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December 2012

Dec 20, 2012

The Newtown Elementary school shootings have left us disheartened, to say the least. Perhaps fearful. Sad. For some, despairing. As Catholic Governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, exhorted, “Evil visited this community today.” So it did. The violence perpetrated on children, and the deaths, shook us severely. Rattled us ruthlessly. The struggle to make meaning of it all persists.

Hopefully it motivates us, too. Out of crisis comes commitment. As we know from Scripture and our experience, times of despair cry out for God, not because it’s God’s fault, but because it brings us face-to-face with the rawness, ugliness, if you will, of humanity.  The underbelly isn’t pleasant. It’s messy. It’s complex. It is, yes, ugly.

Since the tragedy I’ve looked many places for comfort. For a rationale, an answer to the question why. I suspect you've been there as well. No simple rationale or easy answer exists.

God – a little help, please? Perhaps a clue?

I imagine God patiently and lovingly whispering in my ear, “I’ve already given you the greatest clue you’ll ever need – it is my Son and the Word – Jesus.” For Christians, Jesus is the primordial clue.

Jesus as primordial clue translates to Christianity as enduring peace. A man of nonviolence, amidst a world of severe violence, chose not to become an aggressor. Chose, in a sense, not fight nor flight. Alternatively, he chose nonviolent resistance. A third path. Dialogue. Relationship. Witness and testimony, parable and creed. Perhaps our response can be similar?

Jesus, Prince of Peace. A significant – transforming – clue. Jesus, triumphant over death, destruction, violence. Although not easy, in the face of persecution, he overcame.

He trusts we will, too.  It won’t be easy or expedient. It will take our human-ness engaging all of humanity.

Weeping.

Conversing.

Praying.

Witnessing.

Imagining.

Overcoming.

Laughing, once again?

In the thick of darkness, the Prince of Peace illuminates the way.

Ryan J. Hoffmann | Senior Director of Enrollment Management | rhoffmann@ctu.edu | 773.371.5523

Dec 14, 2012

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near (Philippians 4:4-5).

As churches across the globe enter into the third week of Advent this Sunday, the tone within shifts as quiet expectancy momentarily gives way to exuberant joy.   Even as a kid, I welcomed “pink candle Sunday.”  Not just because the presiders wore rose vestments or we sang a catchy “Rejoice” round in children’s choir, but because Christmas, and the beloved chaos that accompanied it—was not far away, but quite near.

Despite my efforts to keep the season, my “grown-up” self can’t help approaching “pink candle Sunday" with a bit of an inward groan.   Christmas can’t be that close.  There is too much left to do:   Gift ideas to be had, travel plans to make, work to complete.    “The Lord is near?”  At times, the evidence seems scarce.  We are hurtling toward the darkest days of the year:  The sun sinks long before I leave the office. On December 18, Old St. Pat’s Church will host the Chicago Homeless Persons' Memorial, remembering those on the street who have lost their lives, often in the most brutal days of winter.  And in the faces and voices of friends and family, I see and hear the pain, struggle, and loss which darken and chill hearts during holidays boasted to be “merry and bright.”  To obey Paul’s exhortation to “rejoice” seems disrespectful, a sacrilege.

It takes the growing light of the Advent wreath to improve my dim vision, so I can see the radiant smiles of students turning in finals, as well as the glowing faces of two dear co-workers awaiting infants to be born yet this month and in January.  And this weekend, I will share dinner with friends brought together by CTU.  I recall also that next week, I will share prayer and fellowship with a faith community eager to celebrate Christmas, despite their shared challenges of mental illness.  This Sunday morning, as my parish community lights that pink candle, and the subdued church lights are slowly raised, I will remark at how well we could still see one another, even before the light was full.

The antiphon for December 21, the darkest night of the year, begins: O Oriens – O Rising Sun – O Morning Star.  It is at once holy madness and Divine sense:

O come, Thou Dayspring from on high
And cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

And death’s dark shadow put to flight.

As the sun sets outside my office window tonight, I know the Light is coming.

Angela Paviglianiti, Director of Admissions | angelap@ctu.edu | 773.371.5445

Dec 10, 2012

This question was posed to me a couple of weeks ago by a CTU student. I stopped and thought to myself, “How do I answer this question?”  I wondered whether I would be able to articulate my feeling and thoughts in a way they would reveal my true self.  The truth to that question was, “of course.”

Some would think that this is a loaded question, but in reality it is a simple one. I walk with my spirituality every day by consciously treating my fellow man or woman the way that I want to be treated. It sounds so easy but it can be a struggle sometimes.  We are so busy with our everyday lives that we do not see each other; I mean really see each other. Think about this: we all have encounters daily that irritate us and sometimes we do not react in the Christian way. The thing is, we know better. We know how to love our neighbor but we don’t always display that. We look at TV and see the hardship of someone we don’t even know and we exude sympathy and empathy for them, but we cannot treat the people we stand next to every day with kindness and love.  

For me, walking in my spirituality is knowing that this thing we call life is a privilege and it should always be treated that way. It is my inner path, the place I feel the safest, and where my spiritual well-being lives. I am not saying we should all walk around like Pollyanna, but the truth is, would it be so bad?

 Stop and ask yourself: “How do I walk in my spirituality?” See what answer you give and then go deeper and ask yourself whether you live this spirituality every day, some days or never? There is no wrong or right answer; just something for all of us to ponder.

Valerie D. Holloway |  Enrollment Management- Assistant to the Director/ Enrollment Management Department-Administrative Assistant-773-371-5451 or admissionassist@ctu.edu.

Dec 10, 2012

CTU enjoys a wonderful alliance with DePaul! CTU held a Christmas reception in the Cortelyou Commons and then guests also attended the Christmas at DePaul Concert at St. Vincent de Paul Parish.

 

Dec 10, 2012

The September 2012 Sundays at CTU Lecture featured Sr. Mary Frohlich, RSCJ, Associate Professor of Spirituality speaking on 'Thérèse’s “Little Way” and Virtues for an Ecological Age.'

About the lecture - In an era when the human community is pressing dangerously upon the limits of earth’s resources, development of a spirituality of “earth citizenship” is imperative. Although Thérèse of Lisieux lived before the emergence of this awareness, her “Little Way” has a significant contribution to make to emerging models of ecological virtue. This lecture explores the roots of the “Little Way” and how it can help us in our quest for an ecologically sensitive Christian spirituality.

Dec 10, 2012

Thirty alums gathered at CTU on Sunday, September 30 for a reunion. Members of CTU classes from 1988 through 2012 enjoyed fellowship and lunch in the Mary-Frances and Bill Veeck Art Gallery. The event included a lecture by Rev. Stephen Bevans, SVD, the Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Professor of Mission and Culture, on "A Day without Vatican II: Why the Council Still Matters after Fifty Years" and the Sundays at CTU lecture and liturgy. 

 

 

Dec 10, 2012

To introduce new students to the CTU community, the Development  Office hosted a New Student Reception following the opening of school Mass on Wednesday, September 5. Rev. Don Senior, CP welcomed students and founding CTU professors Rev. Gil Ostdiek, OFM and Rev. John Pawlikowski, OMI spoke about the early years of the school.

 

Dec 10, 2012

CTU celebrated the graduating class of 2012 at the 44th Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 17.  The ceremony was held at K.A.M Isaiah Israel Congregation.  Honorees were: Rev. Bryan N. Massingale, Honorary Doctorate in Theology; Friar Louis John Vitale, OFM, Honorary Doctorate in Ministry; Terry G. Hillard, Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters.  Rawaa Momeka, OP, pictured below, spoke as the representative of the graduates.

Dec 06, 2012

Catholic Theological Union was pleased to confer its 2012 Blessed are the Peacemakers Award on Renée and Lester Crown, and Shirley and Patrick Ryan, for their efforts in promoting mutual respect and understanding among the Abrahamic faiths. In 2003, the Crown and Ryan families, longtime friends of CTU, endowed a Chair in Jewish Studies at CTU to further the work of reconciliation and dialogue.

On June 20, nearly 400 guests gathered for the annual Blessed Are The Peacemakers dinner to celebrate the esteemed 2012 award recipients. In addition to being business and civic leaders, Renée and Lester Crown, and Shirley and Patrick Ryan, have actively promoted interfaith understanding, a hallmark of CTU's mission.

"This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and one of its most groundbreaking actions, the decree Nostra Aetate, which initiated a new path of reconciliation between the Catholic Church, Judaism and other non-Christian religions," said Fr. Donald Senior, CP, President of Catholic Theological Union. "Therefore we felt that this was an ideal time for CTU to give the Blessed are the Peacemakers Award to our esteemed partners in mission who have done so much locally and globally to foster peaceful relations among the faiths."