His All Holiness Bartholomew, Patriarch of Constantinople, has awarded Fr. Eugene Ludwig, OFM Cap, DSPT Professor of History and Patristic Theology, the cross of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in recognition of his thirty-six years of service on the Board of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute at the GTU. The Institute offers academic courses in the GTU and has an outreach program for Orthodox students at the GTU and the University of California.
Fr. Eugene began teaching at DSPT as an adjunct in 1975 and joined the faculty in 1981. He is a biritual priest which means he may celebrate in either Roman or Byzantine Rites. He served for many years with the Melkite Greek Catholic chaplaincy for the University of California and subsequently served five years as pastor of the Russian Catholic parish in San Francisco. When asked about his attraction to the Byzantine Church he says: “It’s how I pray.”
Fr. Eugene was a member of the founding Board when the Institute opened in 1980 and served until 2016 when he retired. Utilizing his academic expertise, he helped the Institute understand the dynamics of the GTU and was instrumental in the development of an MA program in Orthodox Studies.
Patriarchal awards to Catholic priests are made occasionally as expressions of appreciation for academic, administrative, or pastoral activity that has benefitted the Orthodox Church. This special silver cross is awarded to a presbyter and takes the shape of the cross on the seal of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Recipients of patriarchal awards include Jesuit liturgical scholar Archimandrte Robert Taft and Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar who was recognized for his scholarship on St. Maximos Confessor.