Catholic Theological Union commemorates 50th anniversary

Cardinal Cupich was the main celebrant during the 50th anniversary celebration of Catholic Theological Union on May 5, 2019, held at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Hyde Park. After Mass, the James and Catherine Denny Center at Catholic Theological Union was dedicated back on campus. In 1964, Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens of Belgium spoke at the University of Chicago and urged that seminaries of the future might be urban based, in the context of a great academic center, and ecumenical in spirit. That speech inspired the founding of CTU in 1968, when several religious orders combined their seminary resources, moved to Chicago’s Hyde Park, and began a daring experiment in collaboration. Fifty years later, CTU has grown to be a premier school of theology, sponsored by 24 religious communities, with a global reputation for academic and pastoral excellence. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
David Anderson, director of music at Ascension Parish in Oak Park, gives an organ prelude before Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Worshippers gather before the opening procession at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 5472 S. Kimbark Ave. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich blesses the congregation during the sprinkling rite. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Passionist Father Donald Senior, president emeritus, prepares to proclaim the Gospel. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Participants sing during Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Kate Williams, a graduate of CTU, leads the congregation is song. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich accepts the gifts from Jimmy O’Meara and Frank O’Meara. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich accepts the gifts from Jimmy O’Meara and Frank O’Meara. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Participants pray the "Our Father" during Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Jim Denny shares the sign of peace with Mary Jo Nyhan during Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
An icon of Salavatore Carzedda is carried up to be blessed by Cardinal Cupich at the end of Mass. Cardinal Cupich blessed three icons commissioned for the anniversary. The icons were of CTU alumni Ezechiele Ramin, Salavatore Carzedda and John Ssenyondo were martyred while serving as missionaries. All three gave their lives working for justice and reconciliation. The icons will be placed in the James and Catherine Denny Center on CTU’s campus. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich (background) prepares to bless the icons. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)