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Five Earn IMRI Degrees

By Gloria Falcão Dodd

The International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton, in collaboration with the Marianum in Rome, awarded two doctoral degrees and three licentiate degrees in December, bringing IMRI's total graduates to 36 for the Licentiate in Sacred Theology and 39 for the Doctorate of Sacred Theology. These pontifically recognized degrees license the graduates to teach theology in Catholic seminaries and to work in Catholic institutions.

Maria Enriqueta Garcia earned her Doctorate of Sacred Theology, writing her dissertation, “María de Nazaret, La Madre de Israel,” under the direction of Father Bertrand Buby, S.M. Garcia is the director of evangelization and faith formation at All Saints Parish in Logansport, Indiana. She is also involved in the Diocese of Lafayette, Indiana, where she instructs in the Hispanic adult faith formation program (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) and the Hispanic ecclesial lay ministry program and writes bilingual articles for the diocesan newspaper (see photo in gallery below).

Michael Scherschligt wrote his dissertation, “The Development of the Historical and Theological Understanding of the Relationship of the Holy Spirit and Mary in the Time between 1962 and 2005 Based on Magisterial Documents and Theological Reflection,” under the direction of Father Johann Roten, S.M. Scherschligt is the founder and executive director of the Holy Family School of Faith in Overland Park, Kansas, which provides online training to catechists and spiritual mentors. He is an author and leads pilgrimages to the Holy Land; Poland; Lourdes, France; Spain; Fatima, Portugal; and Guadalupe, Mexico. Scherschligt and his wife, Sandy, have five children and live in Kansas.

Father Simon Mary (Nicholas) Maroney, M.Carm., received his Licentiate in Sacred Theology. His thesis, “Seminary Life and Formation Under Mary’s Mantle: An Exploration of Mary’s Presence and Mission in Initial Priestly Formation," was directed by Monsignor Frank Leo of Canada. Maroney is the novice master for his cloistered Carmelite community in Wyoming, popularly known for its Mystic Monk coffee. Maroney is preparing a dissertation proposal to pursue a doctorate.

Christopher Padgett wrote his thesis for the Licentiate in Sacred Theology on “The Life and Mariology of Father Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M.” under Roten’s direction. Padgett is a speaker, musician and author (see photo in gallery below). He and his wife, Linda, work around the world with Catholic Family and Marriage Inc. of Constantia, New York, and have a YouTube reality television show called Happy Place Homestead. They have nine children and three grandchildren.

Brother Jose I. Iglesia Puig, S.M., wrote his licentiate thesis about a Polish painter and thinker — “La Santísima Virgen María en el Programa Iconográfico Pintado por Jerzy Nowosielski en la Iglesia Parroquial de la Providencia Divina de Varsovia-Wesola de Polonia" ("The Blessed Virgin Mary in the Iconographic Program Painted by Jerzy Nowosielski in the Parish Church of Divine Providence of Varsovia-Wesola in Poland") — under Roten’s direction. Puig (see photo in gallery below) teaches Christian religious education at the Polish Marian Sodality Primary and Secondary School in Warsaw, Poland. He also leads retreats and conferences about Christian faith and art. He is now writing a dissertation to complete the requirements for a doctorate.

— Gloria Falcão Dodd is director of academic programs at the International Marian Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio.

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