InFormation (2021) Moments in Time 

Moments: Theologians On a Trek

The Republic (Columbus, IN), January 2, 1965

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Click to enlarge. The Passionists studying theology moved a lot. St. Louis, Chicago, St. Paul, Louisville, maybe even Sierra Madre and Citrus Heights, California. As their Passionist mentors moved so did the students.

Halfway through my novitiate year, another move was announced in anticipation of an alignment with Bellarmine College. About 70 of us, as freshmen and sophomores, began our journey and displaced our theologians to Holy Cross Hall, St. Meinrad's Archabbey in St. Meinrad, Indiana, home of the Benedictines.

Click to enlarge.This was the dream of many men to bring theological training into line with the tenets of Vatican II. The new provincial, Fr Paul Mary Boyle, approved and Fr Ignatius Bechtold worked hard to make it a reality. No longer would these studies be conducted in the shadows of the urbanizing world; no longer was there to be isolation of the priests-in-training within the Order.

The number of professed students was still large across college and the house of theology. The Exodus of the 1960s had yet to begin. Only the powers that be within the Order knew whether this move was temporary or permanent...


Chicago Tribune, April 3, 1968

Click to enlarge.The Aragon Hotel, 1942 ...Temporary, as it turns out. Enough time for some to complete their theological studies reaching ordination. The Catholic Theological Union came into being, arising from the former 9-story Aragon Hotel. CTU as it was called would be the future home of about 100 theologians from the Passionists, Servites, and Franciscans.

CTU continues today, after 52 years, as a vibrant and active institution led currently [2021] by its 8th and first female president, Sr. Barbara Reid, O.P. Fr. Donald Senior, C.P. stands out as a President Emeritus. The accredited institute now opens its doors to at least 24 religious communities.