Skip to main content

Gloria Durka

By Valerie Torres

Catholic

GLORIA DURKA (1939-) is professor in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University in New York City.   She has made significant contributions to the field of religious education in the areas of family, feminism, beauty, interreligious education, and teaching to end violence.  She authored and co-edited thirteen books and published more than a hundred articles.  Her writings have been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Japanese.   She has presented papers, workshops and lectured throughout the world.  Since her appointment at Fordham University in 1978, she has delivered more than 75 papers at scholarly associations, and over 300 addresses to professional religious educators and pastoral ministers both here in the U.S. and abroad. 

Biography

Gloria (Lucy) Durka was born in Buffalo, New York on October 12, 1939.  She lived in a Catholic neighborhood with her mother Estelle Szustak, father Chester Durka, and younger brother Chester Durka, Jr..   Gloria recalls that she inherited a love of beauty from her mother; and, from her father who was a blue-collar worker, discipline and a strong work ethic.

Gloria Durka attended Saint Florian elementary parish school and Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy.   Upon completing high school at sixteen years old, Gloria entered the congregation of the Felician Sisters.  She recalls that she learned Polish mostly through osmosis: listening to her grandmother and later listening to the elders in her religious community.

Gloria Durka received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Medaille College in Buffalo, New York.  She was the first in her family to attend college.  This was most significant because she was a girl.  Gloria recalls at that time, it was understood that boys could pursue a higher degree, but girls could attend college only if resources allowed.

Upon completing her religious formation, Gloria Durka began her teaching career as an elementary school teacher in a blue-collar neighborhood.  She taught elementary school for three years at a different school each year.  During her first year, she taught 45 children in one classroom.  Her teaching style included using art, music and drama.  She enjoyed teaching the children how to read and proudly notes that by the end of the school year, all her students could read.  She recalls their joy of learning.  Her students never wanted to miss school.   Her second year of teaching was at another school also in very poor neighborhood.   This time she had the opportunity to teach kindergarten and first graders together.  At this point, Gloria pauses and reflects on the importance of early childhood education.  She recalls Robert Fulghum’s book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”  In the third school, she taught about 30 children in first grade, and also ran a reading clinic for children in first-to-seventh grade.   In this school, all the children ended up having library cards.  Later, for six years, Gloria taught art, religion, and English at an all girls high school.  Gloria recalls how all these subjects came together and “just fed each other.”   This was during the Second Vatican Council, so educators utilized new methodologies.

In 1969, her religious congregation sent Gloria to Fordham University to pursue a Masters degree.  Upon completion of her Masters of Arts degree, Gloria returned to Buffalo to teach at Villa Maria College’s Department of Theology (1969-1970), and later at Canisius College’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1970).  This was now the post-Vatican II era.  As a Felician sister, Gloria wore a modified habit.  She recalls the director of the theology program (a Jesuit priest) introducing her as Sr. Gloria, the first woman to teach in the department.  He never alluded to her academic achievements.  What seemed noteworthy to qualify her to teach was that she was a woman, the first one.

During this time, Gloria asked for and received a dispensation to leave the Felician Sisters.  Gloria recalls that thanks to her congregation she received an excellent spiritual and intellectual education and describes how she was in the company of brilliant women whose primary mission was education.  Up to this day, Gloria maintains a close relationship with the sisters whom she says, “Are still my sisters.”

In the summer of 1970, Gloria returned to New York City to pursue a doctoral degree at New York University’s School of Education.  From 1970 to 1973, while pursuing a Ph.D., she worked full time as the administrative assistant to the Dean of the School of Education.   This religious education program was interfaith, interracial, international, and multi-ethnic.  Gloria describes this time as wonderful; “it was a whole new world of religious education.”  Gloria recalls that this was her first intense academic experience of interreligious education.  She had the opportunity to study with women and men of various denominations and belief systems.

Dr. Gloria Durka earned a Ph.D. in Religious Education specializing in religious education for higher education.  She successfully defended her dissertation on February 23, 1973.  Her dissertation was entitled, “Gabriel Moran and Selected Christian Process Theologians: A Comparison of their concepts of Religion.” Her mentor was Dr. Lee A. Belford, the director of the religious education department in the School of Education.  Her research on process theology and its implications for religious education continues to inform her thinking and teaching until the present day.

Upon completion of her doctoral studies, Professor Gloria Durka was hired to teach summer sessions at the Institute for the Study of Religious Education and Service at Boston College.  In September of 1973, she was offered a contract as assistant professor in the theology department, a position which she held through the summer of 1977.   Gloria was   the first full-time faculty member to teach exclusively at the Institute.  During her tenure at Boston College she also served as academic director of the Institute, a graduate program with over 500 international students who were pastoral ministers, catechists, directors of religious education and teachers.  It was here that “cutting edge” scholars were invited to present their work to the graduate students who had “the privilege of engaging them in “hard” conversations (2004). 

During this time, women faculty of higher education institutions in the Boston area gathered regularly for personal and academic support.  Norma Thompson was one of the many women mentors whom Gloria had and Maria Harris who taught at Andover Newton Theological School, and Joanmarie Smith who taught at the Institute became close colleagues. 

In 1974, Gloria married Paul Bumbar, her closest colleague and collaborator.  His professional background in theology, religious education, counseling and administration made him her trusted supporter and critic. 

In 1977, Gloria accepted a position as associate professor and chair of the Religious Studies Department at Barry University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Miami, Florida. 

While at Barry University, Gloria Durka received an offer that she could not refuse. Dean Vincent Novak, S.J., traveled to Florida to invite her to join the faculty in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University.  She accepted the offer.

In 1978, Gloria Durka was hired as the first full-time woman associate professor in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University.  The first course she designed and taught was Community, Family and Religious Education in direct response to the U.S. Bishops Synod on the familyGloria received tenure in 1986.  Courses  Gloria designed and teaches include Women and Ministry; Foundations of Religious Education; Community, Family and Religious Education; Family Ministry: Special Questions; Spirituality and the Arts; Art in Religion and Education; Parish Education: Ministry and Leadership; and, Research Methods in Religious Education.

During the summers, she taught courses in various universities and seminaries including Creighton University, the University of San Diego, Santa Clara University, Loyola University in New Orleans, Loyola University in Los Angeles, Prebyterian School of Christian Education, to name a few.  She also taught summer school in England and Ireland.

In 2000, a Ph.D. program in Religious Education was established under the leadership of professors Gloria Durka, John Elias and Kieran Scott.  Gloria was the first director of this program.  She has mentored dozens of doctoral dissertations both in the Graduate School of Education and the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education.

As her curriculum vitae indicates, Gloria has continued to give presentations in international venues throughout her career. Of all her memberships in professional associations, there are some that are of special importance for her.   Gloria Durka has been an active member of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education (APRRE), and the Religious Education Association (REA).   In her 1991 APRRE presidential address titled, Facing Ourselves, Facing the Unfamiliar, she courageously addressed the issue of family violence, its implications for religious education and the world.  This was the first time this issue was raised in the association.

Since 2008, Dr. Gloria Durka has served as President of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, an academic association of Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars and researchers from about 33 countries.   She has been an active member since 1980 and has served its Program and Planning Committee (1984-2004), Managing Committee (1988-2004), and the Board of Trustees (2006-).  As President of ISREV, the themes of the bi-annual seminars have been “Religious Education and Freedom of Religion and Belief” (2010), “Respecting History and Remembrance in Religious Education Research” (2012), and “At Multiple Intersections: Religious Education and Gender, Class, ‘Race’, Ethnicity and Disability” (2014).

Gloria Durka has held over fifteen editorial positions worldwide including the Journal of Religious Education (US); Journal of Religion and Abuse (US); Australian Journal of Religious Education; Journal of Beliefs and Values (UK); PANORAMA: International Journal of Comparative Religious Education and Values (Germany); and Filosofia: International Journal of Religious and Philosophical Writings (Latvia). 


Contributions to Christian Education

Dr. Gloria Durka’s contributions to Christian Education are many including research on family and community, writings on feminism, the importance of beauty and aesthetic education, teaching to end violence, and interreligious education and dialogue.

Her scholarly writings and presentations have reached diverse audiences in the United States and throughout the world. She authored and co-edited thirteen books and published more than a hundred articles.  Her writings have been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Japanese.  She has presented papers, workshops and lectured throughout the world.  She has delivered papers at over seventy meetings of scholarly associations.  Since her appointment at Fordham University she has given over 290 addresses to professional religious educators and pastoral ministers (67 international addresses, 121 national, and 110 regional). 

Feminism and Justice

Gloria Durka’s research related to feminism was born out of her collaborations with Joanmarie Smith (Boston College) and Maria Harris (Fordham University) as well as through her teaching, academic advisement, and collaborations with religious educators and pastoral ministers. 

In The Religious Journey of Women: The Educational Task published in 1982, Gloria Durka describes feminism as follows:

“Feminism is undoubtedly the most sweeping revolution of our times.  It is a part of the fabric of injustice toward all minority groups, and the depth of its implications is still being sounded.  As women have tried to raise their consciousness during the past fifteen years, their emphases has shifted.  As in all social justice issues and movements, the experience of working in it has gradually clarified and deepened the issues (163).”   

In Is Partnership Possible? Ordained Men and Unordained Women in Ministry also published in 1982, Gloria Durka writes about the experiences of women in the church and examines the issues of power as exemplified in clericalism and sexism, and its effects on women and society.

Gloria Durka’s books Praying with Julian of Norwich and Praying with Hildergard of Bingen have made the wisdom of women religious accessible to all.  Joan Chittister, OSB, writes, “Praying with Hildegard will bring people who have wanted to know Hildegard and her contributions, but who doubted their own ability to understand her works, to realize her relevance and power in their twentieth-century lives.” 

Family, Religious Education, and Teaching to End Violence

During the 1980 Synod of Bishops that focused on the theme of the Christian family, there was a growing recognition of the importance of the family for religious education.  It became apparent that one could not talk of religious education without addressing the family.  The U.S. Bishops declared the 1980s the decade of the family.  In response to the U.S. Bishops call to widen the pastoral vision regarding the Catholic family, Gloria was awarded a series of research grants to conduct empirical research on family life.   This research focused on one-parent families, young married couples married fewer than 3 years, and child abuse.   The study was conducted over a five-year period.  Eight graduate students worked as research assistants and received academic scholarships.  The study found that Catholic families “experienced violence in the same measure as the greater public” (2014, 247).   

During the 1990s, the first Catholic articles on pedophilia started to break open.  As a result of public outrage, diocesan workshops and clergy training were conducted.  In 1990, Gloria participated in an International Advisory board on sexual abuse and pedophilia.   The board examined the many aspects of sexual abuse in the family as well as domestic violence against women.  At this time, the U.S. Catholic Bishops conference also focused on domestic violence against women, and there was an effort to educate the whole community by conducting workshops and producing videos.  Gloria served as consultant to the Center for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse and Violence.

From 1990 through 2005, Gloria traveled nationally giving talks addressing the issue of family violence.  She recalls a startling insight.  When she addressed teachers at all levels, she discovered that many teachers themselves were victims.  She noted how difficult it was to hear their stories.  And yet, there was a sense of relief among the participants in sharing their stories.  Gloria ponders how prevalent violence is in society; so many people are filled with shame, especially women. 

Latvian Education and Development Project

Gloria has worked at mentoring and empowering women throughout the world.  For example, in 1987, she lectured throughout England on the implications of feminism for the religious education of women and girls.  In 1992, she toured Australia for more than a month giving lectures on the religious and educational development of women with a special emphasis on feminist spirituality.  Earlier lectures included presentations in Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Later, in 1994, she traveled to post-Soviet Latvia to evaluate the state of religious education in schools and parishes, and to offer recommendations to the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops on the establishment of a catechetical institute in Riga.  A year later, she initiated the establishment of a Fordham University Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education scholarship program for Latvian women to come to the U.S. to pursue masters’ and later doctoral degrees in religious education.  Seventeen Latvian women participated in this program.  Sixteen received MA degrees, one received a graduate certificate, and six returned Fordham and successfully pursued doctoral degrees in religious education.  One Latvian MA graduate subsequently attained a Ph.D. from Riga University.  In addition to the university scholarship funds, for eleven years Gloria Durka spearheaded fundraising efforts to raise $400,000 to cover tuition and living expenses of these women students.

Aesthetic Dimension of Religious Education

In the article entitled, Is Art Necessary? published in 1982, Gloria Durka and her co-author Joanmarie Smith, examined the use of the arts in religious education.  Is Art Necessary? Their response is  “No, but …”

Religion and art make life richer and finer. All education that is aesthetic in its approach enables us to see that life can be beautiful and can be lived beautifully. Such education (like art) might not be necessary, but it is certainly human.  And we propose that it is religious (32).

In From Savoring to Saving: Teaching to End Violence published in 2014, Gloria Durka reflecting on her experiences teaching religious education writes:

I employed arts in teaching everything from reading, math, religion, economics and literature to bookkeeping and typing.  But it was while teaching at graduate school that the power and possibilities of art to address questions of violence were broken wide open for me and the students (247). 

She “became acutely aware of the need to incorporate the beautiful in the teaching and learning of students” (2014, 247).   Gloria Durka contends that “any form of domestic violence is not only a societal problem, it is a spiritual problem” (2014, 247).

Gloria Durka has written extensively on religious education and the aesthetic dimension; for example, in the areas of community (1979); family life and family ministry (1988, 1991); youth ministry (2000); teaching to end violence (2014); and, teaching values education (2014).  These are but a few samples.

Interreligious Education and Dialogue

Throughout her career, Gloria has been interested and immersed in interreligious education and dialogue.  In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 interreligious education has become more visible and critical.

Gloria Durka proposes ways religious educators can contribute in the area of interreligious education and dialogue (2010).   Religious Educators can include in their teaching more ways of releasing the religious imagination – “through art, music, drama, architecture, and the like—not simply by studying about them, but doing them, interpreting them, playing with them and struggling/wrestling with them.”   She contends that art along with critical inquiry can “greatly enhance the ability to see the world and others ‘with eyes wide open’” (128).  She notes that “The arts are vehicles for imaginative exploration; when nurtured, they enrich the deep structures of religious belonging and religious openness.” (128)

These are but a few examples of how Dr. Gloria Durka has contributed to the field of Christian Education.  Yet, there is one more …

Teacher … Welcoming Presence

Dr. Gloria Durka has written about the vocation and spirituality of teachers (2002).   She studied religious educators as teachers of spirituality (1995).   She has always modeled what she strives to teach.

Dr. Gloria Durka is a welcoming presence to all, to her students, colleagues, scholars, and parish ministers,  …  Professor Gloria Durka encourages her students in the classroom and beyond.  She provides the opportunity for her students to visit parishes that are striving to meet the needs of their faith communities addressing their spirituality, ministry and outreach often in an interreligious context.  She invites scholars and future scholars to visit her students to share their life experiences as scholars or recent graduates of doctoral programs.  She encourages her students to attend professional conferences.  At these conferences, she attends their presentations inspiring and encouraging them.  She gathers them, along with others, to share a meal, to foster COMMUNITY.   She continues to be supportive of their efforts even after they have completed their studies and are involved in their own educational and pastoral ministries. 

Dr. Gloria Durka is a welcoming presence.  The students whom she one day welcomed, taught and challenged, she sends forth to make the world a place of beauty that counters violence so that the reign of God can blossom in our time.

Dr. Gloria Durka’s gracious hospitality is all embracing, encouraging and affirming; and, as such, is celebration. 

SPECIAL AWARDS, RECOGNITIONS, AND HONORS

  • New York University Founders' Day Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, 1974;
  • Religious Book Award for Emerging Issues in Religious Education, 1977;
  • Certificate of appreciation for recognition that has come to Barry University through recipient's many contributions to scholarship, 1978;
  • Honorary Visiting Research Fellow, the University of Birmingham, England, April-June, 1985;
  • BENE MERENTI, October 1998;
  • National Catechetical Leadership Award Recipient, presented at the Annual Meeting of the Diocesan Directors of Catechetics NCCD, Buffalo, NY, May 2, 2001, in recognition of scholarship and learning contribution to the field of religious education at the national level;
  • Daugavpils University Award for Outstanding Contributions presented by the Faculty Senate for contributions to the Institute for Sustainable Development and the Journal of Teacher Education, awarded in May 2007.

BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY LISTINGS

  • Who’s Who of American Women, Chicago: Marquis Who’s Who Inc., 1977.
  • Who’s Who of Women in Education, Cambridge, England: International Bibliographical Center, 1979-1985.
  • The World Who’s Who of Women, Cambridge, Bridge, England:  International Bibliographical Center, 1982.

CONSULTANCIES

  • W. H. Sadlier, Consultant for Elementary School Religious Education Texts, (Grades 4, 5, 6) Spring, 1980.
  • Scarritt College, Graduate Program in Religious Education, Fall, 1981.
  • Member, Evaluation Team, National Catholic Educational Association, Department of Religious Education, to evaluate the Religious Education Department of the Diocese of Albany, New York, February, 1982.
  • University of San Diego, Visitation and Evaluation of the Graduate Program in Religious Education, February, 1983.
  • Eastern Catholic Conferences of Directors of Religious Education, Project: Statement of Faith of Byzantine Churches, 1983.
  • Felician College, Lodi, NJ, Outside Consultant, Proposed Master of Catechesis Degree Program, September, 1997.

EDITIORIAL POSITIONS

  • Book Editor, Religious Education Journal, 1984-1988.
  • Guest Editor, Religious Education Journal, November-December, 1982.
  • Member, Editorial Board, The Living Light Journal, November-December, 1982.
  • Member, Editorial Committee, Religious Educational Journal, 1978-1984.
  • Religious Book Editor, Catholic Library World, 1978-82.
  • Corresponding Editor, PANORAMA, International Journal of Comparative Religious Education and Values, Germany, 1990-2011.
  • Member, Editorial Board, PANORAMA, International Journal of Comparative Religious Education and Values, Germany, 2011-                                                                            
  • Member, Editorial Board, Australian Journal of Religious Education, 2011-
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Belief and Values: Studies in Religion and Religious Education, Wales, UK, 1996-
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Religion and Abuse, Seattle, WA, 1997-
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Teacher Education and Training, Daugavpils, Latvia, 2001 – 2010
  • Member, Editorial Board, International Environmental Experience: Applications for Belarus, Collected Papers, Spring, 2003.
  • Member, Editorial Board, American Council for International Education, 2003 –
  • Peer Reviewer of manuscripts for publication, Journal of Religious Education, 2001–
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Paulist Press, 2004-
  • Member, Editorial Board, Filosofija: International Journal of Religious and Philosophical Writings, Riga, Latvia, 2011-

PARTICIPATION & LEADERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

  • Religious Education Association, Member since 1969

-      Board of Directors, 1979-

-      Executive Committee, 1982-86

-      Member, Ad Hoc Committee on Nature and Purpose of the Religious Education, 1981-82

-      Member, Ad. Hoc Committee on the relationship of the Association and Professors and Researchers in Religious Education to the Religious Education Association, 1981

  • Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Member since 1973

-      Executive Committee, 1974-1976, 1989-; Convenor, Women's Caucus, 1976; 1982-1985; Program Chair, Annual Meeting, 1989; President, 1990

  • Association of Directors of Graduate Religious Education Programs, Member since 1973

-      Chairperson, 1977; Secretary, 1978-79.

  • Catholic Assembly of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Member since 1978

-      Co-chairperson of Program Committee for Annual Meeting, 1980

  • National Council on Religion and Public Education, Member since 1974
  • Boston Theological Institute Religious Committee, Member, 1973-1977

-      Chairperson, 1973-1975

  • Pi Lambda Theta, National Honor Society for Women in Education, Member since 1973
  • American Academy of Religion, Member since 1976
  • American Association of University Professors, Member since 1973
  • Ad Hoc Committee of United States Catholic Conference of Bishops on Graduate Programs and Family Ministry, 1978-1979
  • International Seminar on Religion, Education and Values, Member since 1980

-      President, since 2008; Program and Planning Committee, 1984-2004; Managing Committee, 1988-2004; Planning Committee, 1999- ; Board of Trustees, 2006-

  • Institute of Sustainable Education, Member since 2003
  • Baltic and Black Sea Circle Consortium, Honorary Member since 2007
  • AULRE Annual Conference of University Lecturers in Religious Education, United Kingdom, “Religion, Education and Dialogue,” Exeter, England, July 2009.

Works Cited

·      Durka, G. & Smith, J. (1981).  Is Art Necessary?  Religious Education, 76(1), 27-32.

·      Durka, G. (1982).  The Religious Journey of Women: The Educational Task. Religious Education, 77(2), 163-178.

·      Durka, G. (1982).  Is Partnership Possible? Ordained Men and Unordained Women in Ministry.   In Regina Coll (Ed.), Women and Religion: A Reader  for Clergy.  New York: Paulist Press.

·      Durka, G. (1989).  Praying with Julian of Norwich.  Winona, MN: St. Mary's Press.

·      Durka, G. (1991).  Facing Ourselves, Facing the Unfamiliar: A.P.R.R.E. Presidential Address.  Religious Education, 86(3), 331-345.

·      Durka, G.  (1991).  Praying with Hildegard of Bingen.  Winona, MN: St. Mary's press.

·      Durka, G. (1995).  Religious Educators as Teachers of Spirituality.  The Way Supplement, 84, 58-66.

·      Durka, G. (2000). Teaching Youth in a Socially Toxic Environment. Religious Education, 95(4), 443-452.

·      Durka, G. (2004).  Through the Looking Glass: Reflections on a Gift to Religious Educators.  Religious Education, 99(4), 422-426.

·      Durka, G. (2010).  A U.S. Roman Catholic View of Inter-religious Education and Dialogue, THEOFORUM, 41(1), 113-129.

·      Durka, G. (2014).  From Savoring to Saving: Teaching to end Violence.  Religious Education, 109(3), 246-250.

·      Durka, G. (2014, July).  “Teaching Values in a Divided World: The Power and Possibilities of Art.”  Paper presented at the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values in York, England.


Bibliography

Books

  • Durka, G., & Smith, J.  (1976).  Modeling God: Religious Education for Tomorrow.  New York: Paulist Press.
  • Durka, G., & Smith, J.  (Eds.). (1976). Emerging Issues in Religious Education.  New York: Paulist Press, 1976.
  • Durka, G. & Smith, J.  (Eds.).  (1979). Aesthetic Dimensions of Religious Education.  New York: Paulist Press, 1979.
  • Durka, G., & Smith, J.  (Eds.).  (1980).  Family Ministry.  Minneapolis: Winston Press.
  • Durka, G., & Bumbar, P.  (1981).  Faith: Becoming True and Free.  New York: William H. Sadlier.
  • Durka, G. (1989).  Praying with Julian of Norwich.  Winona, MN: St. Mary's Press.
  • Durka, G.  (1991).  Praying with Hildegard of Bingen.  Winona, MN: St. Mary's press.
  • Durka, G.  (1995).  The Joy of Being a Catechist. Williston Park, NY: Resurrection Press.
  • Durka, G.  (1999).  La Alegria de ser Catequista. Buenos Aires, Argentina: San Pablo.
  • Durka, G.  (2002).  A Teacher's Calling.  New York: Paulist Press.
  • Durka, G., Bates, D., & Schweitzer, F.  (Eds.).  (2006).  Education, Religion and Society.  NY:  Routledge.
  • Durka, G. & de Souza, M & Engebretson, K. & Jackson, R. & McGrady, A. (Eds.).  (2007).  International Handbook of the Religious, Spiritual and Moral Dimensions in Education. Two Volumes. Dordrecht, the Netherlands:  Springer.
  • Durka, G. & Engebretson, K. & Gearon, L. & de Souza, M.  (Eds.).  (2010).  International Handbook of Inter-religious Education. Two volumes.  Dordrecht, the Netherlands:  Springer.

Chapters in Books

·      Durka, G. (1976).  Modeling in Religious Education.  In The Religious Education We Need, ed. by James Michael Lee, Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.

·      Durka, G. & Smith, J. (1976).  Challenging the Framework.  In G. Durka & J. Smith (Eds.), Emerging Issues in Religious Education (4-10).  New York: Paulist Press.

·      Durka, G. (1978).  Preparing the Professional. In M. Harris (Ed.), Parish Religious Education, New York: Paulist Press.

·      Durka, G. (1977).  Identity: The Major Task of Adolescence.   In G. Temp Sparkman (Ed.), Knowing and Helping Youth.  Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

·      Durka, G. & Smith, J.  (1979).  Community: An Aesthetic Perspective. In G. Durka & J. Smith (Eds.), Aesthetic Dimensions of Religious Education, ed.  New York: Paulist Press.

·      Durka, G. (1980). A Neglected Ministry: Special Needs Children and Their Families.  In G. Durka & J. Smith (Eds.), Family Ministry.  Minneapolis: Winston Press.

·      Durka, G. (1982).  Is Partnership Possible? Ordained Men and Unordained Women in Ministry.   In Regina Coll (Ed.), Women and Religion: A Reader for Clergy.  New York: Paulist Press.

·      Durka, G. (1984).  Women, Power and the Work of Religious Education. In Changing Patterns of Religious Education. Ed. Marvin J. Taylor, Nashville, TN: Abingdon.

·      Durka, G.  (1985).  Youth Ministry and Models for Personal and Social Transformation.  In J. Roberto, (Ed.), Faith Maturing: A Personal and Communal Task (135-182).  Washington, D.C.: National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry.

·      Durka, G. (1989).  Ministry to Youth in a Toxic Environment. In Festschrift honoring John S. Nelson, New York: Paulist Press.

·      Durka, G. (1991).  The Influence of Societal and Political Factors on Religious Development and Education in the United States. In Stages of Faith and Religious Development: Implications for Church, Education and Society, eds. J. Fowler, K. E. Nipkow, and F. Schweitzer, New York: Crossroad, 224-345.

·      Durka, G.  (1999).  Domestic Violence: The Long, Sad Silence. In Perspectives on Christian Marriage, K. Scott and M. Warren (Eds.),  Oxford Press.

Introductions and Forwards in Books

·      Durka, G. (1998).  Introduction to Tending Your Own Garden by Thomas P. O. Meara, Dallas, TX: RCL Press.

·      Durka, G. (1999).  Introduction to Catholics in Crisis by William J. Bausch, Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.

·      Durka, G. (1989).  Introduction to Lights in the Darkness: For Survivors and Healers of Sexual Abuse, By Ave Clark, O.P., Mineola, NY: Resurrection Press, Ltd.

·      Durka, G. (1993).  Foreword to Lights in the Darkness, by Ave Clark, Williston Park, NY: Resurrection Press.

·      Durka, G. (1999).  Introduction to Teaching as Eucharist by Joanmarie Smith.  Mineola, NY: Resurrection Press.

·      Durka, G. (2006).  Introduction to Section One:  Philosophical/Theoretical discourses on the Religious, Moral and Spiritual Dimensions of Education.  In International Handbook of the Religious, Spiritual and Moral Dimensions in Education, two volumes, co-ed.  M. de Souza, K. Engebretson, G. Durka, R. Jackson & A. McGrady, (Eds.), Dordrecth, Netherlands: Springer, 1-10.

·      Durka, G. (2010).  Introduction to Section One:  The Philosophical and Theoretical Aspects of Interreligious Education. In International Handbook of Inter-religious Education, two volumes, K. Engebretson, M. de Souza, G. Durka, & L. Gearon, (Eds.), Dordrecth, The Netherlands:  Springer, 1-4.

Articles

  • Durka, G.  (1975).  The Use and Misuse of Competency- Based Teacher Education in Religious Education. The Living Light, 12(1), 64-75.
  • Durka, G. & Smith, J.  (1975).  Reviving the Comparative Degree.  Aitia, 3 (1), 20-23.
  • Durka, G. & Smith, J.  (1976).  Modeling in Religious Education.  Religious Education, 71(2), 115-132.
  • Durka, G. (1977).  Teaching and Learning Process: Implications for the Catechesis of Youth. Catechesis: Realities and Visions, Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 137-143 and 173-177.
  • Durka, G. (1977, Mar/Apr).  Revelation, Faith and Catechesis. The New Catholic World, 69-73.
  • Durka, G. & Smith, J.  (1977, Nov).  Modeling and Religious Experience.  Lumen Vitae: International Review of Religious Education, 32, 465-480.
  • Durka, G., & Smith, J. (1978). The Role of American Women in Academic and Religious Pursuits.  Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa, 1(1), 28-29.
  • Durka, G.  (1978, May).  The Catechist in the Church: An Affirmation. Catechist, 42 ff.
  • Durka, G. (1979).  Moral and Religious Difficulties for Youth Today.  Today's Youth/Today's Librarian, Catholic Library Association Studies in Librarianship, No. 3, 21-25.
  • Durka, G.  (1979).  Toward a Critical Theory of Teaching.  Religious Education, 74(1), 39-48.
  • Durka, G.  (1979, Sep). The Aesthetic Dimension.   Today's Parish, 39-40.
  • Durka, G. & Smith, J. (1981).  A New Papacy and Religious Education.  Lumen Vitae: International Review of Religious Education, 35(3).
  • Durka, G. & Smith, J. (1981).  Is Art Necessary?  Religious Education, 76(1), 27-32.
  • Durka, G. (1981). The Single Parent Family: A Closer Look.  Alternative, 8(1).
  • Durka, G.  (1981).  Religion and the Family.  Catholic Library World, 52(10), 428-432.
  • Durka, G.  (1981, Jan).  Re-imaging Religious Education: Professors and Researchers Review Their Stories.  PACE: Professional Approaches for Christian Educators.
  • Durka, G. (1981).  Christian Nurture and Critical Openness: A Roman Catholic View from the United States, Lumen Vitae: International Review of Religious Education, 36, 263-286.
  • Durka, G.  (1981, Jul/Aug).  New Dimensions in Catholic Education: The Challenge to Authors.  Catholic Library World, 38-41.
  • Durka, G. (1981, Sep/Oct).  A New Challenge: Ministry to Single Parent Families.  Today's Catholic Teacher.
  • Durka, G. (1981).  Religious Education Can be Beautiful.  Catechetics on the Move, 2(3).
  • Durka, G. (1981, Fall).  Mid-life Exit: Adult Education.  Navy Chaplain's Bulletin, 2(3).
  • Durka, G. (1982).  The Religious Journey of Women: The Educational Task. Religious Education, 77(2), 163-178.
  • Durka, G. (1982).  Women and Power: Leadership in Religious Organizations.  The Journal of Pastoral Counseling, 17 (1), 69-74.
  • Durka, G. (1983, Sep).  About DRE Power, Networks, and a Symposium. PACE: Professional Approaches for Christian Educators, 14.
  • Durka, G. (1983).  Family Systems: A New Perspective for Youth Ministry.  The Journal of Youth Ministry, 1(2), 4-13.
  • Durka, G. (1984, Sep).  Ministry to the Middle-Aged.  Today's Parish, 31-32.
  • Durka, G.  (1984, Oct).  Needed: Structures New and Renewed.  Today's Parish, 32-33.
  • Durka, G. (1984).  More Feminist Books for Religious Educators, Essay Review. Religious Education, 79(1), 137-140.
  • Durka, G. (1984).  Books in Brief (Quarterly column in the journal).  Religious Education, 79(1) through 82(4).
  • Durka, G. (1985, Jan).  Woman and Power.  Today's Parish, 23-24.
  • Durka, G. (1985, Feb).  A New Brand of Leadership. Today's Parish, 26-27.
  • Durka, G.  (1977-1984).  Monthly book reviews.  Catholic Library World, 54 and 55.
  • Durka, G.  (1985).  Some New Perspectives on Children's Religious Education. Today's Parish.
  • Durka, G.  (1985).  Giving Family Ministry Another Chance.  Today's Parish.
  • Durka, G. (1986, Sep). Unfinished Business: Imagination in Religious Education.  Momentum, 65-68.
  • Durka, G. (1987).   Imagination, Worship and Learning.  Lumen Vitae: International Review of Religious Education, 42(1), 72-81.
  • Durka, G. (1987, Mar/Apr).  Julian of Norwich: Mystic for Our Times. PACE: Professional Approaches for Christian Educators, 200-204.
  • Durka, G. (1987, Jan/Feb).  Hildegard of Bingen: Mystic for Our Times. PACE: Professional Approaches for Christian Educators, 172-175.
  • Durka, G. (1987, May/Jun).  Teresa of Avila: Mystic for Our Times.  PACE: Professional Approaches for Christian Educators, 235-238.
  • Durka, G. (1987).  A German translation of article, "Women, Power, and the Work of Religious Education," originally published in Changing Patterns of Religious Education, ed. Marvin Taylor, Abingdon Press, 1985 for Jahrbuch der Religionspedagogik, Vol. 4.
  • Durka, G.  (1988).  The Changing Family: Perspectives on Family Ministry. Religious Education, 83(4), 498-509.
  • Durka, G.  (1988).  Der Einglub gessellschaftlicher und politischer Faktoren auf religiose Entwicklung und Erziehung: Zur gegenwartigen Situation in den Vereingten Staaten.  In Glaubensentwicklung un Erciehung, ed. K. E. Nipkow, F. Schweitzer und J. Fowler, West Germany: Guttersloher Verlangshaus Gerd Mohn, 228-241.
  • Durka, G.  (1998, Sep).  Who will Make It Happen?  Momentum.
  • Durka, G.  (1989, Jun).  Feeding Families: A Challenge to Family Ministry. Feature Article, The Catechist Connection.
  • Durka, G. (1989, Sep/Oct).  The Long, Sad Silence: Family Violence. PACE: Professional Approaches for Christian Educators, 19.
  • Durka, G. (1989, Fall).  Hungers of the Heart: Naming the Hungers.  The Living Light, 26(1), 24-27.
  • Durka, G. (1989, Fall).  Feminist Spirituality: Restoration and Transformation.  British Journal of Religious Education, 38-44.
  • Durka, G. (1990).  Sacred Rhythms of Whole Experience.  Liturgy: Journal of the Liturgical Conference, 8(4), 37-43.
  • Durka, G. (1991, Winter).  The Changing Faces of Feminism: A Religious Educator’s View from the United States.  PANORAMA: International Journal of Comparative Religious Education and Values, 3.
  • Durka, G. (1990).  Family Life Education.  In Harper's Encyclopedia of Religious Education, San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, 254-256.
  • Durka, G. (1990).  Aesthetics. In Harper's Encyclopedia of Religious Education, San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, 18-20.
  • Durka, G. (1990).  Modeling.  In Harper's Encyclopedia of Religious Education, San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, 424.
  • Durka, G. (1990).  Drama.  In Harper's Encyclopedia of Religious Education, San Francisco: Harper and Row, 199-200.
  • Durka, G. (1991, Fall).  Love Tenderly: Compassionate Companions in the Work of Justice. Act Justly, Love Tenderly, Walk Humbly, Monograph published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Australia, Office of Catholic Education.
  • Durka, G. (1991, Fall).  To Walk Humbly: A Spirituality of Journeying.  Act Justly, Love Tenderly, Walk Humbly, Monograph published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Australia, Office of Catholic Education.
  • Durka, G. (1991, Fall).  Facing God, Facing Ourselves, The Inaugural Roncalli Lecture.  Monograph published by John XXIII College, Australian National University, Canberra ACT.
  • Durka, G. (1991, Fall).  The Role of Religious Women and Men in Evangelization: A Contemporary Perspective. Monograph published by John XXIII College, Australian National University, Canberra ACT.
  • Durka, G. (1991).  Facing Ourselves, Facing the Unfamiliar: A.P.R.R.E. Presidential Address.  Religious Education, 86(3), 331-345.
  • Durka, G. (1992).  Toward a Global Community: A Response to Mary Collins.  The Living Light, 28(2), 143-144.
  • Durka, G. (1992).  The Heart Has Its Reasons: Education and Religious Imagination.  The East Coast Conference for Religious Education: Twenty Years, Morristown, NJ: Silver Burdett.
  • Durka, G. (1992).  Essay Review of Education for Peace and Justice: Religious Dimensions, by James McGinnis, St. Louis: The Institute for Peace and Justice.  Religious Education, 87(4), 629-632.
  • Durka, G. (1992, Fall).  Valiant Charm: A Tribute to Maria Harris.  PACE: Professional Approaches for Christian Educators, 22.
  • Durka, G. and Aileen Gianelli (1989).  Creating a Caring Community: Meeting the Needs of At-Risk High School Girls.  PACE: Professional Approaches for Christian Educators, 22.
  • Durka, G. (1992, Feb).  Teaching Youth How to Care.  PACE: Professional Approaches for Christian Educators, 22.
  • Durka, G. (1993, April).  The Peace and Justice Resources of the McGinnis Institute. PACE: Professional Approaches for Christian Educators, 22, 28-30.
  • Durka, G. (1993).  Lucie Barber: A Tribute.  PANORAMA: International Journal of Comparative Religious Education and Values, 4(2), 17-19.
  • Durka, G. (1993).  Chris Harris: Teacher Extraordinaire. PANORAMA: International Journal of Comparative Religious Education and Values, 5(1), 13-14.
  • Durka, G. (1994).  Exploring: Children of God Family Leaflets: 4 Year Olds.   Dallas: Tabor Publishing.
  • Durka, G. (1994).  Caring: Children of God Family Leaflets: 5 Year Olds.   Dallas: Tabor Publications.
  • Durka, G. (1994).  Belonging: Children of God Family Leaflets: 3 Year Olds.   Dallas: Tabor Publications.
  • Durka, G. (1994).  Family Values Again? The International Year of the Family.  Catechetical Bulletin for Bishops, USCC Committee on Education, 2(5), 1-2.
  • Durka, G. (1995).  Bridging the Centures: Choosing Life, Facing Violence. Feature article in NPCD News, National Association of Parish Directors of Religious Education, National Catholic Education Association, 22(1).
  • Durka, G. (1995, Jan).  Family Values, Again? The International Year of the Family.  PACE: Professional Approaches for Christian Educators, 24, 15-16.
  • Durka, G. (1995, Oct).  Keeping Heart, Keeping Faith: Religious Education During the Last Twenty-Five Years.  PACE: Professional Approaches for Christian Educators, 25, 14-16.
  • Durka, G. (1995).  Religious Educators as Teachers of Spirituality.  The Way Supplement, 84, 58-66.
  • Durka, G. (1995, Feb/Mar).  For Our Children, For Ourselves.  Momentum, 40-44.
  • Durka, G. (1997).  Preparing For The Jubilee, Year one, 1997.  Parish Catechetical Kit, Family Component, Washington DC: United States Catholic Conference of Bishops.
  • Durka, G. (1997).  Celebrating God's Holy Spirit in Our Lives.  Seeds of Faith, 3(4), Published in Belize.
  • Durka, G. (1997-1998).  Monthly articles on a variety of family ministry topics for Parish Publications. Queens, NY.
  • Durka, G. (1999).  A Gift for Families: Praying with Parents.  Faith Works, 2(4).
  • Durka, G. (2001).  Teaching for Beauty. In Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, 4, 35-51.
  • Durka, G. (2000). Teaching Youth in a Socially Toxic Environment. Religious Education, 95(4), 443-452.
  • Durka, G. (2001).  Teacher Extraordinaire: A Tribute to Gabriel Moran.  PANORAMA: International Journal of Comparative Religious Education and Values, 13(3), 7-11.
  • Durka, G. (2002).  Teaching for Beauty.  PANORAMA: International Journal of Comparative Religious Education and Values, 14(1), 81-90.
  • Durka, G. (2002, Dec).  The Amazing Grace of Teaching.  Virginia Journal of Education, 6-10.
  • Durka, G. (2002).  Prof. Dr. Manfred Kwiran – Scholar and Gentleman. PANORAMA: International Journal of Comparative Religious Education and Values, 14(2).
  • Durka, G. (2004).  Through the Looking Glass: Reflections on a Gift to Religious Educators.  Religious Education, 99(4), 422-426.
  • Durka, G. (2005, Sep).  The Amazing Grace of Teaching:  An Essay on Spirituality and Education.   Australian Journal of Religious Education.
  • Durka, G. (2006).  Cultivating the Religious Imagination:  The Educational Challenge for a Post-Modern World. PANORAMA: International Journal of Comparative Religious Education and Values, 18, 29-36.
  • Durka, G. (2006).  Introduction to Section One:  Philosophical/Theoretical discourses on the Religious, Moral and Spiritual Dimensions of Education. In International Handbook of the Religious, Spiritual and Moral Dimensions in Education, two volumes, co-ed.  M.de Souza, K. Engebretson, R. Jackson and A.Mcrady, Dordrecth, the Netherlands:  Springer, 2006, 1-6.
  • Durka, G. (2010).  A U.S. Roman Catholic View of Inter-religious Education and Dialogue, THEOFORUM, 41(1), 113-129.
  • Durka, G. (2012).  Theology of Religions:  Through the Looking Glass of U.S. Roman Catholicism.  In Teaching Religion, Teaching Truth. J. Astley. (Ed.), Long Harborough, UK:  Peter Lang Press.
  • Durka, G. (2013, Sep.).  “Inter-religious Education and Conversion in a Divided World:  Perspectives from the United States.” Journal of Religious Philosophical Articles, University of Latvia Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Riga, Latvia.
  • Durka, G. (2014).  From Savoring to Saving: Teaching to end Violence.  Religious Education, 109(3), 246-250.

Book Reviews

·      Durka, G. (1974).  [Borderland Christianity by James Woelfel].  Religious Education, 69 (4), 520-521.

·      Durka, G. (1975, March).  [Challenge of Youth by Frederick Heer]. The Review of Books and Religion.

·      Durka, G. (1976).  [Invitation to Religious Education by Harold Burgess].  The Living Light, 13(2), 307-309.

·      Durka, G. (1976).  [Meaning by Michael Polanyi].  Religious Education, 72(1), 97-98.

·      Durka, G. (1977).  [Blessed Rage for Order by David Tracy].  Religious Education, 72(2), 236, 238.

·      Durka, G. (1997, Jun).  [The Immortals by Derek and Julia Parker]. The Review of Books and Religion.

·      Durka, G. (1978, Jan).  [The Wing-Footed Wanderer by Donald E. Miller].  Religion and Life.

·      Durka, G. (1977, Dec).  [The Resurgence of Religious Instruction by Didier-Jacques Piveteau and John T. Dillon].  National Catholic Reporter.

·      Durka, G. (1978).  [A Parent’s Guide: Religion for Little Children by Christiane Brusselmans]. The Living Light, 15(4), 566-567.

·      Durka, G. (1979, Jan).  [The Resurgence of Religious Instruction by Didier-Jacques Piveteau and John T. Dillon].  The New York Review of Books and Religion.

·      Durka, G. (1979).  [Religious Education and Religious Understanding by R. Holley].  Religious Education, 74(4), 446-447.

·      Durka, G. (1979).  [Generation to Generation by John Westerhoff and Gwen Kennedy].  Religious Education, 4(2).

·      Durka, G. (1980).  [Education Toward Adulthood by Gabriel Moran]. Religious Education, 75(2), 218-219.

·      Durka, G. (1984).  [In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins by Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza]. Religious Education, 79(1), 135-137.

·      Durka, G. (1984).  [Sexism and God-Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology by Rosemary Radford Ruether].  Religious Education, 79(1), 135-137.

·      Durka, G. (1989, Nov).  [Faith Development and Fowler ed. By Craig Dykstra and Sharon Parks].  Momentum, 77-78.

·      Durka, G. (1993, Spring).  [Renewing the Old School: Practical Principles, by John R. McCall], The Living Light, 29(3), 90-91.

·      Durka, G. (1999, Dec.).  [A Call to Peace by Jim McGinnis]. The International Journal of Children Spirituality, 4.

·      Durka, G. (2006).  [Crawford, M. and Rossiter, G.  Reasons for living:  Education and young people’s search for meaning, identity and spirituality.   Australian Council for Educational Research, Hawthrone, Vic., 2006].  Journal of Religious Education, 54 (4), 62.

·      Durka, G. (2009).  [Children and Spirituality:  Searching for Meaning and Connectedness by Hyde, Brendan].  British Journal of Adult Education, 2009.

Multimedia

 

  • Durka, G. (1972).  Media, Morality and Youth: A Teacher Training Kit (with E. Freilinger and J. O'Connor) New York: W. B. Sadlier, 1972.
  • Durka, G. (1975).  Basic Guidelines for Creative Religious Education (A series of 12 cassettes, 24 sessions, for beginning teachers) Kansas City: National Catholic Reporter, 1975.
  • Durka, G. (1978).  Inspiring Christian Character of the Child, National Catholic Reporter.
  • Durka, G. (1979).  The Child in Community.  National Catholic Reporter.
  • Durka, G. (1980).  Ministry, Imagination and Religious Education, audiocassettes program for teachers. Kansas City: New Life Films and Cassettes, 1980.
  • Durka, G. (1980).  Ministry, Imagination, and Religious Education. National Catholic Reporter.
  • Durka, G. (1980).  The Maturing Family.  National Catholic Reporter.
  • Durka, G. (1981).  New Dimensions of Catholic Education. Washington, DC: National Catholic Education Association.
  • Durka, G. (1981).  Religious Education of Children: Reclaiming and Re-imaging the Process.  Washington, DC: National Catholic Education Association.

PRESENTATIONS TO SCHOLARLY ASSOCIATIONS

  • Durka, G. (1973).  Respondent and Panel Member, Annual Meeting, Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Durka, G. (1974). “The Use and Misuse of Competency-Based Teacher Education."  Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Washington, D.C.  
  • Durka, G. (1975, November).  "Modeling and Religious Education." Major paper presented at the Plenary Session of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Philadelphia.
  • Durka, G. (1975).  Seminar Convenor and Leader, Women in Religious Education, Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education.
  • Durka, G. (1975, November).  Seminar Leader, International Meeting of Religious Education Association, Philadelphia.
  • Durka, G. (1976, October).  "Modeling and Religious Experience." Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Philadelphia.
  • Durka, G. (1977).  "Modeling God and Religious Education." Annual Meeting of the Religious Education Association, St. Louis.
  • Durka, G. (1977).  "The Aesthetic Dimensions of Community." Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, St. Louis.
  • Durka, G. (1978, October).  "Religion and Process Theology." Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Hartford.
  • Durka, G. (1978).  "Religion, Conservatism and Process Theology." Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, New Orleans.
  • Durka, G. (1978). "Religion and Process Thought." Annual Meeting of the International Region of the American Academy of Religion, Rochester, New York.
  • Durka, G. (1979, October). "The New Papacy and Religious Education." Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Toronto, Canada.
  • Durka, G. (1979, November). "Process Though and Femine Spirituality: Perspectives on Mid-Life." National Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, New York City.
  • Durka, G. (1980). "Epistemology and the Objectification of Religious Belief." National Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion/College Theology Society International Region, Syracuse University.
  • Durka, G. (1980, April). "Educational Approaches to Family Ministry." INVITED PAPER presented to the Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education of the Eastern Seaboard, Princeton Theological Seminary.
  • Durka, G. (1980). "Christian Nurture and Critical Openness: A Roman Catholic View from the United States."  INVITED PAPER presented to the Plenary Session of Second International Seminar on Religion, Education and Values, Union College, Schenectady.
  • Durka, G. (1980, October). "Future Directions of Religious Education," INVITED PRESENTATION given at the Whitehead Conference on Education, and respondent to major presentation, Claremont, CA.
  • Durka, G. (1980).  "Christian Nurture and Critical Openness: Towards Appropriate Criteria." Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Cincinnati.
  • Durka, G. (1981, April).  "Conversation in Feminist Theology." Eastern Regional Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, D'Youville College,
  • Durka, G. (1981, August). "Sexist Language and Training Women to Know Their Place." INVITED PAPER presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Los Angeles.
  • Durka, G. (1981, November). "The Religious Journey of Women: The Educational Task." Annual Meeting of Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, University of Michigan.
  • Durka, G. (1982, April). "The Arts in the Process of Religious Education." INVITED PAPER presented at the Christian Education Movement Conference, Annual Meeting, St. Martin's College, Lancaster, England.
  • Durka, G. (1982, May).  "Religious Imagination and the DRE." INVITED PAPER at the Hartford Association of Religious Education Directors, Symposium on The Professionalisation and the Position of the DRE in the American Church.
  • Durka, G. (1982, July).  "The Religious Development of Woman." INVITED PAPER presented at the International Seminar on Religion, Education and Values, Driebergen, The Netherlands.
  • Durka, G. (1982, August). "Women and Power: Leadership in Religious Organizations."  INVITED PAPER presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.,
  • Durka, G. (1982, October).  "Women and Power: the Educational Dimensions of Religious Leadership."  Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Durka, G. (1982, October).  "Presentation on Panel: The University and Researchers: Partners in Research," Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Durka, G. (1982, October).  "The Relevance of Teresa of Avila's Spirituality for Contemporary Women."  Symposium celebrating the Quadricentennial of the death of Teresa of Avila, Fordham University.
  • Durka, G. (1983, April). INVITED PAPER, International Consultation on Theology and Education, Westhill College of the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England.
  • Durka, G. (1983, November). "Women, Beauty and the Work of Peace: Towards an Ecological Theory of Religious Education." Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Anaheim, California.
  • Durka, G. (1983, October). "Youth Ministry and Models for Pastoral and Social Transformation."  INVITED PAPER, presented at the Second National Symposium on Catholic Youth Ministry, Graymoor, Garrison, New York.
  • Durka, G. (1984, July). "Woman, Power, and the Work of Religious Education."  Paper presented at the Fourth Meeting of International Seminar on Religion, Education and Values, Ottava, Canada.
  • Durka, G. (1984, October). "Challenging Our Images of the Family: A Research Project Report."  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Chicago.
  • Durka, G. (1985, April). "Imagination, Worship and Learning."  INVITED PAPER presented at the University of Durham, Durham, England, for the Conference on Worship and Learning.
  • Durka, G. (1985, November). "Women's Spirituality."  INVITED PAPER presented at the University of Durham, Durham, England, for the Conference on Worship and Learning.
  • Durka, G. (1985, November). "Revisioning Spirituality through Feminine Mysticism."  Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Durka, G. (1986, June). "The Spirituality of Women Mystics: Implications for Educating the Religious Imagination."  Paper presented at the Fifth Meeting of the International Seminar on Religious Education, Dublin, Ireland.
  • Durka, G. (1987, June). "The Impact of Societal and Political Factors Upon Religious Development and Education: A Contemporary View from the United States. "  INVITED PAPER presented at the University of Tubingen, West Germany, for the symposium on Religious Development and Education.
  • Durka, G. (1987, October). "A Celebration of Teaching." Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Toronto, a plenary session.
  • Durka, G. (1988, August).  "Catholic Religious Education in the United States." INVITED PAPER presented at the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Stony Point, NY, plenary opening session.
  • Durka, G. (1988, October). "The Long Sad Silence: Family Violence."  Annual Meeting of the Association or Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Chicago.
  • Durka, G. (1990, November).  "Facing Ourselves Facing the Unfamiliar." PRESIDENTAL ADDRESS delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Denver, Colorado.
  • Durka, G. (1990, June).  "The Long Sad Silence: Violence Within the Family."  Research paper delivered at the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Durka, G. (1991, November).  "Spiritual Vision and Courageous Healing: A Religious Education of Caring."  Research paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association or Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Chicago, November 4, 1991.
  • Durka, G. (1991, September).  Paper presented at the Symposium and Consultation sponsored by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, Washington, DC, "Twenty Years: To Teach As Jesus Did." Paper: "Toward a Global Community: A Response to Mary Collins."
  • Durka, G. (1992, August).  "Spiritual Vision and Courageous Healing: A Religious Education of Caring."  Research paper presented at the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Banff, Alberta, Canada.
  • Durka, G. (1992, November).  "Women and Men: The New Conversation." Paper delivered at the Plenary Session of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education in response to Major Presentation, Indianapolis Annual Meeting of APRRE.
  • Durka, G. (1994, November). "Teaching Girls to Care." Paper presented to the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, November 14, 1993, Ft. Worth, Texas.
  • Durka, G. (1994, August). "Traditions and Tensions: Religious Perspective in the Republic of Latvia: A Roman Catholic Perspective," presented at the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Goslar, Germany.
  • Durka, G. (1994, November).  "Beauty, Faith and Spirit in the Baltics," presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Chicago.
  • Durka, G. (1996, November). "Keeping Heart, Keeping Faith." Paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, New Orleans.
  • Durka, G. (1996, November).  Moderator, Forum on "The Faith Community as Educator," Annual Meeting of the Association Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, New Orleans.
  • Durka, G. (1996, August).  "The Religious Educator as Teacher of Spirituality." Paper presented at meeting of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Durka, G. (1997, November). "The Prophetic and Transforming Power of Art." Paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Oakland, CA.
  • Durka, G. (1998, August).  "Teaching Youth in a Socially Toxic Environment." Paper presented at the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Trinity College, Carmarthen, Wales.
  • Durka, G. (1998, August). "A Response to 'Religious Education Beyond the Nation Scene' by F. Schweitzer." INVITED Paper presented to plenary session of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Trinity College, Camarthen, Wales.
  • Durka, G. (1998).  Respondent to Collegial Paper, "Sex Education and Religious Education: Issues for a Male Identity," by David Lankshear International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Trinity College, Carmarthen, Wales.
  • Durka, G. (2000, July).  “Teaching for Beauty.” Paper presented at the Meeting of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Jerusalem.
  • Durka, G. (2000, July). Respondent to plenary session presenter, Prof. Albert Ploegger, from the Netherlands, “The Role of Installation Art in Religious Education,” International Seminar on Religious Education and values, Jerusalem.
  • Durka, G. (2000, November). “The Teacher’s Calling and the Challenge of the Beautiful.”  Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Atlanta, GA.
  • Durka, G. (2001, May). “Challenges to religious Education of Youth in a Socially Toxic Environment: Issues for Latvia.” Paper presented at Catholic Conference Center, Jurmala, Latvia.
  • Durka, G. (2002, July).  “The Teachers’ Calling.”  Paper presented at the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values (ISREV) in Kristiansand, Norway.
  • Durka, G. (2002, July).  “Discriminating Religious Education: A Response to Trond Enger.” Paper presented at the International Seminar on Religious Education and values (ISREV) in Kristiansand, Norway,
  • Durka, G. (2002, November).  “The Teachers’ Calling.” Paper presented ar the Annual meeting of the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Durka, G. (2004, August).  Respondent, Paper on Religious Education in South Africa, by Prof. Howard Sumers, Meeting of International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Durka, G. (2006, July). “Cultivating the Religious Imagination in a Post-Modern World.” Paper presented at the meeting of the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Durka, G. (2006, July). Respondent to paper, “Practice as theoretical Resource,” by Prof. Geir Afdal, Norway, International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Amsterdam.
  • Durka, G. (2008, November). “Truth Stranger than Fiction:  Ethnography as Window and Mirror.” Presenter. Annual Meeting of the Religious Education Association/APRRE, Boston, MA.
  • Durka, G. (2008, July). “Through the Looking Glass:  An U.S. Roman Catholic View of the Theology of Religions.” PLENARY SESSION PRESENTATION, International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Ankara, Turkey.
  • Durka, G. (2008, July). Respondent, paper by Brendan Hyde, “The religious-spiritual supermarket of Western culture:  Do children arbitrarily pick and choose their values and spiritual resources?’ International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Ankara, Turkey.
  • Durka, G. (2008, July). Chair, collegial paper session, Presenter Stefan Altmeyer, “The language of holocaust remembrance in educational contexts,” and Presenter John Hull, “The prophetic tradition of Christian and Jewish faith and the ethical transformation for teaching,” International Seminar on Religious Education and Values, Ankara, Turkey.
  • Durka, G. (2011, February).  “Inter-religious Education and Conversion in a Divided World:  Perspectives from the United States.” Plenary Presenter, International Conference on Conversion in a Divided World, Latvian State University, Riga, Latvia.
  • Durka, G. (2014, July).  “Teaching Values in a Divided World: The Power and Possibilities of Art.”  Paper presented at the International Seminar on Religious Education and Values in York, England.

LECTURESHIPS

  • St. Patrick's College, Maynooth Co., Kildare, Ireland, "Family Life Ministry Today: "Principles and Practice," June, 1986.
  • Princeton Theological Seminary, "Aesthetic Dimensions of Religious Education," August 4-8, 1986.
  • University of San Diego, "Reclaiming Our Tradition and Reshaping Our Future," June 1987.
  • Outstanding Speakers Series -- June 15, 1988, John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio. "Hildegard of Bingen: Women, Mystic and Spiritual Guide for Our Times."
  • Guest Speaker Series, Loyola University, New Orleans, “Ministering to Today’s Families: Challenges and Possibilities,” June, 1989.
  • Lecture, Latvian State University, Riga, Latvia, “The Joy of Being a Teacher,” May 9, 2003.
  • Keynote address, Daugavpils University Conference on Sustainable Development: Culture and Education, Daugavpils, Latvia, “Teaching: An Amazing Grace,” May 12, 2003.
  • Keynote address, Wesleyan Center for Twenty-First Century Studies, Point Loma Nazarene University, “Cultivating the Religious and Educational Imagination,” October 2, 2003.

ADDRESSES TO RELIGIOUS EDUCATORS & PASTORAL MINISTERS

International Addresses to Religious Educators and Pastoral Ministers

  • (1991, May). Keynote Address, delivered at the Annual Conference of Religious Education, Brisbane, Australia, "Love Tenderly: Compassionate Companions in the Work of Justice."
  • (1991, May). Keynote Address, delivered at the Annual Conference of Religious Education, Brisbane, Australia, "To Walk Humbly: A Spirituality of Journeying."
  • (1991, May). Workshop leader on "Art, Spirituality and the Work of Religious Education," at the Annual Conference of Religious Education, Brisbane, Australia.
  • (1991, May). Seminar leader for teachers and parents on "The Religious Imagination and Education, " Champagnat Center, Dundas, Australia.
  • (1991).  Major Speaker, Parish 2000 project for parish leaders, "How Do Families Empower the Parish?" Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia.
  • (1991, May). Seminar leader for Parents and Teachers, "Issues in Contemporary Family Ministry," Champagnat Center, Dundas, Australia.
  • (1991, May).  Major Public Lecture, "Challenges for Family Life for the 21st Century," Champagnat Center, Dundas, Australia.
  • (1991, May). Lecture on "The Vocation of the Religious Educator, " given at Signadou College, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
  • (1991, May).  Keynote Address, the Inaugural Roncalli Lecture, John XXIII College, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
  • (1991, May).  Major Speaker, all-day conference for more than 500 teachers in the Catholic schools of Canberra, ACT, Australia.
  • (1991, May).  Seminar leader, all-day session for teachers in primary schools of the Catholic diocese of Canberra, ACT, Australia.
  • (1991, May).  Major Speaker, public lecture for the Diocese of Canberra, ACT, Australia, "Issues for Contemporary Family Ministry."
  • (1991, May). Keynote Address to religious women and men of the diocese of Canberra, ACT, on "How do Religious Women and Men Contribute to the Evangelization of God's People in the Present Day."
  • (1991, May).  Major Speaker, WATAC Conference (Women and Australian Church), St. Sabina's College, Sydney, Australia, "Today's Women in Tomorrow's Church."
  • Public Lecture, Dominican College, Ballarat, Australia, "The Long, Sad Silence: Family Violence," May 21, 1991.
  • Seminar Leader, all-day session for Catholic school teachers and pastoral personell, Colac, Australia, "Issues for Contemporary Family Ministry," May 22, 1991.
  • Seminar Leader, all-day session for Catholic school teachers, "The Role of Art in Religious Education," Mildura, Australia, May 24, 1991.
  • Keynote Address, International Meeting of Women Authoring Theology Conference, WATC, Santa Sabina College, "Feminist Theology and the Future," May 26, 1991.
  •  Seminar Leader, for Diocesan Staff and CEO's of Catholic Diocese of Adelaide, on Religious Education," May 27, 1991.
  •  Seminar Leader, for principals, teachers, religious education coordinators on "The Vocation of the Religious Educator," Adelaide Diocesan Conference Center, May 27, 1991.
  • Public Lecture, sponsored by WATAC (Woman and the Australian Church), "Feminist Theology for the 21st Century," Adelaide, Australia, May 28, 1991.
  • Public Lecture, sponsored by WATAC (Women and the Australian Church), "Facing God, Facing Ourselves: Owning Our Experience as Women," Perth, Australia, May 29, 1991.
  • Seminar Leader, "The Place and Mission of the Catholic School," for secondary principals and religious education co-ordinators,  Perth, Australia, May 30, 1991.
  • Public Lecture, "Issues for Contemporary Family Ministry," Catholic diocese of Perth, Australia, May 30, 1991. Seminar Leader, "Religious Education Leadership," for Primary school principals, teachers and religious education coordinators, Diocese of Perth, Australia, May 31, 1991.
  • Seminar Leader, "The Parish and Family Ministry," and all-day session for parish personnel from the Sydney diocese, Dundas, Australia, June 4, 1991.
  • (2005, March). “Cultivating the Religious Imagination.” Keynote Address: National Symposium on Religious Education, Canberra, Australia.
  • (2005, March).  “Spirituality of Teaching.” Seminar Presenter, National Symposium on Religious Education, Canberra, Autralia.

National Addresses to Religious Educators and Pastoral Ministers

  • (1991, January).  Workshop Leader, "Praying with Hildegard of Bingen," given at the Annual Hofinger Catechetical Congress, New Orleans.
  • (1991, January).  Workshop Leader, "Praying with Julian of Norwich," given at the Annual Hofinger Catechetical Congress, New Orleans.
  • (1991, January). Speaker, National Meeting of the Christian Education and Mission Conference of the World Council of Churches, New York, "The Pressing Issues Confronting Our Children: A Religious Education Perspective."
  • (1991, September). Keynote address, Annual Meeting of National Association of Diocesan Family Life Ministry, "Facing the Future," Long Beach, CA.
  • Respondent, Religious Education Symposium sponsored by the Department of Education, United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, "Toward a Global Community: a Response to Mary Collins," Washington, DC, September 8-9, 1991.
  • Keynote address, Plenary Session, delivered at the Heartland Conference, Kansas City. May 12, 1992, "Many Our Gifts."
  • Workshop Leader on "Towards Partnership in Ministry," Heartland Conference, Kansas City, May 13, 1992.
  • Seminar Leader, Day-long session for members and associate members, Eucharistic Missionaries of St. Dominic, on "Feminism and Religious Life," New Orleans, February 14, 1992.
  • Research Report given at the Annual Meeting of the BI-national Advisory Committee of the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence, New York, December 3, 1992, "Spiritual Vision and Courageous Healing: Building Self-Esteem in Girls."
  • Keynote address, Clarefest '93, Viterbo College, La Crosse, WI, "Through the Looking Glass: A Feminist Reconstruction of Clare' s Spirituality," June 5, 1993.
  • Public Lecture delivered at Loyola Marymount University, "The Religious Journey of Women," Los Angeles, CA, June 30, 1993.
  • "Bless Our Children," address given to Catholic elementary school teachers at the Annual Convention of the National Catholic Education Association, Anaheim, CA, April 7, 1994.
  • "The DRE as Spiritual Companion," Annual Convocation of the National Association of Parish Coordinators and Directors of Religious Education (NPCD), Anaheim, CA, April 9, 1994.
  • "Keeping Faith, Keeping Heart," address given at the Annual Meeting of the Chief Administrators of Catholic Education, (CACE), Newport, October 18, 1994.
  • "Bless Our Children," presentation given to administrators and teachers of Catholic elementary schools, Annual Convention of the National Catholic Education Association, Cincinnati, OH, April 20, 1995.
  • "Feeding Faith, Keeping Hope," given at the Annual Meeting of NPCD. National Conference of Parish Directors of Religious Education, NCEA, Cincinnati, OH, April, 1995.
  • Roman Catholic respondent to address given by the Honorable Janet Reno, Attorney General of the United States, at the National Interfaith Breakfast: "A Call to End Violence Against Woman," Washington, DC, U.S. Hayes Senate Building, October 11, 1996. President William J. Clinton was Honorary Chair of the event, which was attended by sixty- five invited representatives of various religious communities.
  • "Bless Our Children," presentation given to administrators and teachers of Catholic Education Association, Philadelphia, PA, April 10, 1996.
  • "Hear Their Cries: Preventing Child Abuse," Los Angeles, Ca, April 14-17, 1998, Annual Convention of the National Catholic Education Association.
  • Commencement Speaker, St. Barnabas High School, Bronx, NY, June 21, 1998.
  • Presenter, two workshops, "Praying Through All of Our Senses," Lay Spirituality Program, St. Francis Xavier, NYC, September 19, 1998.
  • Presenter, panel on "A Community of Hope: Who Are We Becoming?" Conference on Catholic Identity, GSRRE, October 31, 1998.
  • Presenter; "Bless Our Children: Preventing Child Abuse," Annual Convention Meeting of the National Catholic Education Association, New Orleans, LA, April, 1999.
  • Presenter, “Hear Their Cries: Preventing Child Abuse,” Annual Convention of the National Catholic Education Association, Baltimore, MD: April, 2000.
  • Address, “Hear Their Cries,” at the Annual Meeting of the National Catholic Education Association, Atlantic City, April 4, 2002.
  • Keynote Address at the Annual Diocesean Educators’s Conference of the Diocese of Houma – Thibodeauf, LA: “Our Sacred Trust: Protecting Our Children” and Special Session for Elementary School Teachers and Administrators, “Bless Our Children” Orientation/ Implementation of Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Curriculum,” 2004.

Regional Addresses to Religious Educators and Pastoral Ministers

  • Public Lecture, "Values: A Family Affair?" given at Felician Collage, Lodi, New Jersey, March 31, 1992.
  • Speaker, Presentation to faculty members involved in Caring Project, Paramus Catholic High School, April 13, 1992.
  • Presenter and Coordinator, Faculty In-Service Day, Paramus Catholic High School, "How to Be a Caring School Community, " to 45 faculty and staff members, September 17, 1992.
  • Speaker and Seminar Leader, Two-day In-service sessions for Catholic School Principals and Administrators from the Rockville Center Diocese, held at Spellman Retreat Center, Riverdale, New York, September 24-25, 1992.
  • Keynote Address, "The Joy and Challenge of Being a Catechist," Rockville Center Diocese, Long Island, September 26, 1992.
  • Seminar Leader, Faculty in-Service Day, Villa Maria Academy, Buffalo, New York, October 23, 1992, "Meeting the Needs of Teen-Age Girls: Spirituality and Self-Esteem."
  • All-day Seminar for Religious Educators and Pastoral Ministers of the Diocese of Bridgeport, CT, "Creativity in Catechesis," Sacred Heart University, January 29, 1993.
  • Public Lecture, "Changing Women in a Changing Church," St. Mary's Parish, Pompton Lakes, NJ, May 5, 1993.
  • Public Lecture, "The DRE and Pastoral Ministry," Diocese of Brooklyn, held at Bishop Kearney High School, October 26, 1993.
  • "Conversion and the Journey of the Heart", Lecture commemorating the 100th Anniversary of founding of the Congregation of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of  Jesus, Bridgeport, CT, March 6, 1994.
  • Keynote Address given at Convocation of Catechists, Diocese of Orange, Long Beach, CA, "Journeying Toward God", January 8, 1994.
  • Keynote Address given at Convocation of Catechists, Queens, NY, "The Joy of Being a Catechist", November 30, 1994.
  • Co-presenter, interfaith workshop on Sexual Harassment and Exploitation of Women in the Religious Community, Auburn Theological Seminary, NY, March 15, 1995.
  • Leader, Seminar on "Women's Spirituality for the Third Millenium", sponsored by Immaculate Conception Parish, Park Ridge, NJ, June 10, 1995.
  • Presenter, workshop for catechists, sponsored by St. Francis Parish, Mt. Kisco, NY, "The Joy of Being a Catechist", June 21, 1995.
  • Leader, workshop for catechists, "Spirituality for Today's Families", sponsored by Heart-to-Heart- Ministries, Queens, N.Y., September 15, 1995.
  • Leader/Presenter, day-long seminar for pastoral ministers and Religious educators, "Family: the Heart of the Community". Saginaw, MI, March 8, 1995.
  • Keynote Address, Annual Religious Education Congress of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, "Imagine God's Mercy", September 16, 1995.
  • Main Presenter, all-day seminar on "Imagination and Religious Education" for Directors of Religious Education, Albuquerque, NM, September 15, 1995.
  • Keynote Speaker, Interfaith Symposium on Women as Spiritual Leaders: The Past, The Present, The Future. Main address entitled, "Women As Spiritual Leaders: Restoration and Transformation", Rivier College, Nashua, NH, October 15, 1995.
  • Keynote Address, Annual Catechetical Congress, Archdiocese of Indianapolis, "The Joy of Being a Catechist", October 19, 1996.
  • Workshop Presenter, "A Spirituality for all of Us", for catechists working in adult education, Archdiocese of Indianapolis, October 19, 1996.
  • Workshop Presenter, "From Watering to Blossoming", given at the New Jersey meeting of Call to Action, June 8, 1996.
  • Seminar Leader, In-service day for Religion Faculty of St. Peter's Prep, Jersey City, "Art and Religious Education", January 17, 1997.
  • Presenter, "Spirituality for Parents", Sacred Heart Parish, Bayside, NY, December 7, 1996.
  • Presenter, "Ministers of Compassion", conference on Abuse, Resurrection Ascension Pastoral Center, Rego Park, April 10, 1997.
  • Keynote Address, Fifth Annual Catechetical Congress of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, "Jesus Christ: Yesterday, Today and Forever", August 8, 1997.
  • Presenter, Workshop on "Hear Their Cries: The Role of Religious Education in Preventing Family Violence", San Antonio, August 9, 1997.
  • Presenter, Workshop on "Families as the Center", for teachers, catechists, and parents, Queens, September 13, 1997.
  • Presenter, "Beauty as a Spiritual Discipline," workshop for catechists, Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, November 9, 1997.
  • Keynote Address, Annual Catechetical Conference sponsored by the Archdiocese of Portland, OR, "Be Still and Know that I Am God," November 8, 1997.
  • Speaker, Ninth Annual Conference of the Renewal Coordinating Community, "Women in Ministry: Reality and Promise," New York, October 18, 1997.
  • Presenter, "The Role of Beauty in the Spiritual Life," The Gathering, Rockland Country, NY, October 22, 1997.
  • Presenter, Workshop on "Families as the Center," for teachers, catechists and parents, Queens, NY; September 13, 1997.
  • Commencement Speaker, St. Barnabas High School, Bronx, N.Y., June 21, 1998.
  • Presenter, two workshops, "Praying Through All of Our Senses," Lay Spirituality Program, St. Francis Xavier, NYC, September 1998.
  • Presenter, panel on "A Community of Hope: Who Are We Becoming?", Conference on Catholic Identity, GSRRE, October 31, 1998.
  • Keynote address and conference leader, "Parenting with Families" for 200 pastoral leaders, Archdiocese of Newark, NJ, March, 1999.
  • Keynote address and conference leader, "Partnering with Families," for 120 pastoral leaders, Diocese of Trenton, March, 1999.
  • Workshop leader, "Spirituality For Today's Women", Queens, New York, May 1, 1999.
  • Presenter and Director, “All That We Are,” Retreat for Women, Graymoor, Garrison, NY, March 31 – April 2, 2000.
  • Presenter, Institute on Spirituality, College of Saint Elizabeth, two sessions on “Beauty as a Spiritual Discipline,” July, 2000.
  • Presenter, Day of Renewal, “Praying with Julian,” Heart-to-Heart Ministries, Bayside, Queens, May, 2000.
  • Presenter, Lecture Series, St. Francis Parish, Manhattan, “Ministry to Children and Families in the City: Challenges ad Opportunities,” June, 2000.
  • Keynote Address, Catholic Conference for Parents and Guardians, “Sharing the Gift of Faith with Your Children,” St. Boniface, Queens, NY: September 30, 2000.
  • Presenter and Director, “Caught in the Web of Beauty,” Retreat for Graymoor, Garrison, NY, April 6-8, 2001.
  • Presenter, Day of Renewal, “Praying with the Mystics,” Heart to Heart Ministries, Queens, May 5, 2001.
  • Presenter and Conference Director, Day of reflection for 300 Principals, Administrators and Directors of Ministries of Sisters of St. John the Baptist, Provincial Center, Staten Island, NY, March 23, 2001.
  • Presenter, Catholic School Teachers of Bergen Country, Fall Deanery Meeting for 200 Teachers, “The Mission of the Catholic School teacher,” October 26, 2001.
  • Coordinator, Retreat for Professional Women, “Enduring Hearts Seeking Peace,” Garrison, NY, April 2-5, 2002.
  • Keynote Address, “The Teachers’ Calling and the Mission of Catholic Educator,” The Annual Meeting of Catholic School Teachers and Adminstrators of Bergen Country, NJ, October 16, 2002.
  • Keynote Address, Anniversary Conference in Celebration of the Sisters of the John the Baptist, Staten Island, NY, “Nurturing the Spirituality of Family Life,” March, 2002.
  • Presenter, “Praying with the Mystics,” Day of Renewal, Heart to Heart Ministries, Queens, NY, May, 2002.
  • Presenter, GSRRE Winter Institute, “The New Catechetical Directory and Family Ministry,” February 11, 2006.
  • Speaker, Diocese of Brooklyn Heart to Heart Ministry, “Praying with a Mystical Heart,” May 6, 2006.
  • Presenter, GSRRE Fall Institute, “Spirituality, Arts and Youth Ministry,” September 23, 2006.
  • Speaker, Adult Education/Formation, Church of the Assumption, Brooklyn Heights,” “Being Catholic in a Post-Modern World,” April, 2007.
  • Presenter, In-Service program for Catholic School teachers, Brooklyn Diocese, “Mary: Truly our Sister and Model for a Post-modern World,” May, 2007.
  • Presenter, In-Service Program for Pastoral Ministers, Brooklyn Diocese,  “Mary as Model for Ministry in a Post-Modern World,” May, 2007.
  • Speaker, Diocese of Brooklyn Heart to Heart Ministry, “Images of Mary for Contemporary Spirituality,” May, 2007.                                          
  • Presenter, Diocese of Brooklyn, Heart to Heart Ministry, “Finding the Sacred in Everyday Life:  The Holy in Women’s Experience,” May 2008.           
  • Presenter, Diocese of Brooklyn, Heart to Heart Ministry, “Everyday Mystics:  Spirituality for Everyday Women,” May 2010.

Excerpts from Publications

·      Durka, G. (1991).  Facing Ourselves, Facing the Unfamiliar: A.P.R.R.E. Presidential Address.  Religious Education, 86(3), 331-345.

 

Family Violence

     There are many ‘points of pain’ in people’s lives today …There is one ‘point of pain’ that I urge us to face this evening and that is the presence of violence within our midst, especially within families. 

     Churches and synagogues have always been interested in families, and in varying degrees religious education programs have claimed to address family needs; for one-parent families and dual-worker families.  We have family retreats and family festivals.  And we have abundant curriculum materials to assist those responsible for running these programs.  And yet a long, sad silence persists about the most dreadful reality – family violence. 

     Family violence comes in many forms: spouse battering, child abuse, rape, incest, verbal abuse, sexual harassment.  The victims are overwhelmingly women and children – the most vulnerable members of our society.  Recent studies indicate that incidents of elder abuse are on the rise, too, and that more prevalent than previously believed (333-335).

Teachers are …

I return here to the title of my talk, "Facing Ourselves, Facing the Unfamiliar," and to another sense of the word facing that connotes "liVing near the edge," especially with a different material. It seems to me that facing the unfamiliar implies "looking from the edges" or from "the outside." Such a perspective gives us a particular advantage to take another view, not only one of a familiar as would an intimate associate or companion but as an unfamiliar, a stranger. Teachers are not only companions, but strangers. The stranger is a central figure in stories of faith who is often the bearer of truth that shakes common perceptions and assumptions. The function of the stranger, who often represents God in the story, is grounded in the simple fact that truth is a large matter requiring various perspectives. The intrusion of strangeness, of the unfamiliar, provides opportunities to look anew on familiar things and to be open to restatements of truth and re-creation of reality. Acting as a stranger we not only perform a prophetic deed but acts of faith and hope as well (344).

Beauty

     I have learned from some of my colleagues, especially Joanmarie Smith, that beauty is the final criterion of a virtuous life, and from John Elias that a moral life is an artistic life.  Moral beauty and moral power go hand in hand.  Beauty must be nurtured. Perhaps we need to take more walks through parks or woods. Perhaps if we allow ourselves to be awakened to a world of butterflies and daisies, of peachtree blossoms in the springtime, of perch swimming in the creeks, of lacelike dogwood in the woodlands, it will be easier for us to see that we live within interwoven layers of bondedness.   Perhaps amidst the beauty of a warm summer evening, while enjoying the sweet fragrance of honeysuckle, or in the crisp air of the autumn days while inhaling the scent of changing leaves, or when being amazed by the white beauty of an early snow, we will be filled with a zest for life that will fill our souls and spill over into our work of justice making. And then, if we are lucky, when next we look into the center frame of that triptych mirror, the frame of the present, we will see that part of facing ourselves facing the un-familiar means working to end violence wherever we find it, in our families, in our nations, in our earth, so that the third frame, the frame of the future, will eventually reflect what we have helped to create, namely, a world in which it is easier to love (344-345).

 

·      Durka, G.  (1980). A Neglected Ministry: Special Needs Children and Their Families.  In G. Durka & J. Smith (Eds.), Family Ministry.  Minneapolis: Winston Press.

What we need, then, is an ecological view of ministry for special-needs children.  This view would develop services encompassing the child as a member of larger units: the child within the family first of all, but also the child in school, the child in church, the child within a particular subculture of society.  This ecological point of view requires a search for services which, instead of plucking children from the natural environment in which they have grown and to which they will return, would reach children in that environment.  In such a view of ministry, children are not asked to change individually in an unchanged environment.  Rather, the whole community is affected by, nourished, and graced by the presence of the special-needs children in its midst. The community is, in effect, ministered to by the children (89).

             

·      Durka, G. (1982).  The Religious Journey of Women: The Educational Task. Religious Education, 77(2), 163-178.

The religious journey of women is an important phenomenon deserving more research.  In undertaking such research and in teaching to its implications, religious educators should be aware that interpretations of its findings depends on who is designing and evaluating the work.  This entails being wary of the biases introduced by a too easy acceptance of conventional categories and models.  A feminist appropriation of any theological or philosophical system will be creative, i.e., active, critical, and imaginative.   It will be open to new ways of thinking but will take nothing on authority; and it will insist on testing every hypothesis by reference to the immediate experience of women (177).

 

·      Durka, G. (1982).  Is Partnership Possible? Ordained Men and Unordained Women in Ministry.   In Regina Coll (Ed.), Women and Religion.  New York: Paulist Press, 57.

Ministry requires a mature relationship between ordained and unordained members of the team.  Collegiality in a group can only be fostered through a relationship which is based on reciprocal equality and mutuality of its members.  Such ‘partnership’ includes the whole range of the relationships and structures which denote reciprocity among people individually, between the sexes, between people and nature/cosmos, and, as the foundation of it all, between humankind and God.  It does not mean the kind of relationship which subordinates one to another, nor that of ‘complementarity’ which makes each tenaciously cling to his or her own particularities.  What is meant here is a diversity of relationships which implies the mutual enrichment of each person.

 

·      Durka, G.  (2002).  A Teacher's Calling: A Spirituality for those who Teach.  New York: Paulist Press.

How are we to serve our students in their quest for a meaningful life? How can we provide the means for them to live in peace amidst diversity? The world is broken in so many places with shattered communities and lives. For starters, we can believe that it is possible to move the young from what is to what is not yet. Such belief requires a good measure of passion. Passion has been called the power of possibility. This is so because it is the source of our interests and our purposes that signifies mood, emotion, desire-modes of grasping the appearance of things. It is a way of recognizing possibility, "the presence of the future as that which is lacking and that which, by its very absence, reveals reality." We need to nourish our own sense of the possible. A good place to begin is to reflect on our own attitude toward taking risks
 (17).

The role of the imagination is not to resolve, not to point the way, not to improve. It is to awaken, to disclose the ordinarily unseen, unheard and unexpected. But how to feed the imagination? With the arts. The arts awaken imagination … We can have our students participate in the arts by making and doing things. We can provide occasions for our students to be enriched by the art of others.   Art enhances imagination because it is evocative (31).

When we plan our lessons, we are concerned that the class experience will be relevant to the students. Imagination allows us to particularize, to see and hear things in their concreteness in the world (33).

Through the heart new perspectives open up, new alternatives are recognized, new connections are noticed and the world becomes newly enlightened. Imagination gives us new lenses through which to look at our teaching and to be refreshed. Every now and then, we get glimpses of how imaginative explorations pay off (32).

 

·      Durka, G. (2010).  A U.S. Roman Catholic View of Inter-religious Education and Dialogue, THEOFORUM, 41(1), 113-129.

Inter-religious education is understood as an interactive process through which persons learn about and from a diversity of religions.  It aims at transformation of attitudes and behaviours that may stereotype or view those of other religions with suspicion, and it is informed by comparative religion, theology, the sociology of religion, and religious education, as well as philosophy of education, peace education and critical and cultural studies.  All of this is to say that inter-religious education is cognitive, affective, and experiential.  The cognitive dimension includes learning about the world of religion and its many dimensions.  The affective dimension refers to the process of incorporation at the personal level the implications of what is being learned about the different religions.  And the experiential dimension involves immersion into the religious world of the other (125).

  • Durka, G. (2014).  From Savoring to Saving: Teaching to end Violence.  Religious Education, 109(3), 246-250.

Preventing violence means teaching about the causes of violence, and naming it where it exists.  It also includes examining our own attitudes toward violence by asking questions such as what violent behaviors do we tolerate?  Joke about?  Do we use violent imagery in our language?  Is there any experience in our own lives that causes us to turn away when we see the violence others are experiencing at home or elsewhere?  Are we brave enough to be truthtellers?  Being such calls for a bold and daring spiritual imagination.  But imagination must be nurtured …. I realize now, more than ever, that art can open doors and move people to transform reality (248).

 

  • Durka, G. (1995).  The Joy of Being a Catechist: From Watering to Blossoming.  Williston Park, NY: Resurrection Press.

               Catechist’s Prayer

O Gracious God, You are beyond my imaginings

    but I know that you are here with me.

Be with me as I teach your children.

Fill my heart with your Spirit

    so that I may be true to your Word.

Give me courage to proclaim your love

    to the joyful and the hurting.

O Holy One, bless my students

    so that they may receive your gifts with gratitude.

Keep them open to wonder

    and aware of your love

So that created in your image

    they may reflect your grace.

I ask this in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen 


·      Durka, G. (2010).  A U.S. Roman Catholic View of Inter-religious Education and Dialogue, THEOFORUM, 41(1), 113-129.

·      Durka, G.  (2002).  A Teacher's Calling: A Spirituality for those who Teach.  New York: Paulist Press.

·     Durka, G. (1995).  The Joy of Being a Catechist: From Watering to Blossoming.  Williston Park, NY: Resurrection Press.

·      Durka, G. (1991).  Facing Ourselves, Facing the Unfamiliar: A.P.R.R.E. Presidential Address.  Religious Education, 86(3), 331-345.

·      Durka, G. (1982).  The Religious Journey of Women: The Educational Task. Religious Education, 77(2), 163-178.

·      Durka, G.  (1980). A Neglected Ministry: Special Needs Children and Their Families.  In G. Durka & J. Smith (Eds.), Family Ministry.  Minneapolis: Winston Press.

 


Author Information

Valerie Torres

Valerie Torres, Ph.D., Fordham University.  She is adjunct faculty in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University; teaches at the Instituto de Estudios Religioso y Pastoral [Institute for Religious and Pastoral Studies], and Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish in New York City. She is the Chair of the board of a not-for-profit corporation, Aquinas Housing Corporation whose mission is to provide affordable housing and social services for families and senior citizens, “’Til Everyone is Home … Building a Better Bronx, One Building at a time.”  She was formerly a Senior Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Labs Research in Florham Park, New Jersey.