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Questing for the Living God with Elizabeth Johnson

“Because church reform is exhausting work . . . (and) needs to be centered in strong and deep relationship with God.” Elizabeth Johnson focuses on three theological frontiers we now face in our relationship with God: the feminist, the interreligious, and the ecological.

Dr. Johnson, Distinguished Professor of Theology at Fordham University and past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, titled her talk, “Questing for the Living God,” similar to the full title of her latest book, hot off the press, Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God (New York: Continuum, 2007)

This presentation was given at the 17th annual FutureChurch benefit on October 18, 2007, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Canon Law and the Rights of the Christian Faithful with Sr. Kate Kuenstler

Canon Law is so much more than a list of “do nots,” it is a positive affirmation of our rights. Especially timely for those seeking to preserve vibrant parishes. Sister Kate Kuenstler PHJC, JCD speaks from a background as a former diocesan tribunal lawyer, teacher, parish catechetical director, and diocesan director of religious education. She is now an advocate for the laity, lecturing in
various states on the topic of the laity and their role in Catholic Church.

This lecture was recorded on May 17, 2007 at a FutureChurch program in Cleveland, Ohio.


A Voice of Their Own: The Authority of the Local Parish

Fr. William A. Clark, S.J., S.T.D.discusses a theology of parish that empowers the laity to renew the whole Church through the renewal of the local community. His insights are especially valuable as dioceses nationwide are considering parish reconfigurations because of the priest shortage. William A. Clark, S.J., S.T.D., is the author of A Voice of Their Own: The Authority of the Local Parish (Liturgical Press). He is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA where he teaches courses in Catholicism, Christian prayer, and the Church. In addition to his academic work on the role of local church communities, Father Bill has extensive experience in parish pastoral work, retreat direction, and music ministry.

This lecture was given on February 27, 2007. John Carroll co-sponsors included the Institute of Catholic Studies, the Cardinal Suenens Center in Theology and Church Life, Campus Ministry, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Department of Communication and Theater Arts.


Respecting Parish Integrity in a Time of Fewer Priests

Should vibrant, solvent parishes with effective apostolic outreach be closed or merged solely because no priest is available to live on the premises? Do parish communities have theological integrity, inherent authority and rights and responsibilities to be exercised in communion with the universal church? What can pastors, parish council leaders, lay ministers, and ordinary parishioners do to claim and vindicate these rights?

Peter Borre, spokesperson for Boston’s Council of Parishes shares the lived experience of 15 vibrant but threatened parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston.

This presentation was given on November 4, 2006 at the national Call To Action conference.


Can a Women Receive the Sacrament of Orders with Sr. Maureen Fiedler SL and Fr. Joseph Fessio SJ

The 1999 debate at Georgetown University between Sr. Maureen Fiedler SL and Fr. Joseph Fessio SJ on the topic Can a Woman Receive the Sacrament of Orders? This debate was moderated by Fr. J. Augustine DiNoia, At the time, Fr. DiNoia, was serving as theological staff to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine. This quote from the Fr. DiNoia adds context to the discussion: Also I should mention that there have been some questions, of course, about an odd idea that one is not allowed to speak about this subject. There is no such ruling. One cannot come to an understanding and deepening of the reflection of the nature of the gift of (that) holy orders is to the Church without speaking about it. So we must not think that we’re transgressing here any rulings of any kind. This is exactly the kind of debate and reflection that our Holy Father and indeed the entire theological tradition has always expected and indeed urged.