Fr. Thomas FitzGerald Speaks at the Malburg Eastern Churches Seminar
Fr. Thomas FitzGerald, Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Hellenic College Holy Cross, was the guest lecturer at the Eleanor Malburg Eastern Churches Seminar at Notre Dame College in South Euclid, OH, on October 17, 2015.
For nearly thirty years, the Malburg Eastern Churches Seminar has sponsored presentations on the dialogue between the Orthodox and Catholic churches. The seminar is designed to deepen the relationships between Orthodox and Catholics at the local level. The organizing committee is composed of clergy, monastics, and laity from the greater Cleveland area.
This year the theme of the seminar was "Mary Praised in Song East and West." The seminar began with presentations from choirs from local Orthodox and Catholic parishes. These included: St. Theodosius Orthodox Cathedral Choir, St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church Choir, and Mary Queen of Peace Schola Cantorum. They chanted traditional hymns related to Mary the Theotokos.
Fr. Thomas spoke on the theme "The Witness of Mary in Word and Deed." In addressing the theme, he identified a number of the many hymns of the Orthodox Church that praise and honor Mary, the Theotokos. He noted that the devotion to Mary is an unbroken bond between the Orthodox and Catholic churches.
He also spoke to the participants about the work of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, which is observing its fiftieth anniversary this year.
Fr. Mathew Thurman, a 2006 graduate of Holy Cross and now pastor of St. Luke Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chagrin, OH, welcomed Fr. Thomas and provided the participants with an introduction to the seminar.