Horgan, Thaddeus Daniel

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Franciscan, ecumenist, administrator, author; b. Jersey City, NJ, March 16, 1936; d. Waterbury, CT, April 19, 1990. Thaddeus Daniel Horgan entered the Atonement Friars of Graymoor in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1963. After receiving the S.T.L. degree from the Catholic University of America in 1965, he pursued further studies at Columbia University and the Gregorian University. A prolific writer, he wrote and edited seven books and more than 150 articles and pamphlets on Catholic teachings, ecumenism, and Franciscan spirituality.

An energetic ecumenist, in 1968 Horgan established the Centro Pro Unione in Rome, an ecumenical library and conference center. He was director of this center until 1973, when he was elected to the general council of the Atonement Friars and had oversight responsibility for its ecumenical ministries. Horgan served in various capacities at the Graymoor Ecumenical Institute, where he participated in national and international ecumenical initiatives. He also filled editorial positions for Ecumenical Trends, a monthly ecumenical journal. Dedicated to both scholarly and grassroots ecumenism, he served in numerous organizations, including the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ, USA, and the North American Academy of Ecumenists. From 1988 until his death, he was associate director of the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. This position brought him into direct involvement with the ecumenical bilateral dialogues in the United States.

In addition to his ecumenical work, Horgan was noted for his activity among Third Order Regular Franciscans. A member of the International Franciscan Commission from 1979 to 1982, he was an instrumental collaborator for the revised Rule of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis that received papal approval in 1982. His pastoral ministry also included a three-year tenure as pastor in Jamaica, West Indies, from 1982 to 1985 at a covenanted Anglican/Roman Catholic parish where he combined daily parochial leadership and ecumenical life.

Bibliography: t. d. horgan, ed., Walking Together: Roman Catholics and Ecumenism 25 Years After Vatican II (Grand Rapids 1990).

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