Learn more about some of our students
Darcy Hidek is in her second year of the Masters of Divinity program at CTU. Raised in a family that was dedicated to service and to their faith, she knew that service to the Church was always going to be a part of her life. Darcy began teaching Sunday School classes while in high school and has continued to do so ever since. “The simple faith of children renews my own faith again and again, and gives me hope for the future,” said Darcy.
In college Darcy studied Elementary Education and Theology and came to realize that the best practices and methods of education are not always used in religious education. She felt called to bring together her knowledge and experiences, as well as her love for children, as a Director of Religious Education in a parish, where she can help pass on to children a faith that is grounded in Scripture and Tradition while also being experiential, life-giving, and justice-oriented.
Darcy participated in the Catholics on Call program at CTU and fell in love with the school because the classes seamlessly blend the pastoral and the academic, always keeping in mind that the two need and inform each other. The classes and community at CTU have nourished and challenged her. Earlier in the semester, she had the opportunity to study in the Holy Land for ten weeks, through CTU’s Biblical Study and Travel program. This experience opened new ways of understanding the Bible, Middle Eastern culture and conflict, God, and herself. She shares the stories and photos from her trip with the children at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Hyde Park, to help the Bible come alive for them!
Gerald E. Nora
Gerald Nora is in the Master of Arts (Theology) research program concentrating in Biblical Studies at CTU. He is the father of four, a licensed attorney for thirty-two years, and a Candidate for the Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Chicago. His professional, ministerial, and missionary paths collectively and independently brought him to Catholic Theological Union.
As his children moved through college and beyond, professional and family obligations allowed Gerald to become a part-time student and engage in more ministerial work. He also had to discern what the next part of his vocation might be.
Within the span of one month Gerald entered a graduate degree program in the humanities at the University of Chicago, began a self-study program in biblical scholarship, and made a trip to Jerusalem. While completing his master’s degree, he also found additional opportunities for ministry ranging from work on pro-life legislation to missionary trips to Uganda. It was during this time that he discerned a vocation to the diaconate. After a nearly two year application and Aspirancy process, the Archdiocese admitted him to Candidacy in 2009.
A renewed love of literature, a new love of Ancient Greek, and a growing commitment to the Church convinced Gerald that he should focus his future academic work on the Bible. Many people, including his thesis advisor, his Jesuit spiritual director, and several relatives, encouraged him to consider Catholic Theological Union. When he learned that CTU had a ‘full bench’ of world-class faculty of biblical scholars, including Pontifical Biblical Commission member Donald Senior, C.P., the matter was settled – Gerald knew he needed to study at CTU.
Gerald did not know what a blessing his experience would be. First, he found an academic community that is committed to being faithful witnesses, as well as critical thinkers. Second, CTU is not an academic retreat from the world but a crossroads of the world. Gerald’s fellow students include priests and nuns who come from around the world so that they can return and better serve the Lord. Most will be working in the poorest countries of the world. Some will return to countries where the Church consistently undergoes persecution. Additionally, he is working with Jewish and Protestant scholars, as well as religious and Catholics from across the country. Third, CTU is a genuinely Catholic community, where the employees, administrators, faculty, and students seem to share a joy in a common adventure. Nowhere is this more evident than in the heavily attended Masses when the entire world seems joined in faith.
As a part-time student who attends CTU once a week, Gerald recalls the Psalm, “One day within your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.”