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.
Latest News » Catholicism
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.”
Over Fall Break 2012, 10 undergraduate students from the University of Notre Dame traveled to Israel as part of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land sponsored by the Department of Theology. Several of the travelers, led by Professor Todd Walatka, are Theology majors and minors. Two students from the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, accompanied the group in order to film the experiences of these Notre Dame pilgrims.
Over the past several years, the number of Catholics in Europe has plummeted to the point that it is no longer the most Catholic region in the world, and the election of a non-European pope would reflect that change, according to Naunihal Singh, a University of Notre Dame political scientist specializing in African politics.
Choice magazine has included two books by faculty members in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters on its list of Outstanding Academic Titles for 2012. John Sitter, the Mary Lee Duda Professor of Literature in the Department of English, was selected for his Cambridge Introduction to Eighteenth-Century Poetry, while Timothy Matovina, professor of theology and executive director of the Institute for Latino Studies, was honored for Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church, which also won the College Theology Society’s Best Book Award in 2012, as well as the 2013 Paul J. Foik, C.S.C. Award from the Texas Catholic Historical Society.
University of Notre Dame History Professor Thomas F.X. Noble has been chosen as president-elect of the American Society of Church History (ASCH) for 2013 and will become its president the following year.
University of Notre Dame theologians are reacting to the announcement by Pope Benedict XVI that he intends to resign from the papal post at the end of this month.
“The day of studying the New Testament text alone is over—as well it should be,” says John Fitzgerald, a professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology. “As important as the New Testament text is, it comes to life only when it is placed within a community and a society of other people.” In this video, Fitzgerald discusses his research on early Christian society, including issues such as unemployment and domestic violence.
Timothy Matovina, a professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology, has won the 2012 College Theology Society Best Book Award for his work Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church (Princeton University Press, 2012). Matovina, who specializes in Latino theology and religion, particularly Latino Catholicism, is also executive director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, housed in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.
Catholics are less generous than other American Christians, according to a study recently published by the University of Notre Dame’s Catholic Social and Pastoral Research Initiative (CSPRI). “Unleashing Catholic Generosity: Explaining the Catholic Giving Gap in the United States,” by Brian Starks, director of CSPRI, and Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame, compares the religious giving of Catholics with that of other religious communities in America and concludes that Catholics, on average, give less than other Christians.
Sacred music has the power to enrich and inspire entire communities. And with the support of a Lilly Endowment grant of $1.9 million, Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) is now poised to help congregations across the region renew worship practices and enliven musical expression to engage people more deeply, across the generations.
A unique event in November 2012 brought together ND students, faculty, and other members of the campus community who love the Italian language, the poet Dante, and his immortal poem, the Divine Comedy.
Sacred music is foundational to many of the world’s artistic traditions, and this is especially so when it comes to Western music. It is also an artistic—and academic—area that continues to grow and develop. To celebrate and promote this diverse and vibrant art form, the University of Notre Dame is launching a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) program with majors in organ and choral conducting, beginning in fall 2013.
“Festschrift,” German for “festival-writing,” is a word academics use to describe a collection of writings celebrating the work of a prominent scholar on some memorable occasion. It is certainly a word well understood by the Bavarian theologian Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and he seemed pleased to receive a festschrift from the University of Notre Dame, which John Cavadini, director of the Institute for Church Life, presented him December 7 in Rome.
Rev. Matthew Mitchell Miceli, C.S.C., associate professor emeritus of theology at the University of Notre Dame, died on Sunday, December 9, at Holy Cross House. He was 89. Father Miceli ’47, served as rector of Cavanaugh Hall from 1963 to 1990, and holds the University’s record as longest-serving rector of one residence hall. Seventeen children of Cavanaugh alumni have been named after him.
Some 40 years ago, Rev. Brian E. Daley, S.J., Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology, then a doctoral student at Oxford, met Rev. Joseph A. Ratzinger, then a professor of theology at the University of Regensburg, at an academic conference in Germany. Whether or not Pope Benedict XVI remembers their first meeting, Father Daley won’t soon forget their second. On Oct. 20, at a ceremony at the Vatican, Pope Benedict presented Father Daley with a 2012 Ratzinger Prize for Theology.
The 40th anniversary of coeducation at the University of Notre Dame will be celebrated in a panel discussion, Paving the Way: Reflections on the Early Years of Coeducation at Notre Dame, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 8 in the auditorium of the Eck Visitors Center. The discussion, sponsored by Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism with the Department of American Studies, the Gender Studies Program and Badin Hall, will include five people who experienced and shaped Notre Dame’s transition from an exclusively male to coeducational institution.
The recent discovery of a previously unknown musical manuscript by Ludwig van Beethoven provides a glimpse of the composer at work on a medieval hymn he would already have known quite well, according to Peter Jeffrey, Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Music. Beethoven’s manuscript was an arrangement of the Gregorian chant “Pange Lingua,” a hymn often sung in Catholic liturgies during Holy Week.
Some may look at Dante’s Divine Comedy and see just a dusty trilogy of poetry written by a long-gone Florentine. But for others, Dante and his opus are immortal. For them, Dante is now. In that spirit, Italian Studies at Notre Dame and the College of Arts and Letters’ William and Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies will host “Dante Now!”—a series of public readings from The Divine Comedy. Readings will occur simultaneously at various locations around campus on November 2, beginning at 2 p.m.
Rev. Brian E. Daley, S.J., Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, will receive the 2012 Ratzinger Prize in Theology from Pope Benedict XVI in a ceremony Oct. 20 in Rome. The two winners of this year’s award, which has been nicknamed the “Nobel of Theology,” were announced this morning at a Vatican news conference. The other 2012 Ratzinger Prize will be awarded to French philosopher Remi Brague.
Whether or not it is authenticated, the recent discovery of a purported fourth-century papyrus fragment that quotes Jesus as referring to his wife “has some important ramifications for how we think about the early church,” according to Candida Moss, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. “Even if the text is a modern forgery, it draws attention to a debate about the status of women and the marital status of Jesus himself that scholars know was ongoing in the early church," said Moss, who teaches courses in New Testament and Christian Origins.
More than 100 musicians gathered last week on the campus of the University of Notre Dame for its inaugural Sacred Music Conference.
Pope Benedict XVI is in Beirut today (September 14), beginning a three-day visit to Lebanon and a Middle East region convulsed by religious violence ignited by the release of an online movie trailer which mocks the Prophet Mohammed. Gabriel Said Reynolds, Tisch Family Associate Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, believes that the Pope’s visit couldn’t be more timely.
The University of Notre Dame’s inaugural Sacred Music Conference will be held Thursday through Saturday (September 13 through 15). The conference will feature sacred music from the Renaissance to the present day and will bring together composers, scholars, and conductors of sacred music to discuss, share, and perform their work. Several concert events are open to the public and free of charge.
The Chapels of Notre Dame, by Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology, and Matt Cashore, senior university photographer at the University of Notre Dame, has been published by University of Notre Dame Press. The book features a collection of some 200 full-color photographs taken by Cashore interspersed with Cunningham’s commentary on the theological, artistic, architectural, and historic dimensions of the 57 chapels embedded throughout Notre Dame’s campus.
The Eucharistic Liturgies: Their Evolution and Interpretation, by University of Notre Dame theology professors Paul F. Bradshaw and Maxwell E. Johnson, has recently been published by Liturgical Press of Collegeville, Minn. The book concerns the historical development of the theology and liturgy of the Church’s most important prayer, from the early Christian communal meals to the diverse Eucharistic liturgies of Eastern and Western Christians.
A new book by political scientist and peace studies scholar Daniel Philpott makes the case for forgiveness and reconciliation as a way to achieve justice and lasting peace after violent conflict. Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation, recently released by Oxford University Press, explores the concept of reconciliation, which is deeply rooted in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, as well as in the secular restorative justice movement.