May 18, 2012 CUA Honors Retiring Faculty


President John Garvey, Professor Lucy Cohen, and Provost James Brennan at the Spring Faculty Luncheon.

At the 2012 Spring Faculty Luncheon earlier this month, Provost James Brennan recognized five professors who are retiring. Noting the tradition of honoring faculty members at the lunch, Brennan shared highlights of the retirees' academic careers and lauded their many contributions to The Catholic University of America.During his remarks at the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center on May 8, Brennan acknowledged the following professors: • Sister Rose McDermott - A member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Sister Rose McDermott earned her doctorate in canon law at The Catholic University of America, and for 19 years has faithfully served the University community, the School of Canon Law, her fellow faculty, students, and graduates, and the wider Church community. Sister Rose is a recognized expert in the law of consecrated life and has taught courses on Sacramental Law, Sanctions, Lay Ministry, and Introduction to Canon Law for Seminarians and the Laity. Sister Rose served as interim dean of the School of Canon Law from 2007 to 2009 and, since 1995, has served as a consultor to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The first "Maxim of Perfection" of the Sisters of Saint Joseph states in part, "Never do anything which contradicts the commitment to a life full of modesty, gentleness, and holiness." Sister Rose has manifested this maxim throughout her life and her service to many people.


President Garvey, Rev. Frank Matera, and Provost Brennan.

• Rev. James A. Wiseman, O.S.B. - Father Wiseman has been on the faculty at The Catholic University of America since 1985, working primarily in the area of Christian spirituality, secondarily in the field of science and religion and, at the undergraduate level, world religions. He served for five years as chair of the Department of Theology from 1995 to 1998 and again from August 2001 to 2003. He was the associate dean for undergraduate studies in the School of Theology and Religious Studies (STRS) from January 2006 to December 2007.Father Wiseman has written or edited six books and 37 scholarly articles and book chapters. He is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, and the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. Long active in interreligious dialogue, he has been editor of the "Bulletin of Monastic Interreligious Dialogue" since 1998 and has participated in such dialogue in many parts of the world, including India, Japan, and the three well-known Buddhist-Christian encounters held at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky.Father Wiseman was awarded a grant from the John Templeton Foundation in its 1999 Course Program Competition (for courses in science and religion) and a development grant from the same foundation in 2000. He was awarded CUA's Alumni Achievement Award in the field of education in 1999 and was co-winner of the Frederick J. Streng Book Award for 2002 for co-editing "The Gethsemani Encounter: A Dialogue on the Spiritual Life by Buddhist and Christian Monastics." He was profiled in "Who's Who in America," beginning with the 57th edition (2003), and most recently was the winner of a Coolidge Research Fellowship in July 2008.• Rev. Jacques Gres-Gayer - Father Gres-Gayer studied from 1961 to 1970 at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned both his Bachelor of Philosophy and Sacred Theology Licentiate. He taught at the College Notre-Dame de Jamhour in Beirut, Lebanon, from 1963 to 1965. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Montpellier, France, in 1969 and then served as a chaplain from 1970 to 1979. While serving as a chaplain, he completed his doctoral studies at the Institut Catholique of Paris. He received both his Doctor in Theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris and his Doctor in History from the Université Paris IV Sorbonne in 1982. He was awarded the Prix de Pange for the best doctoral dissertation of the year in 1983.Father Gres-Gayer was a professorial lecturer in the departments of history and theology at Georgetown University from 1983 to 1985, when he joined The Catholic University of America. His service included serving as chair of the Department of Church History and director of the Church History Program. He has taught several courses on the history of the popes, early modern Catholicism, Jansenism, and modern Catholicism since the French Revolution.Father Gres-Gayer was awarded the Cross of Saint-Augustine by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1999 for contribution to Anglican Roman-Catholic relations.• Lucy Cohen - Lucy Cohen's career at the University extends back to the M.S.W. she received in 1958 and Ph.D. in anthropology in 1966. As she pointed out in her memoir offered at the 125th Anniversary celebration several weeks ago, she joined the faculty in 1966 and, except for two years at the Research Training branch of the National Institute of Mental Health, has spent her entire career here. She advanced to ordinary professor in 1985 and served three terms as chair of the Department of Anthropology.Dr. Cohen's accomplishments are many, and many start or end with service. She has been a major figure in developing applied medical anthropology. She was elected president and secretary of the Society for Medical Anthropology and received the Sol Tax Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology. She served on the D.C. Humanities Council, the D.C. Commission on Latino Community Development, and the board of trustees for the University of the District of Columbia and the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation. She also served on the Archdiocese of Washington Board of Education, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Commission on Social Development and World Peace, as a Vatican observer to the Organization of American States, and on grants review boards too numerous to mention. Somehow, she also found time to help establish the Spanish Catholic Center here in Washington.Her own research moved from Colombian professional women to Chinese in the Americas, and particularly through immigrant health issues. Her research program has been supported by the Cultural Institute of Macao, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the Fulbright Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and by an NIMH training grant for an applied M.A. program in medical anthropology for Latinos. In later years she provided training for programs in the School of Nursing and in the School of Arts and Sciences' Spanish for International Service.She has mentored dozens of students through graduate degrees and, in the words of one colleague, been a stalwart advocate and supporter of the University's academic mission.• Rev. Frank Matera , a priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford, studied at Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Ind.; St. Bernard Seminary in Rochester, N.Y.; and at the Catholic University of Louvain, where he received his M.A. After several years of parish work, he pursued doctoral studies at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., where he received his Ph.D. in 1981. His dissertation, "The Kingship of Jesus: Composition and Theology in Mark 15," was subsequently published by Scholars Press.A student of St. Paul, he is the author of commentaries on Romans, Galatians, and 2nd Corinthians. Interested in the theological dimension of the New Testament, he is the author of "Passion Narratives," "New Testament Ethics," "New Testament Christology," and "Theology of the New Testament." He has recently completed a book on Pauline theology entitled "God's Saving Grace," which will be published by Eerdmans in fall 2012.Father Matera taught at St. John's Seminary in Boston from 1982 to 1987 and has taught at The Catholic University of America since 1988. He served as associate chair of the Department of Theology from 1995 to 1998 and as chair from 1998 to 2001. Father Matera has also served on STRS' library, cap, executive council, and Ph.D. committees along with multiple other search committees.In addition, he has extensive service on several University committees, including the Library, Honorary Degrees, Academic Senate, Board of Trustees, Institutional Assessment for Accreditation, Graduate Board, University Honors Program Advisory Council, Editorial Board for the CUA Press, Studies in Early Christianity, and this year's Search Committee for Dean at STRS.Father Matera became associate editor of The Catholic Biblical Quarterly in 1987, a consulter from 1994 to 1996, vice president in 2003, and president from 2003 to 2004. He is a member of The Catholic Biblical Association of America, The Society of Biblical Literature, and the Society for the Study of the New Testament. He was a member of the Plenary Commission of Faith and Order from 1994 to 2000 and a delegate of the Roman Catholic Church to the Meeting of Faith and Order in Santiago, Spain, in 1994.