Dean’s Welcome

On behalf of the faculty and staff of the School of Theology and Ministry, I would like to extend a very warm and cordial welcome to both our new and returning students.

Through its undergraduate and graduate programs, the School of Theology and Ministry participates in the mission of St. Thomas University. We are dedicated to offering a quality theological education to each student not only by thinking critically about theology but also by contributing to the intellectual and practical formation of those preparing for a life of ministry service. As a culturally rich and diverse community of learning, we strive to bring the richness of the Roman Catholic tradition to our students while recognizing that interest in, openness to, and respect for the beliefs of other Christians, and those of other faith traditions, are also a part of our Catholic tradition. This rich exchange of ideas is very important if we hope to live peacefully and productively as members of multi-ethnic and pluralistic communities. In studying about one’s own tradition and dialoguing with those of other traditions, each person has the opportunity to deepen her own faith commitment, learn what is unique about one’s own tradition and recognize that there are really more things that unite us than divide us.

One very important point of unity among people of all faiths is the striving after justice and peace. We accomplish this by pastoral application of what is discussed in class. In our undergraduate classes you will have opportunities for learning through community service that will allow you to experience and more deeply understand the pain, poverty and suffering of others, while bringing a message of hope. These realities are living textbooks that teach how life is experienced by the majority of the world’s population and challenge us to use our knowledge, talents and spiritual insights to become life-long leaders committed to ensuring that all people enjoy the physical, psychological, material and spiritual well-being that will allow them to flourish.

In our graduate classes, we strive to combine academic excellence with practical experience to prepare you for dedicated, competent and creative service and leadership in both civil and ecclesial contexts.

As Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry, I assure you that the STM faculty and staff will continue to work with you and for you in order to strive for excellence in preparing you for the path you have chosen.

Please feel free to stop by and introduce yourself and let us know how we can better serve you.

Very sincerely,

Msgr. Terence E. Hogan, SLD
Dean, School of Theology and Ministry

Terence Hogan

Born Oct. 6, 1952, in Washington, D.C., Father Hogan is the second of three children. His family moved to Florida in 1965 and became active in Holy Rosary Parish in Perrine. He entered St. John Vianney Seminary as a ninth-grader in 1966 and was ordained a priest for the Miami Archdiocese in 1980. After serving at St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens and teaching at the minor seminary, he was sent to Rome, where he obtained his doctorate in liturgy. In addition to his archdiocesan duties, Father Hogan serves as North American director of the Patrons of the Arts of the Vatican Museums, a group dedicated to preserving the artistic and historical treasures of the Vatican.

His early entrance into the seminary: 
"I’m one of the last lifers." His first day of school in 1966 there were 36 in the class. "I was the only one out of the class to be ordained."

When he knew he wanted to be a priest: 
"It first hit me when I was 10 or 11, when I started serving Mass. I played Mass at home, wearing a Superman cape for robes and using nickel-size candy wafers as Communion. It was a way of imitating what I saw at Mass. There was a majesty and a beauty [there]." Later, when receiving an ordination at St. Mary Cathedral, Father Hogan "was blown away by the dedication" that he saw.

What he would be doing if he had not become a priest: 
An architect or someone involved in politics. 
"Both work on building the physical and also building a better life for people, a better community."

What he did before becoming a priest: 
At age 12, he played the organ at weekend Masses at Christ the King and Holy Rosary in Perrine. He left the seminary for a while and worked as a salesman in the commissary of an Air Force base, but he was not really good at it. "I always would tell people, whether they were getting a good deal or a bad deal."

What he does on his days off:
"I love going out to dinner with priest friends. Anything where you can relax and enjoy being with people who understand what your daily life is about."

Favorite TV series: 
"I’m a newsaholic. I watch a lot of [news shows] until my blood pressure goes up. That’s the political side of me."

Greatest joy: 
"Celebrating the Eucharist."

His description of the ideal priest: 
"Christ is the ideal priest. All we can attempt to do is be the alter Christi, try to be like Christ."

Priestly stereotype that should be discarded:
"That priests really are not in touch with what happens in the everyday life of people in the parish. When you wake up at 6 o’clock to open the church doors and 20 people start coming to you to talk about what’s going on in their lives, you sort of know what’s going on."

Words of wisdom: 
"Once the priest thinks he’s better than the people, that’s the beginning of the destruction of his vocation."

Who was most surprised by his vocation: 
"Oftentimes, I am."

Person he most admires: 
"Mother Teresa and St. Francis of Assisi. The grace that she shared with others is just a constant opportunity for meditation on how we really are called to be. His story parallels Mother Teresa’s: That constant love for those who have nothing, and yet done joyously."

Thing he most fears: 
"I feel that we as a society are too rapidly losing respect for the individual as a human being and as a spiritual person. Once the ego becomes God in our life, then we are doomed to our original sin. How often do we as individuals think we know everything?"

His job with the Patrons of the Arts: 
"One of the best parts of the Patrons job is that I often have the Vatican Museums or the Sistine Chapel all to myself."