Catholic Church

Mystagogy: A Mode of Theological Reflection in the Formation of Parish Leadership

Author
Silas Shawn Henderson SDS D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project explores the place and value of mystagogy within a model of comprehensive faith formation and its usefulness for the ongoing formation of parish leadership, particularly in the formation of Roman Catholic catechetical and liturgical leaders. Using Thomas Groome's Shared Christian Praxis and Jane Regan's image of "Communities of Practice" as guides, this thesis-project proposes a view of mystagogical reflection that parish leaders (paid staff members and lay volunteers, with their pastors) could use to develop a vision or plan of ongoing formation, specific to their context, grounded in and inspired by the encounter with Divine Mystery that is at the heart of liturgy.

Vocation as a Focus for Mission Effectiveness with Mid-Level Leaders at a Catholic University

Author
Mark J. Laboe D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project proposes that the work of Catholic mission effectiveness at a large, diverse Catholic university in the United States can be enriched through a rediscovery and re-founding of the theological notion of vocation, which can serve as a distinguishing contribution of Catholic education in an increasingly pluralistic society. Furthermore, focusing attention on the important role and vocation of mid-level leaders, who often hold a significant influence on organizational culture, can be a strategic focus for the work of advancing a culture of vocation as well as sustaining the institution's founding charism and mission in the face of the diminishing influence of the sponsoring religious community.

Toward the Spirituality of Oneness: A Remedy to the Attitude of 'We versus They,' A Case of the Turkana and Pokot Communities in Lodwar and Kitale Catholic Dioceses, Kenya

Author
Jane Frances Nabakaawa DM D.Min.
Abstract
Abstract

The purpose of this study is to identify, examine and address the factors contributing to attitude of “we versus them” amongst human societies. We use the Pokot and Turkana ethnic groups as a case study. Through social analysis and the theological reflection, that is, the dialogue of the problem with Magisterium of the church about the spirituality of oneness based on our Lord Jesus’ prayer, “Father that may be one…” (John 17:21), it discusses ways of how humanity can eradicate this divisive attitude by learning how to live as “one” with the aid of Christian (Catholic) spirituality. On the basis of this examination, a number of Pastoral recommendations are proposed on ways in which the catechists as lay ministers at the grassroots can be able to contribute to the rigorous efforts of combating the sin of division to the unity in diversity which we focus on and term as the spirituality of oneness. Thus adding a new dimension of how humanity is to live as one as it captures the daily dynamics, transformative quality of spirituality as a lived experience linked to our relationship to the Ultimate, with others and society and the cosmic world.

The Role of the Roman Catholic Catechists in Shaping Adolescents Equipped to Address De-Womanization in Igbo Culture of Nigeria

Author
VIRGINUS Onyekachi OSUAGWU D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project explores to what extent the effective training/formation in transformative catechesis for Roman Catholic catechists of South Eastern Nigeria can equip them to form male and female adolescents who can contribute to building respect and upholding the dignity of Igbo women. It is intended to be a contribution to the conversation about social justice in the Igbo Roman Catholic Church, with regard to respecting the dignity of every human being, especially women.
The author employs the praxis-theory-praxis approach of practical theology in situating what effective social justice training/formation of Igbo catechists could mean within their unique ecclesial, social and cultural contexts around the theme of discipleship. The author concludes that effective training/formation of Igbo catechists in transformative catechesis (discipleship, witnessing, social justice) is key to the transformation of Igbo adolescents, the Igbo Roman Catholic Church and ultimately, the Igbo culture.

Assessing the Value of Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers (USCCB)
as a Resource for Preparing White Ministers for Accompanying Latin@ Communities

Author
Megan Catherine Mio
Abstract
This thesis-project analyzes and assess the modular training workshop, Building Intercultural Competence for Ministers, published by the Committee on Cultural Diversity of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in both its print and online formats. This teaching tool is analyzed for its content, sourcing, purpose, and process. The critical lenses of intercultural training and education, the study of white privilege and racism, and Hispanic/Latin@ theologies and ministry are used to determine the ongoing value of this resource to prepare non-Hispanic White-Anglo ministers to accompany Latin@ communities of faith. This thesis-project also makes recommendations for any future revision or update.

Building Community for the Renewal of Mission in Chicago's Catholic Parishes: The Wisdom of the Black Catholic Experience for Renew My Church

Author
Matthew Sean O'Donnell D.Min.
Abstract
Renew My Church is described as an innovative pastoral initiative in the Archdiocese of Chicago that identifies the three guiding imperatives of making disciples, building communities, and inspiring witness as essential to the renewal of pastoral life and ministry in the Archdiocese. Every parish in the Archdiocese will participate in this initiative. This thesis-project will critically engage the imperative to build community by looking at St. Katharine Drexel parish in Chicago, Illinois. This thesis-project will demonstrate how learning from the Black Catholic experience of building, strengthening, and sustaining community can contribute a spirituality and theological foundation for Renew My Church that is rooted in a communal worldview.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN VIETNAM:
A PASTORAL PROGRAM TO EQUIP CHURCH MINISTERS FOR ACCOMPANIMENT

Author
Sr. ANN DIEP NGUYEN, OP D.Min.
Abstract
Domestic violence is a real issue in Vietnam. This thesis-project is an effort to propose a pastoral program to equip Church ministers for accompaniment. The author, mainly, uses the methodology of Richard Osmer’s as primary framework and, simultaneously, integrates a number of components from Poling and Miller to strengthen the performance of this thesis-project. In the process, this study, by conducting qualitative interviews of Church ministers, examines first, if the Church ministers are aware of the domestic violence situation, and then, what skills they may need in responding to this issue. As a result, this study acknowledges some insights from practical, socio-cultural, theological, and pastoral perspectives. Under this understanding, this thesis-project suggests some recommendations for a pastoral response to domestic violence, and provides a possible pastoral program as a way to equip Church ministers in assisting women who experience domestic violence in the context of Vietnam.

THE EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES OF SCHOOL PRINCIPALS: A STUDY OF CAPUCHIN FRIARS WORKING AS SCHOOL PRINCIPALS IN ETHIOPIA.

Author
Worku Yohannes Gebre D.Min.
Abstract
Abstract
This thesis-project discovers educational leadership values, knowledge, and skills that can contribute to the increased effectiveness of Capuchin friar school principals at Capuchin Schools in Ethiopia. Furthermore, the study attempted to suggest some sound and effective methods of communicating those discovered values, knowledge, skills, and educational leadership training to Capuchin friar school principals. Though Capuchin friars school principals succeeded in some aspects of school administration, they faced several challenges due to lack of educational leadership knowledge. Therefore, in the global culture where values, knowledge, and skills are rapidly changing it’s important for friars to attain an in-depth educational leadership knowledge. Additionally, they should understand education from Christian and human values perspectives within Ethiopian context.

The Voice of the Bridegroom: Preaching as an Expression of Spousal Love

Author
Benjamin Adam Roberts D.Min.
Abstract
The intention of this project is twofold. The first intention is the creation of the nuptial hermeneutic for preaching. The second intention is to offer the nuptial hermeneutic to a group of priests in their second five years of ministry and evaluate it as a source of renewal.

Chapter 1 explores the spousal relationship between husband and wife. Rooted in the nuptial vision of Pope St. John Paul II, it explores anthropology, asymmetrical reciprocity, marital love, the conjugal bond and good of the spouses, fruitfulness and responsible parenthood, and marital spirituality.

Chapter 2 examines the spousal relationship between the priest and the Church. It provides an overview of the ministerial priesthood, a brief biblical examination of Jesus as Bridegroom, the relationship between the royal and ministerial participations in the priesthood of Christ, charity, the sacramental character and bond, fruitfulness, and spirituality.

Chapter 3 proposes preaching as an expression of spousal love. It examines nuptiality as a theological category and presents the seven characteristics of the nuptial hermeneutic for preaching. These characteristics are utilized to explore the assembly, preacher, homily, and homiletical method. The chapter concludes with a strategy for preaching using the nuptial hermeneutic.

Chapter 4 documents the development of the pastoral appropriation for this project. The method of presentation, a podcast series with fourteen episodes, is different from the original one-and-one-half-day workshop project design. This chapter recounts the reasons for modification, reviews the podcast format and presentation design, and offers a preliminary evaluation of this format.

Chapter 5 details results from the project. It describes the participants, presents data collection points, and offers a summary of the results of the pastoral appropriation. Along with some observations, recommendations, and possible areas of future study, this chapter concludes with a positive judgment of the nuptial hermeneutic as a source of renewal.

Mmanwu Ritual In Igboland: Lessons and Implications for Inculturation and Christian-Muslim Dialogue in Nigeria.

Author
Peter Elochukwu Muojekwu Rev. Fr. D.Min.
Abstract
Although “inculturation” is a relatively new term in the long history of Christian theology, it’s roots are found in the mission of Jesus Christ himself. Despite the many important complexities and nuances of sophisticated theologies of inculturation, what it refers to is simply an ideal for how the Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms the human family. It refers to a mode of evangelization by which specific cultures avails themselves to the Church, and the Church to specific cultures, for a mutually enriching dialogue in which nothing that is truly good and holy is at lost. Unfortunately, the history of Christianity is littered with the tragic results of various processes of confrontation and domination (particularly of the colonial sort) masquerading as evangelization, but actually profoundly at odds with the inculturative model of Christ. Far from providing for a holistic and authentically “holy” union of universal Gospel and local culture, these processes have created what, in many instances, have been unnecessary rifts and even hostilities between what is perceived as “Gospel” and what is perceived as “culture.”
This thesis project is aimed at exploring the phenomenon of Mmanwu, an indigenous Igbo religious institution which has for centuries been at the center of what might be referred to as one of the many examples of both the misadventures of inculturation gone wrong in Nigeria and the pregnant possibilities of inculturation done properly. Because questions about inculturation with respect to Mmanwu are inherently interreligious, the thesis will conclude by attempting to apply some of the lessons from the questions around Mmanwu and inculturation to yet another important locus of inculturation in Nigeria: Christian-Muslim dialogue
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