After almost 40 years as a leading U.S. institution of Catholic theological research and reflection, Woodstock Theological Center will close its doors June 30.
Formed by the Jesuits in 1974 and based at Georgetown University here, the center has been a significant resource for developments in Catholic thought on a variety of issues.
The center’s closing will not affect the vast and historic Woodstock Library at Georgetown, one of the most notable Catholic theological libraries in the country, which will remain at the university.
The late Jesuit Frs. Avery Dulles and Walter Burghardt were among internationally noted scholars who served as senior research fellows at the center. Burghardt started its Preaching the Just Word project, which continues to help hundreds of priests across the country better integrate Scripture and Catholic social teachings in their homilies.Jesuit Fr. Gasper Lo Biondo, director of the center since 2002 and an expert in economics and globalization, said the decision to close the center was part of “an ongoing strategic reflection” by the three East Coast Jesuit provinces — New York, New England and Maryland — that govern it.
It comes in conjunction with plans to merge the three provinces into one within the next few years “because of the diminishing number of Jesuits,” he said.
“They’re looking at the allocation of resources — both men and money,” he said.