parallel educational universe, we have to ask ourselves, what motivates us to do theology?  What forms the foundations of our theological works? Who and for what are we doing this work for?  What impact is our theological work having on our students, on the Church and on society?

    It is fascinating that roughly 68% of the students enrolled in Catholic schools are lay women and men; 21% are seminarians and 11% are members of religious orders – but upon completion of their degrees, the power and authority granted to these students is phenomenally disproportionate.

    Our founding fathers knew, like Paul says in 2 Cor. that the members of this society had to be “ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us” to be reconcilers in a world snarled in divisions.  How might we mediate the Call of God to new laborers who seek certitude and belonging, alongside those who desire to breathe new life into a more inclusive Church?  How do we reach out to the people in the pews and to young priests who five to six years after ordination find themselves ill prepared to deal with the complexities of a broken world and a sinful Church?  How might we be reconcilers and mediators of Grace, like Mary, impelled by the love of Christ?  As our friend Bob Schreiter wrote, the starting point of reconciliation is God’s Grace, which breaks in, unexpectedly to offer a new perspective, a new way forward (Ministry of Reconciliation).  As ambassadors for Christ, how might we embody the courage of Mary to say yes, to being women and men consecrated to her Immaculate Heart?  After all, in the context of the Catholic imagination, Mary is the great equalizer. Every culture engages Mother Mary in the transformation of sorrows, to forge a new path forward. Together, may we continue to work to transform sin through the Love of Christ—not only through reason, but through a theology of encounter, willing to be with and among the most vulnerable.  

    Looking back and moving forward, we know that God has called each of us to do the work of theology, to respond to God’s invitation in apparent disobedience to the will of man, in order to be faithful to the will of God.  As ambassadors for Christ, our work together and in our own corners of the world, is impelled by the love of Christ—for 75 years our work has challenged and consoled.  Over the course of those 75 years the Academy has changed in ways our founders could have never imagined. Yet despite our institutional limitations we come together every year as a Catholic Theological Society of America, as a community of friends, striving to keep our work faithful and relevant, even though many of us have been wounded for our obedience to God’s urgings, wherein we have found the courage to ask the critical questions, to think again, and speak the uncomfortable truths, to challenge unsubstantiated claims-- and despite the pierced hearts, we have stayed, we have banded together, and remained true.  Moving forward, may we continue to embody the sacramental presence of Christ, in a world that hungers for justice and mercy and to do the theological work that reconciles the world through Christ-- In the Immaculate Heart of Mary—

    To this may we all say, Amen!

  • 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

  • 06/01/2021 8:37 AM | Anonymous

    Antonio Eduardo Alonso, Commidified Communion: Eucharist, Consumer Culture, and the Practice of Everyday Life (New York: Fordham University Press, 2021).

    Laurie Cassidy and M. Shawn Copeland, ed. Desire, Darkness, and Hope: Theology in a Time of Impasse (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2021). 

    Antonio D. Sison, The Art of Indigenous Inculturation: Grace on the Edge of Genius ( Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Press, 2021).

  • 05/27/2021 6:37 PM | Rosemary P. Carbine

    For over five decades, The Ecumenist, edited by Gregory Baum, published essays and reviews of books engaging the societies, cultures and churches in the North Atlantic hemisphere from an emancipatory perspective rooted in the gospel. Since 2018, The Ecumenist revitalized its name, Critical Theology, along with its editorial board, but the journal continues to produce four issues a year, published by Novalis, and features theological reflection with liberative intent and praxis. The website for the journal, along with back issues of The Ecumenist and Critical Theology, can be found at

    If you share this theological orientation or are interested in it, please consider subscribing to Critical Theology or asking the library of your affiliated institution to subscribe. Subscriptions are $16 (Canadian) a year. To subscribe, please go to

    If you are interested in contributing an article or book review to Critical Theology, if you would like a book reviewed therein, or for further information, please contact Don Schweitzer, McDougald Professor of Theology at St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon at

  • 05/08/2021 3:50 PM | Christopher Pramuk

    Featuring plenary addresses by Parker Palmer and Carrie Newcomer, Andrew Prevot, Marie Dennis, and Bonnie Thurston, this virtual gathering  will also feature dozens of compelling breakout sessions by leading and emerging scholars, poets, spiritual writers and artists. $40 for the whole gathering, with student registration fees waived. Link below, and please share with any students and colleagues who may be interested.

  • 04/24/2021 3:25 PM | Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M.

    Review for Religious, the renowned journal for and about religious life, relaunches this June with a fresh approach, peer-reviewed content, and book reviews focused on religious life and the challenges and contexts of the contemporary world.

    The first issue features a contribution by Cardinal Michael Czerny, SJ, “Religious Life from Vatican II to Fratelli Tutti.” With the journal comes a dynamic website,, that includes news, submitted essays, and discussion of art to engage and inspire. Published by CUA Press in collaboration with the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), the Review for Religious draws upon a 70-year history while it engages with the contemporary world. 

    Discover the new Review for Religious:

    We're always looking for submissions for consideration and for scholars willing to serve as peer-reviewers. See the website for more information and please help spread the word to your institutions, networks, and communities about this exciting publication.

  • 03/31/2021 12:53 PM | Theodore James Whapham

    Call for Papers

    The theological thought of Wolfhart Pannenberg has generated significant conversations, since the publication of Revelation as History in 1961. Since his passing in 2014, dozens (269) of doctoral dissertations written in English have engaged his corpus, launching a new generation of scholars who have been impacted by his life and work.

    In an effort to gather scholars interested in the legacy of this seminal thinker, the Pannenberg Symposium will host a conference on March 25 & 26, 2022, in collaboration with Loyola University Chicago, Institute for Pastoral Studies and the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage.

    Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the publication of Systematic Theology, Vol. 3 in English, this conference will address the following theme:

    The Spirit, The Kingdom, and Ecumenism—Wolfhart Pannenberg’s Doctrine of the Church.

    Thus, we would like to extend a Call for Papers engaging Pannenberg’s thought particularly as developed in volume 3 of his Systematic Theology.

    Potential topics include:

    tology: Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

    • Ecclesiology: Nature and Purpose of the Church, doctrine of election
    • Eschatology: The coming kingdom of God and its establishment in history
    • Sacramental Theology: Ecumenical scope, presence of the Spirit in the Eucharist,ministry/ordination
    • Ecumenism in his doctrine of the Church and his work with the World Council of Churches
    • The Church and Society
    • Pannenberg’s political theology and engagement with liberation theology
    • Natural law
    • Theodicy and the coming of Justice

    For more information go to:

    We are especially interested in engaging scholars from a diversity of denominational, cultural, and theological perspectives to create a critical and constructive conversation about the significance of Pannenberg’s theology for contemporary thought. Proposals from a wide range of theological approaches are encouraged.

    To respond to the call for papers, please send a proposal of no more than 500 words to Proposals will be evaluated on the contribution they could make to the symposium theme, the clarity of the proposed research plan, and their significance for the study of Pannenberg’s theology. Proposals should be submitted by July 1, 2021 and will be subject to a blind review process. Doctoral students and junior scholars are encouraged to submit a proposal. A limited number or registration scholarships are available for those in need.

    The organizers for the conference also have two hopes for future efforts growing out of this conference. First, they will be seeking publication for a selection of the best papers coming out of the conference as part of an edited volume. Second, our hope is that the conversation generated by the attendees may give rise to further meetings of the Pannenberg symposium on a regular basis. Scholars who are interested in such an ongoing project are also encouraged to notify the organizers of their interest in this broader effort.

  • 03/15/2021 8:23 AM | Anonymous
    The CTSA remembers Michael A. Fahey, S.J., Faculty Emeriti, Marquette University Theology, and CTSA President 1983-1984.

    May he rest in peace.

    Celebrating our Jubilarians  

    Presentations (See CTSA Proceedings) at the CTSA include:

    • The Lima Document: Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry 
    • Response to Professor Tavard-I 
    • Presidential Address: 1904-1984, Karl Rahner, Theologian
    • The Nature and Purpose of the Church
    • Ecclesiae Sorores ac Fratres: Sibling Communion in the Pre-Nicene Christian Era
    • A Catholic Response to Faith and Order's "The Nature and Purpose of the Church"
    • The Mission of the Church: To Divinize or To Humanize?
  • 03/09/2021 1:12 PM | Anonymous

    Fr. Antoninus Wall, O.P. (d. March 2, 2021) was one of the founding members of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and President of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology for several years.

    "Father Antoninus Wall, O.P., a native of San Francisco, is the son of Irish-born parents, and the brother of the late Fr. Kevin Wall, O.P. Fr. Wall attended St. Ignatius prep in the Bay City and St. Mary's College of California. Entering the Dominican Order, he pursued his sacred studies at St. Albert's College in Oakland and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He was ordained in Rome in 1950.

    Fr. Wall has had a career rich in pastoral and academic experiences. He has served as associate pastor in Seattle and as Professor of Theology at Immaculate Heart and Dominican College. He negotiated the entry of the Dominicans into the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and served two terms there as President of the Dominican School." ( Catholic Education Resource Center, "The End of the Journey", accessed 3/9/21).

  • 02/18/2021 10:17 AM | Anonymous

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