J. Michael Joncas wins 2012 Sophia Award

We are delighted to announce that Pray Tell contributor Fr. Jan Michael Joncas has received the 2012 Sophia award from Washington Theological Union. The Sophia Award is one of the highest honors WTU grants to a scholar whose work defines national excellence in theological scholarship contributing to the ministry of the Catholic Church. Congratulations, Fr. Mike!

He will deliver a lecture on February 12 at WTU which is free and open to the public. (See flyer for more details.) The lecture is entitled: “Heaven’s Harmonies in Human Habitats: Composing for the Church.” All are invited.



  1. Off topic completely.
    Readers may recall discussion on the film Of Gods and Men, Des hommes et des dieux.
    La Dépêche du Midi reports (Ladepeche.fr) that the remains may be exhumed for autopsies. Interestingly there is speculation as to who killed them.

    Le juge antiterroriste Marc Trévidic souhaite autopsier les crânes des sept moines de Tibéhirine, tués en 1996, afin de recueillir des indices sur les conditions de leur mort.

    Selon l’hebdomadaire Marianne, le magistrat a adressé une commission rogatoire à l’Algérie, rédigée le 16 décembre et traduite en arabe. Cette commission rogatoire précise sa demande d’autopsie et sa volonté d’entendre une vingtaine de témoins sur place. Le juge entend se rendre à Tibéhirine, exhumer les têtes, pratiquer une expertise ADN pour identifier les victimes et enfin faire réaliser une autopsie par deux médecins légistes, un expert en empreintes génétiques et un photographe de l’identité judiciaire. Les cercueils seront ensuite remis en terre.

    En octobre dernier, le magistrat a réuni les familles pour leur faire part de son intention et obtenir leur assentiment.

    Les sept moines de l’ordre de Citeaux de la stricte observance avaient été enlevés dans la nuit du 26 au 27 mars 1996 dans leur monastère isolé près de Medea. Le groupe islamique armé (GIA) de Djamel Zitouni avait revendiqué l’enlèvement et l’exécution des moines. Leur tête avait été retrouvée le 30 mai au bord d’une route de montagne mais leur corps ne l’a jamais été. Après avoir suivi la piste islamiste, l’enquête judiciaire s’est orientée depuis 2009 et le témoignage d’un ancien attaché de défense à Alger vers une bavure de l’armée algérienne.

  2. Bravo!! Having been in two of his courses and having attended many of his lectures, I know that this is well deserved and certainly no surprise. The information and wisdom flow effortlessly and wittily and the student/listener is more informed, formed and maybe even wiser!

  3. Congratulations Father! The topic of the lecture is one that I don’t think gets enough thought or attention. I hope a recording or the text of the talk is made available to those who won’t have the privilege of being there.

  4. I would like to add my personal congratulations and best wishes on the talk!

    In the Yale ISM Congregations Project last summer we addressed the theme of “place” in shaping an authentic worship. One of the most interesting talks (interesting to me at least) drew on the Nairobi Statement of the World Council of Churches, concerning the various ways that Church and culture interrelate (Anscar Chupungco advised on that project, among many). Human habitats sounds to me like you might be talking about place, Fr. Mike, rather than simply acoustical environments. Is this the case? Or am I asking for too much information? 🙂

    I do not live close enough to DC to attend, but shall look forward to seeing the lecture in print!

  5. First of all Congratulations!I was just browsing through and I remember you,because I am singing the Eagles Wings.And lo iwas able to unearth aprecious news about award.. Well, you might not remember me anymore because that was a long time ago 1988 during our final vows in rome and you sang inour profession No greater Love. You used to say mass to our liturgies during our probation when you were also doing your liturgyclass.Iam sandra,RSCJ philippines

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