Fall 2017
Recognizing a New Chair for the CCGI
Fr. Michael Place
It is with great pleasure that the Advisory Board of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative announces that Rev. Michael Place, STD, is the new chair of the Advisory Committee. As Chair, Fr. Place will work closely with the new Director of the Bernardin Center at Catholic Theological Union and the Board to chart the future of the Initiative.

A theologian and counsel to Cardinal Bernardin, Fr. Place participated in what was then called the Common Ground Project. Shortly before his death, Cardinal Bernardin asked Fr. Place to become a member of the Board. Fr. Place has served on the Board since then and has been actively involved in helping to shape the work of the Initiative.
Fr. Place is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and was ordained in 1970. He has a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of America and several other degrees. In addition to his nearly fourteen years on Cardinal Bernardin’s personal staff, Fr. Place has taught and been in academic administration in several institutions. For seven years he served as President and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United and for ten years served as Chair of the International Federation of Catholic Health Institutions.  Currently he serves as Corporate Ethicist and Director of the Franciscan Leadership Program for Franciscan Alliance, a system of Catholic health institutions headquartered in Mishawaka, IN. 
Welcoming a New Director to the Bernardin Center at CTU
Dear Friends of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative,
As Chair of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative Advisory Committee, I want to take this space to introduce and welcome Dr. Steven P. Millies as the Director of the Bernardin Center for Theology and Ministry at Catholic Theological Union. Steve is known to members of the Advisory Committee for his involvement with CCGI dating back to his time as a graduate student at Catholic University of America in 1997 when he signed up to receive this newsletter. Others may know him as the author of the recent biography of Cardinal Bernardin from Liturgical Press, which was recognized this summer with first place in the Catholic Press Association’s biography category for their annual book awards. 
Dr. Steven P. Millies
Steve is coming to CTU from the University of South Carolina Aiken, where he has been the Strom Thurmond Endowed Chair in Political Science. As one trained in politics, Steve brings an unusual but timely perspective to his faculty position at CTU where, in addition to his Bernardin Center responsibilities, he will teach about the role that the church plays in society. This new position is a homecoming for Steve, who was born and raised int he Chicago suburbs. Already, he has been working part-time as director from South Carolina, and he will join CTU and CCGI full-time on January 1. His family will follow in June after the school year. This is an exciting time of transition for CCGI, the Bernardin Center, and for Steve, full of challenges and opportunities. We wish him and his family good luck and blessings as, with him, we look to the next twenty years of dialogue in the spirit of Cardinal Bernardin.

Fr. Michael Place
Chair of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative Advisory Committee
New Members Join the Advisory Committee
In addition to our new chair and new director, we welcomed four new members to the Advisory Committee for the Catholic Common Ground Initiative. These four members joined us at Catholic Theological Union for the Advisory Committee Meeting and Cardinal Bernardin Award and Philip J. Murnion lecture. The four new members are Dr. Richard Gaillardetz, Dr. Nichole Flores, Diana Macalintal, and Br. Seoirse Murray.

Dr. Richard Gaillardetz attended the most recent Bernardin Conference in 2016, In the World and in the Church: The Identity of Catholic Institutions . This was not his first conference with CCGI. He has been engaged in the discussion on the importance of dialogue since he first began his career as a theologian. Currently he is The Joseph Professor of Catholic Systematic Theology at Boston College. He has a myriad of publications on topics ranging from ecclesiology, the Second Vatican Council, marriage, and more. He truly believes in the mission of CCGI and Cardinal Bernardin. Welcome, Richard.

Dr. Nichole Flores first came in contact with the Bernardin Center and CCGI at the 2012 Bernardin Conference, Ecclesial Communion in Light of Generational Diversity . She has noted that she is still citing ideas from this conference, even five years later. She is currently working at the University of Virginia as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies. She teaches a variety of classes in this department including ones entitled, Religion and the Common Ground , Theological Bioethics , and Slavery and Liberation: A Theological Inquiry . She has written various essays on Latino/a theology. In the wake of the tragedy in Charlottesville, she has found even more apparent the importance for dialogue. Welcome, Nichole.

Diana Macalintal first discovered CCGI in the late nineties when she was working as a Campus Minister at UCLA. She served as the Director of Worship for the Diocese of San Jose for fifteen years, and she has written many articles on liturgy and catechesis. With her husband, she co-founded, an online resource with training materials for RCIA administers. Diana is excited to be a part of CCGI as she sees CCGI as, in Fr. Place’s words, “a gift that will help build the future.” Welcome, Diana.

Br. Seoirse Murray was born and raised in Belfast, Ireland. He was tonsured a Rassaphore Monk of Holy Resurrection Monastery, a Sui Iuris Monastery in the Romanian Catholic Eparchy of St George in Canton, Ohio, in April 2016. Br. Seoirse's professional background is in working with at-risk youth. He holds a Diploma in Pastoral Leadership from All Hallows College, Dublin, a BSc in Community Youth Work from University of Ulster, Jordanstown, and a BD from Milltown Institute, Dublin. Br. Seoirse was involved in the Catholic Worker movement before he came to the monastery. He is an iconographer and gives talks and retreats on Spirituality and the Social Doctrine of the Church and helps coordinate the Annual Peace Dinner in Baltimore, MD, which takes place during the USCCB Fall Assembly. Welcome, Br. Seoirse.
Pictured above are the Advisory Committee members in attendance at the 2017 Bernardin Award and Murnion Lecture with the lecturer, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich.
2017 Murnion Lecture on Dialogue in the Key of Pope Francis by Cardinal Blase Cupich

View the 2017 Cardinal Bernardin Award Presentation to Most Rev. Ricardo Ramirez and the 2017 Philip J. Murnion lecture by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Dialogue in the Key of Pope Francis .
Bishop Ramirez's Remarks on Dialogue
The following words are the remarks of the 2017 recipient of the Cardinal Bernardin Award, Most Reverend Ricardo Ramirez, OSB, DD:

"T he first ingredient of good conversation is not saying anything. But shutting up and listening. Listening is the greatest gift we can give to one another, especially in conversation. And listening with the heart. And listening with the eyes. And listening with our whole selves. It is risky to listen. Risky because it might change our ideas about something.

"Another thing that happens in conversation is the gift of disagreement. Disagreement can be a grace. Because when someone disagrees with us and we have to respond to whoever disagrees with us, we have to sharpen our thinking and that is good. We have to clarify our position. We are moved and expanded in our vision. Disagreement can lead to an understanding of the other’s position and a greater appreciation for their person. Also when someone disagrees with us, it can lead us to a strengthening of our own convictions. But the best thing is that disagreement, when we talk about how we disagree with one another, can lead to friendship and communion.

"The prayer of Jesus: 'let they be one as you and I, Father, are one.'"

"I want to congratulate and thank Catholic Theological Union for inviting Catholic Common Ground Initiative to be here. Common Ground has a found a home and it is at CTU. Thank you all so much for this honor and thank you, CTU, for hosting Catholic Common Ground Initiative." 
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