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Rev. Katherine Sonderegger to Give 2021 Dunning Lecture

 

The Mission of the Holy Son into an Unholy World

November 18, 7:30 pm
Laubacher Hall or via livestream

Perhaps the central word in Scripture for the reality and ministry of the Son of God is ‘sending.’  He is the One sent, by His Father into the created realm, Incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.  And He is sent throughout His earthly life, to do the work He is given to do, to enter into the night of the world, its chaos and indifference and cruelty, to be the world’s Light.  He is sent to the Cross, an act at once Transcendent and altogether earthly.  This talk will explore the Mission of the Holy Son under one, dominant and complex idea, that of sacrifice, which best captures the kind of ‘sending’ that characterizes Christ’s life.  The Eternal Son is the Living Sacrifice, sent to be the world’s Sacrifice.  He is the Holy One in an unholy world.  In this way, the Temple worship of ancient Israel—its cultic sacrifice—comes to life and guides the teaching of the Church in its Doctrines of the Person and Work of Christ.

The Rev. Katherine Sonderegger holds the Wm Meade Chair in Systematic Theology at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA, where she has taught since 2002.  She was educated at Smith College, Yale Divinity School, and Brown University, where she undertook research on the great 20th century Reformed theologian, Karl Barth.  Prior to taking her position at VTS, Kate taught in the Religion department at Middlebury College in Vermont.  While she grew up a Presbyterian, and her Reformed roots still run deep, she is now a priest of the Episcopal Church, resident in the diocese of Virginia.  Her vocation is the study and writing of systematic theology.  Two volumes of her Systematic Theology on the Doctrine of Divine Attributes and of the Holy Trinity have appeared under Fortress Press, 2015, 2020.  Her current research for volume 3 is on the Missions of the Son and Spirit.  When not at her desk, Kate can be found outdoors: gardening, hiking, sailing, riding her bike, or heading to a ball game. 

To attend the event in-person, please register HERE, or attend online via livestream. Please contact Dr. Rebecca Hancock with any questions about the event. 

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St. Mary’s Signs On to Sexual Misconduct Policy Benchmarks

Signature on paper First Seminary to Respond to the Call

On May 18, 2021 the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame opened a webpage dedicated to an effort establishing benchmarks for sexual misconduct policies at seminaries and houses of formation.

The effort follows on a study from the Center for Advanced Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University that was commissioned by the McGrath Institute. The study revealed the need for seminaries to more effectively promote policies regarding misconduct. A study group comprised of bishops, seminary rectors and faculty, and lay experts was convened to develop the set of “benchmarks.” Seminaries and houses of formation would be invited to publicly commit to these policy benchmarks and their implementation.

As the call went out, St. Mary’s Seminary & University was the first to commit–primarily because the benchmarks reflected the already-existent policy framework in effect at our institution.

Rev. Phillip J. Brown, P.S.S., President-Rector of St. Mary’s issued the following statement after the McGrath announcement:

The McGrath benchmarks reflect St. Mary’s Seminary’s longstanding already existing policies and commitment. St. Mary’s is therefore happy to sign on to those benchmarks. The Theodore McCarrick revelations highlight three important responsibilities of seminary administrators:

  1. To thoroughly vet, evaluate and remain vigilant regarding seminary applicants and do everything possible to make sure predators do not gain admission to the clerical state.
  2. To protect seminarians from predators, especially those who seek access through association with the seminary as faculty, staff, recruiters, or board members.
  3. To educate and form seminarians in virtue and sensitivity respecting the protection of minors and other vulnerable people; especially never to turn a blind eye to signs of possible misconduct, including among peers or superiors in the seminary or clerical state.

The McGrath Institute announcement with the full list of the first fifteen seminaries to sign on to the benchmarks is available at https://mcgrath.nd.edu/about/centers-initiatives-and-programs/directors-initiatives/benchmarks/.

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The McGivney Series | Part II: “Practically Catholic”

St. Mary’s Seminary & University Hosts Part II of “The McGivney Series” in Honor of Beatification of Alumnus Fr. Michael J. McGivney, Class of 1877

[Recording below]

On Thursday, February 25, 2021, St. Mary’s, the first Roman Catholic seminary in the United States, presented Part II of the virtual discussion series created in honor of the beatification of Blessed Michael J. McGivney, Class of 1877 and founder of the Knights of Columbus, by Pope Francis on October 31, 2020.

This second segment of the “The McGivney Series,” provides an examination of the most basic requirement of membership in the Knights of Columbus, demonstrated by Blessed Michael J. McGivney during his ministry: that of being a “practical Catholic.” The panel discussion featured:

  • Bishop Michael W. Fisher of the Diocese of Buffalo
  • Mr. Terry Waters, State Program Director of the Maryland State Council of the Knights of Columbus
  • Mr. Benjamin Daghir, 3rd Year Seminarian for the Diocese of Erie and a 4th degree Knight
  • Rev. Phillip J. Brown, P.S.S., President-Rector of St. Mary’s Seminary & University.

To be a “practical Catholic” is to put into practice Christ’s commandment to “love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself.” The panelists explored what it means to promote and perpetuate Christ-like service in the present age—as both a means of evangelization and of serving real and persistent needs. This is not only the legacy of Blessed Michael McGivney, but also the priestly formation found in the Sulpician tradition at St. Mary’s Seminary.

During his lifetime, Fr. McGivney demonstrated uncommon pastoral zeal, Christ-like humility, care and compassion for others, and an uncompromising commitment to the largely immigrant community he served as a parish priest in New Haven, CT. From this he brought forth the vision of a new fraternal organization: the Knights of Columbus. In this, he fulfilled the vision of the priestly life for which he was prepared through the four years he attended St. Mary’s as a member of the Class of 1877.

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Psalm 91 in a Time of Pandemic

The following video is derived from Dr. Derek Olsen’s presentation for the virtual #TheologyTownHall held Wednesday, May 27, 2020. PLEASE NOTE: You may need to pause the video on some slides to allow time for reading the text. [Join us at noon on Wednesdays for Theology Town Halls led out by different members of the EI community.]

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Mass for the Rite of Candidacy

On Monday, November 11, 2019, three seminarians –Scott Kady of the Archdiocese of Baltimore; José Carvajal and Carlos Ardila of the Diocese of Worcester were admitted into Candidacy by the Most Reverend Ronald Gainer, Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg.  Candidacy is a liturgical rite of admission requested by a seminarian of his own Ordinary, which formally acknowledges and enrolls him as a candidate for Sacred Orders.

Congratulations!

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EI Staff New Staff Hires & Updates

Dean Laytham is pleased to welcome new colleagues to St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute, as well as announce one change in title.

Kaye Guidugli will succeed Patty Rath (who is retiring) as Director of Recruitment and Advancement. Kaye is an EI alum (MAT 2010) who has worked for many years in higher education (University of Maryland system). Kaye’s work there focused especially on providing access and promoting success for all students. Kaye begins work January 11.

Rev. Jason Poling, DMin, will be our Director of the Doctor of Ministry program. This part-time (5 hrs/week) position has already commenced, so that Dr. Poling can help lead us through the DMin accreditation process. Dr. Poling is an EI alum (MAT 2007) and long-serving board member. He is currently Priest-in-Charge, St. Andrew’s (Pasadena) and All Saints’ (Reisterstown).

Marcia Hancock is our new part-time Billing Specialist (succeeding Teresa Guion in a modified position). She has bookkeeping skill, computer expertise, and patience. The latter has been especially handy as Marcia is learning the new position at our busiest time of the year.

Dr. Rebecca Hancock’s title has been changed to Assistant Dean of Student Services, reflecting more accurately the full scope of her administrative work with faculty, students, and directing the MDiv partnership. Doubtless all who have worked with Dr. Hancock will want to congratulate her on this accomplishment.

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Joint Service for 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

On March 11, 2018, St. Mary’s Seminary & University hosted an ecumenical prayer service for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The service in St. Mary’s chapel marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with common prayer focused on the journey from conflict to communion. Archbishop William Lori and Bishop William Gohl presided, assisted by Bishop Dennis Madden and Rev. Dr. Eric T. Campbell. Catholic participants included the St. Mary’s faculty and seminarians, and faculty from Mount St. Mary’s. Lutheran participants included seminarians from United Lutheran Seminary (both the Gettysburg and Philadelphia campuses) and Princeton, area pastors, and Dr. Kathryn Johnson, who traveled from Chicago to represent Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

You can read Archbishop Lori’s full homily from the event here.

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Ecumenical Institute Student Takes Course at Religious Freedom Center

An Ecumenical Institute student was among the first to participate in an intensive course offered by the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute in Washington, DC. Master of Arts in Theology candidate Michelle Rader is among those featured in this video.  Ecumenical Institute students interested in a similar opportunity for Fall 2017 have until May 14 to apply.

Admissions

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EI Staff Retirements

St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute congratulates three long-serving colleagues who will enter retirement this summer.

Zenaida Bench, Assistant to the Dean, Admissions & Academic Services, will retire after 23 years of service. For nearly half of the EI’s existence, Zenaida has been at its center, ensuring that each new cohort of students can enjoy the journey of faith seeking understanding. An EI alum (MAT ’93, CAS ’11), she has used her theological education joyfully in the ministry of administration.

In addition, two long-serving EI faculty members will enter retirement. Dr. Art Thomas began teaching in the EI in 1996, teaching courses in spirituality. Dr. Thomas is retiring from full time ministry in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, and will be moving to Richmond. Dr. Brian Berry began teaching in the EI in 1998, teaching moral and systematic theology. He is a permanent Dunning Distinguished Lecturer. Brian is retiring from full time teaching at Notre Dame University of Maryland and will be moving to Ohio along with his wife Susanne.

Together, these colleagues have a combined 63 years of service to the EI. We are grateful for their commitment to our mission and generosity with our constituents, knowing that we would not have been as strong a school without them. Each will be celebrated at the annual graduation dinner.

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