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Updated: 12 min 53 sec ago

Inaugural Address of University of Dayton President Eric Spina

2 hours 4 min ago

Below is text from the inaugural address given by Eric F. Spina, 19th president of the University of Dayton, during his installation ceremony April 4, 2017.

Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you all for being here. Your presence and support mean more to me than you can know.

I thank all who helped create this four-day celebration of the University of Dayton community. While there are far too many selfless people to name, I express special gratitude to the chairs of the Inauguration Committee, Molly Wilson and Deb Bickford. Please know that I am deeply appreciative of everyone’s creativity, dedication, and hard work to make this such a joyful, meaningful moment.

I’ll begin my address with a few personal comments, intended to be short because, as my family knows, I am a bit of a sentimentalist, and if I allow myself to go unchecked, I will wind up fighting back sobs rather than just a few tears.

Karen and I have learned so much about ourselves this year in Dayton, and this year of discovery has revealed for me certain truths about my life. I am now able to see my life through a Marianist lens — a lens that has helped me to understand better the intertwining communities that have nurtured, supported, and shaped me over the course of my life.

I see more clearly than ever the family spirit of my Canisius High School community, the challenge and collegiality provided by my Princeton University community, the examples of care and loving provided by my community of cousins and siblings, the impact of colleagueship and mentoring received from half a lifetime of deep friendship in the greater Syracuse community, and now the warmth and caring of a Dayton community that has wrapped its arms around us. I’m especially grateful to the Marianists and trustees for your faith in me to lead this great university. All of these communities have made me who I am, and to my great joy, all are here today. I offer you a too-meager, but deeply felt, “thank you” for your love and support.

I want to end my personal reflections by dedicating my installation to my parents and family. Mom, Dad, and Julie: thank you for your examples of goodness, integrity, perseverance, and loyalty, and for showing me how to live a love-filled life. A son could ask for no better examples, no better parents. Beloved Karen, Kaitlyn, and Emery: you are my everything — my sun, my moon, my stars. Thank you for the joy and pride you bring me every single day, for filling my life with unending laughter, for your constant love and support. Very simply, I would not be here without you.

As we saw in the video, I invited the University of Dayton community this year to dream big, to imagine a future of extraordinary possibilities. This “strategic visioning” exercise, led so ably by co-chairs Paul Benson and Michelle Pautz, helped me learn about the University’s proud history and deep values. It also generated a wealth of creative ideas about how to maintain the heart and soul of the University of Dayton while aspiring for greater excellence. I’m deeply grateful to the more than 3,000 people who participated in this highly inclusive process. I have listened carefully and engaged deeply with the steering committee who worked hard to distill the conversations and imagine our future — not just tomorrow, but about where we want to be in 20 years, how we will continue to prepare servant-leaders and make a difference two and three generations in the future.

I hope my framing of our aspirational strategic vision does justice to the work and the hopes of so many.

Before sharing elements of that emerging vision, it is appropriate to pause and reflect on our history as we gaze toward a future of immeasurable opportunity. Our Historic Journey Together
We are stewards of an extraordinary legacy that began with faith, providence, and a call to serve. In 1849, Father Leo Meyer and three Marianist brothers traveled from France to establish a foothold for the Society of Mary in America. They started a primary school for 14 boys that has blossomed from those humble roots into a pre-eminent Catholic university with worldwide influence.
Our story throughout our 167-year history has been one of both humility and boldness. This is not a paradox for leaders in the Marianist mold, who pair selflessness and unwavering faith with courageous vision.

We lead change in the spirit of the founder of the Society of Mary, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, by bringing diverse people together in a common mission. Together, with God’s grace, we imagine our future and work collaboratively to create it.

The University of Dayton has quietly, yet dramatically, transformed itself by turning big dreams into bold moves — always with the common good at the center. That entrepreneurial spirit has shaped us, time and time again, allowing us to model innovation, creativity, and servant-leadership in service to our students, the Catholic church, the Dayton community, and the world.
My predecessor, Dan Curran, dramatically expanded the University of Dayton’s footprint, enhanced our physical plant, and introduced a groundbreaking four-year fixed-tuition plan in response to calls for greater accessibility.

Dan’s predecessor, Brother Ray Fitz, championed community engagement and had the farsightedness to start purchasing turn-of-the-century homes that once housed former NCR factory workers. We’re now one of the nation’s most residential private universities, with student neighborhoods that have the ambiance of a small town with an unmatched sense of community.

Today, our sponsored research volume is on par with elite research universities. The University of Dayton ranks ninthin the country for external funding among private research universities without medical schools, and among Catholic universities, we top the list for sponsored research in engineering.

The entrepreneurial spirit that drives our work in the research laboratories extends to the classroom and beyond. For example, Flyer Enterprises, the fourth-largest student-run business in the country, breeds a can-do spirit and passion in students destined to lead with the values and integrity gained in a holistic Marianist education. And as we will see tonight at the “Celebration of the Arts,” our arts programs are high quality, richly diverse, and connected to the Dayton community.

We are deeply engaged in the city of Dayton and consider our status as an anchor institution a sacred privilege. From offering high ground and safety to refugees of the devastating 1913 flood to working closely with community leaders to imagine the future of the Fairgrounds property, we build community.

Indeed, we have developed one of the best models in the country for educating students to be community builders. The Fitz Center for Leadership in Community has helped redefine the relationship between universities and their communities in the way it builds and sustains mutually beneficial partnerships.

And through our renowned Institute for Pastoral Initiatives, the University serves our Catholic diocese and more than 70 others worldwide by offering online adult faith formation courses — in English and Spanish.

We’ve come a long way from our simple origins. Yet, we have remained true to our mission: We’re a Catholic university committed to a common search for truth and a respect for the dignity of all people. We’re a Marianist university dedicated to recognizing the diverse gifts and talents of all members of our campus community, where we educate students holistically to be servant-leaders and community builders.

Our Catholic, Marianist philosophy of education is unwavering. That’s the strong foundation upon which we build for the future. Today, we look to the future with faith, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a renewed commitment to engagement with our community.

Our Aspirational Vision
As we look to the year 2037 and beyond, we make foundational commitments to be true to our Catholic, Marianist values and to respond to the hopes and expectations of our community.
We must ensure that a University of Dayton education is affordable and accessible to all who are qualified, and we must achieve greater diversity from the boardroom to the student body.
As a private University in a hypercompetitive environment, it would be easy for us to become a university only for the wealthy, but that would not be true to the spirit of the Marianists or our legions of alumni from humble means. This is an existential challenge for which there is no panacea. We must contain rising costs, generate new revenue, and secure greater philanthropic support to ensure that a UD diploma remains within reach of middle- and low-income students.

We must also create a more diverse, welcoming, and interculturally inclusive campus. By definition, excellence requires greater diversity, as it enriches our learning environment and expands our institutional intelligence and creativity. While we welcome all forms of diversity, including religious, gender, sexual orientation, geography, country of origin, (dis)ability, and ideology, we recognize a special obligation to embrace socio-economic and racial diversity.

We also proclaim our foundational support for excellent teaching and learning and the agility needed to adopt new models. We renew our commitment to teaching that engages students and prepares them for servant-leadership roles. We recognize the essential role the arts and humanities play for the development of critical thinking and forward-thinking leadership, and we seek to enhance the dialogue between faith and reason, a centerpiece of Catholic intellectual tradition.

University for the Common Good

Our Marianist commitment to building community and our history of adapting to the needs of a changing world compel us to ask how we will educate students to confront the tests facing humanity.
Forty-nine years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and I still hear the echo of his words, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Our city, country, and world confront seemingly insurmountable challenges — including racism and religious intolerance, poverty and its effects on education and health, economic stagnation, environmental degradation, and violent conflict.

We have a fear of difference that precludes solidarity with our neighbor. As a society, we haven’t built adequate structures for creating collective change.

Our Catholic, Marianist values and our faith in our ability to work together to shape a more just future call us to lead in service to the common good. We can no longer afford to have these societal issues as background for our education, research, and engagement. Rather, we need to place them in the foreground, such that they are a compelling motivation for our strategic direction, investments, partnerships, teaching, learning, and research.

As we reflect on our mission to Learn. Lead. Serve., we declare proudly and clearly that we are “a University for the Common Good.” We prepare servant-leaders who contribute to solutions through community collaboration (LEARN). We perform research that addresses critical issues and supports economic growth (LEAD). We engage in mutually beneficial partnerships to strengthen our communities (SERVE).

We are not so naïve and self-flattering to think that University of Dayton efforts alone will “solve” the world’s ills, but we also understand that we are an influential research enterprise, a powerful economic engine, and a university dedicated to graduating servant-leaders prepared and eager to make a difference.

As we embrace the future, let us design the ideal, integrated education to prepare students for leadership roles in building socially just communities. Let us deepen our reciprocal partnerships in the Dayton community and do our part to enhance its vitality. Let us conduct research that matters, with an impact locally and globally. And finally, let us harness the innovative spirit of faculty, staff, and students and spin out ventures that create jobs and economic value, especially here in Dayton. Let us become known, nationally and globally, as THE University for the Common Good.

While we are not the only university that aims to impact the public good, I call on all of us to work together to make the University of Dayton the destination for students who want to be innovators and leaders; the destination for faculty and staff who relish forging partnerships and leading community-engaged teaching, learning, and scholarship; and the destination for pragmatic dreamers who see the development of community as essential in our world and are willing to work hard to achieve it.

What is the path for us to become known as The University for the Common Good?

Servant-Leadership Curricular Requirement

First, we must further develop an integrated, engaged education for our students in the Catholic, Marianist tradition. We must set the expectation for servant-leadership and put in place programs, courses, learning-living environments, and experiences that will prepare our graduates to be innovative leaders ready to build community and advance solutions to complex issues.
I call on the University community to ensure that EVERY student receives an integrated curricular, residential, and experiential education designed to build capacity for leadership in civic engagement, community building, and innovation. I urge the faculty to weave into this initiative shared, thematic first-year experiences, courses in our distinctive Common Academic Program, and disciplinary content in every department and school.

Beyond this integrated curriculum, we must ensure that every student — every student — will leverage classroom learning by engaging in substantive, deeply meaningful experiential learning in one of three overlapping leadership-building areas: 1) Community engagement in Dayton; 2) Innovation, applied creativity, and entrepreneurship for either for-profit ventures or community-focused innovations; or 3) Community-engaged intercultural immersion. I’ll touch briefly on each to give a sense of our aspirations.

Community Engagement

Many faculty, staff, and students are already engaged in reciprocal partnerships in the Dayton community, but we envision deeper collaboration and greater impact. We extend our deep gratitude for our partners and seek to work collaboratively to further strengthen Catholic and urban education; help alleviate food insecurity and improve nutrition and health; build community across differences in race, religion and nationality; develop environmentally sustainable neighborhoods; and create alternatives to violence.

We look forward to working with community leaders and neighborhood organizations to identify the most effective ways to extend our partnership for greatest mutual benefit —building upon community assets and elevating the education of our students as community leaders.

To support this initiative, we commit to adding “community geographers,” faculty and staff who will analyze neighborhood-based data and trends to help identify and prioritize the greatest issues for our common mission. Further, as part of our plans to renovate the historic Chaminade Hall, we pledge to create “community co-working space” to bring non-profit community organizations to the heart of campus where they can work closely with each other and our students. We envision Chaminade Hall housing other strategically pivotal, community-based centers and serving as a hub of student and faculty activity.

Innovation, Applied Creativity, and Entrepreneurship

Across the University, we have built a robust and highly regarded set of programs and initiatives in innovation, applied creativity, and entrepreneurship.

The Dayton region — once the cradle for innovation — is coalescing resources and working toward re-centering our regional economy on innovation and the collaborative harnessing of creative ideation.

We seek to capitalize on the entrepreneurial spirit of our campus and the strategic focus of the greater Dayton region with investments and initiatives that will be catalytic for our community and transformational for the University of Dayton.

First, if current development plans proceed, the University of Dayton will become an anchor in the historic Dayton Arcade in the heart of Dayton. We envision locating faculty and staff offices there, offering courses, and partnering in an ideation center intended to fuel economic growth and promote entrepreneurship.

This downtown hub, envisioned as a collaboration among entrepreneurs, higher education, research institutions, and arts and cultural organizations, will be available for students, faculty, and staff pursuing innovation. This will be a place where students from a variety of disciplines engage in experiential learning by innovating or supporting others from across the community who are creating new ventures. It will be a place where our students gain confidence that they can, indeed, work in community to change the world.

We cannot be a driving force of innovation, applied creativity, and entrepreneurism if we do not exhibit these qualities as an institution. Enabling faculty and staff who wish to pursue commercialization and venture creation demands that we step outside of our comfort zones and develop innovative policies, practices, and incentives.

Secondly, we aspire to partner with Dayton neighborhoods, local foundations, banks, economic development organizations, and regional businesses to develop a “community innovation center,” an incubation site for neighborhood businesses and non-profit ventures, with a special focus on women- and minority-owned companies. At the community innovation center, students will share their expertise, learn practical lessons by working alongside practitioners, and develop skills in working across differences in a highly collaborative environment.

Finally, because innovation and adaptive leadership are at a premium in our world, we should strive to become the first university in the country in which EVERY STUDENT will take at least one course on innovation, humanity-centered applied creativity, and entrepreneurial thinking. I urge the faculty to develop imaginative ways to support this ambition and extend its academic scope across the entire campus.

Intercultural and Global Engagement

The issues we are addressing in our city resonate across our country and around the world. We believe all students can benefit from a challenging intercultural or international experience.

Here at home, we will increase the racial, ethnic, and cultural composition of our faculty and staff, and enrich the curriculum to expand students’ intercultural competencies.
We also see special value in the inclusion of deep international and intercultural living/learning immersion experiences as one of the ways in which students can satisfy the expectation of meaningful experiential learning.

We have been blessed by the Marianist order’s global orientation and longstanding educational presence in numerous parts of the world, including East Africa, India, and our own inner cities. We will grow the opportunities available for such immersions and ensure that they are available to all students, no matter their financial circumstances.
Graduate Programs

At the graduate level, we have strengthened STEM education that supports our status as a national research university. The scholarly focus of our distinctive Ph.D. program in theology supports the Catholic church’s commitment to social justice and human solidarity. Beyond these offerings, though, is the opportunity to enhance a wide range of other graduate programs so that we further build a reputation as the university for graduate training that prepares professionals for the work of social transformation. We might also explore a capstone requirement in select master’s programs to give students the opportunity to serve leadership roles in community engagement and innovation initiatives.

We will provide clear incentives to departments and programs aimed at diversifying our graduate offerings to not only align with our strategic aspirations but also grow revenue and research capacity.


In becoming “The University for the Common Good,” we cannot neglect the essential role that research plays in addressing societal problems, driving economic development, and expanding opportunity.

Our research has grown through the extraordinary efforts of faculty and staff and collaboration among the University of Dayton Research Institute and academic units. This collaboration, joined by robust partnerships with corporations, government, and higher education, is essential. We cannot go it alone. We must leverage our greatest strengths and pursue a well-defined research agenda that fulfills societal needs and represents great opportunity. We also must be prepared to make investments in faculty, staff, graduate students, and facilities in three focus areas: sustainability and human rights; autonomous systems; and health and bio-sciences.

Research Focus: Sustainability and Human Rights

In Laudato Si, the papal encyclical on environmental stewardship, Pope Francis writes, “The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all…The notion of the common good also extends to future generations…We can no longer speak of sustainable development apart from intergenerational solidarity.” These interlocking needs identified by Pope Francis — sustainability and human rights — present an extraordinary opportunity as a research focus for a Catholic, Marianist university.

We have already invested in and achieved notable progress in renewable energy and energy efficiency, including the establishment of the Hanley Sustainability Institute, specialized energy labs, and new interdisciplinary academic programs. Our Human Rights Center, co-located with the Hanley Institute, presents an unparalleled opportunity to conduct research at the intersection of technology and human rights.

We must build upon our cross-University strengths in energy efficiency, biofuels, batteries, energy integration and management, and energy informatics. Success in these areas cannot be measured by technological achievement alone, but also by the impact that our work will have on the common destiny of all. As we look to expand our energy and environmental research, we will pay special attention to opportunities where sustainable energy and human rights researchers can work together to advance the common good, preparing students to be leaders in improving standards of living and creating a more sustainable environment.

Research Focus: Autonomous Systems

Autonomous systems will impact every sector of the economy and touch our daily lives — from driverless transportation to banking, education, and medicine. This rapidly growing field emerges as another focus for the University of Dayton because it builds on our research strengths, provides ample opportunity for investment from industry and government, and benefits from regional partnerships. We want our students and researchers involved in this intelligent systems work because they will bring to bear a holistic perspective, including technology, humanities, law, and business.

Our investments in developing an autonomous systems research focus will leverage University strengths, including sensing, controls, machine learning, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. We have an opportunity to be a leader in this area, but only if we act quickly and boldly. I challenge us to be the first university in the country to develop and deliver a dedicated, interdisciplinary autonomous systems master’s program. In the long term, if we select the right research niche and invest deeply in faculty, staff, and quality programs, I believe we can compete for designation as a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center in the next decade. I look forward to working with University researchers and faculty to shape what will be a signature area of research and graduate education, and what could be a cornerstone of economic development in the region.

Research Focus: Health and Bio-Sciences

For our final research focus, we should explore the expansion of research and creation of new graduate programs in health and bio-sciences. The increasing demand for better, more accessible, and more affordable health care coupled with the availability of substantial funding in this area present an unparalleled opportunity for us.

While we may not have a medical school, we have expertise in bioengineering, biology, medicinal chemistry, and applied health sciences. These can be building blocks for a competitive, high-impact research program if we perform an honest assessment of how our strengths can be supplemented by key partnerships and aligned with funding opportunities. I challenge our faculty, researchers, and administrators to work together to identify a coherent thrust worthy of University seed investment.

I see challenge and opportunity in these three research initiatives. Given our size and resources, we need to be highly selective and tightly focused with our investments. Given the stakes and the rapid pace at which technology advances, we also must proceed with some urgency to define our distinctive approach. As our research prowess grows, so will our national reputation and our opportunities to build initiatives in other areas of inquiry that today may only be embryonic.

As part of our research strategy, we will aggressively pursue corporate partners who may, like GE Aviation and Emerson, make major investments on campus and work with researchers, faculty, and students to advance these focused research realms.

At the undergraduate level, we offer excellent opportunities for students to perform research. Faculty and staff truly engage our young scholars, and the quality of students’ research is extraordinary, rivaling that at the best research universities. We must invest to create even more opportunities for undergraduate research both in these strategic areas and more broadly.

Strategic investments will not enable greater research success if we do not align faculty policies and practices to support these ambitions. I ask the provost, deans, department chairs, and the academic senate to work together to evaluate tenure and promotion guidelines, release time, differential course load, and mentoring of undergraduate students.

Faculty and Staff of the Future

We cannot realize our aspirations without appropriately supporting the reason for our success — the faculty and staff. Their “family spirit” is the source of our community on campus and among our alumni. Whether it is the deep commitment of a faculty member to a research mentee, or the extra time that a faculty or staff member devotes to advising a social action club, or the way the Academic Senate and the administration work together for the benefit of the entire University — the faculty and staff are the heart of our campus.

During the visioning process, proposals surfaced calling for the creation of new institutes or schools focused on interdisciplinary areas; others called for a move away from departments and schools altogether. I hold that discipline-based education is important. In a world where our graduates need to solve complex, interconnected challenges, it’s also critically important to create connections between faculty and students across disciplines. Rather than inventing new units, I propose we maintain the integrity of departments and schools while creating loose-knit, cross-University “transdisciplinary faculties” to provide leadership along the three themes that define our aspiration as a University — community engagement, innovation, and intercultural engagement.
Intended to break down silos, these transdisciplinary faculties would include a faculty member from each unit. In collaboration with their home schools and departments, these faculties would be responsible for the development and oversight of experiential learning opportunities in each of these domains along with the development of relevant curricula.

We will emphasize building critical mass in the research focus areas with faculty and staff hires in each school. We also intend to add individuals who will contribute distinctively to the transdisciplinary faculties that will advance community partnerships, innovation, and intercultural engagement. We will encourage joint hires across departments and schools, and be prepared to create cross-unit structures for mentoring, evaluation, and recommendations on tenure and promotion.

Finally, I call on the provost and the Academic Senate to broaden tenure and promotion criteria to also reward community-engaged scholarship, sponsored research, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and venture creation/commercialization activities. Ultimately, we need to hire and support faculty who will advance our strategic aspirations and thrive in an environment focused on leadership in community engagement and innovation.

Graduates of the Future

Now, envision the year 2037 and the highly diverse University of Dayton graduating class, born in this very year of our strategic visioning conversations.

As students, the Class of 2037 will be inspired learners focused on a self-transcendent purpose, discerning their vocation and profession, and seeking their passion. They will see the value of their learning within and outside of their disciplines, as it will be anchored in experiential learning.

As innovators, scholars, and builders, they will have learned how to both fail and rebound from failure. They will be culturally nimble, as they will have worked across differences in diverse communities on meaningful issues. They will be prepared for success in life because they will have gained skills in self-learning, problem solving, collaboration, and conflict resolution.

The Class of 2037 will consist of self-aware, socially conscious leaders, and, thus, will be in great demand by employers, here in a revitalized Dayton, across the world in Shanghai where their intercultural excellence will be viewed as essential, and in small rural towns and large inner cities where their community-building skills will be highly valued.

Because of the work we will do together, we will prepare generations of servant-leaders who are known for their community-building skills, practical wisdom, ethical compass, and ability to partner for the common good.

Because of the work we will do together, we will expand scholarship and research in fields that benefit our human community and help build an innovation economy here in Dayton.
Universities have always had a special obligation to society, but in this age of institutions turning inward or abrogating their responsibilities to the greater good, that obligation is heightened and creates a special opportunity for the University of Dayton.

We view serving the community and our world as a fundamental part of our Catholic, Marianist mission, our raison d’etre, and we find that we are called to be — indeed, we must be— “The University for the Common Good.”

Mary Garden Plant List: Brent Ogburn

2 hours 17 min ago
A statue of St Joseph once sold by John Stokes sits framed by Arborvitae bushes and Cineraria, Siberian Iris, meadow sage (“Mary’s Shawl”) and snowdrop (Anemone sylvestris, “Flower of the Field”). (COURTESY PHOTOS/BRIANA SNYDER)A statue of St Joseph once sold by John Stokes sits framed by Arborvitae bushes and Cineraria, Siberian Iris, meadow sage (“Mary’s Shawl”) and snowdrop (Anemone sylvestris, “Flower of the Field”). (COURTESY PHOTOS/BRIANA SNYDER)

Brent Ogburn, Director of Business Development for Grunder Landscape Co., planned the indoor garden at UD’s Marian Library around plants that would be available from local nurseries and in bloom during the exhibit dates. Taken from the writings of John Stokes, Jr., who popularized the idea of Mary Gardens, all the plants have medieval names related to Mary or the Bible. When perusing Stokes’s lists or the list below, Ogburn said, it’s important to remember that nurseries frequently introduce and feature new varieties of old plants, so a particular variety may not be available at any given time. Look for any variety of the type of plant meant by “Black-eyed Susan,” “Daylily,” or “Clematis,”, not necessarily the variety indicated below:

From the exhibit’s complete run:
“Our Lady’s Veil” (Baby’s Breath – Gypsophila ‘Festival Star’)
“Mary’s Heart” (Bleeding Heart – Dicentra spectabilis)
“Virgin’s Bower” (Clematis ‘Gillian Blades’
“St.Joseph’s Lily” (Daylily – Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’)
“Michaelmas Daisy” (New England Aster)
“Pentecost Rose” (White Peony)
“Mary Flower of God” (OxEye Daisy – Luecanthemum m., ‘Snowcap’)
“Mary’s Shawl” (Meadow Sage – Salvia viola ‘Cardonna’)
“Mary’s Pink” (Maiden Pink – Dianthus ‘Neon Star’)
“Golden Jerusalem” (Black-eyed Susan – Fudbeckia fulgida “Early Bird Gold’)
“Our Lady’s Gloves” (Foxglove – Digitalis purpurea ‘Excelsior’)
“Mary’s Drying Plant” (Lavender – Lavenudla a. ‘Kielapro’)
“Ave Maria” (Hydrangea – Hudrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’)
“Our Lady’s Nightcap” (Bellflower – Campanula glomerata ‘Superba’)

For Spring:
“Mary’s Gold” (Sunflower – Cineraria)
“Mary’s Prayer” (Tulip)

For Summer:
“Star of Bethlehem” (Rieger Begonia)
“Lily-Among-Thorns” (Hyacinth)

For Fall
“All Saint’s Flower” (Chrysanthamum)
“Our Lady’s Little Ladles” (Cyclamen)

For Winter
“Christmas Kalanchoe” (Kalanchoe)
“Mary’s Star” (Daffodil)

Suggested but not available for the UD garden:
Lily of the Valley

Brent Ogburn’s particular suggestions for home gardeners:
Black-eyed Susan
Arborvitae (shrub)
Garden phlox

For a full list of plants from UD’s exhibit, download:

Scenes from R U Called, Dinner for Women discerning the Consecrated Life

2 hours 42 min ago

St. Francis de Sales in Lebanon hosted a gathering for young women who are discerning a call to the consecrated life on April 26th. Archbishop Dennis Schnurr was in attendance to meet young women discerning one of the varied Consecrated Life options present in the Archdiocese. Here are some photos of a very special evening.

For more information for women discerning a vocation in religious life, click here

Body and Soul Recipe Overnight Christmas Blueberry-Pecan French Toast

6 hours 2 min ago

Editors Note: In the May 2017 Print Edition of The Catholic Telegraph, Body and Soul on page 24 featured a story on Donna Marie Cooper. Below is her featured recipe:
nonstick spray
1 baguette, cut into 20 one inch slices (you can use a wholegrain bread for extra nutrition or even a gluten free bread)
6 eggs
3 cups of milk
1 cup brown sugar (I use honey or pure maple syrup)
vanilla to taste
nutmeg to taste (or just use cinnamon)
Cinnamon (I sprinkle it all over the top as well as into the egg batter)
1 cup pecans, toasted
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with the nonstick spray and arrange the baguette slices in a single layer in the dish. I cheat and do a couple of layers! In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, three-fourths of the brown sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread.
Cover and chill the mixture overnight. There will appear to be a lot of moisture when the mixture goes into the refrigerator, but most of it will soak into the bread by morning.
Just before baking, sprinkle the remaining one-quarter cup brown sugar, (or honey or pure maple syrup). pecans and blueberries over the bread. Bake the dish in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to one hour (the recipe says 30 minutes, but I found that it could take longer, so check at 30 but be sure to have allowed for 45 minutes to 1 hour) or until golden and bubbling. Serve with pure maple syrup. For an added treat, heat the syrup with blueberries and have blueberry-flavored syrup.


Celebrating the past, looking to the future St. Stephen Parish celebrates 150th anniversary

6 hours 22 min ago
The congregation stands during the 150th Anniversary Opening Celebration Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (CT PHOTO/E.L. HUBBARD)

As St. Stephen Parish in Cincinnati’s Columbia Tusculum neighborhood celebrates 15 decades of serving the area’s Catholics, the congregation is as focused on the future as on looking at the past.

“There are more than 200 families now and we are beginning to grow,” said Mike Keating, life-long parishioner and unofficial parish historian, who oversees the building and grounds committee. “That’s why we are putting such an emphasis on the 150th anniversary: to promote ourselves.

“There is a population change in Columbia Tusculum. There is a significant rebuilding effort surrounding the community. Private residences and businesses are growing. New blood is coming in.”We are hoping to bank off of that and be here when they arrive. They’re renovating old homes, building new homes, opening new businesses. People are tearing down old houses… and building new ones on the same footprint, the same lot,” said Keating.

The way the neighborhood is reinventing itself harkens back to 1867, when the parish was founded by Archbishop John Baptist Purcell.

“The reasoning for founding the parish was because at that time Columbia was growing. Tusculum, on the hillside above, came later,” Keating said. “The people here were going all the way up to St. Francis de Sales in Walnut Hills for Mass. The people felt it to be too far to go to up on the hill (and) petitioned Archbishop Purcell to build a church. He gave the permission, and within a year, construction began on the first church, on property leased by the parish from the Longworth family known for the family’s Mount Adams vineyards.

“When it was dedicated and began serving as a parish, it was a German-speaking church and remained so until about 1880,” Keating said.

The original church was destroyed by fire in 1922. The current church was dedicated a couple years later. Between 1944 and 1946 the interior was renovated, including the addition of a mural of the risen Christ by well-known Cincinnati artist Carl Zimmerman. It rises above and behind the altar. Stained glass windows from the C.G. Riordan Company, Cincinnati, were installed.

Besides the trek to Walnut Hills, the other key reason St. Stephen was founded was community growth: a bit of serendipity when looking at the community as it reinvents itself today.

“This was a significant retail business community back then and there was a lot of farming, especially up on the hill. There were a lot of businesses serving the community: a lumber mill, a sand and gravel operation, small retail stores,” Keating said. “It was a magnet and it was … a self-contained community at that time.”

Turn the pages forward to present day.

“We are going back to the service concept much like in 1867. The community has a lot of service-oriented restaurants, small businesses, carryouts, a bank. It’s a flashback to the old days,” Keating said.

“If you go to St. Stephen today you would find a parish that is motivated to grow. You would find a parish that is motivated on the part of the parishioners in the pews to move past the 150th anniversary and get to the future. You would find a parish that’s a bit nervous about the future, but anxious to find out what it is,” Keating said. “There’s nervousness because we don’t know what the neighborhood is going to bring. We are concerned about the number of people who don’t go to church today.”

Beth Worland, parish administrator, said, “St. Stephen is a hidden jewel that offers those who enter its doors unique artwork, meaningful liturgies, beautiful music, and spectacular stained glass windows. At St. Stephen, individuals and families choose to be a part of the faith community because our church welcomes, supports and cherishes each and every person who enters its doors.

“Now as St. Stephen celebrates its sesquicentennial, the responsibility for our church’s future is passed on to us in expectation that St. Stephen remains the jewel it is, by being a special, spiritual home for many generations to come.”

The parish is a canonical pastorate: a parish where there is no permanent pastor in residence. Father Edward Smith, pastor at Our Lord Christ the King Parish in Mount Lookout, oversees the parish and serves as sacramental administrator. Retired Father Tom Fitzsimmons is in residence. Worland supervises day to day parish business and operations.

“Right now,” said Keating, “our demographic is the elderly parishioner. We have a large number of retirees here, but our plan is to reach out to the younger crowd who are into their first jobs and just married. We see them coming here, trickling in. We are having a big increase in couples coming here for marriage which is a significant change.

“We see light at the end of the tunnel. There are significant things that cause us to be looking up, and there are things we can do and make us believe that our effort is going to succeed by reaching out to the younger community by making ourselves known by encouraging parishioners to go out and bring a friend to Mass, and by promoting our 150th as widely as we possibly can to the community.”

For more information about upcoming anniversary events, check the parish website at, Facebook, or bulletin for updates.

Jeff Pieper carries the processional cross during the 150th Anniversary Opening Celebration Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (CT PHOTO/E.L. HUBBARD) Liz Glassmeyer gives the Second Reading during the 150th Anniversary Opening Celebration Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (CT PHOTO/E.L. HUBBARD) Rev. Ed Smith delivers his Homily during the 150th Anniversary Opening Celebration Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (CT PHOTO/E.L. HUBBARD) The Holy Eucharist is prepared during the 150th Anniversary Opening Celebration Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (CT PHOTO/E.L. HUBBARD) Rev. Ed Smith and Rev. Tom Fitzsimmons offer the Holy Eucharist during the 150th Anniversary Opening Celebration Mass at St. Stephen Catholic Church in Cincinnati Sunday, Mar. 5, 2017. (CT PHOTO/E.L. HUBBARD)



Catholic chaplain accompanies anguished circus workers on final tour

04/26/2017 - 7:14pm

IMAGE: CNS photo/Tanya Connor, The Catholic Free Press

By Tanya Connor

WORCESTER, Mass. (CNS) — The congregation, numbering about 50, gathered for their last Easter Mass together on the DCU Center’s arena floor.

The chaplain, Father George “Jerry” Hogan, borrowed one of their colorful boxes to use as an altar. The altar cloths and his chasuble sported circus images. Costume designers had sewn pieces of old elephant blankets together to make his stole.

The backdrop suggested the reason for such an unusual liturgical environment: The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus had come to town to offer shows on Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.

But it isn’t all “fun and games” for performers and other circus workers, some of whom attended the Mass before the Easter shows. While “they’ve always performed during Holy Week,” they are now going through the paschal mystery themselves, Father Hogan told The Catholic Free Press, newspaper of the Diocese of Worcester.

The Ringling circus was nearing the end of its 145-year run and the workers, including frontline performers, were in a quandary about their future. They learned Jan. 14 that the circus was closing.

Father Hogan, who has been national circus chaplain for 24 years after being appointed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recalled the anguish of the workers when they learned of show’s fate just hours after he celebrated Mass for them in Orlando, Florida, where they were performing.

His cellphone “went wild” at his winter home in Sarasota, Florida, where he ministers at St. Martha Parish, the national circus church, as shocked circus workers called him with the news they received: “We’re closing.” The 145th edition of “The Greatest Show on Earth” would be its last.

The priest of the Boston Archdiocese had to ask himself, “How can I help these people?”

Over the years, Father Hogan has dealt with five circus tragedies, three of which included fatalities, he said, but this was different.

“First of all, you’ve got to deal with your own feeling, because you become numb,” he said. Then you have to look past that to what God is calling you to do. It’s more than hearing; it’s listening, being physically present.”

Such tragedies affect not only those who get hurt, and their families and co-workers, but the managers and owners too, he said.

He described Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment Inc., Ringling’s parent company, as very caring when tragedy strikes.

The same is true with the circus closing.

“He’s a very good businessman,” Father Hogan said. “He didn’t want to close. This is tough for him, too.”

Reasons cited for the closing included costs, declining attendance and battles with animal rights groups. Employees were to be helped with the transition.

Ringling’s Red Unit and Blue Unit each have at least 300 employees, about 100 of whom are performers, Father Hogan said. The circus runs two different shows simultaneously, for two years each, performing in various cities.

Worcester was one of the last stops for the Red Unit, which was to perform its final show in Providence, Rhode Island, May 7. The Blue Unit’s final show is May 21 in Uniondale, New York.

“I will be with you all week in Providence,” Father Hogan told Red Unit workers at the Easter Mass. “You’ll grow. It’s not the end of the world. You’ll be able to survive this.”

In his homily, he told circus employees, “Easter is a time to celebrate Jesus’ rising from the dead,” and to celebrate with family.

There had just been an Easter egg hunt for the children who travel with their parents, Father Hogan said. When old enough, they often perform, too. Some families have been in one circus or another for generations.

Some performers from abroad are far from loved ones. During the intercessions, Father Hogan offered an intention for “all your family and relatives who you can’t be with because you’re working.” He asked that God would watch over the people in the Red Unit in this time of transition, and also prayed for the Blue Unit.

He likened his listeners to the beloved disciple in the Gospel, who was reflecting on what was important that first Easter. He acknowledged that the circus workers’ life is totally changing and they may wonder, “How am I going to move from this show?”

“This is a time to really talk to the Lord in prayer, like you’re talking to another person,” Father Hogan said. “You also have to listen. … Be open to that experience.” 

A silver lining Father Hogan sees in the dark times people are experiencing is the reception of sacraments in Uniondale several days before the final show. He said a baby is to be baptized, 12 children are to receive their first Communion, five adults are to be confirmed and one is to be received into the church.

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Connor is a staff writer for The Catholic Free Press, newspaper of the Diocese of Worcester.

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Michigan head coach says meeting pope was ’emotional’

04/26/2017 - 4:35pm

IMAGE: NS photo/L’Osservatore Romano

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As someone accustomed to the stress of the gridiron, University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh said he was touched by Pope Francis’ peaceful presence.

“The way he talks is peaceful, it’s calm. It felt like this is what it would be like to meet Jesus Christ. That’s what it felt like to me. It was very emotional,” the coach told journalists April 26.

Harbaugh and his wife, Sarah, briefly greeted the pope following his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square earlier that day.

“I said, ‘Buenos dias, Santo Padre’ (‘Good morning, Holy Father’), and then my wife came in and told him that she loved him. He held her hand and prayed and asked that we pray for him,” Harbaugh recalled.

The coach and his wife presented the pope with a Michigan football helmet along with a pair of size-10 Air Jordan sneakers in the football team’s maize and blue colors.

Harbaugh said the pope smiled and graciously accepted the gifts, despite their unusual nature.

“I’m not sure the Holy Father knows a lot about ‘futbol americano,’ but he doesn’t need to. There’s a lot of distress, too, when you look into his eyes; there’s pain there. There’s so much injustice in the world, so much poverty and war and you can tell and feel that he feels that,” he said.

Also present at the audience were several of the 150 players and staff visiting Rome as part of their spring practice program April 22-30.

According to the press release by the university’s athletic department, the program was Harbaugh’s way of giving the team players “a major life experience, traveling to Rome to practice, but also to take part in social projects and offer them a look into a foreign country and culture.”

Speaking to journalists after the audience, Harbaugh said the experience was “more emotional than he anticipated,” and that meeting the pope gave him the chance “to live in a state of grace.”

“I’ve been trying to figure out what this experience means and what am I supposed to do with it. At least he gave me the marching orders to pray for him so I have that part of it down.”

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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Why be afraid when God is always showing the way, pope says at audience

04/26/2017 - 2:00pm

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians always have hope, no matter how bleak, bad or uncertain the journey, because they know God is always by their side, Pope Francis said.

In fact, “even crossing parts of the world (that are) wounded, where things are not going well, we are among those who, even there, continue to hope,” he said at his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square April 26.

Just a few days before his visit to Cairo April 28-29, the pope continued his series of talks on the nature of Christian hope, saying it is rooted in knowing God will always be present, even to the end of time.

The Gospel of St. Matthew, he said, begins with the birth of Jesus as Emmanuel — “God with us” — and ends with the risen Christ telling his doubtful disciples to go forth and teach all nations, assuring them that “I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

The apostle shows how “ours is not an absent God, sequestered in a faraway heaven. Instead he is a God ‘impassioned’ with mankind,” so tenderly in love that he is unable to stay away, the pope said.

Human beings are the ones who are really good at cutting off ties and destroying bridges, not God, he said.

“If our hearts get cold, his remains incandescent,” the pope said. “Our God always accompanies us even if, through misfortune, we were to forget about him.”

In fact, the decisive moment between skepticism and faith is “the discovery of being loved and accompanied by our Father,” the pope said.

Life is a pilgrimage, a journey in which “the seduction of the horizon” is always calling the human “wandering soul,” pushing people to go and explore the unknown, he said.

“You do not become mature men and women if you cannot perceive the allure of the horizon — that boundary between heaven and earth that asks to be reached” by those who are on the move, he said.

Christians never feel alone “because Jesus assures us he not only waits for us at the end of our long journey, but accompanies us every day,” even through dark and troubled times, he said.

God will always be concerned and take care of his children, even to the end of all time, he said. “And why does he do this? Quite simply because he loves us.”

The pope said the anchor is one of his favorite symbols of hope.

“Our life is anchored in heaven,” he said, which means “we move on because we are sure that our life has an anchor in heaven” and the rope “is always there” to grab onto.

So if God has promised “he will never abandon us, if the beginning of every vocation is a ‘Follow me,’ with which he assures us of always staying before us, why be afraid then?” the pope asked. “With this promise, Christians can walk everywhere,” even in the worst, darkest places.

“It’s precisely there where darkness has taken over that a light needs to stay lit.”

Those who believe only in themselves and their own powers will feel disappointed and defeated, he said, “because the world often proves itself to be resistant to the laws of love” and prefers “the laws of selfishness.”

Jesus promising “I am with you always” is what keeps the faithful standing tall with hope, believing that God is good and working to achieve what seems humanly impossible.

“There is no place in the world that can escape the victory of the risen Christ, the victory of love,” the pope said.

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In TED talk, pope urges people to make real connections

04/26/2017 - 1:20pm

IMAGE: CNS photo/

By Keanine Griggs

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While searching for a connection today often means looking for Wi-Fi, Pope Francis said real connections between people are the only hope for the future.

“How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion,” he said in a video talk played April 25 for 1,800 people attending TED 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and posted online with subtitles in 20 languages.

“How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us,” the pope said in the talk that TED organizers had been advertising as that of a “surprise guest.”

Pope Francis spoke to the international conference about combating the current “culture of waste” and “techno-economic systems” that prioritize products, money and things over people.

“Good intentions and conventional formulas, so often used to appease our conscience, are not enough,” he said. “Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the other is not a statistic or a number. The other has a face.”

Many people in the world move along paths “riddled with suffering” with no one to care for them, the pope said. Far too many people who consider themselves “respectable” simply pass by, leaving thousands on “the side of the road.”

“The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people,” he said, the greater the responsibility one has to act and to do so with humility. “If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.”

“There is a saying in Argentina,” he told his audience: “‘Power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach.’ You feel dizzy, you get drunk, you lose your balance, and you will end up hurting yourself and those around you, if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness.”

“The future of humankind isn’t exclusively in the hands of politicians, of great leaders, of big companies,” he said, even though they all have power and responsibility. “The future is, most of all, in the hands of those people who recognize the other as a ‘you’ and themselves as part of an ‘us.'”

Pope Francis said that when he visits someone who is sick or in prison or has been forced to flee war, he always asks himself, “Why them and not me?”

Telling the tech-savvy crowd that he wanted to talk about “revolution,” the pope asked people to join a very connected and interconnected “revolution of tenderness.”

Tenderness, he said, is “love that comes close and becomes real,” something that begins in the heart but translates into listening and action, comforting those in pain and caring for others and for “our sick and polluted earth.”

“Tenderness is the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women,” he insisted. “Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude. It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility.”

Pope Francis also urged the crowd to hold on to hope, a feeling that does not mean acting “optimistically naive” or ignoring the tragedies facing humanity. Instead, he said, hope is the “virtue of a heart that doesn’t lock itself into darkness.”

“A single individual is enough for hope to exist.” he added. “And that individual can be you. And then there will be another ‘you,’ and another ‘you, and it turns into an ‘us.'”

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a media organization that posts talks online for free distribution, under the slogan “ideas worth spreading.” TED was founded in February 1984 as a conference, which has been held annually since 1990.

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Editors: The pope’s TED talk is online at

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Cincinnati’s Oratory Celebrates

04/26/2017 - 11:28am
 Father John-Paul Bevak of Old St. Mary’s; Father Felix Selden, representing Rome; Archbishop Dennis Schnurr; Fathers Adrian Hilton and Lawrnce Juarez of Old St. Mary’s; and homilist  Msgr. Frank Lane. (CT Photo/Gail Finke)Oratory Father Mario Aviles (reading) with some of the concelebrating priests, Deacon Duy Nguyen, and servers. Left to right: Father John-Paul Bevak of Old St. Mary’s; Father Felix Selden, representing Rome; Archbishop Dennis Schnurr; Fathers Adrian Hilton and Lawrnce Juarez of Old St. Mary’s; and homilist Msgr. Frank Lane. (CT Photo/Gail Finke)

On April 25, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr celebrated the establishment Mass for the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Cincinnati, based at Old St. Mary’s Church in Over-the-Rhine. Known for splendid liturgies, the Oratory welcomed the archbishop, representatives from Rome, and supporters with new Officially approved by Pope Francis earlier this spring, it is the 87th Oratory in the world and one of only a few in the United States. Look for full coverage in our June issue.

Archbishop Schnurr, standing under the canopy built for the Mass, reads a prayer. Deacon Duy Nguyen, who will be ordained a priest next month, is beside him. (CT/Photo Gail Finke)Archbishop Schnurr, standing under the canopy built for the Mass, reads a prayer. Deacon Duy Nguyen, who will be ordained a priest next month, is beside him. (CT/Photo Gail Finke) Archbishop Schnurr censing the altar at the beginning of Mass. (CT Photo/Gail Finke)Archbishop Schnurr censing the altar at the beginning of Mass. (CT Photo/Gail Finke)  Bro. Henry Hoffman and Bro. Brent Stull, both seminarians; Father Adrian Hilton, Father Jon-Paul Bevak, Father Lawrence Juarez. (CT/Photo by Gail Finke)Father Mario Aviles, C.O., presents the Cincinnati Oratorians with the official establishment degree from Pope Francis. Oratorians, from left to right: Bro. Henry Hoffman and Bro. Brent Stull, both seminarians; Father Adrian Hilton, Father Jon-Paul Bevak, Father Lawrence Juarez. (CT/Photo by Gail Finke)  Fathers James Reuetter and Matt Feist. The painting depicts Bl. Cardinal John Henry Newman, an Oratorian and one of the leading figures of the 19th century English Catholic revival. (CT/Photo by Gail Finke)Msgr. Frank Lane delivered the homily. To his right are some of the concelebrating priests, including the representatives from Rome and the Cincinnati Oratory priests. Also pictured: Fathers James Reuetter and Matt Feist. The painting depicts Bl. Cardinal John Henry Newman, an Oratorian and one of the leading figures of the 19th century English Catholic revival. (CT/Photo by Gail Finke)

Nuncio tells seminarians that ministry extends beyond ‘office hours’

04/25/2017 - 4:40pm

By Tim Puet

COLUMBUS, Ohio (CNS) — A priest’s “office hours” are unlimited and the priesthood is not solely focused on administrative work, the apostolic nuncio to the United States told students at the nation’s only Vatican-affiliated seminary.

“It’s important to say this to young seminarians: Don’t prepare yourselves to be administrative people, to say ‘I work from 8 to 6 and after that, it’s finished and I take my rest.’ No, you are full time,” Archbishop Christophe Pierre said during a question-and-answer session April 23 at the Pontifical College Josephinum.

“Your enthusiasm is so important,” he continued. “This country needs the church announcing the beauty of the presence of God in Jesus Christ, the power of his resurrection, and the power of transformation found in the Gospel, in which whenever a person met Jesus, he became different.”

The nuncio’s remarks came after he delivered the college’s annual lecture honoring the late Cardinal Pio Laghi, who served from 1980 to 1990 as the Vatican’s apostolic delegate to the United States and, after the title was changed, as nuncio, the equivalent of an ambassador.

As nuncio, Archbishop Pierre also is chancellor of the college, the only seminary outside of Italy with pontifical status, an honor Pope Leo XIII granted to the institution in 1882.

The archbishop frequently referred in his talk on “The Priests We Need Today” to a Vatican document on priestly formation, “Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis,” (“The Gift of the Priestly Vocation”), which the Congregation for Clergy revised Dec. 8.

The document echoes a phrase made familiar by Pope Francis: “Seminaries should form missionary disciples who are ‘in love’ with the master, shepherds ‘with the smell of the sheep,’ who live in their midst to bring the mercy of God to them. Hence, every priest should always feel that he is a disciple on a journey, constantly needing an integrated formation, understood as a continuous configuration to Christ.”

The archbishop referred to Pope Francis’ description of priests in formation as “uncut diamonds, to be formed both patiently and carefully, respecting the conscience of the individual, so that they may shine among the people of God.”

“Formation for the priesthood is best understood within the concept of the journey of discipleship,” Archbishop Pierre said.

“Christ himself calls each person by name,” first through baptism, followed by the other sacraments of initiation, the archbishop said. “The journey begins with his family and parish. It is there … that his vocation is nurtured, culminating in entrance into the seminary. The gift of the vocation comes from God to the church and to the world. A vocation should never be conceived as something private, to be followed in an individualistic or self-referential manner.”

The model of formation proposed in the document “prepares the seminarian and priest to make a gift of himself to the church, to go out of himself, to not be self-referential, but to look to the essential needs of the flock,” Archbishop Pierre said.

He said six characteristics are particularly needed by the 21st-century priest: missionary spirit, humility, communion and unity, prayerfulness, discernment, and closeness to the flock.

The nuncio returned to the document’s phrase describing priests as missionary disciples, saying such a person is “one who follows the Lord, but who also goes out with joy,” who, in the words of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”) “obey(s) his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the peripheries in need of the light of the Gospel.”

“This call to be a disciple and this raising up to be a priest is a gift,” the archbishop added. “The church needs priests today who are willing to receive this gift as men of communion.” He also quoted from a talk earlier this month in which the pope told seminarians at the Pontifical Spanish College, “It is an ongoing challenge to overcome individualism, to live diversity as a gift, striving for unity of the presbyterate, which is a sign of the presence of God in the life of a community.”

Archbishop Pierre also was at the Josephinum for the rededication April 24 of the college’s chapel of St. Turibius of Mogrovejo, archbishop of Lima, Peru, from 1580 to 1606, who is patron of the Latin American episcopate and founder of the first seminary in the Americas.

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Puet is a reporter at the Catholic Times, newspaper of the Diocese of Columbus.

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Pope to Egyptians: Let papal visit be sign of friendship, peace

04/25/2017 - 2:17pm

IMAGE: CNS photo/Mohamed Abd El Ghany, Reuters

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Praying that God would protect Egypt from all evil, Pope Francis told the nation’s people that a world torn apart by indiscriminate violence needs courageous builders of peace, dialogue and justice.

“I hope that this visit will be an embrace of consolation and of encouragement to all Christians in the Middle East; a message of friendship and esteem to all inhabitants of Egypt and the region; a message of fraternity and reconciliation to all children of Abraham, particularly in the Islamic world,” the pope said in a video message broadcast April 25, ahead of his April 28-29 trip to Cairo.

“I hope that it may also offer a valid contribution to interreligious dialogue with the Islamic world and to ecumenical dialogue with the venerated and beloved Coptic Orthodox Church,” he said.

The pope thanked all those who invited him to Egypt, those who were working to make the trip possible and those “who make space for me in your hearts.”

He said he was “truly happy to come as a friend, as a messenger of peace and as a pilgrim to the country that gave, more than 2,000 years ago, refuge and hospitality to the Holy Family fleeing from the threats of King Herod.”

“Our world, torn by blind violence, which has also afflicted the heart of your dear land, needs peace, love and mercy; it needs workers for peace, free and liberating people, courageous people able to learn from the past to build a future without closing themselves up in prejudices; it needs builders of bridges of peace, dialogue, brotherhood, justice, and humanity,” he said.

Honored to visit the land visited by the Holy Family, the pope asked everyone for their prayers as he assured every one of his.

“Dear Egyptian brothers and sisters, young and elderly, women and men, Muslims and Christians, rich and poor … I embrace you warmly and ask God almighty to bless you and protect your country from every evil.”

He said it was “with a joyful and grateful heart” that he was heading to Egypt — the “cradle of civilization, gift of the Nile, land of sun and hospitality, where patriarchs and prophets lived” and where God — benevolent, merciful, and the one and almighty — made his voice heard.

The day the video was released, April 25, was also the feast day of St. Mark, who evangelized the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, Egypt, before being martyred there.

Pope Francis dedicated his morning Mass to “my brother Tawadros II, patriarch of Alexandria” of the Coptic Orthodox church, asking that God abundantly “bless our two churches.”

In Egypt, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi said Egypt would welcome the pope and “looks forward to this significant visit to strengthen peace, tolerance and interfaith dialogue as well as to reject the abhorrent acts of terrorism and extremism.”

Christians in Egypt, Syria and Iraq struggle with mounting pressures from extremists challenging their religious identity and the right to practice their faith and continue to exist in their ancestral homelands.

Pope Francis has urged an end to what he called a “genocide” against Christians in the Middle East, but he also has said it was wrong to equate Islam with violence.

Christians are among the oldest religious communities in the Middle East, but their numbers are dwindling in the face of conflict and persecution. Egypt’s Christian community makes up about 10 percent of the country’s 92 million people.

A high point in the pope’s schedule is an international peace conference at Cairo’s al-Azhar University, the world’s highest authority on Sunni Islam, hosted by Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of the educational institution.

Pope Tawadros and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual head of the Eastern Orthodox churches, are also expected to participate.

The pope will also meet separately with el-Sissi and other officials. Observers will be watching whether the pope will take on thorny issues with his hosts, such as the detention of thousands of Egyptians, without due process, simply held on suspicion of opposing el-Sissi.

Others will watch to see if Pope Francis prods the Sunni Muslim religious establishment to take a more forceful stand on religious extremism perpetrated in the name of God.

Many hope the al-Azhar meeting will sound a moral wake-up call to leaders worldwide to combat religious intolerance while seeking greater cooperation to fight growing threats by Islamic State and other extremist groups.

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Contributing to this story was Dale Gavlak in Amman, Jordan.

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04/25/2017 - 2:04pm

Pat Goedde, a 1991 La Salle alum and the top assistant and JV Head Coach for the Lancers, has been named the 4th Head Varsity Basketball Coach in the 56 year history of La Salle High School, Director of Athletics Keith Pantling announced on Tuesday.

“After hours of conversations with Pat, it became very clear to us that the best candidate to lead our basketball team was already on campus,” said Keith. “While there was great interest in this position, Pat’s genuine passion and love for La Salle was very evident. I am confident that La Salle basketball will continue to grow and reach new heights under Pat’s leadership.”

“I have been privileged to be a Lancer since 1987,” said Pat. “This is not just a coaching promotion, this is a dream come true for me. I am very excited to lead our program. This is not just a job, this is my life mission!”

Pat became an assistant coach in 1991 under Dan Fleming immediately following his playing career at La Salle. As an assistant coach for the varsity team for 26 seasons, Pat helped the Lancers to 14 Sectional Titles, seven District Titles, seven GCL South Titles, two Regional Titles and two Division 1 State Championships.

In 1995, Pat was asked to be the Freshmen Head Coach. After seven seasons and an overall record of 102-33, Pat was promoted to JV Head Coach in 2002. He has compiled a 221-84 overall record including 112-57 conference record in his 15 seasons leading the JV.

Off the court, Pat builds strong, personal relationships with his student-athletes. “The basketball alumni have made their voice heard.” Keith added. “Pat is relationship-driven and truly strives to help each student-athlete reach their full potential in mind, body and spirit.”

“We are excited to have Pat as our next basketball coach,” says Principal Aaron Marshall. “He understands the importance of helping our young men develop their full potential on and off the court.”

“The one thing that stands out with Pat is how hard the kids play for him,” says former La Salle Head Basketball Coach Hep Cronin. “Pat was never afraid to ask questions and always listened and learned. His work ethic and humility have allowed him to develop from a young coach to an experienced leader of young men.” Hep is the father of La Salle alum Mick Cronin, classmate and friend of Pat and current UC Bearcats Head Basketball Coach.

Pat earned an Associates of Arts in Pre-Education and a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Cincinnati. He will continue to serve as physical education and health teacher at St. Jude Elementary School where he has served for 15 years. He and his wife, Angela, have three children: Andrew (9), Austin (7), and Anna Grace (5). They reside in Lakehills in Colerain Township and are proud members of St. Ignatius Parish.

“There is a spirit at La Salle where teachers, coaches and administrators build extraordinary relationships with their students and players,” says Pat. “I want to thank the La Salle community for their support as we move this program to the next level. Let’s go to work!”

La Salle is located at 3091 North Bend Road in Green Township and has served students from the Greater Cincinnati area since 1960. The school website is Follow us on Twitter @LaSallePride and Facebook

MISSION: As a Catholic School in the Lasallian tradition, La Salle High School prepares young men to achieve their full potential in body, mind and spirit.

VISION: Students will be guided to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Pat Goedde Coaching Timeline

1991-2017: Assistant Coach Varsity Basketball, La Salle

1995-2002: Head Freshman Basketball Coach, La Salle

2002-2017: Head JV Basketball Coach, La Salle

2017: Head Varsity Basketball Coach, La Salle

New food truck to help stem senior hunger in Diocese of Oakland

04/24/2017 - 8:20pm

IMAGE: CNS photo/Carrie McClish, Catholic Voice

By Carrie McClish

OAKLAND, Calif. (CNS) — A new shiny truck is bringing food to senior citizens in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood and nearby communities.

A year in the making, the Mercy Brown Bag Program has expanded, with the truck visiting several locales and offering assistance to seniors faced with the high cost of rent and medication.

Krista Lucchesi, director of the program that is part of the services of the Mercy Retirement and Care Center, couldn’t stop smiling as she looked at the vehicle parked behind the residential care facility.

Having the truck “now is kind of amazing for all of us,” she told The Catholic Voice, newspaper of the Oakland Diocese.

Staff and volunteers cheered the truck as it arrived April 2 after a cross-country trip from St. Louis, where it was built. Nicole St. Lawrence, Mercy Brown Bag’s assistant director, brought the truck west on a mission to help stem the tide of senior hunger in Alameda County.

Most recipients enrolled in the Mercy Brown Bag Program have an average yearly income of less than $12,000 in a county where the annual median income is $82,000. Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is about $1,663 a month, Lucchesi said. In such a costly environment, many seniors must make difficult choices about buying food, medication or shelter in order to survive.

“Healthy food is usually the first thing they will give up,” Lucchesi said.

That’s where the Mercy Brown Bag Program comes in. The program delivers food to 5,000 seniors at 17 sites and through 45 social service providers. Most of the food that the program distributes comes from the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

Each registered person can take home up to 20 pounds of groceries. Much of the food from a variety of food groups can be considered senior-appropriate: low in sodium and easy to chew.

Contacts at the distribution sites indicate which foods are more desired or more popular.

“Some sites say to bring rice every single time and say, ‘we are always going to want rice’ or ‘we love sweet potatoes,'” Lucchesi said. “Whenever we can find them we try to make sure we have certain foods available for that site.”

Fresh produce makes up the majority of the food delivered. The new truck is equipped with a system that will lower baskets of produce to street level, making food selection easier. The truck has a refrigerated area, allowing for the transport of milk and other products that must be chilled.

The food truck, which cost about $200,000, was paid for with donations from the Thomas J. Long Foundation and the Carl Gellert and Celia Berta Gellert Foundation.

The truck is allowing the program to reach up to 3,000 more seniors in need, Lucchesi said. “We are currently building our route to see which areas are not as well served,” she said.

The truck also will help address new challenges facing seniors.

“We kept getting calls from low-income seniors who are homebound and with little or no social support,” Lucchesi said. “We used to be able to ask them, ‘Do you have a child or a friend or a neighbor who can come and get your bags for you?’ People had some social connections. But now the isolation is so much deeper and we are hearing more and more from people who say they have no one who can come out to pick up their bag, which makes us sad. So we have been trying to figure out how to get closer to those folks.”

The truck may also help address public transportation concerns.

“We have been getting calls where people are saying, ‘I don’t have any money to get on public transportation to get to one of your sites.’ They are really, really living on the edge. This (truck) is a way to get food to them so that they don’t have to go on public transportation,” Lucchesi said.

A formal dedication of the truck took place April 19 and deliveries were to begin as soon as drivers were hired and trained.

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McClish is a staff writer for The Catholic Voice, newspaper of the Diocese of Oakland.

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Spokesman: Tight security is ‘new normal’ as pope heads to Egypt

04/24/2017 - 3:00pm


By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Despite the ongoing risk of terrorism, Pope Francis planned to travel to Egypt as a sign of being close to the people there, said Greg Burke, Vatican spokesman.

Heightened security is part of the “new normal” in many countries, but even in the wake of the Palm Sunday attacks in Egypt, it is the pope’s desire “to go ahead, to also be a sign of his closeness” to those affected by violence and all the people of Egypt, Burke told journalists April 24.

At a Vatican briefing outlining some details of the pope’s trip to Cairo April 28-29, a reporter asked if there were any worries or concerns about the pope’s security.

Burke, speaking in Italian, said he wouldn’t use the word “worries” or concerns, but would say that “we live in a world where it is now something that is part of life.” He added, “However, we move ahead with serenity.”

The pope has requested that a “normal car” — not an armored vehicle — be used when he is driven from one venue to another, Burke said. It will not be an open-topped vehicle, he added.

The pope will use a “golf cart,” however, rather than the open-air popemobile when he makes the rounds through the crowds at the air defense stadium, where Mass will be celebrated April 29.

He also will use the golf cart for circulating among the more than 1,000 seminarians, religious and clergy expected to attend an outdoor prayer service at the Coptic Catholic Church’s St. Leo’s Patriarchal Seminary in the Cairo suburb of Maadi April 28.

Burke said that after Pope Francis’ private meeting with Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, at the patriarch’s residence April 28, the two leaders will go together to the nearby church of Sts. Peter and Paul, which had been bombed during a Sunday Mass in December 2016, killing 24 people and injuring at least 45 others.

They will pray “for all the victims from these past years and months, pray for Christians killed,” Burke said.

The two will leave flowers outside the church, light a candle and then have a moment of prayer for the victims from the December attack, the Vatican spokesman said.

Soon afterward, the pope will go to the apostolic nunciature, where he will be staying, and will greet a group of children who attend a Comboni-run school in Cairo and later will greet more than 300 young people who made a pilgrimage to Cairo to see the pope, he added.

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Mercy opens the door to understanding the mystery of God, pope says

04/24/2017 - 2:29pm

IMAGE: CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Mercy is a true form of knowledge that allows men and women to understand the mystery of God’s love for humanity, Pope Francis said.

Having experienced forgiveness, Christians have a duty to forgive others, giving a “visible sign” of God’s mercy, which “carries within it the peace of heart and the joy of a renewed encounter with the Lord,” the pope said April 23 before praying the “Regina Coeli” with visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

“Mercy helps us understand that violence, resentment and revenge do not have any meaning and that the first victim is the one who lives with these feelings, because he is deprived of his own dignity,” he said.

Commemorating Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis said St. John Paul II’s establishment of the feast in 2000 was a “beautiful intuition” inspired by the Holy Spirit.

God’s mercy, he said, not only “opens the door of the mind,” it also opens the door of the heart and paves the way for compassion toward those who are “alone or marginalized because it makes them feel they are brothers and sisters and children of one father.”

“Mercy, in short, commits us all to being instruments of justice, of reconciliation and peace. Let us never forget that mercy is the keystone in the life of faith, and the concrete form by which we give visibility to Jesus’ resurrection,” Pope Francis said.

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at

Divine Mercy Sunday at St. Bartholomew

04/24/2017 - 2:07pm

By Gail Finke

“There are people in our lives who need to receive the mercy of God,” Father Benedict O’Cinnsealaigh said Sunday at St. Bartholomew Church in Finneytown. “They need to receive it from us. But it may be that we need to receive it from them. Today is the day of mercy, and it should be a day of mercy all around: from God to us, and from us to each other.”

The talk was part of St. Bart’s annual Divine Mercy Sunday celebration. More than 300 people packed the pews and more waited in line at four stations, where 10 priests heard Confessions. Outside, members of Springfield Township’s Police Explorers directed cars through the sprawling parking lot. Inside, people knelt in adoration, sang, prayed, and listened to the talk about the heroic task of giving mercy.

Father O’Cinnsealaigh, rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West, asked a young volunteer and his mother to help him illustrate what mercy costs. He asked Karen, mother of Hunter, what she would give to save her son’s life, and then asked what she would ask her son to give to save hers. What about an enemy? he then asked. What would she give to save an enemy? What would she ask her son to give to save an enemy?

St. Paul says that Christ died for us when we were still sinners, Father O’Cinnsealaigh explained. In some translations, the same passage uses the word enemies. “It’s not an easy thing, to die to save an enemy,” he said. “It’s a heroic thing. He died for us – for me – for you – and now he says, ‘Do the same.’”

The annual Divine Mercy Sunday celebration at St. Bart’s was planned by members of the Blessed Saints Pastoral Region (St. Bartholomew and St. Vivian parishes). In addition to five deacons and Father O’Cinnsealaigh, 10 priests participated in the liturgy: Glenmary Fathers C. Artsiewicz, T. Kirkendoll, and J. Peterson; Franciscan Father K. Freson; Jesuit Fathers T. Howe and E. Pigott; and Fathers Gerard Hiland, Tom McCarthy, and L. Ulinzweimana.

Rev. James R. Brooks

04/24/2017 - 1:03pm

Reverend James R. Brooks died on April 22, 2017. He was born on October 11, 1977 in Dayton, Ohio. He studied Classical Humanities at the Legion of Christ College of Humanities and Novitiate in Cheshire, Connecticut. He received a Licentiate Degree in Philosophy and Moral Theology from the Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum in Rome, Italy. He was ordained on December 12, 2009 by Monsignor Brian Farrell at St. Paul’s Basilica in Rome, Italy for the Legionaries of Christ.

Beginning October 2011, Father Brooks resided at St. Margaret of York Parish, with faculties for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati granted by Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr. During that time he was discerning a call to the diocesan priesthood and incardination into the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. On February 2, 2015, Father Brooks was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and appointed Parochial Vicar of St. Margaret of York Parish, Twenty Mile Stand (Loveland, Ohio). Shortly thereafter, he was appointed Censor of Books for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, effective May 22, 2015. On July 1, 2016, Father Brooks was appointed Pastor of St. Margaret of York Parish, Twenty Mile Stand (Loveland, Ohio) for a period of six years.

Reception of the Body: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. at St. Margaret of York Church, 9483 Columbia Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140 (513.697.3100). Celebrant: Reverend Jan K. Schmidt. Homilist: Reverend Timothy G. Fahey. Visitation continues until 8:00 p.m. at the church.

Mass of Christian Burial: Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Margaret of York Church. Celebrant: Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr. Homilist: Reverend Richard F. Sutter.

Burial: Thursday, April 27, 2017 immediately following Mass of Christian Burial at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 11000 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45249. Celebrant: Reverend Richard F. Sutter.

Following is an excerpt from some words he expressed to the parishioners at St. Margaret of York Parish in February 2017. “We are a people of hope, so we hope. We are a people of prayer, so we pray. I truly believe the words of St. Paul, ‘For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain,’ because, for me to live is to be with you, to do the thing that I love most…to be your pastor. But for me to die is to be with the Father forever.”

May God welcome His faithful servant to his eternal home in heaven. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Help Jesus in Disguise: A letter from Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr

04/24/2017 - 7:05am
Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr (Archdiocese of Cincinnati)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our archdiocese will be taking up The Catholic Relief Services Collection (CRSC) April 29 and 30. By participating in this collection, you are responding to Jesus in disguise in some of the most marginalized communities in our world. The CRSC provides services for immigrants, humanitarian aid in the wake of natural disasters, refuge for the displaced, and advocacy for peace and justice around the world.

Let us join together in this collection to support those suffering and on the margins of society.

For example, in Niger, changes in climate in western Africa are adversely affecting poor and rural farmers. No matter how hard these farmers work, droughts are shortening the rainy season, leaving harvests too small to support families and communities. Your support of the CRSC is helping connect businesses that provide drought-resistant seeds to these communities. These new relationships are providing hope to these communities for a sustainable future.

The CRS Collection funds CRS’ work in the most impoverished corners of the world and also funds five other Catholic world relief programs. In those five programs you are instrumental in

• Feeding Jesus’ hunger in suffering refugees through the USCCB Department of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS).
• Offering legal assistance to Jesus in struggling immigrants through the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC).
• Reaching out to comfort Jesus’ loneliness in isolated workers through the pastoral work of the USCCB Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church.
• Advocating on behalf of Jesus in the poor and marginalized through the public policy work of the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development.
• Sending aid to Jesus in the victims of natural disaster through the Holy Father’s Relief Fund.

Your support of this collection makes a difference for so many around the world. Please prayerfully consider how you can support the collection this year. If you want to learn more
about the collection and the people who benefit, please visit

Support the collection and answer the knock of Jesus in disguise.

Help Jesus in Disguise

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr

Spring Theology on Tap

04/24/2017 - 6:29am
Retired Pope Benedict XVI enjoys a beer during his his 90th birthday celebration April 17 at the Vatican. Also pictured is his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, at the pope’s left, and Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household, in rear. The German pontiff’s birthday was the previous day. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)

It’s the season for Theology on Tap. Here’s a great chance to have community and learn more about the faith in casual setting. It all takes place at Molly Malone’s at 6111 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati Ohio 45213. Gather at 7:00 p.m., Talk at 7:30 p.m.. Map for Molly Malone’s
Here’s this spring’s menu:

Monday May 1st: The Steward: What do you own, and what owns you? By Michael Vanderburgh & Helen Fahey

Monday May 8th: From Jesuit Novice to Supreme Pontiff: The Vocation of Pope Francis by Fr. Matt Gamber, SJ

Monday May 15th: Your Life in the Anima, Technica, Vacua by Brad Bursa

Monday May 22nd: Top Ten Reasons I became a Catholic by Fr. Tom Wray

Dayton Theology on Tap takes place Thursdays beginning April 19th at Oregon Express, 336 E 5th St., Dayton OH 45402. Gather at 7:00 p.m., Talk at 7:30 p.m. Map for Oregon Express is here

Thursday April 27th: Trivia Night

Thursday May 4th: Kevin Heider

Thursday May 11th: Christian Friendship by Kathleen Murphy

Thursday May 18th: Dating, Finding Completion in God by Kelly Brown

Thursday May 25th: Made for Greatness by Fr. Chris Geiger