College of Arts and Sciences

Scholar Sister Celia Deutsch Delivers 26th Annual Monsignor John M. Oesterreicher Memorial Lecture on Sisters of Sion  

Celia Deutsch wearing a red flannel, sitting in front of a bookcaseResearch scholar and Barnard College professor, Sister Celia M. Deutsch, N.D.S., will present "A Journey to Dialogue: The Sisters of Sion and Jewish-Christian Relations" at the 26th Monsignor John M. Oesterreicher Memorial Lecture on Thursday, October 31, 2019 in the Caroline D. Schwartz College of Nursing Amphitheatre on the South Orange campus, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

This annual lecture honors the life and work of Monsignor John Oesterreicher, who founded the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University in 1953. He was ordained in 1927, amid rising religious tension in Germany. As an anti-Nazi-party activist, he sought to promote a relationship between Christians and Jews to fight anti-Semitism. His involvement in the Vatican Council II's Declaration of the Church's Relation to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra aetate) focused on nurturing Jewish-Christian dialogue.

The Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies continues to implement the mission of Nostra aetate. "The work of building upon the declaration Nostra aetate is not merely an exercise in Christian-Jewish relations, laudable as that is," said Father Lawrence E. Frizzell, Director of the Institute. "It is an act of service – to God and to divine truth."

Professor Deutsch is a member of the Sisters of Sion, a Roman Catholic congregation dedicated to interfaith relations. She will speak on the Sisters' involvement in World War II and specifically pre-war rescue efforts. Engaged in interreligious dialogue at the national, international, and local levels, she is the author of Lady Wisdom, Jesus, and the Sages: Metaphor and Social Context in Matthew's Gospel and other works of biblical scholarship. 

The program comes to appreciate the ways in which our relationships call us to the work of social justice and together into new relationships with Jews, Muslims and other religious traditions to strive for peace on the global, national and local levels, explained Father Frizzell.

The annual memorial lecture at Seton Hall celebrates the strengthening of Catholic-Jewish relations and remembers Monsignor Oesterreicher's commitment to the fostering of interreligious dialogue through his work on the Jewish section of Vatican Council II's statement Nostra aetate.

Father Frizzell welcomes members of the community to join in reflections on the important work of the Sisters of Sion. The event is free and open to the public. However, registration is encouraged by contacting [email protected], calling (973) 761-9751 or registering here. The event is sponsored by the Monsignor J. M. Oesterreicher Endowment.

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