Dead Theologians Society teaches lives of saints Print
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jun. 27, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

DTS Talk
Dead Theologians Society alum and guest presenter Carey Herreid gives a recent talk about St. Elizabeth of Hungary at St. Mary Church in Pine Bluff. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

PINE BLUFF -- It’s a Wednesday night in early May.

A group of high schoolers are heading down to a church basement that is adorned with candles as its main source of light, with the surroundings having a catacombs-like ambiance.

That’s just a normal night for the Dead Theologians Society (DTS) chapter at St. Mary Parish in Pine Bluff.

The Dead Theologians Society is a Catholic apostolate for high school age teens and college age young adults.

According to its website, “Through the saints of yesterday, the Dead Theologians Society inspires the youth of today to become the saints of tomorrow. A special charism of the Dead Theologians Society is to pray for the release of the souls in Purgatory. Its motto is, ‘Dead to the World, alive in Christ!’”

DTS was founded in the Diocese of Madison in 1997 by Eddie Cotter, Jr., current executive director, where it is headquartered, with chapters across the country and also around the world.

A DTS night

A DTS night typically consists of a talk about a saint, followed by social time with a meal.

On the previously mentioned May evening, the speaker was DTS alum Carey Herreid.

She told the current participants where she used to sit and how she’d keep track of the time by watching a candle burning.

Her talk was about “wife, mother, and queen St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

Herreid said this was a saint very memorable to her from when she was in DTS.

She said St. Elizabeth had a “really cool family tree,” including royalty and saints, notably St. Stephen of Hungary and St. Hedwig.

She talked about the miracle of roses where a young Elizabeth was caught taking bread from her castle to the poor, but when she was caught, she said she was carrying roses.

At that instant, the bread turned into roses and later, she was allowed to give away as much food as she wanted to the poor.

Later in life, during her time as, and married to, royalty, she let a leper sleep in her bed.

When she was confronted, and the bed checked, the leper turned into the appearance of the crucified Christ, and Elizabeth was again allowed to continue her generosity.

Herreid said it was “cool” to be back and she hoped her talk would be “fruitful” and “good”.

Following the talk, the session included intercessory prayer time, praying a mystery of the Rosary, and praying for the dead, including the souls in purgatory.

Fun and faith

Nearly a dozen teens came to the Pine Bluff DTS session, decked out in their trademark black hoodies that show they are a part of the chapter.

“I really like the talks, they are always really inspiring,” said DTS participant Katie Vosburg.

Participant Tommy Tobias said he likes “being able to see all my friends.”

The teens gathered in the narthex following the talk where they played games, socialized, and dug in to a potluck dinner.

Along with the food and friends, Vosburg said teens should check out DTS because “it’s really going to inspire you.”

For more information on Dead Theologians Society, go to


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