Ronald D. Witherup

President at CMSM

8808 Cameron Street, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
HQ Phone:
(301) 588-4030

General Information


Ph.D.  - 

doctorate  - biblical studies , Union Theological Seminary


S.S.  - Sulpicians

Testament Editor  - The Little Rock Catholic Study Bible

Member  - Society of the Priests of Saint-Sulpice and Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops

Member  - The National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy Inc

Board Member  - Legal Resource Center for Religious

Emeritus Bishop  - Périgueux

Web References  

LCWR Subpages

Ron Witherup, SS, president of CMSM; Christine Vladimiroff, OSB, president of LCWR; and Alain Ambeault, CSV, president of CRC expressed their gratitude to CLAR and the Brazilian religious conference for hosting the InterAmerican gathering.

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Priests in the News – | Father Ronald Witherup, SS elected superior general of Sulpicians | Father Emil J. Kapuan cause for canonization opened
NFPC THIS WEEK Father Ronald Witherup, SS elected superior general of Sulpicians Father Witherup succeeds Father Lawrence B. Terrien, SS, S.T.D., who completed his second six-year term as superior general. Witherup said his priorities will be to promote unity, communicate the pedagogy of the Society, and to recruit new members. The Sulpicians, formally known as the Society of the Priests of St. Sulpice, are an international society of diocesan priests focused on the education and formation of priests and future priests. Bishops want “to keep their own priests because they all have needs in ministry,” said Father Witherup, noting that priests must have the permission of their bishop to become Sulpicians. “So it’s a challenge to recruit new members.” Father Witherup most recently served for more than a decade as provincial of the religious community’s Baltimore-based US province. The Sulpicians also sponsor St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, CA. He served as president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) from 2003-2005. Worldwide, there are 320 Sulpicians, 71 of whom serve in the society’s U.S. province. The priests minister in approximately 13 countries, with the society growing fastest in Africa and South America––areas where religious vocations are flourishing, Father Witherup said.

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Diocese of Youngstown

Father Ron Witherup addressed members of the Foundations of Ministry program and lay Catholic parish leaders on Dec. 3, then spoke to priests and deacons the following day.
During the Dec. 3 talk, he told those present that he hoped to present "an overarching framework for understanding the Gospel of Matthew" most people do not get when they hear only "snippets and snapshots" read from the Lectionary at weekday and Sunday Masses. "You really need to keep in mind the bigger picture of what the author had in mind. He suggested the importance of reading the Gospel through once or twice at a sitting - since it is not long or complex - to get the full flavor. Father Witherup began by noting that the Church rarely officially involves itself in defining the specific meaning of passages, or in making ultimate judgments about such questions as a Gospel's authorship, date of origin, where it was written, or the like. But most scholars now believe that who precisely "Matthew" might be remains open to debate. Longstanding Church tradition had said that he was the tax collector who was one of the Twelve, an eyewitness to the events in the life of Jesus. "For a long time in Church history this was assumed to be the case," the priest explained. "But most scholars now think the copies of copies of Greek manuscripts with Gospel 'titles' we have come from the second century, in the language the Gospels were written in." The originals have been lost over time; all the Gospels were first handed down in oral tradition before they were written down. But Father Witherup said most scholars now believe that an individual we call "Matthew" was the final compiler, probably a later Christian, perhaps a Jewish Christian who compiled a text that was familiar in his community. Although a minority of scholars believe Matthew was first, Father Witherup said that is doubtful, since Matthew contains the narrative of Jesus' infancy and the Sermon on the Mount. As to where the Gospel of Matthew was written, there remains uncertainty, Father Witherup told those present. "None of the early churches were large," Father Witherup pointed out. Father Witherup said scholars have pointed out its detailed organization and parallelism to suggest that it was used as a catechism with a great deal of Christian doctrine in it. "This material is presented in extremely orderly fashion compared to Mark," he said. Father Witherup, a native of western Pennsylvania, is currently provincial superior of the U.S. Province of Sulpicians and immediate past president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men. He is a former dean and professor of Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park, Calif. He has devoted his ministry primarily to initial and ongoing formation of priests, and has written numerous books and articles, including "Matthew: God With Us."

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