According to University of Notre Dame theologian and historian Timothy Matovina, “bold proclamations about Latino voters determining presidential elections have become a regular feature of political commentary.” Matovina, professor of theology and director of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, is the author of a recent history titled Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church. “In fact,” he says, “the electoral significance of Latinos is growing steadily, but not as exponentially as such commentaries suggest.”
Statisticians quibble, but it is widely agreed that most Americans identify themselves as Christians, and it is inarguable that the Catholic Church is the largest of the Christian churches in the nation. More than half of the Catholics in the United States who are under the age of 25 are Latinos, and, due to birthrates and immigration, a majority of American Catholics will be Latinos by the year 2050. A new book by Notre Dame theologian Timothy Matovina closely considers the five-century-long history of Latino Catholics in America and how that history has affected them and their Church.
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe fell on December 12, 2011 agreeably apposite to recent activities of Notre Dame’s scholars and administrators.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York will inaugurate the University of Notre Dame’s Project on Human Dignity with a lecture titled “Modern Questions, Ancient Answers: Defining and Defending Human Dignity in Our Time” on Tuesday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Notre Dame’s McKenna Hall auditorium. Ann Astell, professor of theology, and Gerald McKenny, Walter Professor of Theology at Notre Dame, will give responses to Archbishop Dolan’s lecture, which is free and open to the public.
Guillermo O’Donnell, professor emeritus of political science and senior fellow of the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies, died November 29 in Buenos Aires after a long struggle with cancer. He was 75 years old. A native of Argentina, O’Donnell is internationally renowned for original and influential scholarship on Latin American authoritarian regimes, the democratic transitions undergone by many of them, and how modernization and democracy affect each other.
The first Sunday of Advent is the first day of the Catholic liturgical calendar, which this year falls on Nov. 27. Throughout the English-speaking world, that Sunday Mass will begin, as usual, with the sign of the cross, and the priest’s customary greeting to his fellow worshipers, “the Lord be with you.” And then, not as usual, the congregation will be expected to reply, “and with your spirit.” That change of liturgical wording is only one of several in the third edition of the Roman Missal, whose new translations from the ancient Latin texts will, from this Advent on, be in standard use for all Masses in English.
Historian and philosopher Philip Sloan, professor emeritus in Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies and biologist David Hyde, the Rev. Howard J. Kenna, C.S.C., Memorial Director of Notre Dame’s Center for Zebrafish Research, are among the scientists, religious leaders, policymakers, academics and medical patients attending a Vatican conference titled Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture.
Theologian John C. Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life (ICL), was recently in Washington speaking to a symposium of young Catholic theologians about how to teach the faith. The meeting, Intellectual Tasks of the New Evangelization, was sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and intended to deepen and strengthen their relationship with a new generation of America’s Catholic teachers, and most of the 54 as-yet untenured theologians in attendance had received their doctoral degrees within the last five years.
There was a time when the size of the University of Notre Dame’s faculty and student body, the integrity of the University’s community, the enthusiasms of its students, and the very culture in which it was embedded all made it possible, in theater historian Mark C. Pilkinton’s succinct phrase, “for everyone to attend everything.”
On Nov. 14, 1986, at a news conference in the Morris Inn not much more than an hour after the University of Notre Dame’s board of trustees had elected him its 16th president, Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., said that he hoped to be a “peripatetic president.” It was an arresting and evocative phrase.
Notre Dame’s Satellite Theological Education Program (STEP) makes use of the Internet, interactive videoconferences, and numerous distance learning technologies to offer courses in theology and spiritual life to interested Catholic lay people, pastoral ministers, and other believers nationwide and beyond.
As if to illustrate the truth of the biblical adage that a prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house, Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón, an internationally prominent champion of human rights, was recently suspended from his nation’s high court for abuse of judicial authority. Observations on the case are part of an essay which appears in Unearthing Franco’s Legacy, recently published by the University of Notre Dame Press and co-edited by Spanish Professor Carlos Jerez-Farrán.
Vincent P. DeSantis, professor emeritus of history at the University of Notre Dame, died Monday (May 30, 2011) at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia. He was 94 years old.
Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, will receive the University of Portland’s highest honor, the Christus Magister Medal, at the university’s 2011 commencement exercises on May 8.
The University of Notre Dame has suspended its international undergraduate program in Nagoya, Japan. In a letter to the two Notre Dame students participating in the Japanese study abroad program, the University’s Office of International Studies described the decision as “very difficult,” but that suspension was the most prudent course of action “due to the deteriorating environmental conditions in the areas around Tokyo and ongoing uncertainty about the stability of the nuclear power plant.”
A spring semester program for University of Notre Dame students in Tokyo, Japan has been canceled by Notre Dame’s Office of International Studies due to the situation following that country’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami and its subsequent nuclear crisis. The three students enrolled in the canceled program had been scheduled to leave for Japan March 27.
Philip Gleason, professor emeritus of history at the University of Notre Dame, will receive an honorary degree from the University of Dayton April 13. The foremost living historian of American Catholicism, Gleason, whose scholarship also includes American intellectual history and immigration and ethnic history, was graduated from the University of Dayton in 1951.
Rev. Kevin G. Grove, C.S.C., a 2009 Notre Dame alumnus, has been awarded a Gates Cambridge Trust scholarship. The prestigious Gates scholarships, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, provide awards for full-time graduate study and research at the University of Cambridge. Father Grove, who was ordained a Holy Cross priest at Notre Dame last year, is among 30 successful scholarship applicants selected from a field of 800.
Rev. Ernan McMullin, John Cardinal O’Hara Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, died February 8, 2011 at Letterkenny General Hospital in Donegal, Ireland. He was 86 years old. A native of Ballybofey, Donegal, Father McMullin was an internationally prominent scholar in the philosophy of science.
The tensions inherent in being at once Catholic and American have been palpable and familiar features in the life of the University of Notre Dame from sporadic outbreaks of fisticuffs on campus in the years preceding the Civil War to the controversy which swirled about the 2009 Commencement ceremony at which President Obama received an honorary degree.
Donald P. Kommers, Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science emeritus and professor of law emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, received the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Monday (November 8) at a ceremony in the office of the German Consulate in Chicago.
Frederick S. Beckman, professor emeritus of art, art history and design at the University of Notre Dame, died Sunday at his home in South Bend. He was 93 years old.
Joseph X. Brennan, professor emeritus of English at the University of Notre Dame, died at his home in South Bend on Oct. 25. He was 86 years old.
John P. O’Callaghan, director of the University of Notre Dame’s Jacques Maritain Center, has been appointed a permanent member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Established in 1879 by Pope Leo XIII to promote the study of the thought of St. Thomas and to bring it into engagement with contemporary culture, the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas has 50 members. O’Callaghan, an associate professor of philosophy at Notre Dame whose scholarship concerns medieval philosophy and Thomistic metaphysics, is one of four academy members from the United States.
Declan Kiberd, one of Ireland’s most prominent intellectuals, has been appointed Donald and Marilyn Keough Professor of Irish Studies and professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.
Breandán Ó Buachalla, Thomas J. and Kathleen O’Donnell Professor in the department of Irish Language and Literature at the University of Notre Dame, died suddenly yesterday at his home in Dublin. He was 74 years old. A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 2002, Ó Buachalla was the world’s most authoritative scholar on the literature and ideology of early modern Ireland, and the author of numerous books and articles on the impact of the Counter-Reformation on Irish political thought, early modern historiography, linguistics, Gaelic poetry, and the cult of the Stuarts in Irish literature.
The University of Notre Dame will be the principal sponsor of “Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America,” a traveling museum exhibit on the history of Catholic women religious in the United States, when it visits northern Indiana in fall 2011. A project of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the exhibit began a three-year nationwide tour last May in Cincinnati and is now at the Smithsonian Institution. It will be at the Northern Indiana Center for History from September 2 to December 31, 2011. “Women and Spirit” includes photographs and items contributed by more than 400 communities of women religious, many of which have never before been placed on public display.
A gift from the estate of the late Philip L. Quinn, John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, will endow an annual fellowship in philosophy at the National Humanities Center (NHC). Quinn, a specialist in the philosophy of religion and the philosophy of science, who joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1985, died Nov. 14, 2004. He had often spoken admiringly of the NHC, regarding it as crucial for the nurture of liberal arts scholarship, and for many years reviewed fellowship applications and served on the center’s selection committee.
Rev. Michael Driscoll, associate professor of theology, was elected an officer and president-elect of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy at its annual meeting in Milwaukee last month.
Robert E. Burns, professor emeritus of history at the University of Notre Dame, died Friday (Feb. 5) in Sebastian, Fla., after a long illness.