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Conference to celebrate ND theologian John Dunne's 50th year of teaching

Author: Arts and Letters


“Seeking the Heart’s Desire,” a conference honoring Rev. John Dunne, C.S.C., Rev. John A. O’Brien Professor of Catholic Theology, for his half-century-long presence on the faculty at Notre Dame, will be held Friday to Sunday (March 30 to April 1) at McKenna Hall.

Judge John T. Noonan of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court, a former member of the Notre Dame Law School faculty and a close friend of Father Dunne, will give the conference keynote address at 7p.m. Friday (March 30).

On Saturday (March 31) at 9 a.m. there will be a panel discussion on “John Dunne and Contemporary Spiritual Theology.” Panelists will include theologians Jon Nilson of Loyola University, Chicago; Elizabeth Carr of Smith College; and William D. Collinge of Mount Saint Mary’s College.

Following the discussion, three former students of Father Dunne will speak on “John Dunne as Teacher.” The three are Rev. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., professor of political science and director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives; Mary Anne Wolfe, professor of child development at Tufts University; and Colleen Moore, coordinator of formation activities in Notre Dame’s Echo: Faith Formation Leadership Program.

At 3:30p.m., Father Dunne, a pianist, will give a musical performance of his own work, accompanied by Quinn Pilari, executive assistant at South Bend’s Center for the Homeless.

The conference will conclude on Sunday (April 1) at 10 a.m. in the chapel of Welsh Family Hall with a Mass at which Father Dunne will preside.

A 1951 Notre Dame alumnus, Father Dunne began to teach at Notre Dame whenhe returned from studies at the Gregorian University in Rome in the fall of 1957. One of the University’s most popular, even beloved teachers, he has written numerous influential works on theology and the spiritual life, including “The City of the Gods,” “A Search for God in Time and Memory,” and “Way of All the Earth.” He has taught arguably more Notre Dame students than any other person.

Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at on March 27, 2007.