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Center for Spirituality launches lecture series

Justin Tardiff | Monday, September 15, 2003

Saint Mary’s Center for Spirituality launches its “More Than One Way to Be Catholic” fall lecture series on Tuesday. The series will help the Saint Mary’s community rediscover its Catholic identity in a time when the Church is facing great resistance to the notion of pluralism, organizers said.

“The Catholic Church is at a point in its long history where the notion of pluralism is falling on hard times,” said Sister Kathleen Dolphin, Center for Spirituality director. “The world and the church are both facing confusion, which results in a lack of clarity on what the church really is. There is resistance to the notion of more than one way to be Catholic.”

Dolphin approaches the notion of pluralism Tuesday in the first of the three lectures. In her talk, “More Than One Way to Be Catholic: Catholic Identity Revisited,” she will stress spirituality as both a way of life and an academic discipline.

“I hope to show students and community members how to integrate theory and practice in helpful ways,” said Dolphin.

The second lecture on Wednesday, “Guadalupe and the Crucified One: Hispanic Ways of Being Catholic,” will continue with the theme of identity. Timothy Matovina, associate professor of theology at Notre Dame, will explore the issue of the rapidly growing theology of the Church’s Hispanic population. As it becomes a larger component of the U.S. Church, Dolphin feels fellow Catholics should be knowledgeable of its practices.

The series will conclude on Sept. 30, with “Breathing Lessons: An Introduction to Eastern Catholic Churches.” Rosemary Carbine, associate professor of theology at Holy Cross College in Boston, will focus on the institutional differences within the Catholic Church.

There are a number of rites within the Catholic Church that are in communion with Rome. However many Catholics do not realize the different ways of being Catholic, such as the Byzantine Rites.

The lecture series is the first among several planned for the year to promote awareness of and appreciation for a Gospel-centered spirituality among the Saint Mary’s community.

“My overall hope for the lecture series would be that the Saint Mary’s community and general public would develop a healthy attitude toward pluralism within the church,” said Dolphin. “In everything we do, it is instrumental that we honor Catholic tradition while pioneering change.”

All lectures are free and open to the public. Each will be held at 12:15 p.m. in LeMans Hall’s Stapleton Lounge.