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Professor of Theology Mary Hines delivered the Presidential Address at the annual convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) held in Indianapolis from June 7–10. Her address was titled “Searching the Signs of These Times: Intimations of Grace,” tying into this year's convention theme, “Grace at Work in the World.” Professor Hines has served as President of the Society for 2017–2018.
In her address, she recalled that Vatican Council II had called for dialogue with the "signs of the times," in each new generation, and for the voices of the marginalized to be included in the dialogue. She pointed out that young people, like Emmanuel undergraduates, are among the marginalized in today's Church who are identifying important signs of our times—such as climate change, LGBTQ issues and women's leadership—that need to be taken seriously by the church. There are some hopeful signs. The Synod "Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment" that will be held in the fall has included young people in its preparatory phases. Pope Francis has called for the church to be not only a teaching church, but a learning church. Vatican Council II called for the church to be open to learning from the world
The CTSA is the principal association of Catholic theologians in North America. With a membership of more than 1300, the CTSA is the largest professional society of theologians in the world. The purpose of the CTSA is to promote theological research in the Roman Catholic tradition that is attentive to contemporary problems faced by the Church and the world.