We remember our members who have passed on into eternal rest.
Teresia Mbari Hinga
Kenyan ethicist Teresia Mbari Hinga passed away on March 31, 2023. Her research and scholarship focused on religion and women’s issues, particularly in Africa, African religious history and expression in the global religious landscape, religion and public policy, and the ethics of globalization. She was a founding member of the “Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians,” a pan-African association of women who study the role and impact of religion and culture on African women’s lives. In 2005, she joined the faculty at Santa Clara University in the United States, and she is remembered by her many students and colleagues. We are grateful that she regularly shared her voice with CTEWC as a longtime contributor to the African forum.
Dr. Shawnee Daniels-Sykes, a noted bioethicist and a highly respected voices in the U.S. Black Catholic community, died on October 31, 2022. A registered nurse, she was the only Black Catholic female health care ethicist in the United States. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dr. Daniels-Sykes’ work was in service to her community, for which she was honored in 2020 at the 35th Annual Black Excellence Awards. Dr. Daniels-Sykes was an active participant in CTEWC; she was a plenary speaker at Sarajevo in 2018 and a contributor to the North American forum. Her life and work are remembered in the Catholic Herald of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee; her funeral service is available also to view on YouTube (Bryan Massingale’s homily begins about 1:38).
Albert Nolan, O.P., died on October 17, 2022. Nolan was a South African priest, deeply involved in the struggle against apartheid, and drafted the 1985 Kairos document urging nonviolent action. In his reflection for America, Anthony Egan describes Nolan as “a humble, easygoing person—until he started to preach or lecture.” Nolan is also remembered for his contributions to theology, particularly his seminal 1976 work, Jesus Before Christianity.
Roman Catholic priest, theologian and teacher, Laurenti Magesa, died in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Thursday, 11 August, 2022, the day after he turned 76. To many who knew him, Magesa was a father (Baba) and grandfather (Babu); a friend and a mentor; a brother and a teacher. The belief is strong in many parts of Africa that the status of an ancestor is reserved for people who have made a transformative and enduring contribution of service to their community. By his life of service as a pastor, the depth of his scholarship and the example of his life as a Christian, Magesa now qualifies to join the ranks of ancestors of the Church in Africa and the World Church. Read more from Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator’s in his obituary for Laurenti Magesa. Other remembrances offered by Emmanuel Bueya on Magesa’s contributions to African theology, and by colleagues through a video tribute on YouTube.
Tony Mifsud died May 2, 2022 at age 72. Tony joined the Jesuits at age 15 in Malta; in 1974, he answered a call to serve as a young priest in Chile during the dictatorship. Most of his career was spent in teaching theological ethics and in leadership roles in Chile, and was “the first moralist that offered a global vision of moral theology from a Latin American perspective.” More than an academic, he is also remembered for his compassion, sense of humor, and his ability to relate to people across social, ideological, and economic backgrounds. Carolina Montero shares an obituary of Tony’s life and work, with an English translation by MT Dávila.
The gracious and wise Brian Berry passed away from cancer at 64 on October 26, 2021. Brian was a devoted husband to theologian Susanne DeCrane and is survived by his mother, siblings, nieces and nephews. For over 20 years, Brian taught theology at Notre Dame of Maryland University and St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute. He received several major awards in recognition of his teaching and commitment to institutional mission. Before his doctoral studies in theology at Boston College, Brian spent time working in the Jesuit mission in Jamacia and in a L’Arche community in Calgary, both of which shaped his outlook. He also received several degrees at Regis in Toronto and remained a proud Canadian. Brian published in areas of bioethics, social ethics, and the spirituality of Jean Vanier. He had served as Susanne’s caregiver in recent years, following her 2015 stroke. Brian was perceptive, joyful and ever sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit.
On October 13, 2021, Jacquineau Azétsop, S.J., died at age 49 in Rome, where he was dean and professor at the School of Social Sciences at Pontifical Gregorian University. With an impressive track record of well-received projects and prestigious appointments, he was an international leader in health equity and bioethics, able to call together prominent colleagues with a reassuring, hospitable style, a progressive vision and a deep passion for health equity. He will be missed dearly by his colleagues and students. Obituaries for Fr. Azétsop are offered by colleagues at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Vatican News Service, and James Keenan in NCR.
Rev. Dr. Jeevaraj Lourdu, Professor of Moral Theology at St Paul’s Seminary (Trichy), died of Covid-19 on 15 June 2021. He was an active scholar and member of the Association of Moral Theologians of India (AMTI) and CTEWC, and some of his recent scholarship in the field of theological ethics is available here. His students thought of him as loving, generous, service-minded and humane. He is remembered by colleagues as a simple and humble pastor with a deep sense of commitment and dedication to serve the poor. The leadership of the AMTI offers this obituary remembering Jeevaraj.
Rev Prof Enda McDonagh, Emeritus Professor of Moral Theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, died peacefully on the morning of Wednesday 24 February 2021 in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin. Those who knew Fr. Enda McDonagh, in person or through his writings, will know that a creative force has left Ireland and the world of Catholic theology. His theological insights were enriched and enlivened by his embrace of all things literary and poetic, sharpened by their rootedness in political realities, and suffused with a creation-centred spirituality. Reflections in memoriam were offered by Ann Smith, in The Irish Times, and by Jack Power.
The German moral theologian Johannes Reiter (born 1944) died on December 28, 2020. From 1984 to 2009 he was professor of moral theology at the University of Mainz. He was a member of the International Theological Commission and the Pontifical Academy for Life. His competence extended from the history of moral theology to the relationship between Christology and moral theology in the question of bioethics, an area in which he has shaped the discussion in church and society very strongly over the past decades.
One of Germany’s most important moral theologians, Eberhard Schockenhoff, died on July 18, 2020, at the age of 67. Since 1990 Schockenhoff was professor for moral theology, the first four years in Regensburg and since 1994 in Freiburg. His positions, in particular on questions of medical ethics and Catholic sexual morality, testified to his keen understanding and analytical skills. His theological research was shaped by a visionary force. Eberhard Schockenhoff’s premature and sudden death deprives moral theology of a prominent and promising voice.
The African continent has lost one of its vibrant pioneers in inculturation theology. Rev. Prof. Charles Nyamiti was born in 1931, in Tanzania; he was ordained a Catholic priest in 1962 before going to Louvain University in Belgium where he earned a PhD in systematic/dogmatic theology and a certificate in Music Theory and Piano in 1969. Soon after, he moved to study Cultural Anthropology and Music Composition in Vienna and graduated respectively with another PhD and licentiate. Returning to teach at the Kipalapala Senior Seminary in Tanzania, where he met Laurenti Magesa and encouraged him to pursue studies in African theology. He spent most of his university career teaching at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi. Rev. Prof. Nyamiti has died of old age on May 20, 2020. View a video of Prof. Nyamiti teaching.
On March 20, 2020, social ethicist John Langan, S.J., passed away at the age of 79. He was Rose Kennedy Professor of Christian Ethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics and held the Cardinal Bernardin Chair in Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University. John presented at the CTEWC conference in Padova on “Catholic Moral Theology and the War on Terrorism.” His remarkable corpus addressed pressing issues from just war theory and human rights to capital punishment. The Berkley Center, where he served as a faculty fellow, has published a memorial.
Fr. Clement Campos, C.Ss.R., died on August 28, 2018 on the feast of St. Augustine. Born in Hyderabad, India, in 1946, Campos was keen to join the Redemptorists after completing his schooling. Like the order’s patron, St. Alphonsus, Campos was a gifted musician, singer, and composer, a pastor sensitive to the needs of others, and an eloquent preacher of God’s word. Campos is also remembered as a well-respected moral theologian of India and the global Church and, by his brother priests, a person of integrity, humility, and prayerful commitment to his vocation.
Father James Poonthuruthil, SDB, Professor of Moral Theology at Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong, Meghalaya, India, passed away on January 21, 2018. Born in 1955 in Kerala, India, James joined the Salesian congregation. After completing his religious and priestly formation, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Missiology from Sacred Heart Theological College, Shillong. Later, he obtained a Licentiate and a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Alfonsianum, Rome. Fr James will always be remembered for his contribution to the formation of religious and priests. As a teacher of moral theology, he was erudite and articulate. Along with his teaching ministry, he was also involved in pastoral ministry. Fr. James was a truly human person, a gentleman of finesse and politeness who exuded patience and prudence. He will continue to be remembered as a good friend and companion; as a teacher and as a person who cared for all.
Yiu Sing Lúcás Chan
Yiu Sing Lúcás Chan, S.J., a rising scholar in theological and biblical ethics, died suddenly on May 19, 2015 at age 46. A Hong Kong native, Chan’s training was truly global, with stints in Singapore, Hong Kong, Britain, Ireland, Cambodia, Macau, the Philippines, the U.S., Italy and Germany. He was an active contributor to CTEWC, serving on the planning committee for conferences in Padua (2006) and Trento (2010), as well as co-editing volumes in the CTEWC book series, Doing Asian Theological Ethics in a Cross-Cultural and Interreligious Context (2016) and The Bible and Catholic Theological Ethics (2017). CTEWC members remember Lúcás’ contributions in Joshua McElwee’s piece for National Catholic Reporter.