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June 10, 2010

La Salle University's Master's in Theology Program, One of the Oldest of its Kind in the Region, Will Celebrate Its 60th Anniversary with Free Lectures

Fr. Frank Berna

Father Frank Berna

La Salle University's Master's in Theology program, one of the oldest programs of its kind in the region and the oldest graduate program at La Salle, will celebrate its 60th anniversary this month with a series of lectures from June 27 to July 1 that are free and open to the public.

The theme of the celebration is "Formed in Faith – Handing on the Tradition."

A highlight of the events will be the honoring of The Most Rev. John M. Smith, Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, on Sunday, June 27.

About 2,000 people have graduated from the program, and about 80 students are currently enrolled, said Fr. Frank Berna, who has been its director for the past 13 years.

Among the graduates is SueAnn Jeral, who while completing her associate's degree, set a goal of eventually earning an M.A. from La Salle. "I chose La Salle because I know others who have attended the university's theology program, and I was in awe of what they had experienced and studied," she said in 2007 when she completed her graduate studies.

Jeral, a Pastoral Associate of Lifelong Faith Formation at St. Simon Stock parish in Berlin, N.J., said the knowledge she obtained from graduate studies "absolutely" has been invaluable in her position.

"Our diocese, Camden, embraced the vision of faith formation starting at birth (and continuing) until death. What I learned at La Salle has helped enormously with lifelong faith formation," she said.

All lectures will take place in Room 190 of Holroyd Hall on La Salle's Main Campus in Northwest Philadelphia. The schedule is as follows:

Sun., June 27:

7 p.m. Lecture: Bishop Smith, "The Bishop and Evangelization."
Mon., June 28

7 p.m. Lecture: L. T. Johnson, "What Christians Believe." Johnson is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Candler School of Theology. In addition to his many publications, he is a Senior Fellow of The Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Religion at Emory University.

Tues., June 29

7 p.m. Lecture: Pat Livingston, "This Blessed Mess – Real Family Life and the Christian Journey." She is a leader of workshops, retreats, and seminars and the author of Lessons of the Heart and This Blessed Mess.

Wed., June 30

7 p.m. Lecture: Patricia Bartle, "Rights of Christian Initiation of Adults as a Model of Faith Formation." Bartle is the retired Director, Office of Worship, Diocese of Paterson, N.J., and an adjunct faculty member in the graduate Theology and Ministry program at La Salle.

Thurs., July 1

7 p.m. Lecture: Bernard Prusak, "The Church and the Future." A graduate of La Salle's Theology and Ministry program and long-time adjunct faculty member at the University, Prusak is Professor and Department Chair of Religious Studies at Villanova University and the author of The Church Unfinished and many articles.

For more information, call 215.951.1355.