The Catholic Theological Society of America is the largest professional organization of theologians in the world. According to its website, its purpose is “to promote studies and research in theology, to re- late theological science to current problems, and to foster a more effective theological education, by providing a forum for an exchange of views among theologians with scholars in other disciplines.” The society aims to provide resources for Christians to develop a mature understanding of their faith and to foster unity among people by raising awareness of the role of the religious in life and society.
The society meets once a year in different cities to review one another’s work, to elect officers, and to reflect on the theme of that year’s gathering. This year the theme is Grace at Work in the World, a topic we might all be interested in hearing about.
And hear about it we may, as the president who will be installed at this year’s meeting, taking place this weekend in Indianapolis, is our own parishioner, Dr. Paul Lakeland! Paul, as you may know, is the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Professor of Catholic Studies and the Chair of the Catholic Studies Department at Fairfield University. Paul has authored many books, the most recent of which is “The Wounded Angel: Fiction and the Religious Imagination.” Congratulations to Paul and his family. Paul joins other notables as the president of this august group, including Walter Burghardt (1967-68) and (Cardinal) Avery Dulles (1975-76). Two other theologians associated with Fairfield have also held this honor: Michael Fahy (1983-84) and John Thiel (2011-12).
Theologians perform an integral service to the Christian community by exploring our tradition and its truths in ways old and new, in order to bring renewed life and understanding to what we hold dear. We applaud their work on behalf of the Church and honor their commitment to aid our perception of the Mystery we call God.
If you see Paul you might congratulate him, and ask him to share a bit about the grace of the CTSA gathering…(do we need to call him Mr. President now???).