Fr. Wil Illies Heart Speaks to Heart Memorial Lectures

Upcoming Lecture

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, April 25 at 7:00 pm / Christ Church Newman Center’s Terrace room / free event


Kristin E. Heyer is professor of theological ethics at Boston College.  She received her B.A. from Brown University and her Ph.D. in theological ethics from Boston College.  Her books include Kinship Across Borders: A Christian Ethic of Immigration (2012) and Prophetic and Public: the Social Witness of U.S. Catholicism (2006), which won the College Theology Society’s “Best Book Award,” both published with Georgetown University Press.  She has also published the co-edited volumes Public Theology and the Global Common Good: The Contribution of David Hollenbach (Orbis Press, 2016); Conscience and Catholicism: Rights, Responsibilities and Institutional Responses (Orbis Press, 2015) and Catholics and Politics: Dynamic Tensions between Faith and Power (Georgetown University Press, 2008).  Her articles have appeared in Theological Studies,The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, The Journal of Catholic Social Thought, Political Theology, Asian Horizons, The Journal of Religion and Society, Health Care Ethics, New Theology Review, Commonweal and America.

Prior to returning to Boston College, she taught at Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University.  She teaches courses on moral agency, migration ethics, Catholic social thought, and HIV/AIDS.  She also serves as graduate director for the theology department.  She has lectured widely in the United States, Europe, and India on such topics as immigration, the common good tradition, Catholic social movements, and feminist ethics.

She serves as co-chair of the planning committee for Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church, a global network that fosters connections within the world church.  She has also served on the boards of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the Moral Traditions Series at Georgetown University Press, and the Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education.  She and her husband, Mark Potter, are raising two sons in Newton, Massachusetts.

Last year’s lecture

About the speaker

Sr. Elizabeth Johnson is a distinguished Professor of Theology at Fordham University & a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood. She has served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. The New York Times has described Johnson as “a highly respected theologian whose books are widely used in theology classes.” Her controversial “Quest for the Living God” was hailed for expounding on “new ways to think and speak about God within the framework of traditional Catholic beliefs and motifs.”


A priest, spiritual counselor, and teacher, Rev. Wilfred A. Illies’s openness to others and to different perspectives attracted many to a closer life with Christ. It is a fitting tribute that an annual lecture was established in honor of his life and to challenge future generations to find a fuller understanding of the love of Christ and His church. The lectures reflect the theological, philosophical, and guiding principles that were important to Fr. Illies.

  • 2018 – Rev. Donald Cozzens, Ph.D – The Scourge of Clericalism: Why It Wounds the Whole Church

Rev. Donald Cozzens, Ph.D.

This pastor, professor, and author is a noted national and international commentator on religious and cultural issues.  During his tenure at Saint Mary Seminary, he published the award winning and best-selling book, The Changing Face of the Priesthood (Liturgical Press, 2000). His subsequent books include the award winning Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church (2002), Faith That Dares to Speak (2004), Freeing Celibacy (2006), and Notes from the Underground: The Spiritual Journal of a Secular Priest (Orbis Books, 2013).

  • 2017 – Sr. Sandra M. Schneiders, IHM – Women in the Gospel: Women in the Church

Sandra Marie Schneiders, IHM

A professor emerita of New Testament Studies and Christian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology (JST) of Santa Clara University (SCU), Dr. Schneiders became one of the first two women post-Vatican II to earn a terminal degree from a pontifical university.  As an ongoing series editor of the Classics of Western Spirituality, she encourages the growth of outstanding scholarship in the discipline by continuing to build the premier collection in English of introductions to key figures in religious history with critical editions of their primary texts.

  • 2016 – Fr. Bryan Massingale – The Culture of Encounter and Racial Justice: Toward a New Mercy

Fr. Bryan Massingale

A priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, professor of theology at Marquette University, and former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, Fr. Massingale has served as a consultant to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, providing theological assistance on issues such as criminal justice, capital punishment, environmental justice, and affirmative action. He has also been a theological consultant for the National Black Catholic Congress, Catholic Charities USA, the Catholic Health Association and the National Catholic AIDS Network.

  • 2015 – Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF – Christian Ecology & Deep Faith: Is Technology Changing Who We Are?
  • 2014 – Dr. Paul Lakeland – Pope Francis and the Liberation of the Laity
  • 2013 – Sr. Meg Funk, OSB – A Muslim and Christian Dialogue: Toward Understanding and Appreciation Through One’s View, Voice, and Vocation
  • 2012 – Dr. Lisa Sowle Cahill – Health Care and Justice: Where are the “Catholic” Political Priorities?
  • 2011 – Dr. Diana Hayes – Made in the Image of God: Racism’s Challenge to the True Communion
  • 2010 – Dr. Richard Galillardetz – Becoming a Community of Dialogue and Discernment
  • 2009 – Dr. Daniel Finn – A Christian View of Power
  • 2008 – Dr. Margaret O’Gara – Rethinking Infallibility
  • 2007 – Fr. Jan Michael Joncas – Words Worthy of Worship: Changing English Texts for the Roman Rite
  • 2006 – Rev. Dr. Maxwell Johnson, ELCA – Walking Wet from the Hungry Feast: Living Out Our Baptism in a Eucharistic Way
  • Karen Imholte, Chair

  • Mike Gallagher, Vice Chair

  • Maureen Forsythe, Secretary

  • Peg Obremski, Treasurer

  • Kaitlyn Babich, Student, St. Cloud State University

  • Sr. Michelle L’Allier, OSB, Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls

  • Dr. Vincent Smiles, Professor of Theology, CSB/SJU

Donations to the Fr. Wil Illies Lecture Fund are appreciated.

Drop off donations in the Newman Center office dropbox or mail directly to:
Fr. Illies Memorial Lecture Fund
Central MN Community Foundation
101 South 7th Avenue, Suite 100
St. Cloud, MN  56301

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