To catechize and evangelize teens and young adults and to pray for the Souls in Purgatory
What is the Dead Theologians Society?
Mortuum Mundo–Vivum in Christo
Dead to the World—Alive in Christ
What Do We Do?
Our vision is global and timeless in that we continue to effectively catechize and evangelize young people to become disciples of Jesus Christ in the Church He founded while remembering those who have passed before us.
The BeginningsInspired by the lives of the Saints, DTS began in 1997 at St. Francis de Sales Church in Newark, Ohio, as a parish program for high school teenagers. In a prayerful and intriguing atmosphere of Gregorian chant music, incense and effective candle lighting, teens regularly packed the 125 year old church’s undercroft chapel to discover timeless treasures of the Catholic faith. As news of this effective teen program spread, representatives from surrounding parishes visited St. Francis de Sales Church and began chapters of their own. Appearances on the Eternal Word Television Network, as well as numerous articles in Catholic and secular publications, catapulted the Dead Theologians Society onto the international scene and highlighted the society as a faithful and effective response to Pope St. John Paul II’s call for “a new evangelization for the third millennium.” As news about DTS continues to spread, new chapters continue to form.
The MottoThe DTS motto, “Mortuum Mundo – Vivum in Christo” is Latin for “Dead to the World – Alive in Christ” This is inspired by Romans 6:11 where St. Paul tells us to be dead to sin and alive in Christ Jesus. The Saints we study are alive in Christ forever. DTS members seek to always become more alive in Christ through their Catholic faith and “dead” to the negative influences of the world.
The NameThe name is a take from the popular ‘90’s movie Dead Poets Society where in the film teens learn to appreciate the writings of poets and various authors who had gone before them. In 1997, Eddie Cotter and some of the teens from his youth group at Church of the Annunciation in Altamonte Springs, Florida, were discussing how it would be very exciting and worthwhile to help other young people appreciate the richness, beauty and truth of their Catholic faith by discovering the writings and lives of the Saints. Since the Saints are “dead” only by the world’s standards but are certainly alive with Jesus in Heaven, the name Dead Theologians Society seemed like a winner. Shortly thereafter, Eddie moved to Newark, Ohio, to work at St. Francis de Sales parish where the first DTS meeting was held. Though many young people today may be unfamiliar with the movie Dead Poets Society, the name still serves the Apostolate well. At Dead Theologians Society we don’t dwell on death, and are certainly not a morbid or depressing program. We do address the reality that we all will face death and it will truly be one, if not the, most important events in our lives.. Sacred Scripture in Sirach 7:36 states, “In whatever you do, remember the end of your life, and you will never sin.” As Catholics we’re taught not to fear death, but to fear sin and that we must live this life with a sense of responsibility and a direction that leads to Heaven. The title of our apostolate indicates to young people that we are not some “soft” program, but rather we face the tough issues in life and through the examples of the Saints, the Dead Theologians Society will inspire the youth of today to become the saints of tomorrow.
The DTS Hoodie
Board of Directors
Edmond J. Cotter, Jr.
Board Member and Founder/Executive Director
Eddie is a founder of DTS and serves as its Executive Director. He manages the day-to-day operations of DTS and represents the apostolate to the public. Eddie has thirty years of active youth ministry experience. He is a former Juvenile Court Director and inner-city social worker. Eddie graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Social Work. For forty years he’s been an active Celtic musician. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Knights of Divine Mercy and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Eddie and his wife Katie have been married over 30 years and have two grown children and one grandson.
Charles A. Mifsud
Board Member and Chairman of the Board
Scott H. Ryan
Board Member and President
Christopher J. Stefanick
Board Member and Vice President
Luciana D. Frank
Miguel A. Avello
Rev. William S. Evans
Episcopal Advisory Council
His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Leo Burke
Episcopal Advisory Council Chair
The Most Reverend Jerome Listecki
Archdiocese of Milwaukee
The Most Reverend Robert Baker
Diocese of Birmingham