284-5388RSmith@Franciscan.eduDownload full CV
When Anglican priest Father Richard Smith started reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992, he didn’t realize that this was the beginning of his journey into the Church.
“I was bowled over by the Catechism, ”he says. “Right away it talks about the value and importance of human reason. For so long it had seemed to me that both the world and my own denomination had lost sight of reason. But here was a church that knew its own mind!
“I didn’t convert for another nine years, but the writing was already on the wall.”
Educated at Harvard Divinity School, Dr. Smith served as an Anglican parish priest, both in Canada and the United States, for nearly 20 years. But for a good deal of that time, he felt uneasy.
“I couldn’t teach anything with authority,” he explains. “If you don’t have the magisterium, just about everything can be reduced to personal opinion.”
In 2001, he left the Anglican priesthood and was accepted into the Catholic Church. (His wife, Rebecca, a cradle Catholic, had returned to the Church several months previously.) Dr. Smith then taught at Neumann College in Pennsylvania and came to Franciscan University in 2004. He is the director of the Classics Program.
“The chance to teach the classics and the orthodoxy of Franciscan drew me here,” he says. “And I’ve been pleasantly astonished at the commitment so many students have to Christ and the Church. I feel very fortunate to be here.”
Dr. Smith and his wife have twin sons. Theodore is studying biology at Franciscan; Dunstan is a French chef in Boston. Dr. Smith is handy in the kitchen himself, when he’s not bird watching or singing with the Schola Cantorum Franciscana.
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