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 Theology and Religious Studies Alumni Page

Recent News

STRS Alumnus Appointed Bishop
On Thursday, August 7, 2014, Fr. Bohdan J. Danylo, rector of St. Basil Seminary, Stamford, Connecticut, was appointed the bishop of the Ukrainian Eparchy of St. Josapht, whose cathedral is located in Parma, Ohio.

STRS Alumnus Appointed as Bishop-Elect
STRS alumnus Andrzej Jerzy Zglejszewski has just been appointed bishop-elect of the Rockville Centre Diocese.  We congratulate him on his appointment and wish him well.


STRS Alumnus Publishes Book

Janel Kragt Bakker, who recieved her Ph.D. in Religion & Culture from STRS in 2010, has published a version of her doctoral dissertation entitle Sister Churches: American Congregations and their Partners Abroad which is described as the first scholarly book to focus on the sister chuch movement.  It is mentioned that "Janel Kragt Bakker draws on extensive fieldwork and interviews with participants in these partnerships to explore the sister church movement and in particular its effects on American Churches."  The book description states that "challenging prevailing notions of friction between northern and southern christians, Bakker argues that sister church relationships are marked by interconnectivity and collaboration."



STRS Alumnus Publishes Book on Rwanda Catholic History

Jay Carney, who received his Ph.D. in Church History from STRS in 2011, has published his first book: Rwanda Before the Genocide: Catholic Politics and Ethnic Discourse in the Late Colonial Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).  The book is “the first post-genocide history to focus explicitly on the 1950’s, a decade that establishes the political and ethnic narratives that dominated Rwanda’s post-colonial period.”  The research for the book “grows out of newly released archival material from the Missionaries of Africa archives in Rome” and Dr. Carney “is the first researcher to consult archival material for the critical revolutionary years that culminated with Rwanda independence in 1962.”   


STRS Alumnus, Ernst Wildi, Elected Superior General of the Bethlehem Mission Society
During the summer, Rev. Ernst Wildi, a member of the Swiss Bethlehem Mission Immensee (SMB) was elected Superior General (Generaloberer) of his community.  Born in Rudolfstetten in the canton of Aargau, Fr. Wildi studied at the Gymnasium Immensee and the SMB Theological Seminary, before coming to Washington, where he completed his Doctor of Ministry degree at Catholic University in 1991, with a project focused on training lay missionaries for cross-cultural service.  In addition to teaching at the SMB Seminary and Romero-Haus, the BMI formation center in Luzern, Switzerland, he has been a missionary in Zambia, where he was serving in pastoral and hospice work at Kalingalinga, Lusaka, prior to his election as Superior General.  Fr. Wildi will begin his five-year term on October 1, 2013, as leader of the Bethlehem Mission Society, which staffs projects in Africa (Burkina Faso, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe), South America (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, El Salvador), and Asia (Philippines, Taiwan). 


STRS Alumnus Ordained for the Diocese of Orlando

Rev. Dr. George A. Nursey was ordained for the Diocese of Orlando, Florida by Bishop John Noonan on May 25, 2013 at St. James Cathedral.  He was the presider and homilist on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at the Cathedral, his home parish.  George completed his Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies/Sacramental Theology at CUA in 2011.  He has been assigned to St. John Vianney Parish (Orlando) and to the Diocesan Liturgical Commission.


STRS Alumnus Publishes Work on Origen

Benjamin P. Blosser, who receieved his Ph.D. in historical theology from STRS, has published his book: Become Like the Angels. Origen's Doctrine of the Soul, Catholic University Press, 2012.  "The study finds that while Origen was highly aware of Middle Platonic speculations on the soul and does borrow extensively from their vocabulary, he never accepts their underlying, philosophical assumptions and is in fact subtly critical of Middle Platonic theories of the soul.  His anthropology remains from first to last a biblical, Christian, and even mystical one, the fruit of a remarkable effort to synthesize faith and reason in the ancient Church."



STRS Alumnus Publishes Doctoral Dissertation

Sebastian Carnazzo, a recent graduate of STRS, published the doctoral dissertation he wrote in our Biblical Studies program. Dr. Carnazzo is a fulltime lecturer in Sacred Scripture and Biblical Languages at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary of the Fraternity of St. Peter, and an adjunct lecturer in Sacred Scripture and Catechetics for Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. His book is Seeing Blood and Water: A Narrative-Critical Study of John 19:34, Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2012.

STRS Alumnus Publishes Doctoral Dissertation

Nicholas Denysenko, a recent graduate of STRS, published the doctoral dissertation he wrote in our Liturgical Studies/Sacramental Theology program. Dr. Denysenko is assistant professor of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a deacon of the Orthodox Church in America. His book is The Blessing of Waters and Epiphany: The Eastern Liturgical Tradition. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2012.

STRS Alumna Appointed Associate Director at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research

Janel Kragt Bakker (Religion and Culture; M.A. 2005, Ph.D. 2010) was recently appointed Associate Director at the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research in Collegeville, Minnesota. The Collegeville Institute, which is affiliated with Saint John's Abbey and University, is a meeting place and residential center where a diverse mix of people from various faith communities, including scholars, writers, professionals, artists and corporate leaders, gather to connect faith to the world and its pressing social issues. Key areas of responsibility for the positon include developing new Institute programing, implementing and evaluating existing programming, facilitating and promoting the Institute's work through various forms of communication, and assisting in planning and implementing Institute fundraising initiatives.

STRS Alumnus Publishes First Book

STRS Alumnus Fr. Simon C. Kim (Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, 2011) has published An Immigration of Theology. Theology of Context as the Theological Method of Virgilio Elizondo and Gustavo Gutiérrez. The book is a development of his doctoral dissertation, which he wrote under the direction of Rev. John T. Ford, CSC, Ordinary Professor of Theology and Religious Studies and Coordinator of Hispanic/Latino Programs at CUA. Rev. Daniel G. Groody, CSC, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Latino Spirituality and Culture at the University of Notre Dame speaks glowingly of Fr. Kim’s work in his Foreword to the book: "Simon Kim brings out the value of the method Gutiérrez and Elizondo employed for doing theological reflection. He captures beautifully how his subjects' life experiences and pastoral leadership have deeply shaped their theological insights and . . . how those insights have shaped their pastoral vision and that of numerous others whom they have inspired." Congratulations to Fr. Simon Kim on this remarkable achievement.

STRS Alumna Wins Cardinal Award

Yolanda Scott Brown, an STRS DMin alumnus was one of five recipients of the 2012 Cardinal’s Award honored by Archbishop José H. Gomez for their service “to Church and community.” The award was presented to her at the 23rd annual Cardinal’s Award Dinner which took place in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland in Hollywood on February 4th. Yolanda Scott Brown was born in the Philippines, raised in U.S. cities (daughter of a Navy officer); educated in public and Catholic schools; earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business Administration from Pace University (New York), a master’s in Theology from Loyola Marymount, and a doctorate in Ministry from The Catholic University of America (CUA). While in the STRS her academic focus was in Adult Spiritual Formation and she has been installed as the Parish Life Director at Blessed Sacrament parish in Hollywood, CA. A write up of Ms. Brown’s many achievements can be read at the following link:; and video of Ms. Brown receiving the 2012 Cardinal’s award can be seen at: She is married to Mr. Leon Brown and has seven children and 19 grandchildren.

STRS Alumnus Appointed Second Bishop of the Diocese of St. John’s Basseterre

STRS alumnus Monsignor Kenneth D. Richards  (S.T.L. Moral Theology, 2006) will be ordained as the second Bishop of the Diocese of St. John’s Basseterre on February 8, 2012 at the Holy Family Cathedral in the city of St. John’s in Antigua. Our prayers and best wishes are with the Bishop Elect as he assumes his new office and ministry.  


USCCB Associate Director Dr. Anthony Tyrus Gaines Cirelli publishes articles

STRS Alumnus Dr. Anthony Tyrus Gaines Cirelli, the Associate Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has published the following articles in the past two years: 

Facing the Abyss: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Reading of Anxiety” [New Blackfriars, Volume 92, Issue 1042, pages 705–723, November 2011]

“The Christian Realism of Benedict XVI” [Gregorianum, Volume 92 no. 4, pages 709-734, December 2011]

“Re-Assessing the Meaning of Thought: Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Retrieval of Gregory of Nyssa”  [The Heythrop Journal Volume 50, Issue 3, pages 416–424, May 2009]

Dr. Cirelli wrote his dissertation “Form and Freedom:  Patristic Revival and the Liberating Encounter between God and Man in the thought of Hans Urs von. Balthasar” under the direction of Dr. Peter Casarella in 2007.

STRS Alumnus Appointed Archbishop of Manila

STRS congratulates Most Rev. Luis Antonio Tagle, Bishop of Imus, Philippines, for being appointed Archbishop of Manila on October 13.  The new archbishop currently chairs the Commission on the Doctrine of the Faith of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of the Philippines. See more...

STRS Alum appointed National Director for the Pontifical Societies

Rev. Andrew Small, OMI was recently appointed by the Holy See as the National Director for the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States.  He previously served as both Director for Church in Latin America and a Foreign Policy Advisor at the USCCB.

STRS Alum appointed Auxiliary Bishop

David William Valencia Antonio, who did his dissertation at the School of Theology and Religious Studies at CUA under Dr. David Power, has been named an auxiliary bishop of Nueva Segovia in the Philippines.

STRS Alum presents Papers at two Conferences

Matthew Halbach, a PhD candidate in RE/ Catechetics, will be presenting a paper titled: "Suffering and the Divine Paideia in the Christian Anthropologies of St. Augustine and John Paul II" at the 46th annual Medieval Congress held at Western Michigan University, and another paper titled: "Transforming Violence into Love: Compassionate Suffering in the Thought of Simone Weil" at the College Theology Society conference.

STRS Student publishes Paper in Journal of Ecumenical Studies

Anastacia Wooden, a graduate student in STRS, has recently published the article, "Eucharistic Ecclesiology of Nicolas Afanasiev and Its Ecumenical Significance" in the Journal of Ecumenical Studies45, 4 (2010): 543-560.

STRS Alumnus has book Published

The doctoral dissertation of Timothy Milinovich, Now Is the Day of Salvation: An Audience-Oriented Study of 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2, has recently been published by Wipf and Stock in their Pickwick series. Dr. Milinovich graduated from STRS and was directed by Rev. Dr. John Paul Heil. 

STRS Doctoral Students publish in Newman Studies Journal

Two STRS doctoral students in historical/systematic theology published essays in a recent issue of the Newman Studies Journal (Volume 8, Number 1, Spring 2011).  Mr. Lawrence J. King's article, "Newman and Gasser on Infallibility: Vatican I and Vatican II," (pages 27-39) and Sr. Chau Nguyen's article, "Encountering Truth: Newman's Theological Method in An Essay on the Development of Doctrine," (pages 40-55).

STRS Graduate Student has Paper published

Jeffrey Lewis, an MA seminarian in the Theological College, recently published the article: "The Use of Milk and Honey in Early Christian Initiation Rites."Catechumenate: A Journal of Christian Initiation 32, 5 (2010): 16-26

STRS Graduate Student elected as the Provincial Minister of Tanzanian Capuchins

Fr. Wolfgang Pisa, OFM Cap, a PhD student at CUA in Moral Theology/Ethics, was recently elected as the Provincial Minister of his Capuchin Province of Tanzania. He was elected by an overwhelming majority on the first ballot. Established by two Swiss Capuchins in 1921, the mission was established as a province entrusted to the Tanzanian friars in 1996, and now has more than 200 Tanzanian friars whom Fr. Wolfgang, pictured center below, will serve in their spiritual and ministerial lives.

STRS Alumnus appointed Director of Huffinton Ecumenical Institute

Former STRS PhD student, Dr. Nicholas Denysenko, has been appointed as the new Director of the Huffington Ecumenical Institute. Dr. Denysenko has taught at The Catholic University of America, George Washington University, and at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He is an ordained deacon of the Orthodox Church in America. His areas of current research include the Blessing of Waters in the Byzantine Rite; Orthodox Ecclesiology in Ordination Rites; Contemporary Pastoral Liturgy; Heortology; The Christmas and Lenten Liturgical cycles; Mariology in Liturgy; the Ukrainian famine of 1932-33 and Faith. He has published many articles in such prestigious journals as Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies, Studia Liturgica, Theological Studies, and St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly.

Dr. Ekeh recieves Tenure-Track Teaching Position

Dr. Ono Ekeh, Clinical Assistant Professor, has accepted a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT, beginning Fall 2011. Dr. Ekeh received his PhD from CUA in 2009 (Historical and Systematic Theology). Sacred Heart University is the second-largest Catholic university in New England and has a Bachelors and a Masters program in Religious Studies.

Book Published by Biblical Studies Alum

Roberto Martinez has just published the book, The Question of John the Baptist and Jesus’ Indictment of the Religious Leaders: A Critical Analysis of Luke 7:18-35. A Pickwick publication from Wipf and Stock Publications.  Dr. Martinez graduated from STRS and was directed by Rev. Dr. Frank Matera.


Alumnus has Book Published

Barry Hudock (STL in Sacramental Theology) has just published The Eucharistic Prayer; A User’s Guide from The Liturgical Press.  It is a rewritten version of his STL thesis, directed by Dean Kevin Irwin.  The Dean also wrote the Forward to the book. 


STRS Alumn Publishes New Book

Dr. Christopher McMahon, a PhD graduate of STRS and now assistant professor of theology at Saint Vincent College, PA, has recently published a new book: Called Together, an Introduction to Ecclesiology, which is available through Anselm Academic Publishers.



STRS Alum Publishes New Book

Fr. David Endres' new book, American Crusade: Catholic Youth in the World Mission Movement from World War I through Vatican II, has been recently published by Pickwick Publications. This is a revision of his doctoral dissertation directed by Dr. Christopher Kauffman in STRS's Church History Academic Area. 


Catholic University Alumnus Named Bishop of Spokane

The School of Theology and Religious Studies and the Catholic University of America congratulates the Most Reverend Blaise Cupich for his appointment as the Bishop of Spokane, Washington. The Diocese of Spokane has close ties with the Catholic University of America as many of its priests received their formation and there are currently four men in theological studies and reside at Theological College. The former Bishop of Rapid City was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Omaha and studied Sacramental Theology at the School of Theology and Religious Studies of the Catholic University of America. He earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theological in 1979 and then he earned a Doctorate in Sacred Theology with a dissertation entitled: Advent in the Roman Tradition: An Examination and Comparison of the Lectionary Readings as Hermeneutical Units in Three Periods in 1987. 


North American Academy of Liturgy: CUA Gathers and TRS Alumna Elected Vice President

The 2010 meeting of the North American Academy of Liturgy provided a wonderful occasion for faculty, alumni and students to get together. On Friday, January 8 a group of 15 of these CUA people shared a wonderful lunch. During the lunch, people exchanged their stories of TRS in ages past as well as those of current activities. Our alumna, Catherine Vincie, ran for the office of Vice President and was elected to that post. Following a year as Vice-President, she will succeed into the office of President. Our deepest congratulations to Catherine Vincie.




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