During the May 15, 2014, commencement ceremony, Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union (CTU) presented honorary doctorates to two Dominican priests of the Central Province, the Rev. Charles W. Dahm, OP, and the Rev.Thomas F. O’Meara, OP. CTU awarded Fr. Dahm a Doctorate in Ministry, honoris causa, and Fr. O’Meara a Doctorate in Theology, honoris causa. Honorary degrees are conferred annually by the CTU faculty and Board of Trustees upon individuals in recognition of their contributions to the fields of scholarship and service.
Fr. Tom O’Meara, O.P., is the William K. Warren Professor of Theology Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame. He became a faculty member at Notre Dame in 1980 and remained for 24 years. He has served as a visiting professor at universities around the world, including as an adjunct professor at CTU for many years. He is widely recognized as one of the most eminent theologians of his generation.
Born in 1935, O’Meara completed his Dominican formation years at St. Rose Priory in Dubuque, Iowa, while already engaged in ecumenical dialogue at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque. At the same time he discovered the thought of the great Protestant theologian Paul Tillich and edited a collection of Catholic essays published by Paul Tillich in Catholic Thought. His early interest in ecumenism remained of theological interest throughout the rest of his life. Additional published works include: Thomas Aquinas, Theologian; Theology in Ministry; and most recently Vast Universe: Extraterrestrials and Christian Revelation.
Fr. Chuck Dahm, O.P., is the Director of Domestic Violence and Outreach for the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Co-Coordinator of Peace and Justice for Dominicans in North America. He also serves as Associate Pastor of St. Pius V Parish in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, having formerly served as pastor for 21 years. Ordained a Dominican priest in 1964, Dahm worked as a missionary in Bolivia for six years before returning to the U.S. to cofound the 8th Day Center for Justice. Over the years, he has helped to found several other centers dedicated to the promotion of human rights and has developed ministry to victims of domestic violence in 37 parishes throughout the Archdiocese.
Father Dahm, a 1955 graduate of Fenwick High School, a Dominican College Preparatory School in Oak Park, Illinois, also celebrates the 50th Anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood this year.
(With special thanks to the CTU for biographical information provided herein.)