Prof. Darleen Pryds, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Christian Spirituality and History at the Franciscan School of Theology, where she has taught since 2001. She earned her doctorate in Medieval Religious History from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and an M.A. in Medieval History from the University of Southern California. Previously, she served as Associate Director of the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies in Chicago from 1994–1996, and as Assistant Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Virginia Tech from 1996–2001.
Prof. Pryds is the author of the books Women of the Streets: Early Franciscan Women and Their Mendicant Vocation (Franciscan Institute, 2010) and The King Embodies the Word: Robert d’Anjou and the Politics of Preaching (Brill, 2000), as well as numerous articles on Franciscan history and the spirituality of death and dying. She has received a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy, a Research Fellowship at the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame, and a National Endowment for the Humanities research grant to research at the Vatican Film Library at Saint Louis University. She also offers lectures and retreats around the country and has been a hospice volunteer since 2009.
Praise for Darleen Pryds
“Dr. Pryds, a recognized specialist in the history of medieval women, demonstrates a great ability to bring the medieval world into the present. A committed practitioner supportive of both women’s preaching and care for the sick, her previous work . . . exemplifies the transformative nature of Franciscan spirituality.”– Joseph P. Chinnici, O.F.M., Franciscan School of Theology
“The scholarly work of Prof. Darleen Pryds has provided a contemporary voice for the ancient Franciscan tradition. . . . Her engagement with today’s social questions brings medieval spirituality into dialogue with issues of vital importance for our contemporaries. A rare combination of academic rigor and personal engagement makes her teaching lively and thought-provoking.”– Br. William J. Short, O.F.M., Graduate Theological Union
“She brings [her] rich background to bear on contemporary issues of pastoral theology. Her students appreciate the clarity and depth of her courses as well as her ability to engage them in the scholarly process.”– Professor Michael Guinan, O.F.M., Professor Emeritus, Franciscan School of Theology
“Darleen Pryds is an exceptionally gifted scholar-storyteller. A passionate medieval historian and compelling guide into lay Franciscan spirituality, her challenging insights are increasingly discussed across the country.” – David Elliott, author of Following Francis: A Faithful Fool’s Guide to Perfect Joy
“Prof. Darleen Pryds is a voice of insight, honesty, dedication, inclusion, and challenge to the practice of spirituality… Darleen’s presentations bring a fresh depth to all of those on the spiritual journey.” – Michael Minton, OFM, Director of San Damiano Retreat, Danville, California
“Dr. Darleen Pryds explores and lifts up the many aspects of lay spiritual practice for her graduate theology students. Her lectures combine serious historical scholarship with an astute grasp of current spiritual conditions, making for presentations that are dynamic and thought-provoking.” – Donna Foley, Associate Dean of Students, Franciscan School of Theology
Rev. Michael G. Witczak, M.Div., S.L.D., is an expert in liturgical history and the sacraments. A pastor and scholar, he is Associate Professor of Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He earned his B.A. at St. Francis de Sales College, and his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee. After his ordination in 1977, he served for three years as a parochial vicar and then returned to studies, earning the Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy (S.L.L.) and the Doctorate in Sacred Liturgy (S.L.D.) at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute at the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome. A priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Rev. Witczak taught at St. Francis Seminary (now St. Francis de Sales Seminary) in that city from 1983 until 2007, when he joined the faculty at CUA.
His teaching focuses on sacramental liturgy, including the sacrament of initiation, as well as the funeral rites and the role of the saints in the calendar of Catholic worship. He has published The Sacrament of Baptism (Lex Orandi Series, Liturgical Press) and articles in journals including Ecclesia Orans, Theological Studies, Ministry and Liturgy, and Liturgical Ministry. Rev. Witczak is a presenter on various liturgical topics both in the D.C. area and nationally. He received the Archbishop’s Vatican II Award for Service to Liturgy in 2001 and the Salesianum Alumni Association Sal Terrae Award in 2008.
Praise for Michael Witczak
“Michael Witczak is one of the most respected Catholic liturgical theologians alive… He has literally written the book on baptism. Listeners will appreciate the organization of his thought, the depth of his knowledge, and the clarity of his delivery.” – Rev. Paul Turner
“A meticulous scholar with an international reputation, Michael Witczak distills and explains complex issues about the liturgy thoroughly, carefully and with present day applications. His scholarship is impeccable.”– Rev. Msgr. Kevin W. Irwin, The Catholic University of America
“Mike Witczak’s breadth of historical knowledge, depth of insight, and passion for liturgy and sacrament, combine to make him one of the most consistently wise, well-grounded, and illuminating teachers of liturgy in America today.”
– Rita Ferrone, editor, The Yale ISM Review
“Fr. Michael Witczak is an internationally recognized expert in liturgical studies, specializing in the historical development of forms of worship…. His presentations are marked by clarity, balance and practicality, gleaning the worship of the past for insights into worship today.”
– Fr. Jan Michael Joncas, University of St. Thomas
“Father Michael Witczak is one of our foremost liturgical scholars. His vast pastoral, teaching and scholarly experience has well prepared him to speak authoritatively on sickness, dying and death. His thoughts are invaluable on this critical subject.”
– Fr. John F. Baldovin, S.J.
“Always pastorally practical in his teaching and thoroughly in touch with the theological and liturgical treasury of caring for the sick, the dying, death, and the bereaved, Michael Witczak brings an unequaled sensitivity to the personal needs of real life in face of these mysteries.”
– H. Richard Rutherford, C.S.C., Author, Death of a Christian: The Order of Christian Funerals