Dead Theologians Society is growing youth apostolate Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Mar. 15, 2018 -- 12:00 AM
DTS in Wisconsin
The Dead Theologians Society (DTS) has many active chapters throughout Wisconsin in the Dioceses of Madison and La Crosse and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. 
In the Diocese of Madison, 18 parishes have had a DTS chapter at one time or another in the past 15 years. Noteworthy chapters include St. Mary Parish in Pine Bluff, now in its 15th year; St. Clement, Lancaster, since 2010; St. Mary, Platteville; and St. Christopher, Verona. Doug Ulaszek, youth director at St. Christopher Parish, is a resource writer for DTS.
If a parish would like to start or renew a DTS chapter, they can contact Eddie Cotter at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
For more information on DTS, go to

MADISON -- Many people in the Diocese of Madison are familiar with the Dead Theologians Society (DTS).

Eddie Cotter, Jr., founded DTS in 1997. DTS became a Private Association of the Faithful in March of 2015 and is headquartered in the Diocese of Madison.

Recently, Cotter provided updated information on what DTS has been doing.

What is DTS?

DTS is a Catholic apostolate for high school age teens and college age young adults. Through the saints of yesterday, DTS inspires the youth of today to become the saints of tomorrow.

A special charism of DTS is to pray for the release of the souls in purgatory. Its motto is, “Dead to the World, Alive in Christ!” This is inspired by Romans 6:11, where St. Paul tells us to be dead to sin but alive in Christ Jesus.

Since its beginning, close to 17,000 youth and young adults in over 550 parishes and schools have participated in DTS. Although most DTS chapters have been located in the United States, there are, or have been, DTS chapters in Canada, Ghana, the Philippines, Germany, and Ireland

Focus on Ireland

Since 2011, Ireland has been a particular focus of DTS and its founder. This is primarily due to Cotter’s affinity for his own Irish heritage and his desire to “repay and show gratitude” for his, and his family’s, Catholic faith, which came through Ireland to America a century ago.

The first DTS chapter in Ireland is in Moyross, Limerick, known for being Ireland’s roughest neighbor- hood. The DTS in Moyross has been supported by the involvement of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, who have a friary in Moyross.

The Moyross DTS began in 2011. Five members are currently in the convent pursuing a religious vocation. Two others now lead the chapter.

One of the first members of DTS in Ireland and current DTS Leader Melissa O’Brien of Moyross, Limerick, said, “Moyross is known for its bad reputation regarding drugs and violence, but in the midst of all that, there are so many good things happening here and one of them is DTS.

“As one of the earliest participants to now being in the leadership role, I’ve seen first-hand how DTS is helping and has helped myself and the young people of Moyross, have a better understanding of our faith and how to live it being inspired by the lives of the saints.

“We’re very grateful to the benefactors who help DTS so that the young people can have their DTS hoodies, Rosaries, and scapulars (which they’re very proud to wear), and the leaders are able to have the resources and support to keep it going. It is our humble request to ask people to continue to give to this worthy and effective cause. May God bless you for your generosity.”

‘Fertile ground’

In 2012, DTS had a booth at the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, Ireland. Over 100,000 attended the event, which provided large exposure to the DTS apostolate.

Cotter regularly goes to Ireland to promote the apostolate and provide training and encouragement for new leaders.

Last year (2017), Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of the Waterford and Lismore Diocese became the spiritual director for DTS in Ireland

DTS currently has a missionary, Emma Trippier from Delaware, Ohio, who is serving the apostolate in Ireland for seven months. She is primarily based in the Waterford and Lismore Diocese.

Since 2011, the Irish DTS chapters have been established in Limerick, Sligo, Antrim, Belfast, Derry, and Donegal.

There are currently three DTS chapters in Derry with one being for young adults, and two for teens.

“DTS is one of the few ongoing parish/school-based apostolates which meets regularly for teens and young adults, both in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland has been especially fertile ground for DTS,” said Cotter.

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