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Noted Philanthropists Renée and Lester Crown, Shirley and Patrick Ryan to Receive Catholic Theological Union’s Blessed are the Peacemakers Award

June 5, 2012

For Immediate Release
Media Contact:
Nancy Nickel
office: 773.371.5415
cell:  847.477.2550


Noted Philanthropists Renée and Lester Crown, Shirley and Patrick Ryan
to Receive Catholic Theological Union’s Blessed are the Peacemakers Award

Chicago, IL, June 5, 2012—The Board of Trustees of Catholic Theological Union (CTU) will honor prominent Chicagoans, Renée and Lester Crown and Shirley and Patrick Ryan, at the annual Blessed are the Peacemakers dinner on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. Honorary Chairs for this year’s event are Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Both the Crowns and Ryans are dedicated friends of Catholic Theological Union. In addition to being business and civic leaders, they actively promote 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 the Rev. Donald Senior, C.P., 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.”

In 2003, the Crown and Ryan families endowed a Chair in Jewish Studies at CTU to further the work of reconciliation and dialogue. “The Crown Ryan Chair provides Catholic leaders from all over the world the opportunity to learn about Judaism and the Jewish people. It demonstrates CTU’s commitment to interfaith relations and is a testimony to positive collaboration between the Jewish and Catholic communities,” said Rabbi David Fox Sandmel, Crown Ryan Professor of Jewish Studies.

The Blessed are the Peacemakers dinner will be held at the Westin Chicago River North Grand Ballroom, 320 North Dearborn Street, Chicago. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner following at 6:30 p.m. For reservations or more information, please call 312-553-2000.

About the Blessed are the Peacemakers Award: The Blessed are the Peacemakers Award is presented each year to an institution, individual or group of individuals whose accomplishments and commitments reflect the values of the mission of Catholic Theological Union, particularly in the areas of reconciliation, justice, and peacemaking. Past recipients include: Monsignor Kenneth Velo, Lea Rabin, John Hume,
Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sergeant Shriver, Steven Spielberg, Jean Vanier, Queen Noor, Cardinal Walter Kasper, Senator John C. Danforth, the Kroc Institute of the University of Notre Dame, and the Jo and Newt Minow family.

About Catholic Theological Union: Catholic Theological Union (CTU), located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, is the largest Roman Catholic graduate school of theology and ministry in the United States. CTU educates 500 clergy, religious, and lay persons pursuing master and doctoral level degrees in various areas of theology and ministry. Nearly one-third of its student body is international from more than 40 countries worldwide. In addition to its courses on Catholic theology, the school also has highly respected programs in reconciliation and interreligious dialogue, intended to promote dialogue and mutual respect among people of all faiths. Through its degree programs and other educational and formational opportunities, CTU strives to prepare effective leaders for the Church, ready to witness to Christ’s good news of justice, love, and peace.