Notre Dame’s annual Rome Seminar brings together graduate students and junior faculty members from around the world to learn from top scholars and interact with peers at the University’s Rome Global Gateway. Sponsored by the Italian Studies at Notre Dame program and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the seminar’s interdisciplinary topic changes each year.
Latest News » Catholicism
“When you look at which men and women U.S. Catholics have wanted to become saints, you actually learn a lot about how they understood themselves, not only as Catholics but also as members of American society. ”
— Kathleen Sprows Cummings
At the close of Black Catholic History Month, celebrated every November, Notre Dame is preparing major new resources for the ongoing study of religious experiences and social contexts highlighted during the month. Leaders from the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus (NBCCC) recently presented a unique historical collection to the University Archives of the University of Notre Dame. It promises to significantly augment the documentary record not only for African American Catholic studies, but also for broader scholarship in U.S. religious history.
The Global Religion Research Initiative at Notre Dame, directed by Christian Smith, director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society and the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology, is a newly launched initiative in the center that aims to advance the empirical study of global religion in mainstream academia. Smith was awarded $4.9 million from the Templeton Religion Trust and will fund more than 150 research proposals by distributing $3.1 million to scholars of global religion through three rounds of applications over the next three years.
Christmas nativity scenes recreated by cultures from around the world are on display in six Notre Dame campus buildings through Jan. 31, 2017. The third annual International Crèche Exhibit and Pilgrimage features 30 crèches on loan from the Marian Library at the University of Dayton. The exhibit is sponsored by the McGrath Institute for Church Life.
While universality—and unity amid diversity—is a fundamental characteristic of Roman Catholicism, all-too-familiar issues related to gender, sexuality, race, and authority have wrought the church with internal conflict and no clear path to finding middle ground. A new book, co-edited by Mary Ellen Konieczny, intends to start the conversation about the polarization in the Catholic Church through healthy debates and genuine engagement.
Presentations by University faculty and researchers, Mass, a service project, a 5K run/walk and marching band performances are planned leading up to kickoff at the Alamodome.
The University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies will convene a gathering of theologians and other scholars in Havana Oct. 16-18 to discuss the impact of Pope Francis’ visits to Latin America and the United States. The colloquium, to be held in the Casa Sacerdotal (Priests’ House) of the Archdiocese of Havana, will include participants from throughout Latin America and the United States — among them, a group of Notre Dame undergraduate students enrolled in one of the institute’s theology courses.
University of Notre Dame alumnus Robert P. McGrath and his wife, Joan, have made a $15 million gift to his alma mater to endow the University’s Institute for Church Life.
In his new book, American Jesuits and the World: How an Embattled Religious Order Made Modern Catholicism Global (Princeton University Press), McGreevy uses individual religious experiences and others as a gateway to a larger narrative. The book traces how the religious order grew from 600 men in 1814 to roughly 17,000 men a century later. McGreevy argues that their odyssey of expulsion (by European nationalists worried about excessive Jesuit loyalty to the papacy) and reconstruction (as Jesuits launched a counterculture centered around parishes, schools, and universities) powerfully shaped modern history.
The seventh annual “Saturdays with the Saints” lecture series sponsored by the Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame will feature seven saints whose lives give witness to the mercy of God.
Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, was one of the nation’s most influential figures in higher education and national affairs and a well-known figure on campus. In the 1960s, a student named Robert Schmuhl, covering what Father Hesburgh called “the student revolution” for the Associated Press, began what would be a lifelong relationship with the president. Schmuhl, now the Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Chair in American Studies and Journalism at Notre Dame, is the author of Fifty Years with Father Hesburgh: On and Off the Record, released Aug. 25 by University of Notre Dame Press.
Thomas E. Burman, an esteemed scholar of medieval Christianity and Islam, has been named the Robert Conway Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute. Burman, currently a professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will begin his new role in January 2017.
Peter Casarella, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame and interim director of Latin American/North American Church Concerns (LANACC), is a scholar of Latino theology. Before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 2013, he served as professor of Catholic studies at DePaul University where he was director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology. In an interview, he discusses his research, Pope Francis, and the future of Latin American/North American Church Concerns, of which he is interim director.
The three-volume memoir of the University of Notre Dame’s president emeritus, Rev. Edward A.“Monk” Malloy, C.S.C., will be completed next month with the publication of Monk’s Tale: The Presidential Years: 1987-2005 by the University of Notre Dame Press.
The Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing at the University of Notre Dame has named Rev. Terrence P. Ehrman, C.S.C., its assistant director of life sciences research and outreach. Ehrman will expand the center’s portfolio of life sciences research projects and oversee the center’s outreach efforts across campus and more broadly.
“I tend to gravitate towards doctrines that seem inexplicable, and I try to understand what motivated the early Christians to formulate these doctrines in just these ways,” said Khaled Anatolios, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. Anatolios specializes in the theology of the early Church. As a Byzantine Catholic priest, he has a special interest in the doctrines of the Greek fathers as well as complementary ideas between the Eastern and Western traditions. His current research focuses on the doctrine of salvation, particularly the disconnect between classical sources and modern experience.
Notre Dame and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, or Vatican Library, formalized a unique agreement of collaboration and exchange in a ceremony May 9 in the Hesburgh Room of the Morris Inn, where Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès, O.P., archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church, together signed a memorandum of understanding.
Driven by a commitment to Catholic social teaching and a strong belief that a liberal arts education can transform lives, Notre Dame and Holy Cross College faculty are teaching college-level courses for inmates at Indiana's Westville Correctional Facility. Since 2013, nearly 100 inmates have earned college credit and 11 have earned associate degrees as of this month. But developing a strong foundation in reading, writing, research, public speaking, and critical thinking offers benefits that go far beyond the professional opportunities a degree might one day provide.
Pope Francis released his apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”) in Rome on April 8. The document addresses such areas of Catholic Church doctrine as the admission of divorced and remarried Catholics to the sacrament of the Eucharist, same-sex relationships and cohabitation, all issues that arose, often controversially, during the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October. Here is what some people on the Notre Dame faculty are saying and thinking about “Amoris Laetitia.”
Gary Anderson, Hesburgh Professor of Catholic Theology at Notre Dame, will spend a year in Jerusalem working with an international group of scholars to better understand how early Jews, Christians, and Muslims read, understood, and interpreted the stories told in the Bible’s early chapters. Anderson is part of a team of scholars from North America, Israel, and Europe accepted this fall to conduct research at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Robert Schmuhl is the Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Professor of American Studies and Journalism at the University of Notre Dame. He received the 2014 Hibernian Research Award in support of his forthcoming book, Ireland’s Exiled Children: America and the Easter Rising, which will be released by Oxford University Press next month, just in time to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916.
When Pope Francis travels to Mexico Feb. 12-17, he will visit six cities—including two in the state of Chiapas, Mexico’s poorest state—and will celebrate a Mass in Ciudad Juárez across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. The first pope from Latin America, where 40 percent of the world’s Catholics live, he will be touring the country that’s home to the second largest Catholic population in the world.
Pope Francis has ignited increased public interest in the future of the Catholic Church, and Kathleen Sprows Cummings hopes she can use that to remind people of the Church’s past. Cummings, an associate professor of American studies and history and the William W. and Anna Jean Cushwa Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at Notre Dame, begins her term this month as vice president/president-elect of the American Catholic Historical Association.
Notre Dame’s John S. Marten Program for Homiletics and Liturgics has embarked on a unique project specifically designed to strengthen Catholic preaching. The Rev. William A. Toohey, C.S.C., Notre Dame Preaching Academy, a five-year initiative funded by the Lilly Endowment of Indianapolis, has enrolled its first cohort of 23 priest-participants from Notre Dame’s founding religious order, the Congregation of Holy Cross, as well as from the archdioceses of Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky; and the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana.
Though Betsy Bohlen ’90 once enjoyed success as a partner at Chicago’s McKinsey and Co., the business leader always knew she eventually wanted to direct her efforts toward nonprofit work, especially within the Catholic Church. “There was a part of me that always felt that, one of these days, I would serve in a more nonprofit capacity,” Bohlen said. “I think there was a calling for me to do that, to apply my leadership skills there.” Today, she is the chief operating officer of the Archdiocese of Chicago, making her the highest ranking woman in Chicago’s Catholic Church.
A football game isn’t the only thing Notre Dame is bringing to Boston in late November. As part of a weekend of events surrounding the Shamrock Series, Notre Dame’s annual home-away-from-home football game, the College of Arts and Letters will host a pair of academic conversations the day before the Fighting Irish face Boston College at Fenway Park. Notre Dame historians will offer an interdisciplinary look at the impact of Irish immigration on American religious and political structures, as well as the role of the U.S. in the 1916 Easter Rising, while economists will discuss research initiatives that aim to change the way humanitarian services help the poor both domestically and abroad.
For students in the College of Arts and Letters, the unparalleled liberal arts education they receive is grounded in and enhanced by the Catholic intellectual life fostered on campus. Catholicism is an essential part of courses that every student takes, such as theology and philosophy, but it also serves as a background for all fields of study, from analyzing the consequences of poverty in an economics class to learning how to use design for social good. Students are encouraged to examine enduring questions and explore cultures and traditions across time and around the world.
“When I came to Notre Dame I had a sense that I wanted to have a business career, and I chose a liberal arts degree because I wanted a broader education,” said Betsy Bohlen ’90. She was named the first-ever chief operating officer of the Archdiocese of Chicago in 2015, after serving as chief financial officer and in other senior advisory roles. Previously, she was a partner at McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, where she worked for 16 years.
The Cross-Cultural Leadership Program (CCLP) is a three-credit, eight-week summer course administered by Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies. This service learning experience immerses students in organizations serving Latino communities in either Chicago, Los Angeles, or Washington, D.C. All living expenses are covered for the students during the program. “We’re able to go out into the community, speak Spanish, and really relate to the people on the ground level. I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said Gregory Jenn, a junior political science and Romance languages major.