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Bernardin Graduates

The class of 2015 (from left to right): Dannis Matteson, Sarah Kohles, OSF, Susan Francois, CSJP, Sheila McLaughlin (Director of The Bernardin Center), Emily Cortina, Deborah Armenta, and Brian Michalski

Bernardin Graduates have gone on to a variety of ministries, leadership roles, and advanced studies. These former Scholars advance the mission of the Bernardin Center through the positions they take and the lives they lead. Here are a few of their stories and quotes:

Jenny Johnson Granstrom, M.A., '14
"My main ministry is being a full-time mom to my two children. It might not seem like a ministry, but I can say for sure that wondering about God with your children, teaching them to pray using an inclusive imagination and teaching them to respect and appreciate other religions--there is a lot of day to day ministry in action! The financial support of the Bernardin scholarship allowed me to go to graduate school while raising my children. More importantly, the scholarship gave me a community to walk with during my studies and the chance to learn more about how the mission of Cardinal Bernardin can inspire and shape my own ministry."

"I can't say enough about being part of the Bernardin Scholarship program. If you are chosen as a Bernardin scholar your studies are framed with the hopes and insights of Cardinal Bernardin. Along with the other scholars, you will learn what led Bernardin to his work which is still impacting the Church today. His desire to create an intimate, genuine connection between the institutional Church and the people who make up the Church was always present while I considered topics to study. I am proud to be a Bernardin scholar; it has given my current ministry and future ministry a greater sense of responsibility."

Lindsay Little Baker, M.A. '09
"The Bernardin Scholarship is an amazing opportunity – any person who receives it will be challenged academically, have access to an enormous theological network in the Chicago area, and most importantly, have the opportunity to deepen your world view by contributing to the continuation of the legacy of one of the modern Catholic Church's most compassionate and humble ministers."

Colin Crossey,  D.Min. '08
"The Bernardin scholarship gave me opportunities to engage in theology at the level of faith and practice, giving me the space to reflect with and learn from others across the world.  I am now able to apply Cardinal Bernardin’s "consistent ethic of life" as a framework and road map to tease out the many issues pertinent to our time; his teaching on non-violence, peace and reconciliation and of course cross-cultural and inter-faith dialogue.  I cherished my time in Chicago and the way it re-connected me to my living faith tradition. I am indebted to the Bernardin Scholarship for opening many doors for me. This experience profoundly affected how I minister as a priest."

Steve Janco, D.Min. '06
"
I currently serve as Associate Professor and Director of the Rensselaer Program of Church Music and Liturgy at Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Indiana, which is home to the nation's largest Catholic graduate program in church music and liturgy. I also serve as part-time Director of Liturgy and Music at St. Eulalia Parish in Maywood, IL. I'm also a composer of liturgical music, and contributed to three books recently published by Liturgy Training Publications. I was recently elected to a three-year term on the leadership committee of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy. "

"The Bernardin scholarship made it possible for me to pursue the Doctor of Ministry degree at CTU while working full-time in parish ministry. Meeting and studying with other Bernardin scholars was a privilege, a way of keeping before us the significant impact of the life and ministry of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin--and recognizing that his legacy continues to offer guidance and inspiration for those striving to further the Church's mission through a variety of ministries and in a variety of settings."

"If you have the opportunity to receive the scholarship,  Go for it!  Catholic Theological Union is a wonderful place to study and learn--and the many initiatives and activities of Bernardin Center, including the Bernardin Scholar program, continue to promote sound and creative scholarship, respectful and informative dialogue, and a spirit of understanding and reconciliation."

Allison Chin DeLaney, M.A. ’04 & Steve DeLaney, M.A. ’04, Chicago
Allison and Steve met as volunteers with Amate House, a Catholic service organization in Chicago, but they didn’t become acquainted until they were Bernardin Scholars. By graduation they were married. Allison says, “As a physical therapist, I had issues with the healthcare system. The Cardinal’s vision for healthcare ministry is such an integral part of what the Church is about. As a Bernardin Scholar I discovered the mystery of presence and relearned how to be with people in their crises.”

Steve works with young adults and incarcerated juveniles in Chicago. He loves the Chicago connection, “Chicago has a very Catholic web that connects people in so many ways. It’s an amazing network. Being a Bernardin Scholar was a tremendous gift. I was very attracted to Bernardin’s work in reconciliation, life ethics, and Common Ground. It has so much meaning to me to study in his name.”

Kathy Kelleher, M.A. ’02, Chicago
A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, Kathy says, “CTU’s education and formation were natural extensions of my college’s focus on service, but with a distinctly faith-based motivation. CTU professors, who are some of the brightest in Catholic education today, sustain their intellectual and prayer lives with vital ministries that serve God’s people.” As a project manager for Claretian Associates Kathy helped develop 25 single family and two-flat homes in South Chicago. The project won the 2005 Driehaus project of the year award. Kathy says, “Cardinal Bernardin continues to inspire me to recognize the inherent dignity of each person and to respond to their needs. This value will be with me over my lifetime.”

Valerie D’Souza, D.Min. ’05, Bombay, India
Valerie D’Souza, a senior executive for Exxon Oil in India, turned her passion for theology into a second career. She earned a masters degree at Catholic Theological Union, and returned as a Bernardin Scholar for a doctoral degree several years later. Although focused on liturgy, Valerie delved into Jewish Studies, satisfying a lifelong interest in Judaism and the Jewish people. Valerie says, “Cardinal Bernardin and I share a love for Jewish-Christian dialogue.” She put that love into action, studying at Yad Vashem, the first native of India to do so, and in a Holocaust program at Auschwitz. She says, “I am so grateful to CTU and the Bernardin Program for the remarkable opportunities I have had. I will take my experience as a Bernardin scholar wherever I go in life.”

Daniel Scheid, M.A. ’04, Boston
After graduating from Princeton University, Dan Scheid was deciding between ministry and teaching. He wanted a rigorous academic program but one that would help him to learn more about his Catholic faith and grow into it. He applied as a Bernardin Scholar and was accepted. Dan says, “I had read Cardinal Bernardin’s consistent ethic of life document and thought it was brilliant. As a scholar in the Bernardin program, it was great to hear from people who worked with him and knew him.” Dan’s professors provided him with lots of support, and the intellectual satisfaction he had wanted. A doctoral student in theology at Boston College, Dan says, “CTU prepared me well. The cultural and global questions I confronted at CTU were invaluable.”