Look for a feature this month on Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, in the National Catholic Reporter.Inaugrtn292 MF

In his first year as president of Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union, Fr. Francis describes his clear vision for the future of the Catholic church — and for his students.

The article, “School Aims to Model Collaboration,” examines his thoughts on collaboration between lay and ordained ministers, as being crucial to advancing the church’s mission.

“The future of the church and its pastoral work is going to depend on dedicated lay folks more and more,” Francis says in the article. “That’s not to say that ordained people are not important. They are.

“But from a practical point of view,” he add, “it is crucial for the church to invest in the suitable training of lay ecclesial ministers.”CTU logo

CTU is the largest graduate school of theology in the country and it offers a model of the kind of collaboration Francis describes, with half of its students seeking professional degrees for ministry, while the other half are candidates for ordination from religious orders, both domestically and internationally.

“The classroom experience is very rich,” Francis adds, “because of that exchange between lay and clerical students.”