News and Updates: 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Advent Resources for 2012

There are some wonderful new resources on the web for those looking for advent prayer and reflection materials.

The Jesuit Collaborative http://www.jesuit-collaborative.org/advent-resources

Here you will find podcasts and an online retreat to prepare you for advent.

Creighton University  http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/index.html

This site offers reflections, prayers, lectures and much more.

Loyola Press http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/advent/

Provides an online advent calendar, video reflections and many other materials.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-resources/advent/upload/advent-2012-calendar-print.pdf

The Bishop's site provide an advent calendar for the family.


All of us at the Graduate School of Religion and Religous Education wish you a peaceful and blessed Christmas and Advent.

Dr. Durka speaks at Istanbul Conference


GLORIA DURKA, PROFESSOR OF RELIGION EDUCATION, addressed the opening plenary session of the International Symposium on Values which was held in Istanbul, Turkey, November 16-18.  Her address at the opening session was entitled, “Teaching Values through Art.”  On the second day of the conference, she delivered a plenary address on “Religious Education and the Teaching of Values in a Post-modern World.”  The conference was attended by more than 300 teachers and professors of religious education from Turkey, England, Norway,  Germany, Australia, Iran, and the United States.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dr. Bingaman presents on "The Promise of Neuroplasticity" at Princeton Theological Seminary


Dr. Kirk Bingaman presented a paper, "The Promise of Neuroplasticity for Pastoral Care and Counseling," at the 2012 conference of New Directions in Pastoral Theology held at Princeton Theological Seminary. The paper will form a chapter of a future book focusing on recent neuroscientific studies and findings and the implications for the practice of pastoral and spiritual care.

Tom Beaudoin convenes Rock and Theology Project at AAR

Last weekend, GSRRE's Prof. Tom Beaudoin convened a meeting of the Rock and Theology Project at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in Chicago, Illinois. The project is sponsored by Catholic publisher Liturgical Press. Some 20 religion scholars, many of whom are also practicing musicians, are involved. Rock and Theology produces the Rock and Theology blog (www.rockandtheology.com) and will see its first publication, titled Secular Rock and Sacred Theology, edited by Prof. Beaudoin, in spring 2013.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dr. Tom Beaudoin to speak on South by Southwest Panel on Rock and Religion





Dr. Tom Beaudoin of GSRRE is part of a panel on rock and roll and religion that has just been announced for the South By Southwest music festival, in Austin, Texas, for March 2013. The panel, "Into the Mystic: Secular Music as a Quest for More," will feature religion scholars discussing the religious significance of secular music from multiple perspectives. South By Southwest is a major annual music festival that features over 2000 bands and attracts tens of thousands of music fans. 


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ignatian Heritage Week at Fordham - Events and Links

Starting on Wednesday October 17th, Fordham celebrates Ignatian Heritage week.  The busy week of events recalls St. Ignatius of Loyola and the founding of the Jesuit Order while also celebrating the work of Jesuits worldwide today.  In honor of this week, here are some links to help you understand our Ignatian Heritage and to invite you to the Ignatian Week events.

A  brief introduction to the Jesuits and St. Ignatius of Loyola on the Fordham website:

http://www.fordham.edu/mission/mission_and_ministry/ignatian_heritage/index.asp

The website which describes the work of Jesuits in the United States:

http://www.jesuit.org/

Here is a list of the many public events in the next week to celebrate Ignatian Heritage week:

http://www.fordham.edu/mission/mission_and_ministry/campus_ministry/campus_ministry_at_f/explore_campus_minis/ignatian_week_89351.asp

Here are some wonderful videos with Jesuits who work at Fordham and around New York City:

http://www.fordham.edu/jescom/Conversations.shtml

New Spirituality Faculty at GSRRE and upcoming lecture at Westchester

GRE Spreads the Word about Spirituality


By Joanna Klimaski

Few would question the link between Spirituality and Christianity—but what about the spirituality of business?

The two might seem at odds, but faculty and administrators at the
Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE) believe
that spirituality can play an important role in many fields of study.

“Spirituality is about learning how faith can concretely help your
relationships become better and your life become better,” said C.
Colt Anderson, Ph.D., dean of GRE. “Our focus on spirituality
[at GRE] is to draw these horizons together so that people can
understand the truth of the teachings in themselves, and how these
principles are at play in the world.”

In its broadest sense, spirituality is the way in which one “lives out”
a faith, Christian or otherwise. Spiritual practices often include
religious activities such as praying and reading Scripture, but they
also have practical secular components. “Meditative practices, for
example, allow you to get outside of situations to rejuvenate
creativity and focus,” Dean Anderson said. “You can apply this to
business, politics, communications—taking the time out for quiet
contemplation, getting perspective on things.”

He cited, for example, corporate expert Jim Collins, author of
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
(HarperCollins, 2011), who wrote about the “paradoxical blend”
of humility (deferring personal needs for the greater good of the
company) and ambition (the drive to help the company succeed)
at work in the corporate world.

These traits, which Collins argues are requisite for corporate leaders,
are also considered Christian virtues.  “Christian spirituality is consonant
with leadership and management skills today,” Dean Anderson said.
“Christian leaders also encourage channeling egoistic needs away from
oneself to focus on the larger goal of building the Kingdom of Heaven
which is not a personal mission, it’s a larger mission… These leaders are
humble, but they’re very ambitious.”

The study of spirituality has always been central at GRE—several
master’s and doctoral programs, as well as a faith formation certificate
, include concentrations in spirituality. Recently, though, GRE has taken
steps to amplify the message.

This year, the school added two new professors of spirituality: Shannon
McAlister, Ph.D., an expert in the history of feminine language for God,
and Francis McAloon, S.J., former associate professor of Christian
Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University.

On Oct. 26, the pair will give a joint lecture, “New Directions in
Spirituality,” at Fordham Westchester.  McAlister’s talk offers an
innovative take on the Christian conception of God. “There’s this
concept of speaking about God as like a mother, and specifically
conceiving and giving birth,” she said. “You find this in Scripture,
and I argue that you find it in the theology behind the Nicene Creed.”
McAlister explained that the original rendition of the creed used the
Latin word natus, meaning “born,” to describe Jesus as “born of the
Father”—wording that evokes mother imagery. Incorporating such
language could promote a more holistic spirituality and help women
see themselves as “fully made in the image of God,” McAlister said.

Father McAloon will discuss discernment, a key element of Christian
spirituality and, at its core, a decision-making process, by tracing the
practice from the New Testament to Ignatian spirituality.  “Spiritual
discernment means taking seriously that God has an intention or desire
for each of us, and part of our spiritual journeys include discerning what
God’s will is for us,” Father McAloon said. “I think it’s helpful to go
back and look at the Pauline letters and other texts that support this idea
that spiritual discernment is key to Christian discipleship.”  McAlister
and Father McAloon said that spirituality is important for the religious
and non-religious alike.

“Having a spirituality is constitutive of being a human person,” Father
McAloon said. “It’s part of everybody, no matter whether you believe
in a God or are an atheist. It’s part of what orients us beyond ourselves
to some sense that there is more than just ‘me’ in this world.”  It’s a
message that the GRE plans to take beyond the classroom by hosting
public events such as the Westchester lectures, forging new connections,
and more. “My hope is that we’re going to take the discipline of spirituality
and really show people how to carry it out into the broader world,” Dean
Anderson said. “[To show] that spirituality is relevant to professional as
well as personal life, and that it needs to be carried out in the other schools
and in involved partnerships with secular institutions, such as businesses.
“Because spiritual traditions could contribute to a more equitable and, indeed,
even more profitable society.”


More Top Stories in this issue:
Return to Top Stories index

Return to Inside Fordham home page
Copyright © 2012, Fordham University.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"The Challenge of Retaining Active Catholics" - presentation by Dr. Tom Beaudoin at conference on Vatican II

GSRRE's Dr. Tom Beaudoin will be giving a presentation this Saturday 13 October at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey. His talk is entitled "The Challenge of Retaining Active Catholics: 'Deconversion' Among Younger and Older Adults Today". It is part of a conference on "Reclaiming and Celebrating Vatican II With a New Generation." More information is here.

Conference Information

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

spring 2013 course offerings

The Spring 2013 schedule of courses for the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education is now availabe.  Spring 2013 Schedule of courses   Courses are available at the Rose Hill and Westchester classes and on-line.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP to visit Fordham University


On 12-13 February 2013, Timothy Radcliffe, OP, will be visiting Fordham. Fr. Radcliffe is a major figure in global Christianity and the former Master of the entire Dominican order. (His wiki page is here.) He is a warm-hearted, creative thinker who has focused on reconciling divisions within Catholicism and on putting the Catholic tradition and the world into substantial dialogue. His bestselling and award-winning book, _What is the Point of Being a Christian?_, has been lauded as a thoughtful, learned, hopeful, and accessible case for the meaning and importance of Christian life in the contemporary world.

Fr. Radcliffe will be with us for three events(visit this blog or www.fordham.edu/gre for full details in January 2013):
** Lecture: Tuesday 12 February 5:00pm, Tognino Hall, Rose Hill Campus(Bronx) of Fordham University: "How Can Christianity Touch the Imagination of Our Contemporaries?"

** Faculty/Grad Student Seminar: Graduate School of Religion / Theology Department / Curran Center faculty+graduate student seminar, Wednesday 13 February, 3:00-4:15, Keating 124: "Where Do Theologians Belong in the Church: The Center or the Edges?"

** Undergraduate Conversation: All undergraduates are welcome to a conversation with Fr. Radcliffe, Wednesday 13 February, 1:30-2:30, Keating 124

Fr. Radcliffe's visit is co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, the Department of Theology, and the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies.


http://www.op.org/en/content/spirituality-today-suffering-and-healing

http://www.icatholic.ie/videos/iec-2012-timothy-radcliffe-op/


Monday, September 24, 2012

Dr. Tom Beaudoin presents at St. John's University Colloquium

Last weekend, Dr. Tom Beaudoin presented a paper on "Postmodern Practical Theology" to a colloquium on the state of the field of practical theology at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. The colloquium is a working group of 14 theologians who are writing a book together about ways of doing practical theology today.

GSRRE Alumni Attend International Seminar


GSRRE ALUMS ATTEND INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR.  Three GSRRE alums attended the meeting of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values (ISREV) and presented papers.  The meeting was held in Turku, Finland, from July 29-August 3, 2012.  They are:  

Dr. Roseanne McDougall, GSRRE MA, ‘86, Assistant Professor, Lasalle University, who presented “Making History and Creating Memories:  Integrating Service Learning into the Undergraduate Religion Curriculum.”

Dr. Dzintra Ilisko, GSRRE MA, ’98; Ph.D.,’02, Associate Professor, Daugavpils University, who presented  “The Changing Landscapte of Research Traditions in a Latvian University:  Paradigmatic and Narrative Orientations.”

Dr. Myrtle Power, GSRRE Ph.D., ’05, Assistant Professor, St. Paul University, Ottawa, who presented “The Roots of Memory and the Space of Religious Education in Catholic Schools in Canada.”

Dr. Gloria Durka re-elected as President of ISREV


 
GLORIA DURKA, RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL SCHOLARLY ASSOCIATION.   Gloria Durka, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Education, presided over the meeting of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values  (ISREV) which was held in Turku, Finland, July 29-August 3, 2012.  The theme of the international meeting was “Respecting History and Remembrance in Religious Education Research.”  More than 160 scholars from 35 countries attended the conference.  Dr. Durka addressed a plenary session on the theme, “Challenges in Respecting History.”  ISREV is an invitational seminar of professors and researchers from 40 different countries.  At the final session of the meeting, Dr. Durka was re-elected President of ISREV.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Luncheon welcomes new faculty and dean to GSRRE

On Thursday September 20th THe Pastoral Ministry area of the Graduate School of Religion had a luncheon to welcome our new faculty members in the area and the new dean. Students from our Doctor of Ministry Program and our MA programs in Latino Ministry, Spirituality and Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Ministry were on hand.

Dr. C. Colt Anderson, Dean - GSRRE, welcomed those present to the gathering.  Dr. Shannon Mcalister and Fr. Francis McAloon, SJ, Ph.D. introduced themselves and their research interests to the students.  Fr. McAloon has written about Spirituality/prayer and poetry.  Dr. McAlister's work focuses on representations of the feminine in the Church Fathers.  Drs. Beaudoin and Burgaleta gave students an introduction to the expectations of our Pastoral Ministry programs.

Friday October 26th our new faculty members will give presentations during a session called "New Directions in Spirituality" at the Westchester campus of Fordham University.  The event is open to the public, please contact falciano@fordham.edu to respond or inquire for more information.


Where:              Fordham Westchester

                          400 Westchester Ave.

                          West Harrison, New York  10604

 
11:00am           Fr. Francis McAloon, SJ, PHD

"Try to discover what the Lord wants of you" (Eph 5: 10):

The Biblical Roots for Ignatian Discernment

of Spirits.
 

12:45pm Dr. Shannon McAlister. PhD

"Born of the Father": The Spirituality of the Divine Womb in Scripture, Creed, and the Words of the Saints"

 

Refreshments will be served.

 

This event is open to everyone!

There is no charge to attend.

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Award for "In All Things" Blog, including GSRRE faculty member Thomas Beaudoin

The GSRRE's own Dr. Thomas Beaudoin was honored, along with the other authors, for his work on the "In All Things" blog on the America Magazine website.  The award was recently presented to the authors by the Catholic Media Conference.  Congratulations!



We are happy to report that 'In All Things' received top honors from the Catholic Press Association at the Catholic Media Conference this weekend. The category: Best, er, Online Group Blog. A hearty thanks to all of our contributors—their unique mix of social and spiritual analyses is truly worth honoring.
America also won first place for Best Web site, the fifth year in a row we have garnered that honor. Associate Editor Kerry Weber, who attended this year's convention, will report here in more detail on the weekend and the winners. Stay tuned.
Tim Reidy

Chaplaincy Posting by Dr. Harold Horell

Opportunities in Chaplaincy

 
One of the great things about my work here at Fordham is that it brings me into contact with people from all over the country and beyond who are involved in a wide variety of church ministries. Moreover, many of the conversations in which I am involved concern the ministry opportunities that are available to Fordham GSRRE graduates. In a recent conversation with David Lichter from the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, David shared the following reflection he had written about exploring a call to the ministry of chaplaincy:

 What will your future service or ministry be? Did you know that some men and women are drawn to be with people in their moments of crises, suffering, illness, or nearness to death to provide a compassionate presence and help them cope emotionally and spiritually with their life circumstances? Chaplains are remarkable people. Have you ever considered this profession? In health care and other such settings, men and women have found great satisfaction in the pastoral/spiritual care ministry. Over half of the members of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) are lay women and men, endorsed as lay ecclesial health care ministers serving in hospitals, hospices, long term care, and a variety of other settings. For more than 47 years our NACC members, priests, religious men and women, deacons, and lay men and women, have continued the healing ministry of Jesus in the name of the Church. Would you consider this profession? Go to http://www.nacc.org/about/default.asp to find answers to many questions, as well as testimonies by many serving in this spiritual care field.

A number of times over the past five years, I have heard David speak about ministry as a chaplain. He always speaks with great clarity and insight as well as passion about the ways chaplaincy can be life-giving and life-sustaining work. After our most recent discussion, I wanted to share David’s words, and I encourage those of you exploring how you can make use of your talents and gifts to consider the ministry of chaplaincy.

 

n  Harold (Bud) Horell, Assistant Professor of Religious Education

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cardinal Dolan, Stephen Colbert at Fordham

Cardinal Dolan, Stephen Colbert at Fordham




Contact: Bob Howe
(212) 636-6358
howe@fordham.edu

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the archbishop of New York, joined Stephen Colbert, the popular host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, for a conversation about humor, faith, joy, and the spiritual life, at Fordham University in the Bronx on Sept. 14.

“The Cardinal and Colbert: Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life,” was moderated by James Martin, S.J., a Jesuit priest and author of Between Heaven and Mirth. The multimedia discussion touched on the relationship between humor and faith, framed within Catholicism.

The event drew more than 3,000 spectators and was simulcast in Keating Hall.

Colbert is the host and executive producer of the multiple Emmy and Peabody award-winning program The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, which the The New York Times called “one of the best television shows of the year.” The show parodies the hyper-political conventions of television news broadcasting.

His book, I Am America (And So Can You!), spent 29 weeks on The New York Times’ best-seller list in 2007, debuting at and occupying the number one spot for 13 weeks. Last Spring, Colbert released a children’s book titled I Am A Pole (And So Can You!), which documents a pole’s quest for identity, and on October 2, 2012, he will release his third book, America Again: Rebecoming The Greatness We Never Weren’t.

Colbert first gained wide public recognition as one of the characters in Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Colbert was the longest-tenured correspondent on the wildly popular news parody show, playing, as he described it, “a fool who has spent a lot of his life playing not the fool.”

Timothy Cardinal Dolan was appointed as the tenth and current archbishop of New York by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. He also serves as the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

An articulate defender of Church teaching, Cardinal Dolan is known for his charisma and outgoing personality. He combines an engaging personality with an articulate and passionate proclamation of the Catholic faith.

A friend of Fordham, the cardinal most recently presided over the Baccalaureate Mass in May, at which he received an honorary degree from Fordham.

Father Martin has been a frequent guest on The Colbert Report since September 2007. In 2008, Stephen Colbert promoted him from "friend of the show" to "Official Chaplain of the Colbert Nation."

Father Martin's book The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything (HarperOne, 2010), was a New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of My Life with the Saints (Loyola Press, 2007), which swas named by Publishers Weekly as one of the Best Books of 2006.

The event opened with an animated cartoon (featured below) created by Fordham senior Tim Luecke, a visual arts major.   http://youtu.be/tJDhcs3o8KU

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dr. Beaudoin appears on

Dr. Thomas Beaudoin appeared on the radio show and podcast "Things Not Seen" last week to discuss theology and music and his "Rock and Theology" project.  Follow this link to hear the broadcast.  For more on Dr. Beaudoin's work with Rock and Theology, please go to his site:
Rock and Theology

Friday, August 31, 2012

GSRRE's Dr. Mary Beth Werdel on Spirituality and Post-Traumatic Growth

Pastoral Counselor Explores Link Between Spirituality and Post-Traumatic Growth



Mary Beth Werdel, Ph.D., specializes in post-traumatic growth, which she details in a forthcoming book, Primer on Post-Traumatic Growth: An Introduction and Guide (Wiley, 2012), co-authored by Robert Wicks, Psy.D., professor of pastoral counseling at Loyola University Maryland.
Photo by Bruce Gilbert

By Joanna Klimaski

It was bereavement, ironically, that placed Mary Beth Werdel, Ph.D., at the helm of a course on death and dying
at the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE) this summer.
The course, Death, Dying, and Bereavement, was supposed to be taught by the Rev. Mary-Marguerite Kohn, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of pastoral counseling at GRE. But on May 5, Rev. Kohn, the co-rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Ellicott City, Md., and a fellow employee were shot and killed by a man who frequented St. Peter’s food pantry.
“She was such a wonderful human being—compassionate, loving, and quick to help,” said Werdel, assistant professor of pastoral counseling at GRE, who volunteered to teach the course in Rev. Kohn’s stead.
“Her spirit is definitely alive in the class. I try to bring her spirit in by using the structure of her syllabus, which she created before she died, as well as a few of the prayers and meditations said at her funeral,” she said. “Her tragic death shows the importance of preparing future pastoral counselors and care workers to work with those who are dying or bereaved in ways that do not further complicate a person’s grief, but rather assist in the healing process.”
As a professional counselor specializing in grief and loss issues, Werdel is uniquely qualified to teach a course on bereavement. She belongs to the school of thought known as positive psychology. This branch complements traditional models—which identify and remedy what is going wrong in an individual’s life—by identifying and nurturing what is going right.
She focuses particularly on post-traumatic growth, a phenomenon that evinces the “positive” side of trauma.
“Trauma is intrinsically negative, but in enduring the stress and trauma, we might ask, ‘Do I come to new understandings of myself, my relations with others, or my philosophies of life? And if I do, are these new experiences positive?’” she said. “We don’t push our clients to experience growth—that’s not the goal. The goal is to be aware… so that we can nurture that piece of a client, should it present itself, rather than mistakenly label it as Pollyanish thinking or denial.
Werdel’s particular interest centers on the relationship between post-traumatic growth and the influence of spirituality. Negative religious coping, such as feeling punished or abandoned by God, can hinder trauma victims in their healing process. However, those who experience spirituality as a positive force, especially as a way to find meaning in suffering, are likely to experience growth.
“The degree of someone’s maturity of faith, as defined by Benson and his colleagues as the degree to which someone embodies the priorities, commitments, and perspectives of a vibrant, life-transforming faith, is predictive of post-traumatic growth,” said Werdel, whose own research supports that this mature faith is a more powerful predictor of growth than personality or social support.
As for the correlation between mental health and spirituality, Werdel is again uniquely qualified; but on that matter, her expertise came uninvited.
During her senior year of college, Werdel’s 17-year-old brother Thomas disappeared while on a glacier expedition in Alaska. Rescue teams eventually concluded that he slipped while retrieving water from a stream at the edge of a crevasse and fell thousands of feet into the glacier.
“It was a profoundly stressful loss in my life,” Werdel said. “I began to notice how spirituality was very useful to me in my healing process. As a result, I started to examine my spirituality, break it open, and eventually come to own it in a new way. As a new, foundational piece of my identity.”
Conversely, she noticed that those in her life who had negative religious reactions seemed to struggle longer following Thomas’ death.
“I noticed how the people in my life who had secure relationships with God were moving through the grief and loss differently those who had troubling relationships with God, or were feeling abandoned by God,” she said. “I started to wonder if what I was experiencing in my own life, and what I noticed others experiencing in their lives was beyond anecdotal. I was curious as to if there was a conversation on the topic and, if so, what was evidenced by research.”
In addition to inspiring her own research, the experience later enriched her clinical work with undocumented Mexican and Salvadoran immigrants, whom she counseled before coming to Fordham in 2010.
“To lose one’s sense of home can be profoundly difficult, and some people need to find meaning after such a loss. Loss need not be death. Any change, even if the change is perceived as ‘good’ includes a potential loss experience. Spirituality is, for many people, a way to find meaning in their loss.”
It’s a message that she has learned through both her personal grief and clinical practice, and is now sharing with the students of Death, Dying, and Bereavement. Together they are working through the loss of their teacher, and preparing to, one day, guide others through grief.
“It reminds us of the importance of this work—that this is a need in our lives,” she said. “We are relational beings, and we are physically finite beings. We need to learn to hold the paradox—not run from it.”
 Copyright © 2012, Fordham University.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cardinal Dolan, Stephen Colbert and jim Martin, SJ at Fordham this September


Cardinal Dolan, Stephen Colbert at Fordham

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the archbishop of New York, will join Stephen Colbert, the popular host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, for a conversation about humor, faith, joy, and the spiritual life, at Fordham University in the Bronx on Sept. 14.

“The Cardinal and Colbert: Humor, Joy, and the Spiritual Life,” will be moderated by James Martin, S.J., a Jesuit priest and author of Between Heaven and Mirth.  The multimedia discussion promises to be sincere, substantive, and fun.

WHO: 
        Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Stephen Colbert, and Father James Martin
WHAT:        A Conversation About Humor, Faith, Joy, and the Spiritual Life
WHEN:       Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
WHERE:     Rose Hill Gymnasium, Fordham University, Rose Hill campus

Watch the Fordham home page for details about tickets.

Colbert is the host and executive producer of the multiple Emmy and Peabody award-winning program The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, which the The New York Times called “one of the best television shows of the year.” The show parodies the hyper-political conventions of television news broadcasting.

His book, I Am America (And So Can You!), spent 29 weeks on The New York Times’ best-seller list in 2007, debuting at and occupying the number one spot for 13 weeks. Last Spring, Colbert released a children’s book titled I Am Pole (And So Can You!), which documents a pole’s quest for identity, and on October 2, 2012, he will release his third book, America Again: Rebecoming The Greatness We Never Weren’t.

Colbert first gained wide public recognition as one of the characters in Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Colbert was the longest-tenured correspondent on the wildly popular news parody show, playing, as he described it, “a fool who has spent a lot of his life playing not the fool.”

Timothy Cardinal Dolan was appointed as the tenth and current archbishop of New York by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. He also serves as the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

An articulate defender of Church teaching, Cardinal Dolan is known for his charisma and outgoing personality. He combines an engaging personality with an articulate and passionate proclamation of the Catholic faith.

A friend of Fordham, the cardinal most recently presided over the Baccalaureate Mass in May, at which he received an honorary degree from Fordham.

Father Martin has been a frequent guest on The Colbert Report since September 2007. In 2008, Stephen Colbert promoted him from "friend of the show" to "Official Chaplain of the Colbert Nation."

Father Martin is a Jesuit priest and the author of numerous books, including his latest, on joy, humor, and laughter in the spiritual life, Between Heaven and Mirth.  His book The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything (HarperOne, 2010), was a New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of My Life with the Saints (Loyola Press, 2007), which sold more than 100,000 copies and was named by Publishers Weekly as one of the Best Books of 2006.

Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to more than 15,100 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in West Harrison, N.Y., the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y., and the London Centre at Heythrop College in the United Kingdom.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fordham and Brooklyn Diocese Form CSAA

Fordham and Brooklyn Diocese Form CSAA



Contact: Joanna Klimaski

(212) 636-7175

jklimaski@fordham.edu


Brooklyn Catholic schools have a new way to earn accreditation, thanks to a recent partnership forged between Fordham and the Diocese of Brooklyn.



The Graduate School of Education (GSE) and the Diocese have jointly created the Catholic School Accreditation Association (CSAA), the establishment of which was marked at a signing ceremony at the diocesan offices on May 25.



“The purpose is to bring the credibility of a major Catholic university into the process of accrediting Catholic schools… We are focusing on the Catholic identity of schools and also focusing on academic excellence,” said James J. Hennessy, Ph.D., dean of GSE. “[It will also] help communicate more broadly about the high academic quality of accredited schools, thus boosting enrollments and perhaps reversing the trend of closing schools.”



Characterized by its dual attention to academics and Catholic identity, CSAA provides parochial schools with an alternative to the Middle States Accreditation process.



“Principals were dissatisfied with the accreditation process from Middle States,” said the Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, GSS ’80, bishop of Brooklyn. “We want academic excellence—that’s what our schools are about—but we also want them to be Catholic schools. We want to make sure these… are in concert with one another.”



CSAA will develop accrediting standards for Catholic nursery, elementary, and secondary schools. Though it will be geared initially toward Brooklyn schools, the group foresees having a wider scope.



“This is a visionary response to really look at accreditation practices and pave the way for other organizations to model,” said Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D., superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn. “CSAA fully understands what it means to be urban and Catholic, and understands what it means to be a diocese in a diverse city… It will allow for growth and will in turn allow for other dioceses and archdioceses throughout the country to participate.”



Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, and Bishop DiMarzio presided over the signing ceremony, which was witnessed by Chadzutko and Hennessy. In his remarks, Father McShane noted that by centering on the preservation of Catholic education, the partnership promotes a higher cause.



“We’re not fighting just for the future of Catholic education, as much as we see that as valued. The schools have been the way of ensuring the Church’s future in the United States,” Father McShane said. “This partnership will enable us to help one another in very significant ways. Fordham is delighted to do it, honored to do it, and committed to the work.”





Bishop DiMarzio and Father McShane signed a

Memorandum of Understanding on May 15, officially establishing the Catholic School Accreditation Association.

Photo by Bruce Gilbert

“This is a great opportunity for Fordham to ‘live’ its commitment to Catholic schools,” Hennessy said. “With our support and endorsement, those schools may once again thrive, assuring, then, a steady flow of parochial school students to Catholic high schools, and eventually on to Catholic universities such as Fordham.”



Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to more than 15,100 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in West Harrison, N.Y., the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y., and the London Centre at Heythrop College in the United Kingdom.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dr. Robert Brancatelli on NBC News on the Pope's visit to Cuba

GSRRE Visiting Professor Robert Brancatelli recently appeared on NBC News commenting on the Pope's visit to Cuba....click here for footage: He will make a presentation to the Jesuit Business Educators at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles July 12-14 entitled "Mission Drift and Realignment: The Magis Method" Dr. Brancatelli will make a presentation entitled "Entrepreneurial Discipleship: Having Faith in the Marketplace" at the National Association of Lay Ministry in Alexandria, Virginia in June
Dr. Donna Eschenauer, GSRRE 2010 On Friday, May 4th Donna Eschenauer presented a lecture at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, NY for the Graduate Alumni Association’s Spring Theological Update. The lecture focused on lay ecclesial ministry in the Church, with special attention focused on the recently published book, edited by
Donna Eschenauer and Harold Horell (Liturgical Press).

Monday, May 7, 2012

GSRRE mourns the passing of Rev. Kohn, GSRRE Adjunct Professor

Dear Members of the Fordham Family, It is my very sad duty to report the death of Rev. Marguerite Mary Kohn, adjunct faculty in the distance learning program of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education. She was shot and wounded Thursday at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, where she worked, in Ellicott City, Maryland, and died Saturday at a hospital in Baltimore. Rev. Kohn’s colleague, Brenda Brewington, an employee of St. Peter's, was killed in the same attack. It is heartbreaking to lose these two women, whose lives were dedicated to helping others, in an instant of brutality. I ask that you join with me in praying for Rev. Kohn and Ms. Brewington, for their families and colleagues, and for the faculty and students of GSRRE. We will keep the University community informed about funeral services and memorials for Rev. Kohn. Sincerely, Joseph M. McShane, S.J. Note: The above e-mail address is a one-way mail service for broadcast message only. It cannot accept incoming e-mails.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dr. Kieran Scott will present a lecture on the future of the Church this Friday at the Westchester Campus

Click here for the Fordham new story. GRE Professor to Offer Special Lecture at Westchester Campus Kieran Scott, Ed.D., associate professor of theology and religious education Kieran Scott, Ed.D., associate professor of theology and religious education, will discuss the future of church education at a special reception and presentation this week. “Educational Ministry in the Church of the 21st Century: Models for the Future” Friday, May 4 11:30 a.m. Fordham Westchester campus 400 Westchester Ave., West Harrison, New York 10604
According to Scott, who teaches in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE), the 21st century Church is at a crossroads. “My talk attempts to address what I see as the great divide in the Christian churches, and particularly the Roman Catholic Church—the division in liberal and conservative categories and ideologies,” Scott said. “I believe that it’s a false choice to have to choose between a liberal and a conservative approach to the life of the Church.” Nevertheless, a compromise between these two sides isn’t necessarily the answer, said Scott, a specialist in the foundations of religious education, curriculum theory, and adult religious education. “[Rather,] education is an imperfect panacea to the current division and dilemmas,” he said. “I think education is at the heart of our crisis, but genuine education is the imperfect solution to it. “The past is the new future,” he added, offering a clue to what he will propose in the lecture. Lunch will be served prior to Scott’s 1 p.m. lecture, followed by dessert and discussion. For more information or to RSVP contact William Madden, assistant dean of GRE, at wmadden@fordham.edu.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

On Good Friday, Dr. Lisa Cataldo gave a meditation on "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" at St. Bartholomew's Church in Manhattan. You can hear her meditation here: http://www.stbarts.org/sermon-detail/good-friday-meditations-on-the-seven-last-words-of-christ/

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Claudio Burgaleta, GSRRE publishes an introduction to Ecclesiology

Father Claudio Burgaleta, SJ, PH.D., from the GSRRE has just completed an introduction to ecclesiology in Spanish for adult faith formation, the title is Manual de la Eclesiologica para los Catolicos de Hoy It is the third in a series for Liguori Publications.

Public Event - Educational Ministry in the Church in the 21st Century

The Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham invites you to: A Special Reception and Presentation at the Westchester Campus Educational Ministry in the Church of the 21st Century: Models for the Future Lecturer: Dr. Kieran Scott, Fordham University, GSRRE Dr. Scott is Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University. His expertise is in foundations of religious education, curriculum theory and adult religious education. He has taught extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Among his recent publications are Human Sexuality in the Catholic Tradition (co‐edited with Harold Daly Horell) and Perspectives on Marriage, Third Edition (co‐edited with Michael Warren). Please RSVP to: William Madden Assistant Dean wmadden@fordham.edu Friday May 4th, 2012 Where: Fordham Westchester 400 Westchester Ave. West Harrison, New York 10604 11:30am Registration and Coffee 12:00pm Lunch 1:00pm Presentation 2:00pm Dessert and Discussion There is no charge for this event
GLORIA DURKA, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Education, has been named to the Advisory Board of the Center for Values Education in Istanbul, Turkey. She is the U.S. representative on the Board which has representatives from Europe, Australia, and Saudi Arabia. The Center is sponsoring an International Symposium on Values Education to be held November 16-18, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Upcoming Lecture on Deconversion by Beaudoin and Hornbeck

Help My Unbelief! Exploring Deconversion in Catholicism

Many Catholics are redefining their relationship
with the church -- if not leaving it completely. Why?
That’s the question Fordham University professors
Tom Beaudoin and Patrick Hornbeck will explore,
as they lead a discussion on “deconversion” or
change in religious affiliation in American Catholicism.

Who’s making the change? What’s involved?
What is it like to re-imagine one’s relationship with
Catholicism? What are the implications for the
church, theology and society? Beaudoin and Hornbeck
will address these questions and share research
on this widespread issue.

Sunday, May 6, 2012 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Maryknoll Mission Center
55 Ryder Road, Ossining, New York 10562
914-941-7590 | www.maryknollsociety.org

RSVP: To Colleen Brathwaite
CBrathwaite@Maryknoll.org
914.941.7636 ext. 2445

Beaudoin, associate professor of theology in the
Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education
at Fordham University, is the author of Witness
to Dispossession: The Vocation of a Postmodern
Theologian. Hornbeck is assistant professor of theology
and medieval studies in Fordham’s Faculty of
Arts and Sciences.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Graeme Fancourt speaks at Fordham




Dr. Tom Beaudoin, associate professor of theology in GSRRE, hosted Rev. Dr. Graeme Fancourt for two events on 28 March: a student/faculty seminar and a presentation in Dr. Beaudoin's "Theology of Ministry" class. Dr. Fancourt spoke at both events about the theologies of the church that are being presented and contested in the influential movements labeled the "emerging church" today.

GSRRE Graduate Ilisko gives a keynote presentation


DZINTRA ILISKO, GSRRE Ph.D. ’02, presented a keynote address at the Third IASYM (International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry) European Conference which took place in Tallin, Estonia, April 11-14, 2012. The conference theme was “Sustainable Youth Ministry: Research for Post-secular Europe.” Dr. Ilisko is Associate Professor at Daugavpils University in Latvia, and Director of the Institute for Sustainable Education. Her presentation was entitled, “Sustainable Youth Ministry in Latvia.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thomas Beaudoin named President of the Association of Practical Theology

At the biennial meeting of the Association of Practical Theology, 13-15 April at Princeton Theological Seminary, Dr. Tom Beaudoin was elected as president-elect. Dr. Beaudoin is associate professor in the GSRRE. He will serve as president-elect from 2012-2014, and as president of the APT from 2014-2016. Also at the biennial meeting, Dr. Beaudoin presented a paper with Dr. Patrick Hornbeck, assistant professor in the Department of Theology, titled "Deconversion in Roman Catholicism."

New Article from Gloria Durka

Gloria Durka, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Education, GSRRE, has just published “Theology of Religions: Through the Looking Glass of US Roman Catholicism, “ in Teaching Religion, Teaching Truth: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives, Ed. J. Astley, L.J.Francis, M. Robbins, and M. Selcuk, Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang Publishers, 2012, pp. 11-29. The book is the first volume of an international series on Religion, Education and Values. Prof. Durka is President of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values (ISREV), an invitational scholarly association of 300 members from 35 countries.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thomas Beaudoin in the Revealer

See this Revealer article, where Dr. Thomas Beaudoin is references on a recent New York Times advertisement. http://therevealer.org/archives/10812

Dr. Beaudoin speaks at Occupy Faith Conference

Tom Beaudoin, associate professor of theology in the GSRRE, attended the national conference of Occupy Faith at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, March 20-22. He was one of six representatives from Occupy Faith NYC/Occupy Wall Street. The conference planned future actions by various spiritual/religious communities in support of the Occupy movement. Over 60 leaders from 14 Occupy sites attended. Professor Beaudoin has written several articles on the Occupy movement and theology for America, the national Jesuit magazine.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Summer at the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education!

Recently the GSRRE released our Summer 2012 course offerings. These course are open to new and continuing degree students and many are also open to visitors and auditors. The on-campus courses are one week intensives in the Summer, and we also offer two on-line sessions. On Campus housing is available....so come join us!

Visit us on the web for more information:

http://www.fordham.edu/academics/colleges__graduate_s/graduate__profession/graduate_school_of_r/summer_session/index.asp

Journalist Sees Waning Political Influence of Catholic Church


Contact: Patrick Verel
(212) 636-7790
verel@fordham.edu



David Gibson
Photo by Patrick Verel
The Catholic Church is in danger of losing its place in the American political sphere, a religious journalist said on Feb. 28.

David Gibson, a journalist for the Religion News Service and author of The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle with the Modern World, (HarperOne, 2006) delivered that assessment at a lecture at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus.

Although Catholics currently inhabit the offices of vice president, the speaker of the House (current and former), and six out of nine Supreme Court seats, Gibson asserted that the churches’ influence on matters of public policy in the United States is waning.

Nowhere was this more apparent than the recent decision by the Obama administration to not grant a waiver to Catholic hospitals and universities that object to covering the cost of contraceptives to their employees, he said.

When a compromise was announced on Feb. 10 that insurers, not employers, would have to provide coverage, groups such as the Catholic Health Association and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) supported it. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, however, did not, and have since denounced it.

“Why this battle, why now, and why framed in such apocalyptic terms? I think it epitomizes not only the current state of our fractured national polity, but also illuminates many critical aspects of Catholic political dynamics in this year of our Lord, 2012,” he said.

Gibson said three lessons can be gleaned from the current state in this country:
-Politics has become more like religion
-Catholics don’t know how to do politics well anymore
-Catholic leaders have become evangelical

One the first point, he said politics has a kind of substitute religion for many citizens.

“They’re bringing the worst attributes of religious thinking to the political sphere: Ideas like martyrdom and schism, condemnation and alienation, and above all, a purists’ mentality that considers political positions as articles of faith and compromise as a form of heresy,” he said.

Republican presidential candidates who refused in a recent debate to consider a national budget that includes $10 of spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases are guilty of this, as are Democrats who refused at first to grant the health care waiver for religious institutions.

One the second point, he noted that there is division among American bishops about whether to lobby for broad exemption for faith-based organizations or a complete abolishment of the contraception mandate.

This was preceded by the fight that erupted over President Obama’s invitation to speak at Notre Dame in 2009 and the debate over whether to deny Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry communion in 2004.

Both are examples, he said, of how Catholic leaders are trending away from the Democratic party, even though polls show the laity is not. And even though, Gibson said, that the party does advance causes dear to the church—like 40 Democratic congressmen (led by Bart Stupak of Michigan) who insisted that the 2010 Universal Health Care Bill not include funding for abortions.

Gibson called Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum an example of a Catholic leader who is often mistaken to be an evangelical Protestant.

“In a Republican primary where white evangelicals are a key voting block, this has been good politics for Rick Santorum in particular, but it’s a jarring sight for Catholic voters,” he said. “Here you have a Catholic candidate supporting creationism in schools, rallying against immigration, hailing the free market as sort of a panacea, and saying that wanting everyone to go to college—a longstanding dream of Catholic leaders throughout our history—is [snobbery],” he said.

The solution to today’s divisions is not to try to drive the faithful to one political party or another, or even create a third party that is more uniquely Catholic. Gibson suggested, instead, a revival of the “politics of personalism” of the sort that Pope John Paul II practiced.

“This is a mode of relating, not one particular stance, position or party,” he said. “It would start with a recovery of the virtue of prudential judgment on matters of laws and politics, rediscovering the ability to distinguish what is central and what is peripheral, what is contingent and what is a sort of danger to the faith.”

“An apocalyptic mindset characteristic more of the evangelical world than the Catholic world prevails among many Catholics. In that Manichean world, there’s only good and evil, and nothing between the two.
“When all you have is that kind of a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” he said.

Gibson's lecture was sponsored by the Department of Theology, the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies and the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Ecucation.

Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to more than 15,100 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in West Harrison, N.Y., the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y., and the London Centre at Heythrop College in the United Kingdom.
2/12

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Jesuit Education

GSRRE Professor and Ph.D. Graduate both appointed to International Editorial Board.

Gloria Durka, Professor of Religious Education, has been appointed to the Editorial Board of PANORAMA: The Intercultural Annual of Interdisciplinary Ethical and Religious Studies for Responsible Research. The journal aims to encourage comparative studies in the fields of ethics, education, religious and moral education, philosophy, religion and theology on an international level. Its goal is to contribute to the dialogue among scholars throughout the world. Dr. Durka is one of 11 members from 9 countries who comprise the Editorial Board.

Also appointed is Dzintra Ilisko, Ph.D.,’02. Dr. Ilisko is Associate Professor of Education at Daugavpils University in Latvia. She is the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Education which is located at the University.

ARTIST AND ICON WRITER VISITS GSRRE

Sister Antonia Cooper, OSF, artist and icon writer, gave a workshop session on “Icons: Doorways to the Sacred,” for students in the course, Spirituality and the Arts, on February 14, 2012. Sister Antonia demonstrated the process of icon writing and explained its symbolism. She discussed the use of icons in prayer and meditation, and together with Prof. Gloria Durka, gave an exposition of key elements of iconography. Students were then invited to participate in various aspects of meditating with icons.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Professor Endeavors to Mutually Enhance the Fields of Psychology and Religion



Professor Endeavors to Mutually Enhance the
Fields of Psychology and Religion


Lisa Cataldo, Ph.D., said the study of eastern religions brought her home to her Christian roots.

Photo by Joanna Klimaski

By Joanna Klimaski

By most modern standards, Lisa Cataldo had achieved success.

After receiving an M.B.A. from Columbia University, she secured a job in Manhattan working for Chemical Bank and spent the next eight years carving out her place in the world of corporate real estate financing.

Something, however, was lacking.

“On some level I didn’t feel fulfilled, and I didn’t feel like I was contributing anything to the world,” said Cataldo, Ph.D., assistant professor of pastoral counseling at the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE) and a licensed psychoanalyst. “Ultimately, it just didn’t feel like me.”

She quit her job and traveled about as far away from corporate real estate as she could get: India and Nepal. For several months, she journeyed on a spiritual pilgrimage, visiting temples, monasteries, ashrams, and other places of worship, hoping that one of them might contain the missing piece.

“I was very interested in spirituality, and that study of eastern religions ultimately brought me home to my Christian roots,” she said.

Entertaining the idea of pursuing theology, she returned to New York, taking inspiration from a speech given by the late priest and spiritual writer Henri Nouwen. Nouwen was pastor of L’Arche Daybreak Toronto, a community for individuals with cognitive disabilities and the volunteers who assist them.

“I went there on a retreat because I was attracted to the idea of this place,” said Cataldo. “But once I got there, I realized it wasn’t an idea—it was real life. And I had to move in.”

Cataldo stayed for several months, and remains closely connected with L’Arche. “It was a real, lived experience. It wasn’t just going to ashrams and meditating. This was about how real spiritual growth takes place in relationship with other people, who show you what it means to be human.”

She returned, again, to Manhattan and enrolled at Union Theological Seminary to study psychology and religion. Her own experience in psychoanalysis, coupled with her experiences both in India and Toronto, drew her to the disciplines.

While some hold that the duo is incompatible, Cataldo considers psychology and religion a natural combination.

“In each of those worlds there are people that see the two disciplines as having a real basis for dialogue, because they both deal with higher-order questions: Who am I? What am I doing here? What’s my purpose? What’s meaningful in my life?” she said.

Trained in relational psychoanalysis—a branch that emphasizes interpersonal relationships in one’s life—Cataldo works today both as an academician and clinician to bridge the two domains.

Despite a growing interest in spirituality within the psychoanalytic community, Cataldo said, there is still no thorough understanding about religion and religious practice and their actual role in an individual’s experience. Some psychoanalysts—including Freud—reduce religion and spirituality to mere defense mechanisms against existential fears, but Cataldo maintains that faith facilitates the basic human need for connection and thus warrants higher regard.

“Whether the analyst is familiar with religion or not, a vast majority of the patients who come to see us have some kind of religious life,” she said. “And if we can’t make room for it without being reductive or dismissive, we’re really not making room for the patient as a whole person.”

In addition to helping the psychoanalytic community to better understand the connection between psychology and religion and spirituality, Cataldo also strives to illuminate the latter from a psychoanalytic standpoint.

“People experience life through their religion; but people also experience their religion through their psychology,” she said. “My primary work is to look at spiritual and religious experience through a psychoanalytic lens, without reducing it to a psychological phenomenon.

“As an analyst, I don’t advocate for religion or spirituality any more than I would advocate that a person should change careers, or get married, or get divorced,” she said. “I want to be curious with the person about what their spiritual life or religion means for them, how it functions for them, and whether it’s expansive or limiting.”

As a member of GRE faculty, Cataldo draws from her psychoanalytic training to shed light on theological issues. Her primary research addresses the multiplicity of self—images of ourselves that arise in response to our various experiences and relationships—and how this multiplicity yields diverse images of God. Her work questions the possible psychological influences that may contribute to the emphasis on the image of God as a father, rather than imaging God normatively as a mother.

Relatively novel in the worlds of psychoanalysis and religion, Cataldo’s views have been well received nonetheless. In June, she was awarded the Stephen A. Mitchell Author’s Award from the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. Next year she will lecture at Tao Fong Shan Christian Center in Hong Kong, which hosts the first program in psychotherapy and spirituality in China.

In the meantime, she continues to teach pastoral counseling, an area that particularly reveals the impact of uniting psychology and religion.

“In places where there are very few mental health services, or people are reluctant to use them, having the clergy trained to do counseling and pastoral care from a deeper base of knowledge, and then teaching people in their home diocese about this—it’s actually changing the world, one person at a time.”