SJ News: Massa Named Dean of STM (Weston)

At first blush, this may sound like inside-baseball, but it's an appointment of significance for the U.S. church.

From Boston College: Chestnut Hill, Mass. (5-13-10) -- Boston College has announced the appointment of Mark S. Massa, S.J., the Karl Rahner Professor of Theology and the director of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham University, as dean of the School of Theology and Ministry (STM) [formerly the Weston Jesuit School of Theology] . He succeeds founding Dean Richard Clifford, S.J., who will step down at the conclusion of the Summer Institute at the end of July. Fr. Massa is a respected theologian and scholar whose research has focused on the Catholic experience in the United States since World War II. He is also the author of six books, including the award-winning Catholics and American Culture: Fulton Sheen, Dorothy Day and the Notre Dame Football Team and Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice?


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Gregory Popcak
8 years ago
Good news about Fr. Massa.  
I apologize for veering a bit off topic, but since you've been discussing things academic today (CUA, Weston), I was wondering if In All Things might be planning to offer any reflections on the dust up at Marquette over the withdrawn offer of School of Arts and Sciences deanship to Jodi O'Brien after the apparent  (alleged?) intervention of Archbishop Listecki (purportedly because of her post-modern/social constructivist views on relationships and sexuality which contradict Catholic teaching on these issues).
To some it would appear to be a unjust crushing of academic freedom by forces outside the university (after all, she had made it through the vetting process and had been recommeded and approved by all the relevant committees).  To others it would appear to be a necessary reassertion of Catholic identity a la Ex Corde.  Regardless, it's a much bigger issue re; the  academic freedom/Catholic identity debate than anything that happened at UND this past year.   And it is a Jesuit institution....
I would appreciate the thoughts of the In All Things community on this fascinating (and
Kate Smith
8 years ago
Jim, just pointing something out.   BC's School of Theology and Ministry isn't (only) the former Weston Jesuit School of Theology.    BC's former Institute for Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry was merged into it too.
Back when I was looking at grad schools for theology and ministry, I visited Weston as a prospective student and stayed with a friend who was enrolled there.   When my friend left to do something briefly, the professor she had just introduced me to turned back to me and told me not to come there.  He explained women come here full of excitement and joy and enthusiasm, but the experience at Weston makes them bitter.....
Now, I don't usually listen to what strangers say, but I opted to go to BC's Institute for Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry instead, and combined it with a law degree at BC.
I'm very curious how the new set up is working.
Bridget O'Brien
8 years ago
Having graduated before the School of Theology and Ministry opened, I cannot comment on the new set up - but my experience as a female student at Weston Jesuit was quite positive indeed.  It was not perfect, but where could one have a perfect experience this side of the eschaton?  
I remain quite grateful for my education there, in very many ways, and would have enthusiastically encouraged anyone (female or male) interested in academic theology or pastoral ministry to consider Weston Jesuit.
I wish Dean Massa all best.
Kate Smith
8 years ago
Bridget,  I know many women who feel their experiences at Weston were worthwhile, and who have life long friendships formed by their experience there.   I know many women who had good experiences at BC too.   My comment was about that experience with a Weston professor - and how I obviously listened.I was very disappointed with one part of BC especially:  in the ministry program, the theology part was weak and, except for one course, was missing.    I took several courses at Weston as a BC student.    My Rahner course at Weston was a joy.And BC Law - I combined my ministry degree with a law degree - was good.   BC Law gave me credit for some ministry courses, up to a limit.   ''We do this for students studying economics or government, so we'll do it for you too.''  It's always a risk saying things online, without a real conversation.  Easy to be misunderstood.Kate


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