I know the power of teachers. It is my deepest wish that teachers in our public and parochial schools, with scholarship assistance, will be able to enroll in Jewish-Christian studies at Seton Hall University to stem the tide of ignorance in our schools and in society.
Sister Rose Thering
Born in 1920, Sister Rose Thering, a nun of the Dominican Order, was a lifelong activist who fought anti-Semitism within the Catholic Church.
Sister Rose Thering, in her doctoral research (1957-1961), did the pioneer investigation/examination of the most widely used Catholic religion teaching materials to see how we taught about other faith, ethnic, and racial groups. It was a self-study that dealt primarily with our teachings about Jews and Judaism. A basic summary was taken to Vatican II during the deliberations before the issuance of the Vatican document Nostra Aetate: Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions in 1965. The document caused considerable debate at Vatican II but was finally passed on the last day of deliberations. The 15 Latin lines of text have had a deep and lasting effect on how Jews are viewed by the Catholic Church and remain strongly fixed in church teachings to this day.
Sister Rose was very active in building bridges between Jews and Christians. When asked why she did this, her immediate response was: “Because an understanding and an appreciation of Jews and Judaism and the State of Israel helps me personally. I hope and pray to become a better person, a better Christian.”
“Sister Rose's Passion,”a 39-minute documentary film on her life, won an award at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2004 and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005.
Sister Rose Thering passed away at her convent, The Siena Center of the Racine Dominicans in Wisconsin, on May 6, 2006.
Announcement about Sister Rose Thering's death from Seton Hall University and obituary from the New York Times.
Sister Rose Thering Commemorative Service program, September 13, 2006.