The Twelfth Triennial
Conference on the History of Women Religious

University of Notre Dame  |  June 26–29, 2022

Statue dedicated to the five members of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ
The Martyrs Memorial, by Rudolph (Rudy) Torrini, honors the five members of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ killed in Liberia on Oct. 20 and 23, 1992, and all women who have worked for justice. The sculpture was dedicated on June 24, 1994, in Ruma, Illinois.

The Conference on the History of Women Religious (CHWR) was established in 1988 both to assist historians in discovering and preserving the historical record of vowed women and to integrate their stories into the larger narratives of their times and places. 

The organization’s forthcoming conference will bring historians and archivists of women religious together at the University of Notre Dame to discuss current and future work addressing the conference theme, “Diversity and Dignity Across Time and Place.” Throughout their histories, women religious have celebrated and struggled with many aspects related to diversity in their personal lives, congregational histories, and ministries. At the same time, their work has often focused on upholding the “dignity of the human person,” particularly the dignity of women. This conference seeks to explore aspects of diversity and dignity within the history of women’s religious congregations around the world. How did congregations (and individual sisters and nuns) respond to internal issues of diversity and dignity? And how did they seek to encourage diversity and dignity through their many ministries?

This conference is hosted by Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism and co-sponsored by Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute, Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Indiana), and the Center for Spirituality at Saint Mary’s College. 

As you plan your visit, see below for the latest information on travel, the conference schedule, lodging suggestions, and registration. Please direct questions to

Conference registration has closed to the public as of May 1, 2022. Sessions at CHWR 2022 are free and open to the public; registration is not required in order to attend panels. For information on late registration (mostly for purposes of joining conference meals, which do require registration), see "Registration and meals" near the bottom of this page.


The conference begins with a keynote address on the evening of Sunday, June 26, and concludes with lunch at noon on Wednesday, June 29. All panel sessions will take place at the Notre Dame Conference Center (McKenna Hall) at the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana, USA). From Monday to Wednesday, participants will give more than 80 presentations over the course of 29 sessions.

Kathleen Sprows Cummings will deliver the conference's keynote address, "Monumental Women: Remembering Catholic Sisters at Notre Dame and in America," at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, in 215-216 McKenna Hall. Cummings is the Reverend John A. O’Brien Collegiate Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Notre Dame, where she directs the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism. She is the author, most recently, of A Saint of Our Own: How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American (University of North Carolina Press, 2019).

Another highlight of the conference will be a presentation by Margot Fassler, the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame. For the past seven years, Fassler has been working on a digital model of the 12th-century Benedictine abbess Hildegard of Bingen’s vision of the cosmos, the so-called “Cosmic Egg,” which she recorded in her first mystical-theological treatise, Scivias. Fassler recently finished the model and set it to Hildegard’s music. She is now preparing to take the model on exhibition to planetaria across the world. This exhibition will coincide with the publication of her monograph on Hildegard’s cosmology.  

Preview conference program (last updated June 14, 2022).


Conference participants are responsible to arrange their own housing; conference registration does not include lodging arrangements. This year, campus dormitory rooms are not an available housing option.

A limited number of hotel rooms are being held for conference participants at each of the following area hotels until the noted cut-off dates. Please use the specific links or contact information below to reserve your room if booking in the conference block:

The Morris Inn

1399 N. Notre Dame Avenue, South Bend, IN 46617

call (800) 280-7256 and reference “CHWR 2022” or use the CHWR 2022 booking link to reserve in the conference's room block  |  cut-off date: May 25, 2022  |  $139 per night for a double queen traditional room  |  available 6/26–6/29  |  closest hotel to ND conference center (across the street on campus and connected via indoor, accessible passageway)  |  n.b.: breakfast is available at hotel restaurant but not included in room rate  |  cancel by 4:00 p.m. local hotel time at least 48 hours prior to arrival to avoid being charged one night(s) cancel penalty charge.

Explore the Morris Inn

Embassy Suites

1140 E Angela Blvd, South Bend, IN 46617

to reserve in the conference's room block at Embassy Suites, call (574) 400-2600 and reference “Conference on the History of Women Religious” (booking code “COH”) or use the CHWR booking link  |  cut-off date: May 26, 2022  |  $149 per night for one king bed one-room suite  |  $159 per night for two queen bed two-room suite | available 6/25–6/29  |  made-to-order breakfast included  |  10–15 minute walk from the conference location  |  no shuttle service (guests responsible for their own daily transportation to and from the conference)  |  cancel 72 hours prior to arrival to avoid one-night penalty charge

Explore the Embassy Suites Website

Ivy Court Inn & Suites

1404 Ivy Court, South Bend, IN 46637

call 574–277–6500 to reserve in the room block “Conference on the History of Women Religious”  |  cut-off date: May 26, 2022  |  $111–$136 per night  |  rooms available 6/25–6/29  |  breakfast included  |  20–25 minute walk from the conference location  |  no shuttle service (guests responsible for their own daily transportation to and from the conference)  |  cancel 72 hours prior to arrival to avoid one-night penalty charge

Explore the Ivy Court Inn and Suites Website

Additional lodging is available at a variety of hotels in the area surrounding campus, including: 

The Fairfield Inn

1220 E Angela Blvd, South Bend, IN 46617

call 574-234-5510 or 1-888-236-2427  |  10-15 minute walk from the conference location

Explore the Fairfield Inn website

The Inn at Saint Mary’s

53993 Indiana State Route 933 South Bend, IN 46637

call 574-232-4000  | 10-minute drive from the conference location  |  shuttle service available

Explore the Inn at Saint Mary's

Hampton Inn & Suites

7347 Heritage Square Drive, Granger, IN 46530

call 574-243-4600  |  10-15 minute drive from the conference location  |  a previously-advertised shuttle service is no longer offered; those with existing reservations at Hampton Inn should contact ahead of the conference for alternative arrangements

Explore the Hampton Inn & Suites


Notre Dame is located in the Eastern time zone, 90 miles east of Chicago (Central time). Transportation to and from Notre Dame is available via South Bend International Airport (airport code SBN), located five miles from Notre Dame’s campus.

If you plan to fly into Chicago and complete your trip to Notre Dame by ground transit, please note that there is no longer a daily shuttle bus between the Chicago airports and Notre Dame's campus. Visitors to campus often rent a car to travel between Chicago airports and the South Bend area. To complete the trip via public transit, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) service into downtown Chicago is available from both O’Hare International Airport (Blue Line) and Midway International Airport (Orange Line). From downtown Chicago, catch the South Shore Line commuter train which departs from Millennium Station (also known as the Randolph Street Station), located at the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street. The South Shore Line terminates at South Bend International Airport. From there, Notre Dame is about a 15-minute car ride, with service available from local taxi companies as well as Uber and Lyft. (The several steps between Notre Dame's campus and either of Chicago's airports can average around four hours of travel time.)

Additional transportation options to South Bend include Amtrak and Greyhound Bus Lines. Amtrak offers rail service to South Bend as one stop on the Lake Shore Limited route, or to Niles (MI) as a stop on the Michigan Services route. The South Bend train station is located on the near west side of downtown South Bend. Taxis and cars are not typically waiting at the station, so telephone for cab service or arrange for an Uber pickup. The train station in downtown Niles is located on Dey Street, approximately 11 miles north of South Bend.


For guests staying at Notre Dame’s Morris Inn, overnight parking in the adjacent Morris Inn lot is available on a first come, first served basis at no charge to CHWR conference guests. Complimentary self-parking is available at other designated lots on campus.

For those staying elsewhere who plan to drive and park on campus each day during the conference, a designated visitor lot is located on the east side of Walsh Family Hall of Architecture (map). Additional visitor parking is available in the Compton, Joyce, and Walsh lots, with pay stations at each. The maximum daily charge is $8 (for 4+ hours). These parking lots are about a 10–15 minute walk from the Conference Center (McKenna Hall). For those with accessibility/mobility concerns who require closer parking, please contact us in advance at

Chwr2022campus Online

Campus map

A campus map highlighting the conference's event locations and nearby hotels is downloadable here. An interactive map of Notre Dame's full campus is available at

COVID-19 protocols

This conference will be subject to the University's COVID protocols, which are subject to change. Please consult for the latest information.

Registration and meals

Registration has closed to the public as of May 1, 2022. Sessions at CHWR 2022 are free and open to the public; registration is not required in order to attend panels. 

If you'd like to participate in conference meals and receive conference materials, please contact, as a limited number of registration spots may become available (conference fees will still apply).

(The general registration fee is $150. Registration does not include lodging and conference participants are responsible to arrange their own housing—see suggested options above. For those attending only part of the conference, registration is pro-rated at $50 per day, Monday through Wednesday. Sunday registration is at no charge. Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, and Holy Cross faculty, staff, and students may attend at no charge, but must register in order to join meals. The conference will provide lunch on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, dinner on Monday, and the conference banquet dinner on Tuesday. Meals are provided at no additional charge above registration, but registrants must opt in to each meal they plan to join. Since most of the hotels recommended above, excepting the Morris Inn, include breakfast with their room rates, the conference will not provide breakfast. Coffee, refreshments, and light snacks will be available before the first session each morning as well as during breaks between sessions.)

The Program Committee: Katie Bugyis, Carol Coburn, Heidi MacDonald, Margaret McGuinness, Donna Maria Moses, O.P., Jacqueline Willy Romero