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Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs | News

  • Fr. Thomas Baima Represents Archdiocese in Interfaith Hanukkah Celebration | 12/13/2015

    Very Reverend Thomas A. Baima, Vice Rector of Academic Affairs for University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, represented the Archdiocese of Chicago at an interfaith Celebration of Hanukkah sponsored by the American Jewish Committee on Thursday, December 10, 2015.  

    Held at Chicago Sinai Congregation, representatives from various religious communities with whom AJC has joint programs each lit one of the Hanukkah candles.

    Sister Mary Ellen Coombe, the Associate Director for the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs in the Archdiocese of Chicago lit the candle for the archdiocese.  She was accompanied by Dr. Daniel Olsen, who teaches in the Institute for Diaconal Studies at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake.  Together with Father Baima, they form the staff of the Archdiocesan Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

  • Fr. Thomas Baima Gives Keynote Commemorating Nostra Aetate at Illinois Holocaust Museum | 10/7/2015

    The Very Rev. Thomas A. Baima, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, was the keynote speaker at the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie for a major exploration of the Vatican II declaration Nostra Aetate on the 50th anniversary of its promulgation.  Responses to this paper were offered by Rabbi Dr. David Fox Sandmel, national director of interfaith activities of the Anti-Defamation League and the Rev. Dr. John Pawlikowski, OSM, professor of social ethics and Director of Catholic-Jewish Studies at the Catholic Theological Union.  Manya Brachear-Pashman, religion writer of the Chicago Tribune, moderated the discussion.

    Nostra Aetate: The Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions  was one of the most important documents of Vatican II, clearly declaring that the Jews collectively were not guilty for the death of Christ and that the covenant which God made with them was still in force.  Father Baima argued that this led to a profound shift in the common teaching of the Catholic Church regarding Jews and Judaism which allowed Christians to discover again the essential Jewishness of Jesus and Christianity.  As a result, the Christian understanding of Judaism is based on the organic link between the two communities which share a common past, a common scriptures, and are part of  a single salvation history.

    Photo: Fr. John Pawlikowski, Manya Brashear-Pashman, Fr. Thomas Baima, Rabbi David Sandmel

    Photo by Vill Harmon

  • Fr. Thomas A. Baima delivers lecture at John Carroll University on the Catholic Understanding of Mission and Interreligious Dialogue | 10/27/2014

    The Very Reverend Thomas A. Baima was among the featured lecturers at a conference at John Carroll University near Cleveland on October 27, 2014. The lecture took place as part of the 19th annual meeting of the Midwest Muslim-Catholic dialogue group.

    Father Baima's presentation explored the relationship between mission and dialogue in the Catholic Church during the 50 years since the Second Vatican Council. While recognizing that Muslims and Catholics hold certain beliefs which are incompatible with each other, Fr. Baima argued that there exists enough common ground in their shared theism for them to work together at promoting religious freedom in a  democratic society and opposing discrimination on the basis of religion. 

    The Midwest Muslim-Catholic Dialogue is sponsored by the United States Conference of the Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the Islamic Society of North America. 

  • Fr. Tom Baima represents Archdiocese at the Niagara Foundation | 7/22/2014

    Fr. Tom Baima represents Archdiocese at the Niagara Foundation

  • Dr. Paul Hilliard delivers keynote at Catholic-Muslim Dialogue | 7/22/2014

    Dr. Paul Hilliard delivers keynote at Catholic-Muslim Dialogue.

  • Patricia Klein's New Book: "Seelenwege" | 5/12/2014

    Patricia Klein, the Associate Dean of Formation at Mundelein Seminary, has written a new book in German called "Seelenwege". 

    Read more here

  • Rev. Edward T. Oakes, S.J., Passes Away in St. Louis | 12/6/2013

    Jesuit Father Edward T. Oakes (b. 1948) died Friday morning, December 6, at the age of sixty-five.  A beloved priest and internationally known scholar, Fr. Oakes was a beloved member of the faculty.  Details about his life and the funeral arrangements may be found in his obituary.

  • Fr. Baima, Christian Leaders Completing Year-Long Study Of Judaism In Israel | 8/6/2013

    July 19, 2013 -- JERUSALEM – The Very Rev. Thomas A. Baima, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, was among sixteen prominent American Christian leaders who completed an intensive 13-month fellowship on Judaism, as part of the Christian Leadership Initiative (CLI), a partnership of the American Jewish Committee and the Shalom Hartman Institute.

    The fellowship involved two nine-day residential seminars at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem during which the CLI fellows interacted with Hartman research fellows and engaged in studying Jewish texts, focusing on Jewish concepts of God, ethics and community. In between the two residential seminars, the 16 Christian fellows, representing diverse denominations, have engaged in monthly distance-learning sessions, studying classical Jewish texts with leading Israeli scholars.

    “CLI fosters a unique approach in advancing interreligious relations. It provides an open space for Christian leadership to experience and study Judaism and Israel from a Jewish perspective,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations. ”We look forward to working with the CLI fellows as they apply their learning to Christian education and Jewish-Christian relations.”

    “The mixture of Jewish and Christian scholars challenges all of us,” said Dr. Marcie Lenk, Shalom Hartman Institute’s Co-Director of New Paths: Christians Engaging Israel. “There is an honesty and depth which comes from studying together.”

    With generous support from the Allen H. & Selma W. Berkman Charitable Trust, CLI, co-sponsored by the Shalom Hartman Institute and AJC, has been training top leadership of Christian seminaries, denominations and theological schools since 2008. Most of the 41CLI alumni attended the February 2013 inaugural CLI Alumni Study Retreat in Los Angeles at the American Jewish University.

    The 2012-2013 fellows of the Christian Leadership Initiative include:

    Dr. Paul Alexander, Professor of Christian Ethics and Public Policy, Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University, Philadelphia, PA

    Rev. Dr. Thomas A. Baima, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Professor of Dogmatic Theology, University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, IL

    Rev. Dr. Radu Bordeianu, Associate Professor, Department of Theology, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

    Rev. Bill Borror, Consultant, Unity Center, Chester, PA

    Dr. Lynn Cohick, Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

    Rev. Dr. Lincoln Galloway, K. Morgan Edwards Associate Professor of Homiletics, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA

    Rev. Dr. David P. Gushee, Professor of Christian Ethics, McAfee School of Theology, and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life, Mercer University, Atlanta, GA

    Dr. Angela Kim Harkins, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Center for Judaic Studies, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT

    Dr. Robert A. Hunt, Director of Global Theological Education and Professor of Christian Mission and Interreligous Relations, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

    Rev. Dr. Hak Joon Lee, Professor of Theology and Ethics, Fuller Theological School, Pasadena, CA

    Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis, Senior Pastor, Middle Collegiate Church, New York, NY

    Rev. Dr. Molly T. Marshall, President and Professor of Theology and Spiritual Formation, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Shawnee, KS

    Rev. Dr. Gregory Mobley, Professor of Christian Bible, Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, MA

    Rev. Dr. Martha Moore-Keish, Associate Professor of Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA

    Rev. Dr. Robert Nash, Associate Dean for Doctor of Ministry Studies and Professor of Missions and World Religions, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University, Atlanta, GA

    Dr. Michael R. Trice, Assistant Dean for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry, Seattle, WA

  • Father Baima attends Installation of El Paso Bishop | 7/11/2013

    Bishop Mark Seitz was installed as the sixth bishop of El Paso. Father Thomas Baima represented Mundelein Seminary at the Installation. Eleven of the priests of the Diocese of El Paso received their formation at Mundelein Seminary. We congratulate Bishop Seitz on becoming the new pastor of this local church.

    More than 4,000 people, including about 25 bishops and many priests gathered in the Convention Center of El Paso as Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller presided over the installation of El Paso's new bishop, the Most Rev. Mark Seitz, D.D.

    Bishop Seitz, a native of Milwaukee, served the Diocese of Dallas first as a priest and then as auxiliary bishop.  He becomes the Sixth Bishop of El Paso.

    Mundelein Seminary is proud to have provided formation for a number of the priests of El Paso.  We congratulate Bishop Seitz on his installation.

  • Father Baima speaks at Ecumenical Service | 6/19/2013

    The Very Reverend Thomas A. Baima in his role as Vicar for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Archdiocese of Chicago, spoke at the annual Prayer for Christian Unity at Saint Thomas the Apostle Cathedral of the Syro-Malabar Eparchy in Chicago on June 9, 2013.

    The Annual Prayer Service for Christian Unity was held on June 9, 2013 in Bellwood.  It was hosted by the Eparchy of Saint Thomas in Chicago for the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church.  The Very Rev. Thomas A. Baima, Vicar for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs led the delegation of the Archdiocese of Chicago.  The Annual Prayer is sponsored by Ecumenism Metro Chicago, a group of Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant communities who came together to celebrate the Millennium of Christianity in 2000.  Each year, they gather for prayer around Trinity Sunday.

  • April 2, 2013 | 4/2/2013

    The Office of the Rector announced some changes to the Mundelein Seminary Faculty which will take effect July 1, 2013.

    First, Father Barron expressed his thanks to a number of our faculty members who will be completing their service to Mundelein Seminary and wished them God’s blessings in their new appointments.

    Father Peter Damian Akpunonu, Professor in the Department of Biblical Exegesis and Proclamation, will be retiring from Mundelein Seminary and is returning to his home diocese in Nigeria to teach in the major seminary and serve as a consultant to the Bishops’ Conference.

    Father Kevin Feeney, Director of Spiritual Life, has been appointed as the Chaplain and Director of the Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern University.

    Father Thomas Norris, Paluch Professor of Theology, will become a full-time faculty member of the Pontifical Irish College in Rome.

    Secondly, he announced several new appointments to our seminary faculty:

    Father Marek Duran, who is currently completing his post-graduate studies in Rome, will become instructor in the Department of Moral Theology.

    Father Christopher House, presently vocation director for the Diocese of Springfield, will become an associate dean of formation.

    Father John Kartje, currently Chaplain and Director of the Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern University will become assistant professor in the Department of Biblical Studies.

    Father Carlos Rodriguez, currently associate pastor of St. Michael Parish in Orland Park, will become associate dean of formation.

    Father Brian Welter, presently vocation director for the Archdiocese of Chicago, will become an associate dean of formation.

    Father Wilson D. Miscamble, CSC, coming from Notre Dame University, will hold the Paluch Chair of Theology in the 2013-2014 academic year.

    Archbishop Arthur Roche, who serves as the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and is the former Bishop of Leeds in England, has accepted our invitation to be the 2014 Albert Cardinal Meyer Lecturer.

    Father Edward T. Oakes, S.J., professor of systematic theology, had two articles on the mystery of Holy Saturday come out, appropriately enough, during Holy Week: 1) “Pope Ben-edict XVI on Christ’s Descent into Hell,” Nova et Vetera Volume 11, Number 1 (Winter 2013), pp. 231-52, which traces the development of the thinking of Joseph Ratzinger on this mystery of the faith from his 1968 book Introduction to Christianity to the first volume of his three-volume work Jesus of Nazareth, published in 2007; and 2) “Reason Enraptured,” First Things, Number 232 (April 2013), pp. 45-50, which provides an overview of the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar, with a special stress on the place of Holy Saturday in the overall structure of his thought.

  • March 18, 2013 | 4/2/2013

    Dr. Denis McNamara, Assistant Director of The Liturgical Institute, traveled to Providence College where he gave two lectures on Church Architecture to undergraduates studying Theology and Western Civilization.

    Meyer Lecture Series - This week, Mundelein Seminary concluded its six year series on the Second Vatican Council with the 2013 Albert Cardinal Meyer Lecture Series on Religious Freedom. The Meyer Lecturer was Paula Stannard, former deputy general counsel and acting general counsel of the United States Department of Health and Human Services now counsel at Alston and Bird LLP in Washington D.C. Ms. Stannard delivered two lectures: “Our First Freedom: An Exploration of the Constitutional and Statutory Protection of Religious Liberty and Conscience” and “Religious Liberty, Conscience and Health Care: A Case Study of Two Administrations’ Implementation of the Public Health Services Act.” Additional presentations on the theme of Religious Liberty were offered by two Mundelein professors of systematic theology, Fr. Lawrence Hennessey, whose paper was titled: “John Courtney Murray’s Defense of Religious Liberty” and Fr. Thomas A. Baima who presented, “The Relationship of Natural Law to a Catholic Understanding of Religious Freedom.” The lectures will be published in our journal Chicago Studies.

    Community Activities

    Father Thomas Baima, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, did interviews on the election of Pope Francis for the Archdiocesan Office of Media Relations with WGN News at Nine, the Chicago Tribune and the local affiliates of CBS and ABC. Sister Alicia Torres was interviewed by WGN News at Nine on the new Pope, her vocation and on women in the Church today. We thank them for bringing a positive message about Catholicism to these media audiences.

    Earlier in the week, Fr. Thomas Baima delivered a lecture to the Catholic-Jewish Scholars Dialogue in Chicago on “The New Teaching on Contempt” which explored some parallels between classical anti-Semitism and more recent expressions of anti-Catholicism and Islamophobia. The Catholic-Jewish Scholars is an official dialogue of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

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