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June 2013

Jun 24, 2013


This past Sunday (June 23rd), CTU celebrated the presidency of Fr. Donald Senior, C.P. There was a beautiful liturgy, heartfelt tributes, a festive reception. All of us who attended have had some kind of meaningful interaction or relationship with Fr. Don. This, in and of itself, is really quite something, especially when you consider that the circle of people who know and respect Fr. Don goes far, far beyond that gathering of 300 and I'm sure they have had a similar experience. 

I met Fr. Don about 12 years ago when I was working for the Passionists of Holy Cross Province, of which he is a member. I had heard his name, of course, and knew his reputation. I felt some timidity in meeting him. That was short-lived, because anyone who has met Fr. Don is put immediately at ease by his unassuming manner, his great humor, his kindness.

As I reflect on Fr. Don’s presidency, it seems to me that if one tries to define leadership or a great leader, so much rests on the demands of the moment. For example, perhaps unwavering strength is called for at a critical time, or decisiveness, character, vision, managerial prowess, intellectual giftedness, relational deftness. A thick skin. The list goes on.

But when one considers leadership over time, as is true in Fr. Don’s case having served for 23 years, then a staggering rubric of these qualities and more is required. Long-term leadership is not for the faint of heart, in my opinion. And to make it all look easy and joyful? That’s a tall order.

It has been my enormous privilege to work for and with Fr. Don. To have seen him deal gracefully and thoughtfully with the complicated tasks associated with leading a graduate school of theology and ministry in today’s Church was an education. To have traveled with him to the Holy Land and Greece and Turkey was nourishing to mind, heart, and soul. To have witnessed his astonishing work ethic and intellectual clarity was a gift. To have experienced his compassion when I felt vulnerable at work or in my personal life was a blessing. I will carry the memory of his kindness with me always.

Thank you, Fr. Don, for your leadership at CTU, this beautiful institution, and, when all is said and done, for being an unforgettable teacher. Teaching, we know, is your first love. You have taught me more than words could ever say, and for that, I am truly grateful.

Jun 07, 2013

Summertime when the living is easy, fish are jumping and the cotton is high…

Every year this favorite song comes to mind when the hot, humid days of summer arrive.  It takes me back to lazy summer days when school was out, the pace was different, and the summer seemed to be an endless stretch of time.

Here in Chicago, the “hot days of summer” have not arrived yet.  Our temperatures have been cooler, in fact, we’ve had to remind ourselves that it really is summer!  Some of us have even been seen wearing a parka.

Next week we begin Summer Institute at CTU.   It’s a time when we offer short courses (one or two weeks long) designed to provide knowledge, to help people sharpen their skills, or to broaden their perspectives.  Many students begin their degree or certificate programs at CTU during this time.  Others, like myself, just wanted to try out master’s level classes before committing to a program, still others take the courses for the sheer enjoyment of learning more in their field or a new field.  Many of CTU’s distinguished faculty or guest lecturers teach in the summer.

Some of my favorite picks from Summer Institute this year are: The Gospel of Matthew, Rahner and Spirituality, Imaging the Reign of God:  Social Justice and Global Cinema, and Beyond Pizza and Icebreakers:  Imagining Youth Ministry that Makes a Difference.  If you’d like to check out what we’re offering or sign up for one of the Summer Institute courses offered over the next three weeks, check out this link:

We’ve offered opportunities to visit CTU and sit in on a class during this time with our Visit Events options, Summer Visit Days

What better way to enjoy the summer than sitting by the pool, sipping a cool drink, and reading your latest assignment from a Summer Institute course.   

Kathy Van Duser, Director of Recruitment | | 773-371-5450

Jun 07, 2013

On May 10 CTU faculty, staff, students, board members, life trustees, and alumni gathered to celebrate the retirement of Fr. Don Senior, CP.  Guests offered testimonials in honor of Fr. Senior at the picnic lunch.  In recognition of his presidency, South Cornell Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets has been named "Fr. Donald Senior, CP Honorary Way."