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Institute for Catholic Studies established at Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola press release - February 22, 1999

(New Orleans)—Loyola University New Orleans announces the establishment of the Institute for Catholic Studies.

The Institute is designed to foster the distinctly Catholic dimensions of Loyola’s academic programs by facilitating a professional dialogue across disciplines and offering students a minor in Catholic Studies at the undergraduate level. The institute will administer the minor, promote development of curricular offerings, conduct faculty and student seminars, sponsor lectures, and support other programs with a Catholic orientation. The institute should be of interest and benefit to a large audience, including students from Notre Dame Seminary, members of religious congregations, and religious education teachers.

A director and six-member advisory board who will develop policy and make recommendations of the annual budget will run the institute. The institute is made possible through committed funds from The Joseph C. and Sue Ellen M. Canizaro Foundation. Canizaro is a former member of Loyola’s Board of Trustees and President’s Council, and a prominent New Orleans businessman.

"The program is designed to help foster the distinctive Catholic identity of Loyola by offering students a coherent curriculum centered around the Catholic faith," explains Loyola University President, the Rev. Bernard Knoth, S.J. "There are Catholic influences evident in the expressions of virtually every academic discipline–philosophic, literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, scientific, and historical treatises which illustrate a uniquely Catholic orientation. Catholic Studies will integrate these intellectual elements which were heretofore taught in isolation from one another."

The director of the institute is the Rev. Robert Gerlich, S.J., an associate professor of history at Loyola. Gerlich entered the Society of Jesus in 1967 and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1980. He has conducted extensive study of the historical development of the Society of Jesus and is an expert on the history of the Catholic Church. Gerlich received both doctorate and master degrees in modern European history from Saint Louis University and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1972 from the Saint Louis University. Also, he currently serves as rector of the Jesuit Community at Loyola.

The Most Rev. Francis B. Schulte, D.D., archbishop of New Orleans, has given his support to the Institute of Catholic Studies and has made two appointees to the advisory board. They are the Rev. Terence J. Tekippe, professor of theology at Notre Dame Seminary, and the Rev. Roger A. Swenson, pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish. Fr. Knoth has named the remaining four members. They are: Dr. Don J. Briel, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas; Dr. Francesco Cesareo, director of the Institute of Catholic Studies at John Carroll University; Dr. Bernard Cook, professor of history at Loyola University New Orleans; and Dr. John Stauff, director of Catholic Studies at St. Ambrose University.