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The Role of the Theologian at a Catholic University

Loyola press release - February 11, 2003

U.S. Bishop and Eminent Theologian Lecture at Loyola University

(New Orleans)—Internationally known theologian Monika K. Hellwig, Ph.D., and the Bishop of Erie, Pennsylvania the Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L., will present “The Role of the Theologian at a Catholic University,” on March 21, at 7 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium at Loyola University New Orleans. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Recent church documents on Catholic higher education have called for a renewed dialogue between bishops and theologians. This conversation between a bishop and a lay theologian will reflect on the work of theologians in Catholic university settings. “Our hope is that this program will help to promote further dialogue between bishops and theologians in the U.S.,” explains Barbara Fleischer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Pastoral Theology at the Loyola Institute for Ministry. Loyola is one of the first Catholic universities in recent years to foster renewed dialogue between the two groups by hosting a public lecture of this kind followed by a planning meeting for ongoing conversation between bishops and theologians.

For more information about the lecture and meeting, please call (504) 865-3728.

On March 22, a small group of representatives from the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine with representatives of the Catholic Theology Society, the College Theology Society, the Association of Graduate Programs in Ministry, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and the Association of Marianist Colleges and Universities will explore issues that might be most fruitful for further dialogue among bishops and theologians. In addition, the representatives will identify possible venues where such dialogue could take place in the future. The group is intended to be a catalyst for plans in this dialogical direction. This meeting will be co-chaired by Msgr. John Strynkowski, Executive Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices, and Dr. Monika K. Hellwig, Executive Director of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. Loyola’s Institute for Ministry is convening and hosting the meeting of various representatives.

About Hellwig

Dr. Monika Hellwig is the executive director of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU). Before assuming her current position at ACCU, she was the Landegger Distinguished Professor of Theology at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She has published over 20 books and hundreds of articles in various areas of theology. Hellwig received her doctorate from the Catholic University of America and has taught as visiting professor of theology in the United States, Canada, India, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya. She is past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and has received honorary doctorates from Fairfield University, Santa Clara University, Immaculate Conception Seminary, and Loyola University New Orleans, among others.

About Trautman

The Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L., is Bishop of the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania, and Chair of the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine. He completed his theological studies at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, studying under theologian Karl Rahner

and liturgist Josef Jungmann. He earned a licentiate degree in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblial Institute in Rome and his doctorate in Sacred Theology from St. Thomas Aquinas University in Rome. In 1990, he became the bishop of Erie. Bishop Trautman is presently chair of the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine and a member of the Administrative Board of the USCCB. He also serves as member of the Liturgy Committee and has served on several other committees, including the Bishop’s Pro-Life, Migration and Refugee, and Communications committees. He has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from Canisius College, Niagara University, St. John’s University, and Gannon University.

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