Dean Massa to lead Boisi Center
Mark Massa, S.J., dean of the School of Theology and Ministry since 2010, will step down at the end of the academic year to direct Boston College’s Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life. He will take a sabbatical before joining the Theology Department faculty and taking the helm of the Boisi Center in 2017.
Massa, who came to Boston College from Fordham University, where he was director of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, succeeds political scientist Alan Wolfe, the founding director of the Boisi Center and a leading American author and public intellectual.
Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley lauded Massa, calling him a superb choice to lead the Boisi Center after successfully leading the STM since 2010. Massa, who has hired one-third of the STM faculty, “has helped sustain a serious-minded conversation about how STM can best serve the contemporary Catholic Church—in Boston, across the nation, and around the world,” said Quigley. “Under his watch, the school has attracted a community of very talented students and faculty.”
“I came in 2010 with the goal of further incorporating the STM into the ethos and mission of a great national research university,” says Massa. “I am very proud of all we have accomplished together.”
Quigley and University President William P. Leahy, S.J., will work with an interview committee and expect to select a new dean before the start of the 2016–2017 academic year.
National study a “wake-up call” for Catholic leaders
STM Assistant Professor Hosffman Ospino and Patricia Weitzel-O’Neill, executive director of Boston College’s Roche Center for Catholic Education, released “Catholic Schools in an Increasingly Hispanic Church,” a summary and analysis of the groundbreaking National Survey of Catholic Schools Serving Hispanic Families. The study reported that while approximately 60 percent of Catholics under the age of 18 are Hispanic, only 2 percent of school-age Hispanic children attend Catholic schools. It also found that Hispanic teachers and principals are vastly underrepresented in Catholic schools, few of which have clear or targeted enrollment plans. Writing in the National Catholic Reporter, journalist and author Michael Sean Winters called the report “a wake-up call for the leaders of the Church, clerical and lay, to attend to the next generation of Catholics with some of the skills and structures that have served the Church in this country so well in the past.”
STM hosted a talk, “Who are the ‘Nones’?” by Nancy T. Ammerman, professor of sociology of religion at Boston University, on February 25. Ammerman discussed the demographic, political, and cultural trends that have expanded the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated.
View video of the lecture »
On January 30, STM's Lumen et Vita graduate journal hosted its third annual graduate student conference, “Sacramental Vision and Rejuvenating Word: Embodying Theological Conversations with a Troubled World.”
REGISTRATION BEGINS IN APRIL FOR Summer at STM, which provides opportunities to earn credit toward graduate degree and certificate programs through on-campus and online study.
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“The Theology of Pope Francis: Real Reform or Window Dressing?”
On April 20, the STM’s Fifth Annual Dean’s Colloquium on Religion and Public Culture considers whether Pope Francis’s theology has led to real reform within the Catholic Church. STM Dean Mark Massa, S.J., moderates a panel that includes James T. Bretzke, S.J., professor of moral theology at the STM; Susannah Heschel, Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College; Kristin E. Heyer, professor of theology, Boston College; M. Cathleen Kaveny, Darald and Juliet Libby Professor, Boston College; Thomas Reese, S.J., senior analyst, National Catholic Reporter; and Michael Sean Winters, visiting fellow, Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America and reporter and editor, National Catholic Reporter.
New exhibit at the Theology and Ministry Library
“The Testimony of Faces: Struggle, War, and Change Among Tobacco Workers in Jalapa, Nicaragua,” on view through May 31 in the Theology and Ministry Library’s Atrium Gallery, presents photographs by Lisa Fitzgerald, who lived and worked as a Religious of the Sacred Heart in Jalapa, Nicaragua, during the Contra War in the early 1980s. Fitzgerald took photographs over several decades of many of the people she befriended, almost all of whom worked in the tobacco fields.
John Baldovin, S.J., attended a Council of Societas Liturgica meeting in Leuven, Belgium.
André Brouillette, S.J., published "The Cartography of Salvation: Teresian Lessons in Soteriology," in Actas: Congreso Interuniversitario Santa Teresa de Avila, Maestra de Vida, Avila.
Andrew Davis published “Ruth and Esther as the Thematic Frame of the Megilloth,” in Megilloth Studies: The Shape of Contemporary Scholarship, a collection of contemporary international scholars’ work on the Hebrew Bible books known as the Megilloth.
Veritas released Thomas Groome’s Living as a Disciple of Jesus in Society, the eighth text in his Credo high school theology series. Groome recently gave two presentations at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. He was also keynote speaker for the annual convention of the Association of Catholic School Principals of Northern Ireland, held in Belfast.
Angela Kim Harkins published “The Garden Space in Odes of Solomon 11 and the Reinvigoration of Memories about Paradise” in Biblical & Qur’ānic Traditions in the Middle East.
Franklin T. Harkins’s “Christ and the Eternal Extent of Divine Providence in the Expositio super Iob ad litteram of Thomas Aquinas,” has been published in Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Richard Lennan contributed a chapter, “Ministry as Merciful Accompaniment,” to Go Into the Streets! The Welcoming Church of Pope Francis, edited by Thomas R. Rausch, S.J., and Richard R. Gaillardetz, and published by Paulist Press. Lennan also gave a talk on sacraments at St. Cecilia Parish in Boston, and led a retreat for faculty and staff at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco.
Mark Massa, S.J., addressed the national assembly of presidents and principals of Christian Brother Schools in San Antonio, Texas. Massa spoke on “Lasallians and the American Catholic Experience: What is to be Done?”
Randy Sachs, S.J., gave a talk, “Religious Life and the Wideness of God’s Mercy,” during the Archdiocese of Boston’s “Day to Celebrate Consecrated Life” at Boston College.
Thomas Stegman, S.J., published two articles on salvation and the Church in The Pastoral Review. They are the fourth and fifth of his five-part series on the theology and spirituality in Romans. Stegman also delivered the Kitz lecture at Boston College, “Thy Will Be Done: The Function of Prayer in Mark’s Gospel,” in honor of Richard J. Clifford, S.J.
Andrea Vicini, S.J., lectured on “The Societal Implications of Astrobiology: The Role of Emotions,” at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics in Toronto, Canada. He also spoke on “Gregor Mendel: Insights on Re-engaging Science in Seminary Formation,” at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, and at the John Templeton Foundation in Tucson, Arizona.