This morning Fr. Joseph Mukuna, SCJ, successfully defended his doctoral thesis at Loyola University Chicago. The title of his thesis: “Reading the Prologue of John’s Gospel as a Midrash with a View to Examining a Local Parting of the Ways.”
In layman’s terms, Fr. Joseph explored how John’s gospel may have given insight into what is termed as the “Parting of the Ways,” the gradual development of Christianity as something distinct from the Jewish tradition.
Among those attending the defense in person were Dehonians Fr. Vien Nguyen, Br. Duane Lemke, Fr. Bob Bossie, Fr. John Czyzynski, Fr. Jim Schroeder and Fr. Floribert Bulo Dhelo. Others, including members of the faculty and staff of Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, viewed the defense via Zoom.
Fr. Joseph is a member of the Congolese Province who has been in the US Province since 2015, pursuing studies at Loyola University Chicago. He has served in formation at the international formation community in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, worked with the Congolese Bishops Conference as a Bible instructor for the ecclesiastic Province of Kisangani, and on an academic team with the Pauline Sisters editing and publishing the first edition of the French version of the African Bible, LA BIBLE AFRICAINE. Fr. Joseph is 47.
“I joined the SCJs when I was turning 19,” said Fr. Joseph. “When I look back, I can honestly say that I grew up with the Priests of the Sacred Heart. I was educated (and continue to be) and guided by this family; I always consider the Dehonians as my second family. I now have brothers and friends all over the world thanks to the Priests of the Sacred.
“To be a Dehonian for me is to struggle to live the ‘Dehonian dream’ which is to be a “prophet of love and servant of reconciliation”. This is a kind of everyday call and challenge. It is also the sense that I give to my training in New Testament studies, to become more aware of the love of God for humanity made manifest in the open heart of Jesus, and to learn how to talk about this love. Being a Dehonian today is to make relevant the “Dehonian dream” in our world in bringing joy and hope to people, and to work for peace and reconciliation.”
Congratulations DOCTOR Joseph!