Welcome to the Cardinal Suenens Center and information about our fourth seminary program.

Inspired by the impressive legacy of Catholic scientists and theologians, the flourishing dialogue between science and theology taking place during the last half century, and the interest of Cardinal Leon-Joseph Suenens in the education and formation of priests, as well as the same interest on the agenda of Pope Francis, we are taking steps to address the mutual interests and important contributions that science and religion make to each other. By doing so, we think the parameters of God’s revelation may well be expanded.

We anticipate extending an invitation to major Roman Catholic seminaries in the United States to develop science courses in their pre-theology programs. College seminaries will be invited to do the same. Rectors, Academic Deans, and faculty authors of the most promising projects will gather under starry nights and sunny days in Tucson, Arizona, for encouragement from accomplished and accessible speakers and support from educators who will assist in refining proposals for implementation into the seminary curriculum. We have tentative plans in Tucson for January 28 – February 1, 2016.

Because the interest in scientific literacy extends beyond the United States, we have plans for an international science-in-seminary initiative. For this project we will extend invitations to seminaries world-wide to submit plans for science modules to be embedded in required seminary courses that already exist. Authors of the most promising pre-proposals and the seminary Rector or Academic Dean will gather in Lyon, France from August 3-8, 2016. There, scientists and theologians will provide guidance and resources to ensure the successful implementation and sustainability of projects.

The goal of both projects is not to make seminarians into scientists but rather to provide a challenging, increasingly necessary, rewarding and very do-able effort towards scientific literacy.

The Cardinal Suenens Center has previously hosted two international conferences, one in Leuven (Belgium) and the other in Rome (Italy), where we brought  together rector/presidents of Roman Catholic major seminaries from Cameroon, India, Argentina, Australia, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Belgium, Philippines, Great Britain, Slovakia, Mexico, El Salvador, Lesotho, Portugal, Haiti, Croatia, Brazil, Sudan, Indonesia, Madagascar, Korea, Chile, Poland, Kenya, Ireland, Venezuela, Nigeria, Rep Dem du Congo, Malta, South Africa, Peru, Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Bangladesh, Cuba, and the United States. We also hosted a National Conference for US seminary rectors, deans, and spiritual directors in Chicago (USA). We look forward to doing something new with the learning we’ve accumulated from the past.

We invite you to view, visit, and re-visit our website often. There we will keep you posted on our progress.

Doris Donnelly, Ph.D.
Director, The Cardinal Suenens Center