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Inauguration of Mark R. Francis, CSV

October 30, 2013

For Immediate Release

“Crossroads Rather than Cul-de-sacs”: Inauguration Speech Highlights
the Need for Ministers for a Global Catholic Church

CHICAGO (Oct. 30, 2013) On Sunday, October, 27, 2013, Catholic Theological Union (CTU) inaugurated its seventh president, the Rev. Mark R. Francis, CSV, succeeding the Rev. Donald Senior, CP. The inaugural platform party included the Most Rev. Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR, Archbishop of Indianapolis, and the Most Rev. Francis J. Kane, DD, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

CTU is the largest Roman Catholic graduate school of theology and ministry in the United States, preparing a global population of both vowed religious and lay women and men for leadership in ministry. In his inaugural address, Pres. Francis said, “… we no longer educate ministers to return to cul-de-sacs—closed ethnic enclaves where everyone is largely the same. Instead of cul-de-sacs we are challenged to prepare ministers to engage at the crossroads of our cities and our world; to go forth from CTU able to minister in our modern society where they will come into contact with many religions and cultures.”

In beginning his presidency just as the new pontificate is unfolding, Pres. Francis said, “The values that Pope Francis has held up as core to our faith are the values to which CTU has been committed since our founding. Rooted in the expansive, compassionate and welcoming vision of Vatican II, CTU’s graduates are in ministry throughout the world, often serving at the margins of society to those most in need.”

In assuming the presidency of CTU, Pres. Francis will continue CTU’s longstanding commitment to interreligious dialogue, particularly within the Jewish and Muslim communities. Also a priority is to explore new relationships with religious communities and programs for lay ecclesial ministry, and to further develop CTU’s academic alliances with DePaul University in Chicago, the Lay Centre at Foyer Unitas in Rome, and All Hallows College in Dublin.

Pres. Francis is a member of the Clerics of St. Viator (Viatorians). He served for three years in Bogotá, Colombia, and then, in 1988, he earned a Doctorate in Sacred Liturgy (SLD) from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Sant'Anselmo in Rome. After teaching liturgy at CTU for 12 years, he returned to Rome in 2000 as Superior General of the Viatorians, where he oversaw the mission of the international community until 2012. He is widely respected for his work in liturgical studies and has written numerous books and articles on liturgical topics.