Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C., completes nine-year tenure as provincial superior

by Stephanie A. Sibal

Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C.

Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C., will complete his service as provincial superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers, at the end of the Provincial Chapter on June 22.

Father Tyson has been provincial superior since 2003, serving the maximum nine-year term limit.

“It is by God’s grace these past nine years that I have led my brothers in Holy Cross, while walking side by side with them in proclaiming the kingdom of God through our ministries of education, parish and mission,” Father Tyson said.

During Father Tyson’s tenure, vocations to the Province have increased and there has been a renewed interest in and strategies for preparing religious for roles in parish, higher education and mission in Holy Cross apostolates. Resources have been increased toward the work of Holy Cross in Mexico, while also maintaining a strong presence in East Africa, Chile and Peru.

Father Tyson also led the way for the Southern Province of Priests to return to the Indiana Province in 2006 and for the former Eastern Province of Priests and Brothers to merge into the Indiana Province, forming the new U.S. Province, in July 2011.

Under Father Tyson’s leadership, Fatima Retreat House was rededicated as a community house for retired and active religious and LaPorte Center was developed in LaPorte, Ind. He attended the Beatification of Holy Cross founder Blessed Basil Moreau in France in 2007 and the Canonization of St. André Bessette, Holy Cross’ first saint, in 2010.

Father Tyson was born in Gary, Ind., on April 7, 1948. He received a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1970 from the University of Notre Dame, where he also earned a master of theology in 1974. Father Tyson received a doctorate in higher education administration from Indiana University Bloomington in 1980. He took his final vows in 1974 and was ordained at Sacred Heart Basilica at Notre Dame in 1975.

Prior to serving in Provincial Administration, Father Tyson worked in administration for Holy Cross universities. He served as president of the University of Portland from 1990 to 2003. During his 13 years at Portland, Father Tyson oversaw a major expansion of its campus, a tripling of its endowment and improvement of the University’s national standing.

At Notre Dame, he served as vice president for student affairs from 1984 to 1990; executive assistant to Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of the University, from 1982 to 1984; and director of Sophomore Year of Studies for Notre Dame’s College of Business Administration (now the Mendoza College of Business) from 1980 to 1982. Father Tyson has also served as an associate professor of management in Mendoza, on the staff of Dillon Hall and on a variety of committees for Notre Dame. He has been a University Fellow and Trustee at Notre Dame for 19 years and was also recently elected Trustee Emeritus of the University.

In recognition of Father Tyson’s dedication and support of Catholic higher education and his leadership in the Congregation, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in May 2012 from Notre Dame during its commencement. The University of Portland also awarded him the Christus Magister Medal, the University’s highest honor, during its commencement. Additionally, the Tyson Distinguished Professorship was established at Portland by gifts in honor of Father Tyson. The professorships recognize a career of teaching, scholarship and service to Portland.

In his role as provincial, Father Tyson has also served on the Boards of other Holy Cross schools and apostolates: King’s College (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.), Stonehill College (Easton, Mass.) and Holy Cross Family Ministries.

A new provincial superior will be elected on June 15 by the U.S. Province at its Province Chapter, which runs from June 10 to 22 in Portland, Ore. The new provincial will become the first elected provincial of the newly merged U.S. Province.

“I have faith that the Holy Spirit will continue to bless Holy Cross and the U.S. Province by continuing to grow our vocations and inspiring us to teach with zeal as we bring the message of Ave Crux, Spes Unica to the world,” said Father Tyson.

The Congregation of Holy Cross was founded in 1837 by Blessed Moreau, and this year is celebrating 175 years of service to the Catholic Church.

The United States Province of Priests and Brothers is made up of nearly 500 priests, brothers and seminarians and is headquartered in Notre Dame, Ind. The United States Province fulfills Blessed Moreau’s vision in its education, parish and mission settings around the world.