Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology
Michael Fones, OP
Phone: 510-596-1807
Office Hours: By appointment



MS, Geophysics, Stanford University

MDiv, Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology

BS, Applied Geophysics, Michigan Technological University

Michael Fones, OP

Adjunct Professor

I am interested in pastoral theology, particularly pastoral governance, the discernment of charisms and personal vocation, and evangelization in postmodern America. Since being asked to teach Field Education at the DSPT, I have become more familiar with the art of theological reflection and its relationship to preaching and its importance in human and spiritual formation. 

I enjoy teaching because I have the opportunity to get to know better some of the friars I live with and for whom I have some responsibility for forming. It is interesting to hear their perspectives on ministry and life in the contemporary Church. I hope they experience a deeper appreciation of God’s activity in their life and ministry as a consequence of their experiments with theological reflection. Part of our study in Field Ed involves examining and “trying out” a model of evangelization that they can apply in their ministries. 

An important part of my role as instructor is prayer for the students who make their way to Field Education. Since virtually all of the students I have are men preparing for ordination in the Roman Catholic Church, I pray that they learn to love the laity with the same love that Christ has for His Church. An author who expresses this beautifully is Rev. Mr. James Keating, Ph.D., who is the director of theological formation at the Institute for Priestly Formation, Creighton University, Omaha, NE. In an article titled Priestly Spirituality, Seminary Formation, and Lay Mission, published in Seminary Journal, 2007, he described the essence of pastoral governance and tied it to the spirituality of the priest. He observed, “The relationship between [the] priest who sacramentally mediates Christ and desires interior communion with him and the laity’s mission to go and transform culture is necessarily linked by Christ in the Eucharist. For the adult lay person, the dismissal at the conclusion of the Eucharist is truly a sending by Christ to the fields of harvest found in the secular world. Upon their return to the Eucharist the following week the laity offer the fruit of their public lives in and for Christ as an oblation to the Father. Witnessing this fruit at the Liturgy is key to the celibate priest’s subjective motivation to keep welcoming the mystery of Christ at ever deepening mystical levels. As a spouse contemplates the spiritual and moral growth of his or her beloved since marriage, finding there a place to invest the meaning and purpose of nuptial self-giving, so the priest looks to the converted lives of the laity, and even deeper to the effects these lives have had upon the transformation of culture, to invest his life’s purpose. In contemplating such a transformation of the Bride of Christ the priest finds the meaning of his life’s self-offering.”

Spring 2015        

Field Education I (FE-1041)

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