The Jesuit-run Woodstock Theological Center, on the campus of Georgetown University in Washington -- will close at the end of June, a victim of the shrinking number of Jesuits available to staff it.
Hopes are that Georgetown will assume the center’s work and assets.
Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at Woodstock, said the decision to close was the culmination of “a process that’s been going on for the past few months.”
Woodstock had been supported by the order’s three East Coast provinces: Maryland, New York and New England.
“I’m afraid this is just going to continue to happen as time goes on,” Father Reese added. “Across the country we’ve seen parishes closing, schools closing. That’s the new church. And frankly, it’s going to get a lot worse. I’m probably among the generation of the last big classes in the seminaries. And when we go, there’s going to be very few people behind us.”
About a year ago St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish in Washington, near the Capitol, closed because the Jesuits’ could no longer staff it; Gonzaga High School, an all-boys’ institution, remained open. The congregation merged with nearby Holy Redeemer Parish.
Woodstock has maintained programs in social ethics for business, interreligious dialogue, religion and public policy, science and religion, and a number of research fellowships.