THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA, Oct. 5 — Msgr. Stephen Happel, dean of the university's School of Theology and Religious Studies, died Oct. 4 after suffering a heart attack.
A priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Msgr. Happel, 59, had taught at the University of Notre Dame, Boston College and Gonzaga University before coming to Catholic University, where he spearheaded a major reorganization of the theological school.
An expert in systematic theology, foundational and fundamental theology, Msgr. Happel was the author of several books. He served as Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's personal theologian and was named a mon-signor and “chaplain to His Holiness” by Pope John Paul II earlier this year.
Teachers and staff all arrived for the first day of school this year wearing oxford and polo shirts that bear the school's logo, along with appropriate slacks, skirts and other apparel.
“We save money on clothes and we save time not worrying about what we'll wear,” one teacher said. “When we wear our uniform outside, it's great publicity for our wonderful school.”
UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON, Oct. 2 — Marianist Father Norbert Burns, 80, has taught a marriage course to an estimated 26,000 University of Dayton students — about a third of all alumni — since 1963, the university announced in a release to mark the 40th anniversary of his tenure.
In addition to presiding over what has endured as the university's “most popular” course, Dayton boasts that Father Burns has “never missed a class in 58 years of teaching.”
In his marriage class, the university release says, “Father Burns patiently leads the group to the position of the Catholic Church” while listening to all sides of controversial topics.
Alumni of the class have contributed $38,000 to a newly endowed scholarship fund in Father Burns' honor for religious studies majors with financial need.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME, Sept. 23 — Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington told a capacity crowd at the university's Basilica of the Sacred Heart that “we who are so blessed in this country must share with others and make sure we help show these blessings to everybody.”
The Mass was celebrated as part of “A Call to Solidarity with Africa,” a four-day conference sponsored by the university, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria.
More than 60 clerics and representatives of business, academia and government discussed problems confronting Africa and what the United States, the international community and the Catholic Church can do to help address those problems.