Fr. Ed Foley, Capuchin to direct Templeton Foundation “Preaching with the Sciences” grant program

The John Templeton Foundation has awarded a $220,000 grant to Catholic Theological Union, a graduate school of theology and ministry in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, to explore the ways science and the contemporary search for religious meaning can interface. The 31-month project, “Preaching with the Sciences: An imaginative approach to Roman Catholic Homiletics” will be directed by emeritus faculty member, Rev. Edward Foley, Capuchin who is known for his compelling preaching.

During Foley’s 36 years of teaching at CTU, he has served the school as Duns Scotus Professor of Spirituality, Professor of Liturgy and Music, Founding Director of the Ecumenical Doctor of Ministry Program and Coordinator of the school’s liturgy and musical celebrations. Foley will bring his wealth of experience to this innovative project which he conceived, designed and will implement Updates on the project will regularly be posted on his website

A primary way Roman Catholics explore their faith and nourish their spirituality is through preaching. However, few preachers explicitly connect faith or spirituality with science. This grant will gather leading scientists and homileticians to explore the positive contributions science can make to preaching, and consequently contribute to more contemporary modes of believing.

The project’s ultimate outcome will be a compilation of 100+ homily outlines for preaching key Sundays and feast days across the three-year lectionary cycle.

The considerable output of the project will be made available in an open-access format through the Catholic Theological Union website and other portals such as These free homiletic resources have the potential to influence thousands of preachers seeking help each week in crafting sermons and will help shape a scientifically informed religious imagination among future preachers.

“In our present cultural context where science and faith seem to be at odds in the minds of some believers, a project that brings together preaching informed by science is both crucial and potentially life-saving,” said Rev. Mark R. Francis CSV, President of Catholic Theological Union. “CTU is both proud and excited to be part of this project.


About Catholic Theological Union: Catholic Theological Union is a Roman Catholic graduate school of theology and ministry located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago; CTU shares alliances with De Paul University, Dominican University and the University of Chicago. Its mission is to prepare effective leaders for the Church, ready to witness to Christ’s good news of justice, love, and peace. More than 4,500 CTU alumni, vowed religious and lay women and men, have gone on to minister in 60 countries worldwide.

CTU was founded in 1968, following the Second Vatican Council, during a time of dramatic renewal in the Catholic Church. Fifty years later, CTU has evolved into a premier school of theology and ministry, sponsored by twenty-four men’s religious communities and enjoys a global reputation for academic and pastoral excellence.

Source: Catholic Theological Union