The Catholic University of America

Sept. 22, 2009

Catholic University to Host Two-Day Year for Priests Symposium

In celebration of Pope Benedict XVI's call for the "Year for Priests," Catholic University will host a symposium on Oct. 6 and 7 that will explore the mystery of the priesthood in light of the Church's theological and spiritual heritage.

Titled "Ministerial Priesthood in the Third Millennium: 'Faithfulness of Christ, Faithfulness of Priests' " the two-day symposium will feature talks by priests who are members of the CUA faculty, representatives of the Society of St. Sulpice and other clergy. The event, to be held at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, also will include Q-and-A sessions and small-group discussions.

Co-sponsored by CUA's School of Theology and Religious Studies and Theological College, the national seminary of Catholic University, the symposium will be held in conjunction with Theological College's annual "Alumni Days" celebration.

"CUA has long contributed to the effective formation of priests in the United States and to their education after ordination in areas such as philosophy, social work, education, theology and canon law," says CUA's president Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M.

Pope Benedict XVI designated June 19 as the start of the special year to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney. The Pope has declared St. John Vianney, known as the Curé d'Ars, as the Universal Patron of Priests. The year will conclude in Rome with an international gathering of priests with the Holy Father on June 19, 2010.

"It is fitting in this coming year - when we also commemorate the death of the beloved pastor St. John Vianney - that the university joins with the Church throughout the world in 'making the importance of the priest's role and mission in the Church and in contemporary society ever more clearly perceived' (Benedict XVI)," notes Father O'Connell.

CUA's event is believed to be the only academic pastoral symposium being organized in the United States to mark the Year for Priests.

The registration fee for the symposium is $25. For more information or to register, contact the School of Theology and Religious Studies at 202-319-5683. For more information about the speakers, visit Catholic University's Year For Priests' Web site at http://yearforpriests.cua.edu/speakers.cfm.

To view a live streaming video of the symposium, visit http://live.cua.edu/ on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7.

Following is the schedule of symposium events.

Tuesday, October 6

8:30 a.m.
Registration and Light Refreshments: Pryzbyla Center, Great Room

9:25 a.m.
Welcome: Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., president, The Catholic University of America

9:30 a.m.
"Biblical Foundations on the Priesthood: The Contributions of the Letter to the Hebrews," a lecture by Very Rev. Ronald D. Witherup, S.S., Superior General, Society of St. Sulpice

10:45 a.m.
"Priesthood, Priestliness and Priests," a lecture by Monsignor Paul G. McPartlan, Carl J. Peter Professor of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism, School of Theology and Religious Studies
A Q-and-A session and discussion will follow.

Noon
Lunch

1:30 p.m.
"Faithful Stewards of God's Mysteries: Theological Insights on Priesthood from the Ordination Ritual," a lecture by Rev. Michael C. Witczak, assistant professor, School of Theology and Religious Studies

2:45 p.m.
Wrap-up panel of the day's speakers

Wednesday, October 7

8 a.m.
Registration and Light Refreshments: Pryzbyla Center, Great Room

9 a.m.
Morning Prayer: Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, archbishop of Washington and CUA chancellor, presiding, Pryzbyla Center, Great Room

9:30 a.m.
"Priest as Evangelizer," a panel discussion featuring Most Rev. Martin D. Holley, auxiliary bishop of Washington; Rev. Walter G. Lewis, Diocese of Richmond, Va.; and Rev. Vincent J. O'Malley, C.M., pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Emmitsburg, Md.

10:45 a.m.
"Finding Our Way to God: Three Different Paths to Holiness," a lecture by Very Rev. Lawrence B. Terrien, S.S., former superior general, Society of St. Sulpice, 1996 to 2002; alumnus of Theological College, 1972; and rector, Theological College, 1986 to 1992.

Noon
Lunch

1:30 p.m.
"A Contemporary Priestly Spirituality," a lecture by Monsignor Kevin W. Irwin, dean, School of Theology and Religious Studies, and Monsignor Walter J. Schmitz Professor of Liturgical Studies.
A Q-and-A session and small-group discussion will follow.

2:45 p.m.
Wrap-up panel of the day's speakers