Monthly Archives: January 2015

Faculty Profile: Meet Fr. Madden

Father Patrick Madden is returning for a fourth semester at IPS. He will be teaching an online course: Introduction to the New Testament.

Fr. Madden holds a degree in Biblical Studies from The Catholic University of America and currently serves as a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport, Louisiana. Previously, Fr. Madden was a full-time hospital chaplain for eight years and has experience teaching at both St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore and the University of Dallas. In addition, he served as Director of the Greco Institute and remains there as adjunct faculty.


During his time at IPS, Fr. Madden hopes that his students get to understand that God’s dealings with His people are a historical development.

“The main mistake that beginners make is that people think they will find the teachings of the church in the Bible. Nobody who wrote the Bible believed in Original Sin or the Blessed Trinity or the divine nature of Jesus, but all of these are legitimate developments of biblical thought,” noted Fr. Madden.

One of his favorite phrases is, “What did it mean when the ink was wet?”

“A concrete example of this would be the meaning of the phrase ‘Son of God.’ Every author of the NT agrees that Jesus is the ‘Son of God,’ but each understands this differently. For example, Matthew and Luke understand ‘Son of God’ as involving a miraculous conception. By contrast, knowing nothing of a miraculous conception, Paul links Jesus’ divine sonship with the resurrection (Rom 1:4). John also displays no awareness of a miraculous conception, but has no hesitation to link Jesus with the ‘Word’ that existed with God in the beginning. The richness of the NT is revealed when we examine the details of precisely what each author means. A common mistake of beginners is to ‘read right past’ such a phrase, and think, ‘I know what Son of God means: I say it every Sunday in the creed: eternally begotten of the Father, true God from true God, etc.’ However, importing this later (valid) development of Christian theology back into the NT will result in a misunderstanding of what the biblical authors were teaching.”

Fr. Madden hopes that he and his students can remember to be humble because “we know a lot less than we think we know.”

Moreover, he believes that the evolution of the church is not over. He poses the questions:

  • If Paul in Romans 16 calls the woman Junia an apostle, what would successors of the apostles look like in the church today?
  • What is our pastoral response going to be to the questions that we are facing today?

“We honor the great saints and those who have gone before us, not by repeating their answers, but by doing what they did – getting the core message of Christianity into dialogue with the events and the spirit of the times,” said Fr. Madden. “There is continuity, but there is also diversity.”

Above all else, he wants this class to be pastoral. “I can show them the evolution, but it is up to the students to take what they learn in my class, and other classes, to find out how the gospel gets incarnate in each of their chosen ministries,” said Fr. Madden. “For me, the study of scripture has been immensely liberating, and I love to teach adults because they are here because they want to be.”

Fr. Madden says his favorite part about teaching is that it forces him to learn. “They say if you want to learn something, teach it. You don’t really understand something until you have to explain it,” stated Fr. Madden. “I learn from the research I do and I also learn from the feedback I get from students. They keep this 66 year old young. I love to learn. It keeps my mind active.”

IPS is happy to welcome Fr. Madden back and is looking forward to this new semester with great faculty.


Join the conversation by following @BrianSchmisek on Twitter and @LoyolaIPS on Instagram! Also, network with the Loyola Chicago IPS community on LinkedIn.

IPS Alumna Leads Church in Giving $500 Checks to Parishioners

Rev. Laura Truax graduated from IPS with a Master’s of Arts in Pastoral Studies and a Master’s of Divinity. She is currently the senior pastor at LaSalle Street Church.

Spearheaded by Rev. Truax, LaSalle Street Church distributed checks to its parishioners in hopes that they use it to give back to the community over the Christmas season. The full story was featured in a Chicago Tribune article (below).

Loyola IPS is proud to call Rev. Truax an alumna and hope her work inspires others to think outside the box and do great things.

Read more about Rev. Truax and LaSalle Street Church here. 

Chicago Tribune article reads:

Church gives congregants $500 each to do good

“Christmas came early for people in the pews of LaSalle Street Church the first Sunday in September. That morning their pastor handed them $500 checks.

The Rev. Laura Truax, pastor of the evangelical church in Chicago’s Near North neighborhood, told worshippers that the money came with no strings attached, only encouragement to do good works and an early December deadline to either spend, cash or deposit the checks.

The money, totaling $160,000, came from a windfall of more than $1.6 million — proceeds from the sale of Atrium Village, a racially integrated housing development that was the collaboration of four neighborhood churches: Fourth Presbyterian, St. Matthew United Methodist, Holy Family Lutheran and LaSalle.

While each church has managed the income differently, LaSalle began by setting aside the traditional tithe — 10 percent of its share — for about 320 of its worshippers.”

To find out her inspiration behind the checks and what the parishioners did with the money continue reading on Chicago Tribune.


Join the conversation by following @BrianSchmisek on Twitter and @LoyolaIPS on Instagram! Also, network with the Loyola Chicago IPS community on LinkedIn

IPS Alumnus Authors “Busy and Blessed”

Loyola IPS Alumnus, Chuck Thompson, recently published Busy and Blessed: 10 Simple Steps for Parents Seeking Peace, a book that aims to help parents balance the craziness of raising children and the need for spiritual peace.

Between paying the bills, buying groceries, returning emails, getting the kids to their activities, working overtime and updating your Facebook status, who has time for prayer or a moment of meditation?

If you want a deeper relationship with God, and you know God wants a deeper relationship with you, Thompson’s book offers solutions.

Woven within a fictional tale about a deacon in Chicago and a mysterious visitor named Francis, the 10 steps are intended to transform the attitude of parents as spiritual seekers. The mission is for the readers to incorporate each of the steps into their daily lives, where they can find God’s message in every activity and disruption—and live a more peaceful life because of it.

Thompson graduated from IPS with a master’s degree in Religious Education. In addition to being an author, he has served the Archdiocese of Chicago as a deacon since 2011.

Thompson leads retreats, workshops and seminars on a variety of Catholic topics, as well as teaching at Saint Ignatius College Prep. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Amanda Thompson, and their three children.

His wife also aides in ministering to the community by hosting a half hour radio show on Relevant Radio 950AM, entitled Made for Life, which airs the second Thursday of the month from 9:30-10:00am. She interviews people doing good work with marriage and family around the Archdiocese of Chicago and beyond.

A look inside the book:

2014-10-22 11.44.32

Simple Steps for Busy Parents Seeking Peace

1. Burn a Boat or Two

2. Judge Not

3. Listen Up!

4. Love Your Imperfections

5. Face the Music and Dance

6. Think Water, Not Rocks

7. Be a Philosopher King

8. Always Click “Like”

9. Become a Bridge

10. Live Each Day As If You Are Going to Live Forever – Because You Are!

Thompson’s book is available on Amazon and in paperback, Kindle and Nook editions. A percentage of royalties from all book sales will be donated to the New Hope Food Pantry in Chicago.


Join the conversation by following @BrianSchmisek on Twitter and @LoyolaIPS on Instagram! Also, network with the Loyola Chicago IPS community on LinkedIn