Caldwell College’s Founder’s Day to Feature Dr. Zeni Fox on Ministry in the 21st Century
Thursday, March 7, 2013 • 11:49am
CALDWELL, NJ - Dr. Zeni Fox will present a talk on “Ministry in the 21st Century” at Caldwell College at 4pm on Wednesday, March 20, as part of the college’s offerings for its annual Founder’s Day celebration. The discourse will be presented in the Westervelt Lecture Hall, in Werner Hall, on Caldwell’s campus, 120 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Caldwell College celebrates Founder’s Day each year to remember its opening in 1939 and its foundress, Mother Joseph Dunn, O.P. The school’s 74th Anniversary will include noon Mass in the Student Center Gym; following Mass, staff and faculty will be recognized for their years of service to the school.
Fox, a professor of pastoral theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Seton Hall University, is the author of “New Ecclesial Ministry: Lay Professionals Serving the Church." For over ten years, she served as an advisor to the US Council of Bishops’ Sub-committee on Lay Ministry as they developed “Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord: A Resource for Guiding the Development of Lay Ecclesial Ministry.” Fox frequently lectures around the country and has articles and book reviews published in various pastoral journals.
New Ecclesial Ministry: Lay Professionals Serving the Church
by Dr. Zeni Fox. Credit: Dr. Zeni Fox
Fox expressed the following on her Seton Hall profile page:
A primary area of interest for me is the role of the laity in the Church, especially as it has been evolving since the Second Vatican Council. While I have explored the myriad ways that lay persons live out their Baptismal call in the Church and in the world, a particular focus has been lay ecclesial ministry. My perspective on this has been enriched over the years by my own research, for my dissertation, two national studies of these new ministers and through opportunities to meet and converse with them in dioceses throughout the country. As an advisor to the United States Bishops’ Committee on the Laity and Subcommittee on Lay Ministry for over fifteen years, I participated in many consultations with diverse Church representatives, including canonists , diocesan leaders, leaders of lay organizations and theologians, from this country and beyond, further deepening my perspective. My books, articles, frequent lecturing and some teaching have focused to a great extent in this area.
In addition, I am interested in the life of the parish, especially as it engages in intentional efforts to hand on the Catholic faith. My fifteen years of pastoral work in the area of religious education that preceded my teaching at Immaculate Conception Seminary gave me practical experience of the strengths and challenges parishes face today. My more recent involvement in the New Energies process of the Archdiocese of Newark, which facilitates the strengthening of parish life, especially through mergers and linkages, augmented this experience. The national research on emerging models of parish leadership has provided a helpful framework for exploring the collaboration of deacons, lay ecclesial ministers, priests and vowed religious in today's Church. My teaching in pastoral theology draws on this background.
Recently I have been exploring the spirituality of lay leaders. My edited book, Called and Chosen: Toward a Spirituality for Lay Leaders, was developed primarily for leaders of Catholic institutional ministries. This work has led to presentations for leaders in Catholic healthcare and Catholic education throughout this country, and in Australia. Most recently, my research has focused on authorization rituals for lay ecclesial ministers.
Caldwell College is a private, Catholic co-ed four-year college with a strong liberal arts core curriculum that enhances critical thinking and analytical reasoning. Its 25 undergraduate programs, 28 graduate programs and one Ph.D. program, including online and distance learning options, prepare students for today's global marketplace. Students enjoy 12 NCAA Division II athletic teams and numerous clubs, fraternities, sororities and activities on a beautiful 70-acre campus located in the suburbs of Caldwell, N.J. The college was founded by the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Caldwell. The college’s core values of respect, integrity, community and excellence influence academic and campus life.