An Array of Public Lectures & Some Exciting Changes for Chicago Studies: Winter 2016

An Array of Public Lectures
Some Exciting Changes for Chicago Studies 

by Michael J.K. Fuller

Usually, in this space, I give a “teaser” of what you will find in this edition of Chicago Studies, something akin to the ubiquitous movie trailer.  In this particular edition, however, it seems to me that the titles of each of the articles perform this function quite well – perhaps better than I could do.  All five of these articles have their origins in lectures given at the University of St. Mary of the Lake/ Mundelein Seminary.

The first three originated in the 2012 Cardinal Meyer Lecture Series, which focused on Active Participation in the Liturgy and featured the thoughts of Archbishop Arthur Roche, who is the Secretary of the Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.  Included in that lecture series are the reflections of Fr. Ronald Kunkel, who spells out some of the implications that are brought forth by an authentic understanding of active participation. The last two articles are developed from two public lectures given by Dr. Reinhard Hütter, the 2016 Paluch Chair in Theology.  All five lectures pose very interesting questions and provide some stimulating answers that really address our contemporary situation.  In so doing they provide the historical and philosophical background necessary for authentic and effective evangelization to occur.

Since the titles of each of these articles speak for themselves, making my work that much easier, I wanted to use this space to describe some of the Exciting Changes coming to Chicago Studies.

Fifty-five years ago, a joint cooperative adventure began between faculty members of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/ Mundelein Seminary and the priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Led by Fr. George Dyer, this adventure produced a journal of exceptional theological and pastoral insights written for and by those who ministered in the Church.  The impetus for this adventure was, of course, the start of the Second Vatican Council.  Fifty-five years is an amazing testimony to the contribution that Chicago Studies made to the Church and her ministers.  And, I am very happy and proud to have been a part of this tradition.  I am even happier to say that we have made steps towards assuring that this tradition will continue for at least the next twenty years.

Due to the changing nature of media, and especially print media, the decision was made by the Board of the Civitas Dei Foundation, the publisher of Chicago Studies, that the time was right to become independent of subscriptions.  We are extremely grateful for the fifty-five years our subscribers have given us; your faithfulness and dedication to Chicago Studies has been, and is, incredible.  But, with the changes to publishing, the expenses involved, and the ever increasing use of the internet as a source for information, it was decided that Chicago Studies should become a free, open access journal published exclusively on the internet.

This decision did not come easily. For many of us, myself included there is great pleasure in having a book or a substantial magazine in our hands.  But with more and more publications and information being made available to the world via the web, and with the possibilities of reaching an even wider audience, the decision to go digital and free was the obvious choice for this publication.

The advantages of digitally publishing Chicago Studies are many, and I wanted to share a few of them with you.  The first is providing a great journal for free to a wide audience.  Along these lines, the publication costs on the web are greatly reduced, thus ensuring our readership that Chicago Studies will be around for a long time to come.  We plan to make available the complete archives of Chicago Studies – all fifty-five years’ worth of topics, articles, insights, and history.

So, what do these changes actually entail?  Just this: starting January 1, 2017:

  • Chicago Studies will be available only on the web at org
  • it will be a free publication
  • by visiting the website, you will have access to the latest edition of Chicago Studies as well as past issues (since it might take a while to get the complete archives up on the web, so we ask for some patience)
  • you will have the ability to subscribe to the journal, which means you will receive an email notice that there is a new edition out, thereby ensuring that you do not miss anything (we also will never share or sell our subscribers list!)
  • you will have the ability to search the site, finding connections and articles that you might have missed or forgotten
  • we will be moving to a twice a year publication schedule
  • a new editorial team has been selected to carry out the great tradition of this journal, and they have already begun work on the next issue [this was necessary, as I, the current editor, have a new assignment that has required me to leave Mundelein Seminary and move to Washington, D.C.]
  • and finally, we will continue to welcome articles from scholars, ministers, and readers, and to maintain the high standards you have always appreciated from Chicago Studies.

One last thing, I wanted to say a special word of thanks to Faith Publishing, who have been such great partners in publishing Chicago Studies.  Their friendly, talented, and dedicated staff have allowed us to produce not only a fine journal content-wise, but also one that looks, in my humble opinion, spectacular!  We are sad that we will no longer be working with them on a daily basis because of the decision to no longer print the journal, but we are very grateful for all that they have done for us, and we will continue to work with them on projects in the future.  So to Patrick O’Brien and his team – thank you!  

Chicago Studies has always had one motivation – to bring the best of theology to those in the field, to those who minister to the people of God.  To us, theology and pastoral ministry are not two separate pursuits, but the best pastoral ministry is the one that is informed by theology, and the best theology is the one that always has in mind the parish.  With the change to digital publication, we are hoping to continue that vision into the future.  I hope you will continue to join us in this by visiting the new website at and hitting the subscribe button so you can stay connected with new editions of Chicago Studies!

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