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Beloved Catholic Studies Director Retires  

Liddy 320 picMonsignor Richard M. Liddy, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies, is retiring from his role as Director of the Center for Catholic Studies, effective August 1.

Monsignor Liddy founded the Center in 1997. Recognizing the centrality of the faculty in the University, the Center has organized innumerable faculty development seminars, lectures, and symposia under his leadership. In 2001, it organized the seminar "The Core of the Core," ultimately leading to the present core curriculum, on which Monsignor Liddy has worked in various capacities through the years. 

In addition, the Center for Catholic Studies has collaborated with the Center for Vocation and Servant Leadership on various mission programs, including the "Praxis" program of faculty development that employs Lonergan's Generalized Empirical Method for integrating the natural and human sciences, the scholarly disciplines, and the professions. In line with its mission, the Center initiated the Toth/Lonergan Endowed Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2013.

Monsignor Liddy first came to Seton Hall in September of 1952, attending Seton Hall Preparatory School, which was then located on the campus. Four years later he enrolled at Seton Hall University and graduated with the class of 1960. His calling to the Catholic priesthood led him to Immaculate Conception Seminary and, eventually, to the North American College in Rome where he was ordained a priest on December 18, 1963.   

In Rome, one of Monsignor's professors was the noted Canadian philosopher-theologian Bernard Lonergan S.J., the 25 volumes of whose Collected Works have recently been completed by the University of Toronto Press. There are numerous Lonergan Centers throughout the world, including the one founded by Monsignor Liddy here at Seton Hall. Father Lonergan had a profound influence on Monsignor, especially through his work Insight: A Study of Human Understanding. That work led to a doctoral dissertation on the philosophy of art of Suzanne K. Langer and two works on Lonergan: Transforming Light: Intellectual Conversion in the Early Lonergan (1993) and Startling Strangeness: Reading Lonergan's Insight (2007). Monsignor Liddy is presently writing a work on John Henry Newman whom Lonergan called "my fundamental mentor and guide."

Monsignor Liddy taught philosophy and theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary from 1967 to 1980. From 1980 to 1984, he served as Spiritual Director at the North American College in Rome. In 1985, he was appointed Rector/Dean of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, where he served until 1990. He then served as Interim Chancellor of the University before joining the Department of Religion, where he will continue to serve as a faculty member.

A search for Monsignor Liddy's successor will begin immediately. 

Categories: Faith and Service

For more information, please contact:

  • Danute Nourse
  • (973) 275-2525