Dominican Fr. Cletus Wessels died on Aug. 13. He was a pastor, theologian, author, college professor and seminary president. He made his profession as a Dominican friar in 1951, followed by his ordination as a priest in 1957. He held a doctorate in systematic theology from St. Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario.
He served for 18 years as professor of theology at Aquinas Institute of Theology in Dubuque, Iowa, and became the third president of the Institute (which is now located in St. Louis). He also taught for a time at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids as well as other centers of learning, including the Quixote Center in Hyattsville, Md., and the Weber Center in Adrian, Mich.
Wessels died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Wednesday at Providence Health Care Center in Minneapolis. He was 79.
Sign up for NCR's Copy Desk Daily, and we'll email you recommended news and opinion articles each weekday.
He devoted the last years of his life to preaching and writing about the “new universe story” and its implications for Catholic theology and spirituality. He wrote two books on this subject: The Holy Web: Church and the New Universe Story (2000) and Jesus in the New Universe Story (2003).