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Dissertation Abstracts

From: American Catholic Studies
Volume 124, Number 3, Fall 2013
pp. 91-98 | 10.1353/acs.2013.0041

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American University

Jacobe, Stephanie-Adaline Therese. Thomas Fortune Ryan: An American Catholic, Ph.D. diss., American University, 2013. In ProQuest Dissertations & Theses [database online]; publication number 3560098, accessed July 12, 2013.

Born in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in 1851, Thomas Fortune Ryan left home in his teens for Baltimore, Maryland where he met his future father-in-law John S. Barry. Ryan worked for Barry but also adopted the Barry’s religion, Roman Catholicism, which would become the bed rock of his life. The highly-devotional form of Roman Catholicism that Ryan was introduced to by the Barry family provided grounding for him as a young man who had lost both his parents and seen his home in Virginia destroyed by the Civil War.

In 1870 Ryan and the Barry family moved to New York City where father and future son-in-law took up stocktrading. Ryan began his career as a mid-level trader until he was able to found his own short-lived brokerage firm. Ryan founded the New York Cable Railway and was vying for a streetcar railway franchise with William C. Whitney, Peter A. B. Widener, and Anthony Brady. In 1890 he and his partners created the Metropolitan Traction Company through which they consolidated all of New York’s streetcar railways and later merge with the newly-formed subway system.

In 1900 Ryan would embark on his final career, he became Vice-President of the Morton Trust Company. From this position, Thomas Fortune Ryan financed the Seaboard Airline Railway and the American Tobacco Company and served on the boards of more than thirty other corporations. In 1905 he purchased a controlling interest in the Equitable Life Assurance Society, which would forever brand him among Wall Street’s worst. A year later he retired from business after making his last major business deal. King Leopold II of Belgium granted one-third of all of all the mineral rights in the Congo Free State to Ryan, who created two American concession companies. These companies allowed the King to retain his profits while relinquishing control of his personal fiefdom. Thomas Fortune Ryan was a Virginian, Southerner, reviled Wall Street business man, ardent Roman Catholic, and philanthropist. He was a multifaceted man whose legacy is just as complex as he himself was.

Aquinas Institute of Theology

Guerin, Louis T. The Baptist Project: The voices of homeless preachers and their contributions to the renewal of pulpit preaching in the Catholic Church, D.Min. diss., Aquinas Institute of Theology, 2012. In ProQuest Dissertations & Theses [database online]; publication number 3503768, accessed July 12, 2013.

This thesis project aims to investigate the possibilities of homeless preachers that contribute to the renewal of pulpit preachers and of preaching in the Catholic Church today. Having a biblical and historical presence that predates Christianity, homeless preachers have a secured recognition within society. Because the homeless are often stereotyped as mentally ill and disregarded, this project engages psychology as a dialogue partner to ask whether psychological aberrations should stand in the way of recognizing holiness and of giving credibility to one’s preaching. The same evaluation rubric that is used for preaching by seminary students is being employed to evaluate the preaching of these homeless preachers in this project. Analysis and inventoried contributions serve as another potential resource for preaching renewal.

Chapter One introduces the homeless population and the community of homeless preachers within it and raises the question of learning from them through careful listening.

Chapter Two investigates the biblical foundations for wandering preachers and specifically examines the nuances that define homeless preaching and prophetic preaching while highlighting four time periods and several prophets of the Old Testament.

Chapter Three addresses the question of the psychological aberrancies and the preaching credibility as designated by popular recognition. Historical-biographical psychological analyses are presented on two popular Christian figures.

Chapter Four speaks to the questions, “Who are they,” “What is their message,” and “What can they offer?” This chapter analyses the preaching events of each of the five homeless preachers and identifies their unique styles and potential contributions for consideration.

Chapter Five highlights the contributions of the homeless preachers at large, along with their connection to the long history...

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