March 2, 2009
Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will deliver the Godfrey Diekmann, OSB, Lecture and receive the Pax Christi Award from Saint John’s Abbey and University at 8 p.m. Monday, March 23, at the Abbey Church. The presentation and lecture are free and open to the public.
Cardinal Kasper was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart in 1957 and became bishop for that diocese in 1989. He was created a cardinal in February 2001 and has been the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity since March 2001. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Theological Faculty of Tübingen, was an assistant to Leo Cardinal Scheffczyk and the Rev. Hans Küng, and taught dogmatic theology and was dean of the theological faculty in Münster and later in Tübingen before he became a bishop.
As the highest honor awarded by Saint John’s Abbey and University, the Pax Christi Award recognizes those who have devoted themselves to God by working in the tradition of Benedictine monasticism to serve others and to build a heritage of faith in the world.
The Godfrey Diekmann, OSB, Lecture is the annual lecture sponsored by The Godfrey Diekmann, OSB, Center for Patristics and Liturgical Studies. The Diekmann Center was created to honor the life and work of the Rev. Godfrey Diekmann, OSB (1908-2002), one of the 46 theologians chosen from around the world to prepare the schema on liturgy during the Second Vatican Council. A lifetime Minnesota resident, Diekmann entered Saint John’s Abbey at the age of 17 in 1929. He taught theology at Saint John’s University for 65 years before retiring in 1998.
The Diekmann Center seeks to deepen contemporary understanding of the early Christian theologians of the first seven centuries A.D. Their vision of the Christian life is explored through research and educational endeavors including a public lecture series and seminars for students, scholars and pastoral ministers. The Diekmann Center promotes theological learning that engages both the mind and the heart. The wisdom of the early Christian writers bears witness that the study of theology must be steeped in prayer and reflection within a community of learners.