The American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA) has approved the creation of the Christopher J. Kauffman Prize in U.S. Catholic History, to be awarded to authors of monographs that provide new and challenging insights to the study of U.S. Catholic history. A gifted scholar, Kauffman (d. 2018) tirelessly advocated for the field of U.S. Catholic history. Over the course of his long and distinguished career, he authored 10 books and over 100 articles. He served as editor of U.S. Catholic Historian and as general editor for two series, Makers of the Catholic Community: Historical Studies of the Catholic People in America, 1789–1989 and American Catholic Identities: A Documentary History. The ACHA has not set a date to begin awarding the prize but aims to establish sufficient financial backing to fund the prize within two to three years. Visit achahistory.org to learn more.
Paolo L. Bernardini (University of Insubria) spent December 2022 as a visiting professor at the University of Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is presently working on the peculiar, ambiguous figure of H. J. de Vleeschauwer (1899–1986), longtime professor of philosophy at the University of Pretoria. A native of Belgium, a professor (1925–1944) at the University of Gand, and a prolific and brilliant scholar, he got involved with the Nazi-supported Belgian government from 1940–1944 and had to flee the country when the French liberated Belgium in late 1944. After some years in Switzerland, he migrated for good to South Africa in 1950. Bernardini plans to publish some of the unpublished philosophical writings by de Vleeschauwer, including a long philosophical essay on “contempt” (Le Mépris), one of de Vleeschauwer’s last works, written in French.
Rosa Bruno-Jofré (Queen’s University at Kingston) published, with Jon Igelmo Zaldivar, Ivan Illich Fifty Years Later: Situating Deschooling Society in His Intellectual and Personal Journey (University of Toronto, 2022). The book was published with the help of a grant from the Federation for the Humanities through the Awards to Scholarly Publications Program, Canada.
Kevin J. Burke (University of Georgia) co-authored, with Andrew F. Miller, “Making Catholic Schools Research Relevant: Assessing Contemporary Trends in the Field of Catholic Education,” Educational Researcher (2022).
Philip Byers published “‘The Problem of Expense’: Lay Religion, Hoosier Patrons, and Philanthropic Logics in Midcentury America” in the edited volume Hoosier Philanthropy: A State History of Giving (Indiana, 2022).
Valentina Ciciliot (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) published the chapter “I martiri del creato per una ecologia integrale: nuove prospettive di ricerca” in Marco Papasidero and Mario Resta, eds., I santi internauti: 2. Agiografia, devozioni e icone digitali (Viella, 2022); and the article “The US Catholic Church after World War II: Reflections on the relationes ad limina (1949–54),” JoMaCC 1, no. 2 (October 2022): 321–42.
Margot E. Fassler (Notre Dame) published Cosmos, Liturgy, and the Arts in the Twelfth Century: Hildegard’s Illuminated Scivias (Penn, 2022). The book takes readers into the rich, complex world of Hildegard of Bingen’s Scivias (meaning “know the ways”) to explore how medieval thinkers understood and imagined the universe. Hildegard—renowned for her contributions to theology, music, literature, and art—developed unique methods for integrating these forms of thought and expression into a complete vision of the cosmos and of the human journey. Fassler, the Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Music History and Liturgy, discussed some of the research that informs the book during her presentation at the Twelfth Triennial Conference on the History of Women Religious at Notre Dame in June 2022.
Alberto Guasco (Link Campus University, Rome) published “Theodore Hesburgh e l’Istituto ecumenico di Tantur (1963–1978). Un contributo al cammino ecumenico” in Mondo Contemporaneo, no. 3 (2021): 43–76. The article utilizes research Guasco completed in June and July 2018 when he visited the Notre Dame Archives with the help of a Hesburgh Research Travel Grant from the Cushwa Center.
Bronwen McShea (Augustine Institute) published La Duchesse: The Life of Marie de Vignerot—Cardinal Richelieu’s Forgotten Heiress Who Shaped the Fate of France (Pegasus, 2023) in March. The book draws in part from archival research McShea performed in Valence, France, as a recipient of a Mother Theodore Guerin Research Travel Grant from the Cushwa Center in 2018. McShea previously published an article on the duchess in the fall 2021 issue of the American Catholic Studies Newsletter.
The Redemptorists of the Baltimore and Denver Provinces announced the availability of their online library catalog. The catalog currently holds records for more than 6,000 books in its 25,000-volume collection, and new records are being added daily. The library augments other outstanding collections, including over a million paper documents. It is strong in Redemptorist and American Church history, moral theology, and local history in places where Redemptorists have had a presence. It also houses special collections that include one of the largest sets of books anywhere on the Shroud of Turin. In October 2022, thanks to the generous support of the Botstiber Institute for Austrian-American Studies, the Redemptorist Archives retained Lorena Boylan to help catalog the library. Those interested may find more information at redemptorists.net/redemptorist-archives.
David W. Stowe (Michigan State University) published several articles recently, including pieces in The Conversation on Kennedy Center honoree Amy Grant and on the topic of Thanksgiving hymns, as well as an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, “A blue Christmas song can be a comfort, when everyone else seems to feel joy.”
The University of St. Mary of the Lake hosted its 2023 Chester and Margaret Paluch Lecture Series featuring Deborah Kanter, professor emerita at Albion College. The lecture included Kanter’s reflections on her recent book, Chicago Católico: Making Catholic Parishes Mexican (Illinois, 2020), the result of a 20-year project to chronicle Mexican Catholic parishes in Chicago.
The U.S. Catholic Historian released a call for papers for a special issue of the journal on the theme of Latino Catholicism. Thirty years after the publication of the three-volume Notre Dame History of Hispanic Catholics in the U.S., the journal issue will allow consideration of the volumes’ legacies and of other changes that have occurred in the field. Contributions could include but are not limited to: localized studies of Latino communities, parishes, and organizations; the influence of Latino worship and ritual, including devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Black Christ of Esquipulas, etc.; Latin American immigration and migration and its impact; human rights issues, including “sanctuary”; Latino vocations and theology; relations between the Latin American Church and the United States. Before preparing a contribution, scholars considering a submission are asked to contact the editor, Father David Endres, at DEndres@mtsm.org. Approximate manuscript length should be 7,000-10,000 words, and submissions will be due by November 1, 2023.
Maria Patricia Williams published two articles in 2022: “A Catholic Internationalism of the Montessori Method: Two Case Studies in London and Rome (1910–1952)” in Les Etudes Sociales and “Becoming an International Public Intellectual: Maria Montessori before the Montessori Method, 1882–1911” in the British Journal of Educational Studies.
These updates from our network appear in the spring 2023 issue of the American Catholic Studies Newsletter.