The board of directors of the Aquinas Center at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology has named Sister Mary Priniski as executive director.

Priniski holds a master of arts in health care missions from the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis and a PhD in missiology from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati. Along with her formal education, Priniski brings years of experience in community organizing and social justice ministries. She is project coordinator for Gathering for Mission, a project of the Catholic Committee of the South engaging church leadership on all levels in dialogue with the voice and vision of Pope Francis, and previously served as MidAtlantic chapter prioress for her congregation, the Adrian Dominican Sisters.

She served as the interim executive director of the Aquinas Center from July 2018 until her appointment as permanent executive director in May 2019. Her vision for Aquinas is to expand community relationships and archdiocesan ties and provide programmatic and academic offerings that meet the needs and realities of the Catholic Church of today.

Priniski began living into that vision during her time as interim director, forming the Catholic Lay Interparish Partnership (CLIP) in fall 2018 in response to growing concerns around the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. The CLIP group meets monthly at the Aquinas Center and represents nineteen parishes across six counties in metro Atlanta that are working to advocate for the inclusion of laity in the governance of the church. CLIP developed an educational series entitled “What’s Next?” to explore components that lead to the crisis, including sessions on ecclesiology, church finances, #MeToo/#ChurchToo, and canon law. Community events launch in September in both English and Spanish.

Candler and the Aquinas Center formed an affiliate agreement in July 2017 to enhance the Catholic presence at Candler and provide a wide range of resources for the formation of Catholic leaders.

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