Ted Cirone, CMF, STL, MA, followed up his theology and philosophy degrees with post-graduate work at the Catholic University of America. Ted is available for spiritual direction in English, Spanish, and Italian.
Ted knows a lot about formation. His own formation process began in high school, when he was rejected by Quigley Seminary due to poor eyesight and yet refused to give up. He applied to St. Jude’s Seminary and began his religious life. These humble beginnings offered no hint of the prominent career that would follow.
Ted did well at St. Jude’s and then at Loyola Los Angeles, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. He made his perpetual profession of vows as a Claretian Missionary in 1950 and went on to earn a pontifical degree in theology from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
He was ordained a priest in 1955.
After ordination, Ted taught Philosophy and then became a formation resource for the order. He became the superior of Claretian House of Studies at Catholic University at the same time that he earned an M.A. in Philosophy, then moved on to perform the same service at St. Louis University. As Vatican II unfolded, he was engaged to help his order discern its mission in light of the founder’s vision.
Ted’s work landed him an elected position on the Claretians’s General Council based in Rome, and Ted spent the next 12 years troubleshooting and providing support for Claretians worldwide. Sometimes, it was hard, he says, but it was also enlightening. “I remember crossing the Andes a couple of times, once on a mule,” Ted recalls. “And I remember thinking, if I can trust a mule, why not trust God?”
After a dozen years of world travel, Ted returned home to Chicago and worked with Claret Center’s co-founder Marty Kirk to do formation work with students in Hyde Park. As he was settling into that job—Rome called again. He’d been reelected to the Council. “I didn’t want to be elected to the last six years,” he laughs. “But no one available had the familiarity with the languages, people, and cultures that I did.”
Six years later, Ted took a sabbatical at Notre Dame to catch up on current events in the United States. His reputation followed him, however, and he was elected Provincial Superior of the Eastern Province of the Claretians. In that position he worked on some of the church’s toughest issues, including sexual abuse. He also served on the Board of Trustees for CTU and the Board of Directors for Su Casa Catholic Worker. And he continued to work at Claret Center.
After completing a six-year term as provincial, Ted began co-directing the Claret Center with Mary Ellen Moore. He resigned from the directorship in 2011, but he continues to offer religious formation and spiritual direction to priests, religious, seminarians and laypeople, offering his services in Spanish as well as English.
After sixty years of excitement, travel, and tremendous amounts of authority, Ted is leading a humble life once again. But for Ted, this work is every bit as important as any other work he’s done. “We’re there for the service of the people,” he explains. He happily continues to serve.