Catholic Theological Union Learn@CTUCatholics on CallCatholic Common Ground Initiative
Follow CTU on Facebook
CTU Twitter feed
CTU on LinkedIn

March 2013

Mar 14, 2013

This week on campus has been incredibly eventful, and highlights for me what is so compelling about CTU and its mission.

Tuesday night, CTU showed the film “A Band of Sisters,” a moving documentary about Catholic sisters and their work for social justice after Vatican II. It reminded me again of the invaluable “boots on the ground” service that women in the Church have given for centuries, and the contributions of sisters today here at CTU. At the film’s conclusion, I overheard a young nun remark that she regretted that the movie showed very few younger sisters. “Are we invisible?” she said.

Let’s hope not. CTU is truly fortunate to count several young religious women among its students. These women will go on, no doubt, to do great work as their fellow sisters have done before them.

Then on Wednesday at lunchtime, a large group gathered in our Atrium, which was resplendent with textiles and fabrics from around the globe, to celebrate International Women’s Day. We prayed together for the women around our world who face unspeakable struggles, including violence. And we celebrated women’s gifts and contributions. The service was led by Academic Dean and Vice President Barbara Reid, O.P., a formidable scholar, and included prayers led by several CTU students in their native languages. It was beautiful and powerful.

Our gathering ended just as the puffs of white smoke emerged from the Vatican chimney! Quickly we commandeered an empty classroom and projected the press coverage onto the screen from a laptop. One by one, then in groups, CTU students, faculty, and staff crowded into the classroom. Cheers and applause erupted as the new Pope’s name was announced and he emerged to voice his first words as Pope.

When we finally disbursed, a sense of hope and enthusiasm flowed palpably throughout the building. A colleague stopped me in the hall and said, “That was so great! Here they were talking on TV about the global Church of today, and I looked around the room and there we were, the global Church of today!”

That is what I treasure about CTU – people of faith and good will from across the globe coming together to build a more just, peaceful, and loving world. And so, for Francis I and for us, too, the work continues of building a healthy and vibrant Church for the good of God’s people.

Nancy Nickel  |  Director of Marketing and Communications  |  773.371.5415  |  nnickel@ctu.edu

Mar 04, 2013

The February 2013 Sundays at CTU Lecture featured Rev. Stephen Bevans, SVD, Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Professor of Mission and Culture speaking on 'A Day Without the Second Vatican Council: Why the Council Still Matters After 50 Years.'

About the lecture - What if we woke up one morning and discovered that the Second Vatican Council had never happened? We would discover that a place like CTU would not exist, that there would be little or no lay ministry in the Church, that we would have no liturgy in our own language; that there would be little or no reading of the Bible, that most people would still believe that there is no salvation outside the Church. In his talk, Fr. Bevans will offer his reflections as a kind of thought experiment.

 

Mar 01, 2013

Pope Benedict, as the first pope in 600 years to voluntarily leave office, stepped down this week. The Church now waits “in joyful hope” and anticipation in an interim period called, “Sede Vacante.”

So here we are in a transition time, and what a time it is!  “Odds Makers” in Las Vegas are encouraging people to place bets on who the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church will be. There are sites soliciting people to provide the top characteristic they would want in the next pope. The Cardinals are gathering in Rome.

Questions swirl and dance, tempt and tease.  Will this leader help us face the major challenges of our times?  Will he be a person of courage and spirit - one who will help the Church and the world face the controversial issues that try to divide and destroy us as human beings? Will a leader be called forth who will turn worldwide systems of covering up cases of abuse into new systems that value transparency and promote healing?  How will trust be mended?  Can it be regained?  It will take a healer-leader who exhibits fearless compassion to mend and unite.

Will the spirit of the Second Vatican Council be the guide for ongoing renewal of the whole Catholic Church including the Vatican?  Will the reforms needed in the Church be discussed and promoted? 

We will have opportunities for life-giving reconciliation with our Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim sisters and brothers.  Will we step into them?

Will we make peace with modern science and be a more vocal participant at the discussion table when issues of morality are pitted against issues of progress.  Will we place not only human needs but the needs of a fragile planet forward in the discussion of health and wholeness?

The issues of our day seem too much for one person alone to bear…will collegiality be modeled by the pope and the bishops?  Will the understanding of true community deepen into a new way of being together?  Will Catholics be encouraged to speak up, to speak out for justice in this world as well as for justice within the Church?  Will the new pope encourage the faithful to speak truth to power? Everyone has the ability do something toward the renewal of the Church and the renewal of the world within their own life.  Will the new pope lead by example as the heart and hands of the body of Christ alive in this world?

So many questions to live into, so many hopes, so many dreams for the promise of a new day ... let us pray that the hearts of those choosing the new pope will be inspired to choose a person of great love, compassion, and courage - one who unites, one who includes, one who invites, and one who helps us face our challenges head-on together. 

Kathy Van Duser, Director of Recruitment | kvanduser@ctu.edu| 773-371-5450