[CUA Office of Public Affairs]   

                                                                                                            Aug. 25, 2005


Monsignor Kevin W. Irwin Named School of Theology Dean


Monsignor Kevin Irwin

Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, has appointed Monsignor Kevin W. Irwin dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies.


Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in 1971, Monsignor Irwin joined the theology faculty at CUA in 1985.  He received tenure three years later and was appointed ordinary (full) professor in 1993.  The author of 14 books and more than 50 scholarly articles, Monsignor Irwin was named to the Walter J. Schmitz Chair in Liturgical Studies at CUA in 2001.


 “I see in Monsignor Irwin the kind of fidelity to the Church and commitment to theological scholarship that will serve as a model for our students at CUA,” Father O’Connell said. “His willingness to serve as dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies of the national university of the Catholic Church in our country is both generous and filled with promise.  I am grateful to him for accepting this tremendous responsibility.”

Monsignor Irwin has directed CUA’s Liturgical Studies program from 1991 to 1994 and from 1999 to the present. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from St. Joseph’s Seminary, a master’s degree in liturgical studies from the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate in sacred theology from the theological faculty of Sant’ Anselmo, Rome. He was named a monsignor with the rank Prelate of Honor in December 1999.

He has served on the faculties of the North American College in Rome, St. Anselm College and Fordham University, and has taught summer classes at St. Michael’s College, Santa Clara University and the University of Notre Dame.

“I very much look forward to collaborating with the fine group of scholars on the faculty of the School of Theology and Religious Studies,” Monsignor Irwin said. “It has been a privilege for me to serve our students as a faculty member for 20 years at CUA. As dean I want to further encourage our students to study, probe and cherish the breadth and depth of the Catholic theological tradition as it interfaces with other religious traditions and American culture both in the past and today.”


Monsignor Irwin’s publications include the books "Liturgy, Prayer and Spirituality," "Liturgical Theology: A Primer" and "Advent-Christmas, Lent and Easter: A Guide to Eucharist and Hours.” His latest book, “Models of the Eucharist, published by Paulist Press in summer 2005, sketches 10 ways of looking at and understanding the Eucharist, following the approach taken by former CUA faculty member Cardinal Avery Dulles in his book “Models of the Church.”


In addition to his teaching and scholarship, Monsignor Irwin is a frequent presenter at clergy convocations, diocesan leadership meetings and numerous other religious or theological gatherings throughout the United States.  He serves as an adviser to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on the Liturgy and often is called on as a source for the news media, most recently as a commentator on National Public Radio during the hours leading up to Pope John Paul II’s death and during his funeral. He made many subsequent appearances on NPR to discuss the papal transition, and was a guest expert on various CNN programs.


 “One of the challenges which the Church in any age faces,” Monsignor Irwin said, “is to give shape and voice to our Catholic heritage in ever changing and challenging circumstances. One of the major contributions which the School of Theology and Religious Studies can offer is to educate our students according to the highest standards of academic excellence.”


Although the lengthy process of formal Vatican confirmation of the appointment continues, Monsignor Irwin assumed his responsibilities as dean on Aug. 1, 2005.


MEDIA: For more information about Monsignor Irwin or the CUA School of Theology and

 Religious Studies, contact Chris Harrison or Victor Nakas at 202-319-5600.


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The Catholic University of America, located in the heart of Washington, D.C., is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church in America. Founded in 1887 and chartered by Congress, the university opened as a graduate research institution. Undergraduate programs were introduced in 1904. Today the private and coeducational campus has approximately 6,100 undergraduate and graduate students from all states and 90 countries enrolled in 11 schools of architecture and planning, arts and sciences, canon law, engineering, law, library and information science, music, nursing, philosophy, social service, and theology and religious studies. 





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Revised: 8/25/2005

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The Catholic University of America,
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