2023 Summer Institute-Bridging the Unbridgeable Chasm

Oblate School of Theology

Originally Published on OST.EDU

Monday, June 19 – Wednesday, June 21, 2023 | IN-PERSON AND ONLINE OPTIONS AVAILABLE By Oblate School of Theology

Date and time

June 19 · 7pm – June 21 · 8:30pm CDT


Oblate School of Theology 285 Oblate Drive San Antonio, TX 78216Show map

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.Eventbrite’s fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

  • 2 days 1 hour
  • Mobile eTicket

To Participate Online Click Here to Register!

We live in a bitter, divided time. Today, everywhere in the church and in the world, we find ourselves divided by different histories, ideologies, politics, theologies, racial tensions, gender tensions, moral views and temperaments. Politics are stalemated, churches are splitting, and families struggle to sit down at a common table. And all of this being fed and enflamed by a hundred million websites vilifying each other. The gap is growing and seems unbridgeable. How can we respond? How can we begin to bridge this unbridgeable chasm, as faithful Christians, as loving citizens, and as aching family members?

All presentations will be recorded and will be available for viewing, through July 21, 2023. An automated follow-up email will be sent on June 22 that will include instructions on how to re-watch.

Institute Schedule

Monday, June 19

7:00 PM Keynote by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich “Beyond Polarization: Recovering Human Conversation as an Art”

Tuesday, June 20

9:00 AM Keynote by Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI “Love in a Time of Hatred: Some Commandments for the Long Haul”

10:45 AM Break

1:30 PM Presentation by Dr. Arturo Chavez “Building Bridges of Belonging”

3:30 PM Presentation by Dr. Scott Woodward

5:00 PM Break

7:00 PM Keynote by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller “What is the Antidote to Violence? It is Peace. How do we get there?”

Wednesday, June 21

9:00 AM Keynote by Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ “Moving Forward as One Church”

10:45 AM Break

1:30 PM Presentation by Dr. Aimee Hein

3:30 PM Presentation by David Kauffman “True Love Arise: Healing Beyond the Chasm”

5:00 PM Break

7:00 PM Keynote by Robert Ellsberg “What We Have to Be is What We Are: The Challenge of a Journey Faith”

Summer Institute Presenters

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich was born on March 19, 1949, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Blase and Mary (Mayhan) Cupich. He is one of nine children, with five sisters and three brothers.

Cardinal Cupich was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Omaha on August 16, 1975. He was pastor of two parishes in Omaha. He was appointed Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota by Pope John Paul II on July 7, 1998, and was ordained and installed on September 21, 1998. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as the sixth Bishop of Spokane, Washington on June 30, 2010, and installed on September 3, 2010. Cardinal Cupich was appointed Archbishop of Chicago by Pope Francis on September 20, 2014 and installed as the ninth Archbishop of Chicago on November 18, 2014.

On October 9, 2016, Pope Francis named him a Cardinal and he was elevated to the College of Cardinals in a consistory on November 19, 2016, at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Cardinal Cupich obtained his B.A. in Philosophy from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1971. He attended seminary at the North American College and Gregorian University in Rome, where he received his Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology in 1974, and his M.A. in Theology in 1975. Cardinal Cupich is a graduate of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he received a Licentiate of Sacred Theology in 1979 and a Doctorate of Sacred Theology in 1987, both in Sacramental Theology, with his dissertation entitled, “Advent in the Roman Tradition: An Examination and Comparison of the Lectionary Readings as Hermeneutical Units in Three Periods.”

Additionally, Cardinal Cupich was Secretary at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. from 1981-1987, and served as Chair for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People from 2008-2011 and for the National Catholic Educational Association from 2013-2015.

Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Cupich to the Dicastery for Bishops (2016) and the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (2022). Cardinal Cupich also serves on the USCCB Committee on Migration and Refugee Services and the Subcommittee for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. He is a consultant to the USCCB Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the National Dialogue Initiative with Muslims. He is an Executive Member of The Catholic Mutual Relief Society and Chancellor of the Catholic Church Extension Society, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Illinois.

Most Reverend Gustavo García-Siller, M.Sp.S., was named Archbishop of San Antonio by Pope Benedict XVI on October 14, 2010. Installed as Archbishop on November 23, 2010, he succeeded Archbishop José H. Gomez as the sixth Archbishop of San Antonio. He was appointed an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago on January 24, 2003 by Pope John Paul II, and ordained on March 19, 2003 by Archbishop of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.

Born December 21, 1956 in San Luis Potosi, S.L.P., Mexico, Archbishop Gustavo was the eldest of 15 children. In 1975, Archbishop Gustavo professed as a member of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit. His more than 42 years of priestly service has taken many forms, including ministering to communities with varied cultural backgrounds

On a national level, Archbishop Gustavo has served on a number of committees for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and most recently served as the Committee Chairman for the USCCB Cultural Diversity in the Church.

Sr. Norma Pimentel, MJ, serves as Executive Director and a licensed professional counselor for Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, providing oversight of the different ministries and programs in the areas of emergency assistance, housing assistance, counseling, pregnancy care, and humanitarian aid.

Sister Pimentel chairs the local Emergency Food and Shelter Program that distributes federal funds to local agencies providing assistance to the area’s poor. She also leads efforts in the community that responds to emergency needs and provides relief in times of disaster and crisis. She was instrumental in organizing community resources to respond to the surge of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States and setting up Humanitarian Respite Centers in McAllen and Brownsville, Texas in June 2014.

Due to the Migrant Protection Protocols/Remain in Mexico Policy, asylum seekers are forced to wait in Matamoros, Mexico for their court hearing. Sister Pimentel continues to work with multiple NGOs to respond to the needs of the families. Some of the services provided included food, water, tents, hygiene items, medical care, education and legal representation. With Sister Pimentel’s leadership Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley is working on establishing an integration program to assist those families who have decided to make Mexico their permeant home.

These efforts brought Sister Norma recognition as a recipient of the 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. “Keep the Dream Alive” Award from Catholic Charities USA and a nomination for “Texan of the Year”. In March, 2015, she spoke at the UN Headquarters in New York City at the invitation of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

During the U.S. Papal visit, Sr. Norma met with Pope Francis in New York City and presented him with one of her original paintings which depicted an immigrant mother and child. She was first introduced to Pope Francis in August 2015 via a “virtual town hall” arranged by ABC news which later aired in a one-hour special edition of “20/20”. In December 2015, Our Sunday Visitor named Sister Norma as one of eight Catholics in the Year, “men and women, religious and lay — who made an indelible mark in 2015”.

Sister Norma speaks often before national and international audiences sharing her message of caring and responding to the most in need. She has spoken at the United Nations and was present at the Vatican with the Holy Father in 2017 to help launch the international campaign of Caritas Internationalis, “Share the Journey,” which has the aim of promoting the culture of encounter through the sharing of the journey of migrants and refugees.

In 2016 Sister Norma was given the “Loaves & Fishes Award for Faith in Action” by the City and County of San Francisco. In May of 2018 she was presented the Laetare Medal by the University of Notre Dame, it is considered the oldest and most prestigious award for American Catholics. Ignatian Solidarity Network presented Sister Pimentel the “Robert M Holstein, Faith Doing Justice Award” in May 2019. In May 2019 she was listed as number 40 in Fortune World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. Amongst other recognitions, Sister Norma was recently named as a recipient of the Ohtli Award.

At the 2019 TEDWomen Conference, Sister Pimentel shared a powerful message about caring and restoring human dignity, making a call for everyone to stand up in the face of injustice which has been viewed worldwide.

In her reflection on immigrants in “A Pope Francis Lexicon,” Sister Pimentel wrote: “I am a U.S. citizen by chiripa — sheer chance. I grew up entre dos fronteras, enjoying life in two countries, Mexico and the United States.”

Before overseeing Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, Sister Pimentel was one of the leaders who directed Casa Oscar Romero, a refugee shelter in San Benito and later Brownsville for Central Americans fleeing their war torn countries in the 1980s. The shelter provided emergency relief and temporary housing for hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Sister Norma received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Pan American University in Edinburg, Texas, a Master’s Degree in Theology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in Chicago, IL, and an Honorary PhD in Humane Letters from Holy Family University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Robert Ellsberg is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Orbis Books, where he has worked for 36 years, publishing the work of many of the leading theologians, spiritual teachers, and visionaries of our time. In the late 1970s he worked with Dorothy Day at the Catholic Worker in New York, serving for two years as managing editor of the paper. He has edited five volumes of Day’s writings, including her diaries and letters, and served on the historical commission appointed by the archdiocese of New York to prepare her cause for canonization. He has written and edited more than twenty-five books, among them six volumes of writings on saints and holy witnesses, beginning with All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Holy Witnesses, as well as The Saints’ Guide to Happiness, and A Living Gospel: Reading God’s Story in Holy Lives. His most recent work Dearest Sister Wendy… A Surprising Story of Faith and Friendship is based on his intimate correspondence with the English mystic and art historian Sister Wendy Beckett. For the past twelve years he has also contributed daily entries on “Blessed Among Us” for Give Us This Day (Liturgical Press).

Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI is a Roman Catholic priest, member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and served as president of Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas for the last fifteen years before retiring in September 2020. Rolheiser is a theologian, professor, and award-winning author. Apart from his academic knowledge in systematic theology and philosophy, he has become a popular speaker in contemporary spirituality and religion and the secular world. He writes a weekly column that is carried in over 70 newspapers around the world. For more information, visit Ron’s website.

Dr. Arturo Chavez currently serves as the Associate Vice President for Mission at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio, TX. He develops, supports, and oversees the University’s DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) programs and initiatives. Previously, he served as the President of MACC, the Mexican American Catholic College – also in San Antonio, Texas. He helped transition MACC from a Cultural Center to a Catholic College that offers B.A. and M.A. degrees in Pastoral Ministry in partnership with UIW. The unique degree plans are offered bilingually to meet the growing needs of Latinos for higher education, especially for service in faith communities.

Over the years, Dr. Chávez has also served as a teacher, youth minister, a chaplain to the incarcerated, and a community organizer. He founded a nonprofit youth organization called JOVEN and was instrumental in establishing other faith-based partnerships to address the urgent needs of immigrants, formerly incarcerated people, and families who are poor, unsheltered, and disenfranchised. Nationally recognized for these efforts to combat racism and poverty, President Obama appointed him – along with 24 other national leaders – to serve on the inaugural White House Council for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009.

Dr. Chávez holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Incarnate Word, a Masters degree from Oblate School of Theology of the Southwest, and a Ph.D. in Religious and Theological Studies, from the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology, with a focus on the relationship between religion and social change.

Dr. Richard Scott Woodward was born in Baton Rouge, LA. He and his wife, Cathy, of 45 years have three children and one grandchild. Scott attended Seattle University where he received a BA in Religious Studies (1980) and a Masters in Religious Education (1984). After moving to San Antonio, he attended St. Mary’s University where he was a Distinguished Graduate with a MA in Biblical Theology. He landed at Oblate School of Theology where he was awarded his Doctor of Ministry degree in 2004.

OST has been home for Scott for over 30 years. He has worked with the school’s Lay Ministry Programs, has directed the MA in Pastoral Ministry, served as both Associate Dean and VP for Academic Affairs and Dean. He has done extensive work in ecumenical and interreligious dialog; teaching in the area of pastoral theology, including ecumenism, lay formation for ministry, Vatican II and its reception and Church history. In 2020, Scott was invited by the Board of Trustees to accept the position of Oblate School of Theology’s 19th President.

David Kauffman is songwriter and film producer. He lives in San Antonio with his wife Missy and two daughters. He is the founder of Good For The Soul Music Co. David has been writing and recording for over 35 years. His mission is simple: Song and story for healing and hope.

For information or to register by phone, contact Victoria Rodriguez, Associate Registrar, at vrodriguez@ost.edu or (210) 341-1366 EXT 240.