Notre Dame’s Catholic character and commitment to the humanities endow the University with a unique perspective, and role, in leading an international conversation about addressing the global crisis of climate change, said Roy Scranton, an associate professor of English who directs the Initiative.
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The de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame will mark the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in Washington, D.C., on Thursday with an expert roundtable discussion on how best to care for and protect mothers, babies, and families in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision. “Building a Civilization of Love” will bring together experts in law, medicine, social science, public health, and social service to discuss the most important opportunities for and challenges to protecting the intrinsic equal dignity of every member of the human family following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Dobbs.
“Joseph Ratzinger’s death in some ways marks the end of the post-Vatican II era,” said John McGreevy, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost. “He was the last living major figure from the council, which is now sliding from living memory into history. Working with his friend and patron, Pope John Paul II — his predecessor — before his own election in 2005, he helped set the agenda within the Church and sometimes within the wider world for a full 35 years.”
Notre Dame historian Margaret Meserve’s book Papal Bull: Print, Politics, and Propaganda in Renaissance Rome has won the American Catholic Historical Association’s Helen & Howard Marraro Prize in Italian History for being the most distinguished work in the field published in 2021. Papal Bull explores how Renaissance popes used the printing press in its early years to promote traditions, pursue alliances, excommunicate enemies, and lure pilgrims to Rome.
John P. Meier, University of Notre Dame professor, Catholic priest, and renowned biblical scholar, died Oct. 18, at age 80.
Meier, the William K. Warren Professor of Theology emeritus, published nearly 80 articles and 18 books during his distinguished career, including the acclaimed A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus series.
Stories of founder Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., are legend at the University of Notre Dame. But now, thanks to a trove of never-before-translated letters and a class taught by French professor Rev. Gregory Haake, C.S.C., students are getting the chance to learn more about the young priest defined by his unshakeable faith and determination — through his own words — and to share what they are uncovering with the world. The correspondence spans nearly 50 years and paints a vivid picture of life in the mid-19th century amid the challenges of building a university.
Lilly Endowment Inc. has made a $7.9 million grant to the University of Notre Dame, which will partner with Boston College in leading Haciendo Caminos. The collaborative initiative will bring together 16 other Catholic institutions to form at least 100 of the next generation of Hispanic Catholic pastoral leaders in the United States. Haciendo Caminos’ goals are to reduce barriers and increase support for graduate theological education for U.S.-born Hispanic Catholics; increase knowledge of, and interest in, ministerial professions among this population; and create a consortium of Catholic higher education institutions forming pastoral leaders at the graduate level in collaboration with local ecclesial organizations.
Notre Dame psychologists Theodore Beauchaine and Kristin Valentino have received the Transformative Research Award from the National Institutes of Health to research two promising new interventions to reduce the risk of suicide among vulnerable youth. Part of the NIH High-Risk, High-Reward Research program, the award supports individuals or teams proposing transformative projects that are inherently untested but have the potential to create major scientific breakthroughs by challenging existing paradigms.
As a child, Emmanuel Katongole went into the forest near his home in Uganda to draw water from the spring and collect firewood for cooking. Now a diocesan priest who has taught theology and peace studies for a decade at Notre Dame, he has worried upon every return home about the intense deforestation destroying his native land. In a country where more than half the population is under age 20, he knew that young people moving to the cities lacked opportunities and needed firewood, leading to rampant tree cutting.
But it wasn’t until reading Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’ that Katongole envisioned a solution that uses education to address both problems — protecting the environment and providing economic opportunities. He joined with several colleagues and the local Catholic Church to found Bethany Land Institute (BLI) in a rural area 25 miles north of the capital city of Kampala.
In his newest book, historian and Notre Dame Provost John McGreevy examines the Church’s complex role in modern history as it both shaped and followed the politics of nation-states. Through a series of compelling vignettes and detailed analyses, McGreevy traces the events and trends that gave rise to the modern-day Catholic Church, one marked by an unwavering concern for social justice, unprecedented vibrancy in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and increasing global connections — and one that has significantly expanded the organizational and symbolic reach of the papacy.
Even the most effective poverty alleviation programs in low-income countries can leave some people behind. Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies have a big idea on how to bridge that gap. The new Building Inclusive Growth (BIG) Lab, led by Notre Dame economists Taryn Dinkelman, Lakshmi Iyer, and Joseph Kaboski, will bring some of the world’s best researchers together to develop innovative, long-lasting solutions to help vulnerable populations in developing countries.
Notre Dame historian Sarah Shortall’s debut book, Soldiers of God in a Secular World: Catholic Theology and Twentieth-Century French Politics, which chronicles an influential French theological movement that reimagined the Church’s role in the public sphere, has now earned four awards in the 10 months since it was published. The assistant professor of history has received the Giuseppe Alberigo Junior Scholar Award from the European Academy of Religion, the Best Book Award from the College Theology Society, the Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies from New York University, and the first place Book Award for History from the Catholic Media Association.
Ulrich L. Lehner, a leading expert on early modern Catholicism and the William K. Warren Foundation Professor in the Department of Theology, has been elected a member of Academia Europaea, also called the Academy of Europe. He’s in excellent company — 75 Nobel Prize recipients are among its members, including the three 2021 laureates in physics. The academy promotes research, advises governments and international organizations, and furthers interdisciplinary and international research.
In March 2019, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced that the University would provide funding to support research projects that address issues emerging from the Church sexual abuse crisis. Since that announcement, 10 grants have been administered through the Church Sexual Abuse Crisis Research Grant Program to researchers in the College of Arts and Letters, the Institute for Educational Initiatives, the Keough School of Global Affairs, the Law School, and the Mendoza College of Business.
The University of Notre Dame, in partnership with Catholic universities in Italy and Lebanon, has established a consortium for the study of Muslim-Christian relations.
The Illinois resident became interested in studying Chinese when her aunt moved to Beijing to report on the 2008 Olympics. Margaret Rauch thrived in her ND Chinese language classes, completing the highest level in her sophomore year. She then took Classical Chinese and designed an independent research project—three semesters of directed readings that examined Su Xuelin, a May Fourth Intellectual who converted to Catholicism and wrote horny Heart.
Michel Hockx, Timothy Matovina, Jason Ruiz, and James Rudolph won grants from Notre Dame Research for their respective projects involving Foreign Office files for India, the Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P. Papers, materials documenting Native American and Catholic encounters, and advancing the cross-disciplinary user experience lab: equipment restoration and renewal for faculty and graduate level research in the Design Department.
Congratulations to the Class of 2022! This video, screened at the Arts and Letters Diploma Ceremony, features several seniors reflecting on their time at Notre Dame and in the College of Arts and Letters. “Your peers, your professors, everybody wants you to be the best version of yourself that you can be,” said political science and Latino studies major Matheo Vidal. “There is no place like Notre Dame, and I'm just so thankful that I was blessed to be able to experience it.”
Notre Dame theologian James VanderKam, a renowned scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers. VanderKam, the John A. O’Brien Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Scriptures in the Department of Theology, was among the 261 members in the newest AAAS class, which includes actor Glenn Close, novelist Salman Rushdie, painter Sam Gilliam, New York Times critic Wesley Morris, and mRNA technology pioneers Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman.
Joseph Blenkinsopp, the John A. O'Brien Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Notre Dame, died March 26 in South Bend. He was 94. Although he retired from Notre Dame in 1999, he continued to pursue academic research until nearly the end of his life. His last book, Luke’s Jesus: Between Incarnation and Crucifixion, was published in October 2021.
A love of language led Mary Agnes “M.A.” Laguatan ’85 to Notre Dame. Four years later, that interest had blossomed into a curiosity about the rest of the world — and a calling to live out her values in the service of others. Now an executive with the global office of Ronald McDonald House Charities, Laguatan’s time at Notre Dame allowed her to discover her place and purpose in the world, one defined by helping others and offering dignity to those in need at home and abroad.
In a show of solidarity with Ukraine, a prayer service for the people of Ukraine was held Monday evening at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The Basilica was filled to capacity for the vigil, led by Father Andrij Hlabse, S.J., a theology doctoral candidate and Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic priest. Father Hlabse welcomed the congregation in English, Ukrainian, and Russian, expressing solidarity with the people of Ukraine. He then reflected on his time as an undergraduate at Notre Dame when he would look to the Golden Dome and pray. He noted the numerous golden domes that likewise adorn many churches in Ukraine.
The U.S. Senate today confirmed the nomination of University of Notre Dame alumnus and former senator Joe Donnelly as ambassador to the Holy See. A 1977 graduate of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Donnelly went on to earn his law degree from the University four years later. He represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Notre Dame, for three terms and served one term in the U.S. Senate.
Many associate philosophy with the study of abstract theories of logic, human nature or the universe. But for Notre Dame philosophers Meghan Sullivan and Paul Blaschko it is also a practical approach to the issues of everyday life. Philosophy, they say, offers a sustainable, holistic and battle-tested approach to setting goals and finding meaning. In their new book, The Good Life Method: Reasoning Through the Big Questions of Happiness, Faith, and Meaning, Blaschko and Sullivan examine how the tenets of philosophy can help readers chart their course and ultimately determine what it means to live a good life.
The University of Notre Dame has been awarded nearly $1 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to equip students in the Master of Divinity Program (M.Div.) and Master of Arts in Theology program to better serve in and learn from a diverse, ever-changing world. The grant will support cultural immersion programs and Spanish proficiency courses for 13 to 18 lay and seminarian students, as well as opportunities to meet with and learn from peers at other colleges.
Notre Dame senior Trevor Lwere will pursue a Master of Global Affairs in Beijing next year as a member of the Schwarzman Scholar Class of 2023. A native of Kampala, Uganda, he is one of 151 Schwarzman Scholars from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants from around the globe. He is Notre Dame’s first Schwarzman Scholar since the program was established in 2016. Lwere is an economics major and philosophy, politics and economics minor, with a supplementary major in global affairs. He is a member of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, the Glynn Family Honors Program and the Kellogg Institute International Scholars Program.
On her first day teaching at Notre Dame in the late 1990s, then-doctoral student Kathleen Sprows Cummings asked her undergraduates in Ethnicity and American Identity to share why they were taking the course. “Nothing else was open,” was the first reply. It wasn’t the only one.
Times change. Cummings, now the Rev. John A. O'Brien Collegiate Professor of American Studies and History and director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, is the winner of the 2021 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts & Letters. “She has shaped me into a better student, Catholic, woman, and member of society,” one senior wrote in her letter recommending Cummings for the award. “I strive to become the type of woman and professional that she is.”
In an academic convocation at the University of Notre Dame’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Thursday evening (Oct. 28), His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, received an honorary degree from the University and offered an address on environmental sustainability and the COVID-19 pandemic.
For nearly 1,000 years, there has existed a sad division between two branches of the Christian family. Another step on the long path toward reconciliation between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches will be taken this month, when His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Orthodox Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome, visits the University of Notre Dame. “His coming here is, first and foremost, a sign of solidarity among Christians, between East and West,” said Alexis Torrance, the Archbishop Demetrios Associate Professor of Byzantine Theology. “And because Notre Dame is a global university, it is also an indication of how members of the academy, across disciplines, want to address the crises we all face — at the level of human relationships, economic injustice and environmental tragedy — in solidarity.”
Yury Avvakumov, an associate professor in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Theology and a faculty fellow in the University’s Medieval Institute, has been appointed by Pope Francis to the Vatican’s International Theological Commission. The commission, established under Pope Paul VI in 1969, is tasked with examining doctrinal questions of great importance and advising the pope and the Holy See through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.