Rev. Lawrence B. Terrien, P.S.S.

Associate Professor of Systematic Theology

lterrien [at]
Office: 410/864-4259

Curriculum vitae

Fr. Lawrence (Larry) Terrien studied at Theological College, the Catholic University of America, and was ordained to the priesthood for Diocese of Arlington, Virginia in 1972. After earning doctorates in religious studies and in systematic theology, he joined the faculty of St. Patrick’s Seminary (1978-86), then became rector of Theological College, the Catholic University of America (1986-92), and then took his first appointment to St. Mary’s in 1993. At both St. Patrick’s and St. Mary’s, Fr. Terrien also served for a time as academic dean.

In 1996, Fr. Terrien was elected Superior General of The Society of the Priests of St. Sulpice, based in Paris, the first American to hold that position. After leading the worldwide Sulpician community for twelve years, he returned to St. Mary’s in 2009.

Fr. Terrien is especially known for his commitment to Sulpician spirituality and to the spirituality of the priesthood.

Selected Courses Taught

  • Theology of the Priesthood
  • Theology of the Church
  • Theology of the Sacraments
  • Introduction to Spiritual Theology
  • The Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist)
  • The Sacraments of Healing (Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick)

Service to the Church

  • Parochial Vicar, Queen of Apostles Catholic Church, Alexandria, Virginia (1976-1978)
  • Associate Professor of Theology and Academic Dean, St. Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, California (1978-1986)
  • Rector of the Theological College of the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. (1986-1992)
  • Superior General of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice, Paris, France (1996-2008)

Selected Publications

  • Translator of Joseph Doré, Jesus Explained: Questions and Answers (Paulist, 2020)
  • Translator of Marcel Dumais, O.M.I., After Emmaus: Biblical Models for the New Evangelization (Liturgical Press, 2014)
  • “Living Sacraments: Some Reflections on Priesthood in Light of the French School and Documents of the Magisterium,” in Ministerial Priesthood in the Third Millennium, ed. Ronald Witherup et al. (Liturgical, 2009)

A Favorite Quotation

The first and final goal of this institution is to live supremely for God in Christ Jesus our Lord, so that the interior life of the Son reaches into the very depths of our hearts and each of us, like Saint Paul, may say with confidence, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” Our only ambition, idea and activity should be to base our interior lives on the life of Christ and to manifest his life in our mortal bodies through our deeds.
— Fr. Jean-Jacques Olier, Spiritual Directory of the Seminary of Saint Sulpice (opening line)