May 21, 1999
WASHINGTON -- Dr. Eugene J. Fisher, Associate Director ofthe Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the
National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) and the first director of
their Secretariat for Catholic-Jewish Relations, has received a Doctor
of Divinity degree, honoris causa, from St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore.
Operated by the Sulpician Fathers, 208-year-old St. Mary's trains
candidates for the Roman Catholic priesthood. The degree was conferred
on Dr. Fisher at commencement exercises, May 13.
"No single American Catholic has done more to foster these teachings (the Second Vatican Council's declaration Nostra Aetate
on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions) and to
promote the 'good fellowship' between Catholics and Jews called for by
the Council than Dr. Eugene J. Fisher," the university declared in
conferring the honorary degree.
The citation noted that Dr. Fisher's writings have been especially
useful to St. Mary's, and other Catholic seminaries, in showing how the
Church's commitment to relations with the Jews inspired by the
principles of Nostra Aetate can be fostered in various areas of
the priestly formation program. Many of his publications deal with
topics central to seminary formation, such as biblical studies, liturgy
and social justice.
Dr. Fisher joined the staff of the NCCB in 1977. He had been director
of catechist formation for the Archdiocese of Detroit and adjunct
professor of Hebrew Scriptures at the University of Detroit.
Eugene Fisher earned a doctorate in Hebrew culture and education from
New York University. He is the author of twenty books or monographs and
over 250 articles, many of which have been translated into other
Since 1981 he has been a consultor to the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.
Dr. Fisher and his wife, Catherine, are the parents of a daughter, Sarah.