St Lambert Parish
contributed to you spiritual life?
Chris: I’ve been a member of St
Lambert parish in Sioux Falls since 2004, where I have been
spiritually nourished via the sacraments, parish events and
excellent relationships with our clergy and fellowparishioners
You studied Aeronautical Engineering at the University of
Minnesota before transferring to
Franciscan University of
Steubenville (FUS).. What was you major at FUS?
Chris: I majored in Theology and
minored in philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Gordon: What were some of your favorite courses at FUS?
Chris: Where to begin! I had a
number of terrific courses with excellent professors at FUS:
Dr. Scott Hahn for
Christology and for Old Testament;
Dr Mark Miravalle for
for Vatican II;
Fr. Anthony Mastroeni for medical ethics were all excellent.
Gordon: You earned you
r doctorate in Dogmatic Theology at the
University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. What interested
you in studying Dogmatic Theology?
Chris: Ever since I had my
“reversion” during my first college years, I have been
interested in what the Church teaches and why She teaches it.
And many of my specific questions concerned things like the
existence and nature of God, the Church and its truth claims,
etc., all things which fall under the category of dogmatic
Could you comment on the importance of
Matthias Joseph Scheeben on the current insights into
Chris: Scheeben is a bit of an
unsung hero in modern Catholic theology. He lived and worked as
a priest in the late nineteenth century in Germany with a
generally Thomistic approach to theology (“Thomistic” referring
to the theological “style” of the great Dominican saint and
theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas), but with a bit of a unique
approach. Unfortunately, while the genius of his work was
recognized by many, Scheeben was sort of lost sight of during
the course of the twentieth century, at least among
English-speaking theologians, but there has been a resurgence of
interest in his work over the last ten years or so. Scheeben’s
importance owes to his rather unique ability to do theology in a
way that richly feeds both the mind and the soul, i.e. is deeply
intellectual but also deeply spiritual. This is a characteristic
which is unfortunately not always true of dogmatic theology, but
one which Scheeben accomplished brilliantly. In reading him,
both the truth and the beauty of our Catholic faith comes alive.
When did you join the
Diocese of Sioux Falls as
Director of Evangelization & Catechesis and what are your
Chris: I began work with the
Diocese in September of 2002. While the title has changed a few
times over the years -- it’s currently Director of Adult
Discipleship and Evangelization -- the work as largely remained
the same: I work for the Bishop of Sioux Falls to support the
priests and people of the Diocese of Sioux Falls to deepen their
faith in Jesus Christ and their ability to share that faith with
Gordon: What social media tools does the
Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls use?
Chris: While we dabble in
several, we most commonly use YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Gordon: How important is video as a resource in your
Chris: Video is very important… we
are blessed with an excellent Communications department, and
they help us produce video resources that get our somewhat
unique approach to diocesan discipleship ministry out to our
Gordon: What was the reason for the production of the diocese’
great video series on Forming Intentional Disciples?
Chapter 1: God Has No Grandchildren
Chris: I was fortunate enough to
have been I
was fortune enough to have met Sherry Weddell.
Forming Intentional Disciples during my studies in
Rome, and I’d followed her work and the work of the
Catherine of Siena Institute
with great interest over the years. When I heard about the book
that she was writing, I was very excited, knowing that it was an
important book for the Church in our time. When it came out, it
met all of my expectations, and I knew that we had to get its
message out. Eric Gallagher,
my colleague who works with Youth Discipleship and
Evangelization, agreed, and together with our Communications
department, we produced that series of videos.
Gordon: What impact has these videos has on some of the
pastors and other leaders in your diocese?
Chris: Many of our leaders -- both
lay and ordained -- appreciated the series as a way to “get
into” Sherry’s book and as a way to reflect on how it might be
helpful to their own ministry.
Gordon: Are there any plans for future videos? If so , on
Chris: We are blessed to be living
in a time when various apostolates are producing video resources
of an incredibly high caliber. We have no desire to reinvent the
wheel, so our video series tend to be focused on areas which
others aren’t addressing at the moment. We have a number of
things in mind, but aren’t ready to announce anything at this
time. But please stay tuned!
Thank you for a super interview.