CTU CELEBRATES THE APPOINTMENT OF ALUMNI IN NEW LEADERSHIP ROLES

CTU celebrates our graduates as well-formed religious and lay ministers who can inspire, speak and effectively address the world’s needs for reconciliation, peacemaking, and transcending boundaries, and strengthen the Church. Below is a sampling of our alumni who have recently been appointed to leadership roles:

Director, Office for Black Catholic Ministries,
Archdiocese of Baltimore

Photo by Kevin J. Parks/CR Staff

Maureen Geary,
OP, MA ‘99

President-elect of Leadership Council of Women Religious (LCWR)

Rev. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, MDiv ‘04

Provincial Superior of the US Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart

Vice President for Mission Integration,
Loyola University Chicago

ALUMNI NEWS

Andrew Cirillo, MDiv ’17, has taken a new job at the Rochester Institute of Technology as the Assistant Director for Spirituality and Religious Life (read biography here).

Linda Hansen, MAPS ’14, has recently been named as Marian Catholic High School’s first Vice President of Ministry and Mission. In this newly created position, Linda will focus on the aspects of ministry and mission that distinguish Marian Catholic from other schools. She will ensure that the identity and integrity of the Catholic values and the Dominican tradition the school embraces are upheld. She will develop, administer, and coordinate religious formation and ministry for students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Bob Hutmacher, OFM, MDiv ’79, continues to compose, perform and serve at Ascension Parish, Oak Park. On June 3 & 4, 2022, The Chicago Sinfonietta presented the world premiere of Bob’s The Nature Suite, his large orchestral work inspired by his life in the Midwest and Franciscan life, to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the founding of St. Peter’s in the Loop, where Bob has served since 1993. The Nature Suite was recorded in Italy and is available in St. Peter’s bookstore.

Sr. Dr. Kate Katoski, OSF, MTS ’80 was named to Briar Cliff University’s Board of Trustees.  Katoski serves as the Director of Development for the Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque, having been employed with the Sisters of St. Francis for the last 30 years. She also worked for the National Pastoral Life Center in New York City, along with serving at the Archdiocese in Dubuque and the Diocese in Sioux City. Katoski is an alumna from Briar Cliff, obtaining her bachelor’s degree in 1969 and thereafter served as registrar and director of media at the institution.

Fr. Dennis Koopman, OFM, MDiv ’70, will be celebrating his 52 jubilee year of priestly ordination this June, 2022. He was in the first CTU ordination class at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Hyde Park, on June 13, 1970.  There were nine in the ordination class: five Franciscans, three Passionists, and one Servite. 

Mary LaMont, MA ’92, recently signed a contract with Cascade Books to publish her new book Story Work/Story Play: The Four-Door Method of Narrative Spirituality. She is the director of The Knocking Door, a Chicago-area ministry that provides retreats, workshops, minister training, and spiritual direction for parish groups, schools, and religious orders. LaMont’s master’s degree from CTU is in scripture and sacramental theology and her bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame is in communications. She taught theology for more than 25 years at Loyola Academy in Wilmette and is also trained in Buddhist meditation by the Zen Life Meditation Center. More information about The Knocking Door can be found at her website: www.theknockingdoor.com

JoAnn McCaffrey, DMin ’98’s book At Home in the Journey, which was based on her doctoral thesis and first published in 2005 through CCGM, has a summer reading program focused on its most recent new edition. 

Ar Naing, DMin ’20, has been named Academic Dean at his home college of Myanmar Theological College in Mandalay, Myanmar.

Fr. Stephen C. Niskanen, CMF, DMin ’18, had an article based on his DMin thesis-project published in Review for Religious, Volume 2, No. I (Winter 2022) entitled “Shepherding Sexually Diverse Eros in Religious Formation.”

Glenda R. Spearman, MDiv ’04, Chaplain at Lurie Children’s Hospital, was chosen to be the reflector for the historic mass at Holy Family Church on November 13th, to honor the mother of Venerable Augustus Tolton, Martha Jane Tolton. The celebrant was Bishop Joseph N. Perry, postulator for canonization cause of Venerable Augustus Tolton. Along with Glenda, several Tolton alumni were present including Parris Washington, Cheryl Cattledge, Stephanie Gado and Karine Guignard, who was chosen to place flowers at the gravesite of Mother Tolton – Mt. Olivet Cemetery after the mass.

John Uhal, MA ’15, was recently featured in a new book titled, Pastoral Creativity: Global Experiences Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, by Anthony Le Duc, SVD and John Mi Shen. It was published by Logos Publications, Inc. in 2021. The book is just that, a global collection of stories about the pastoral responses to the pandemic.  He submitted an essay based on his ministry in 5 parishes in Northeast Iowa titled, “Evangelization during COVID-19: Teamwork and Adaptability,” in which he details how quickly and effectively the paid and volunteer staff in Catholic parishes reacted to the pandemic’s challenges. His father, Len Uhal, National Vocation Director for the Divine Word Missionaries, also wrote a chapter titled, “Ministry During COVID-19: A Mixed Bag.”

Andrew Cirillo, MDiv ’17

Sr. Dr. Kate Katoski, OSF, MTS ’80

Mary LaMont, MA ’92

JoAnn McCaffrey, DMin ’98

Shannon Wimp Schmidt, MAPS ’19, coauthored a new book with Ave Maria Press titled Fat Luther, Slim Pickins: A Black Catholic Celebration of Faith, Tradition, and Diversity with Marcia Lane-McGee, with whom she cohosts the Plaid Skirts and Basic Black podcast. The book was named by Essence magazine as one of “56 New Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2022.” Shannon has also recently accepted a new position with the Archdiocese of Chicago. 

STUDENT NEWS

David Gayes, Current MA Student and Bernardin Scholar, was named a 2022 Fellow by the Disability Leads Institute. In David’s words: “I am incredibly excited about joining this network. This is a Chicago-based network with national and international connections of disability activists and professionals from many fields. I am excited about the opportunities that membership in this network may bring to me in my professional career, but I am also excited about the connections this organization could bring to Catholic Theological Union and the growing field of theology and disability.” Learn more here.

Fr. Min Seo Park, Current DMin Student, gave a lecture at the 10th Annual Korea National Deaf Catholic Day Conference, held at the Shrine of Peace in Jeonju, the southwestern part of South Korea, on June 5, 2022.  Five-hundred and fifty deaf Catholic Koreans and hearing Catholic signers participated. They are from nineteen Deaf Catholic communities throughout South Korea. Fr. Park is the national chaplain of the Korea National Catholic Deaf Association.