A new report published by the University of Notre Dame’s Catholic Social and Pastoral Research Initiative (CSPRI) indicates that American Catholics hold “distinctively optimistic views regarding human nature.” The report, “Distinctive Catholicism: U.S. Catholics’ Views on Human Nature,” summarized the findings of a study done by CSPRI director Brian Starks. The CSPRI initiative is a program of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life.
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Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez, O.P., John Cardinal O’Hara Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and widely acknowledged founder of the “liberation theology” movement, was in Rome earlier this week, the surprise speaker at a Vatican book launch. Father Gutierrez was helping to launch a book, Poor for the Poor: The Mission of the Church, edited by Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, who directs the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Two of the book’s chapters were written by Father Gutierrez, and its introduction was written by Pope Francis.
William G. Storey, professor emeritus of theology at the University of Notre Dame, died January 16 after a brief illness. He was 90. A native of Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, Storey joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1967. In his first years in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, Storey taught in the then-newly founded doctoral program in liturgical studies and designed the undergraduate program for theology majors.
Archbishop Kelvin Edward Felix, emeritus archbishop of Castries, Saint Lucia, who will be made a cardinal by Pope Francis next month, is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. Archbishop Felix, who enrolled at Notre Dame in 1965, studied sociology and earned a master’s degree from the University in 1969.
On Sunday, January 12, when Pope Francis announced the names of the 19 men he will soon make cardinals, he also gave some University of Notre Dame theologians an inkling of his vision of the Catholic Church. “Pope Benedict represented a ‘back to basics’ move theologically, and Francis interprets and represents the same move pastorally,” according to John C. Cavadini, professor of theology and McGrath-Cavadini Director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life.
Daniel Philpott, professor of political science and peace studies, has been appointed director of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR), effective Jan. 1. “Professor Philpott brings an ambitious vision for building the CCHR into a leading center for impactful research to his new role,” said J. Nicholas Entrikin, vice president and associate provost for internationalization. “He is a highly accomplished scholar who will support and enhance the center’s position as a beacon for civil and human rights, guided by the tenets of Catholic social teaching.”
Thomas Tweed, the W. Harold and Martha Welch Professor of American Studies in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, has been selected to lead the American Academy of Religion. Currently president-elect of the academy, he will serve as president in 2015.
Fourteen Notre Dame students, along with two of their professors from the College of Arts and Letters, traveled to northern Spain over fall break to experience the Camino de Santiago—one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times. History Professor Olivia Remie Constable, the director of the University’s Medieval Institute, and Danielle Joyner, an assistant professor of medieval art history, say it was an academic adventure they won’t soon forget. And their students agree.
Rev. John S. Dunne, C.S.C., John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, died early Monday, November 11 at Holy Cross House after a long struggle with complications of a head injury sustained in July. He was 83. “On behalf of the University, I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Father John S. Dunne, a beloved teacher, scholar, priest, and friend,” said Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., Hackett Family Director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives and professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, will be awarded the $100,000 William E. Simon Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Social Entrepreneurship by the Manhattan Institute for founding and leading the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE).
Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P., the University of Notre Dame’s John Cardinal O’Hara Professor of Theology, will deliver the 2013 Annual Human Dignity Lecture on “Poverty and Human Dignity” Wednesday (Oct. 30) at 7:30 p.m. in the McKenna Hall auditorium. “Gustavo Gutiérrez’ influence on the last 40 years of Catholic theology has been profound and fundamental,” said John C. Cavadini, director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life (ICL).
It’s no secret that students in the United States lag behind their global peers in math. Nicole McNeil, ACE Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, believes the problem starts with basic arithmetic, where students develop a misunderstanding of the equal sign.
During the past year, faculty from the University of Notre Dame’s Department of History received multiple awards and fellowships in recognition of their research. The honors include a Guggenheim fellowship, two invitations to the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, N.J., several fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Haskins Medal—the highest award granted by the Medieval Academy of America.
Vittorio G. Hösle, Paul Kimball Professor of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences by Pope Francis. “We were very gratified to learn of Professor Hösle’s appointment to this truly distinguished body,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “On behalf of the University, I congratulate Professor Hösle for this well-deserved and important recognition, and thank him for helping Notre Dame fulfill its mission of serving the Church through scholarship.”
Growing up in Los Angeles, Mike Amezcua heard stories about how his great-grandparents emigrated from Michoacán, Mexico to find work in Chicago during the 1920s. Such stories influenced Amezcua’s academic path, inspiring him to focus on how Mexicans helped shaped Chicago’s mid-20th century history. His journey will bring him to South Bend in fall 2014 as an assistant professor of history and faculty fellow in the College of Arts and Letters’ Institute for Latino Studies.
The “Age of Martyrs” is the term of art for the earliest years of Christian history, but as Pope Francis remarked in a homily last April 15, “the age of martyrs is not yet over; even today we can say, in truth, that the Church has more martyrs now than during the first centuries.” More Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in all previous centuries combined. The lives of these remarkable men and women and the effects of their witness in the Church and the world are the subjects of the University of Notre Dame’s Saturdays with the Saints program, a series of morning talks offered on football home game days throughout the fall.
The University of Notre Dame’s Office of Campus Ministry has launched a new smartphone application accessible to all Apple and Android devices. The free app, which is available from the Apple Store and Android Market by searching “Notre Dame Daily Faith,” includes a calendar of campus liturgies, meetings of prayer groups, performances of sacred music, retreats, lectures and seminars.
“Strong Catholic Families, Strong Catholic Youth,” an initiative that brings Catholic parishes and schools together with Catholic families to strengthen and deepen their faith, is now active in some 60 dioceses in the United States and Canada. According to those who conceived, organized and now direct this new and growing movement in youth ministry, social science research conducted by Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology and director of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Religion and Society, has been instrumental in the development of the program.
Works by five professors in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters were honored with 2013 Catholic Press Association (CPA) Book Awards, and a sixth faculty member received CPA recognition for an essay he wrote for America magazine.
Massive catastrophes, the globally televised images of human suffering they generate, and the innate compassion of ordinary people invariably combine to unleash impressive feats of giving, but a new University of Notre Dame study suggests that generosity, at least among American Catholics, may be more complicated than that.
Ken Garcia, a faculty member at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a co-winner of the College Theology Society’s 2013 best book award for his work, Academic Freedom and the Telos of the Catholic University.
Same-sex marriage, abortion and other cultural conflicts centered on the family have intensified in recent years, particularly among American Catholics. These same conflicts also are widely believed to form the basis for much of the moral polarization in public politics among Americans in general. A new book by Mary Ellen Konieczny, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, examines how religion and family life are intertwined and how local parishes shape that intersection.
Rev. Brian E. Daley, S.J., Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, received the Johannes Quasten Medal of Excellence in Scholarship and Leadership in Religious Studies from Catholic University’s School of Theology and Religious Studies on May 2. Father Daley is the 26th theologian to receive the Quasten Medal since the award was established in 1985.
Yury P. Avvakumov, an assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology, was recently selected as one of six Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology for his work on the relationship between the Latin West and Byzantine East during the 12th century. Established in 1993, the Luce Fellows Program has awarded just 136 fellowships in its 20-year existence.
What is the role of religion in rapidly developing societies? It is a hotly contested question among social scientists and theologians alike, with the prevailing view holding that global capitalism either makes religion irrelevant or produces a backlash of fundamentalism. Brandon Vaidyanathan, a graduate student in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, is discovering a different reality as he focuses on the world of skilled professionals in multinational corporations in two rapidly globalizing cities—Bangalore, India, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Millions of Americans watched live nightly news coverage of the papal conclave in Vatican City, and if you happened to be watching NBC, you were likely being told the news by a Notre Dame alumna. Anne Thompson ’79 is NBC’s chief environmental affairs correspondent and has covered stories from the Gulf oil spill to Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. Given her Catholic background and previous reporting on the Church, Thompson was assigned to cover the conclave, much to her excitement.
When senior economics major and peace studies major Melissa Maggart began looking for a summer internship last year, she sought to combine her academic interests with her personal desire to help alleviate poverty. Her search brought her to a new program at the University of Notre Dame—the Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO).
Sister Mary Catherine Hilkert, O.P., professor of theology in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, recently received two prestigious honors: the Ann O’Hara Graff Memorial Award and the Veritas Award.
An innovative partnership between the University of Notre Dame, the nation’s preeminent Catholic university, and Catholic Charities USA, one of this country’s most influential social service networks, was announced recently. The formation of the collaboration, called the Alliance, was driven by the two institutions’ common belief that helping those in need is a core element of the Catholic faith. A key component of the Alliance is Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), the first domestic poverty lab in the United States.
“I took a University Seminar in sociology and I really liked it—it fit my personality,” says Sam Lee, a Notre Dame senior from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. “Sociology shapes your lens and perspective and how you see people in a larger context and the social forces that shape people. It’s applicable to a lot of things.”