Friends of Cushwa news and notes

Author: Cushwa Center

Art from Bad Catholics Good Trouble.

The Boland Center for the Study of Labor and Religion is pleased to announce the publication of The Americanization of Lay Catholics on Organized Labor: The American Catholic Labor Schools by Paul Lubienecki, published in 2023 by Edwin Mellen Press (Lewiston, New York). The book illuminates labor education in the American Catholic Church. Through a Church-vetted program of specialized labor education, the laity became an integral component in the growth and development of American organized labor in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Utilizing social encyclicals, the laity and clergy educated workers about their rights and created a cadre of labor leaders and an activist Catholic laity.

Haley E. Bowen defended her University of Michigan dissertation, “Breaching the Cloister: Convents, Laywomen, and the State in the Early Modern French Empire,” in August 2023. In September, she joined Northwestern University as assistant professor of early modern Europe and the world.

Nan Cano, I.H.M., shares that the records of the Immaculate Heart Community—covering its founding in Spain in 1848 through its evolution from canonical institute to ecumenical lay community in 1970—are now available at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The Special Collections library holds both print and oral history files. The oral history section is available online, while print material may be requested for in-person research. More information and a finding aid for the collection are available at

The Center for Research on Global Catholicism at Saint Louis University has launched its inaugural Seminar Fellowship Program for 2024–25. The program brings together ten scholars whose research engages the theme “New Directions in Research on Global Catholicism: Mobilities, Migrations, Circulations.” They are Cloe Cavero de Carondelet (Princeton University), Matthew Elia (SLU), Gabrielle Guillerm (Mahpíya Lùta), Michael Iyanaga (William & Mary), Stephanie Kirk (Washington University in St. Louis), Carlos Ruiz Martinez (University of Iowa), Thomas Morin (SLU), Darby Ratliff (SLU), Miguel A. Valerio (Washington University in St. Louis), and Stephanie Wong (Villanova University).

Mary Frances Coady (independent scholar) published Caryll Houselander: A Biography with Orbis Books in September 2023. Coady received a Research Travel Grant from the Cushwa Center in 2020 in support of research for the book.

Elesha J. Coffman’s Turning Points in American Church History: How Pivotal Events Shaped a Nation and a Faith, with a foreword by Mark A. Noll, was published in January 2024 by Baker Academic.

Mariele Courtois (Benedictine College), a member of the AI Research Group for the Centre for Digital Culture of the Dicastery for Culture and Education of the Holy See, is a contributing author to the new book Encountering Artificial Intelligence: Ethical and Anthropological Investigations (Pickwick, 2023). The full text is available open access via

Matthew J. Cressler (independent scholar) shares that Bad Catholics, Good Trouble (BC/GT) launched in fall 2023. Created by Cressler and featuring artwork by Marcus Jimenez and web design by Megan Goodwin, BC/GT is an educational webcomic series that brings to life true stories of Catholic injustice and the ordinary people of faith who did extraordinary things to confront white supremacy and colonial violence in their communities. BC/GT #1, “An Exception to the Rule,” tells the story of Sister Angelica Schultz, O.S.F., who was hit in the head by a brick while marching for civil rights in Chicago in 1966. It is co-authored by Cressler and Judith and Jennifer Daubenmier, Sister Angelica’s niece and grandniece. BC/GT #2, set to debut in April 2024, follows the life of Judge Arthur C. McFarland who, along with other student activists, brought the Black revolution to Notre Dame’s campus in 1968. The website, which includes teaching, learning, and spiritual materials, is an excellent resource for classrooms, parish groups and book clubs. Learn more at

Benjamin Dahlke (Katholische Universität Eichstätt–Ingolstadt) has published Katholische Theologie in den USA (Herder 2024), tracing the development of Catholic theology in the United States beginning in 1945.

Daniel Gorman Jr. (University of Rochester) successfully defended his dissertation, “Phantom Luminaries: Frederick Willis, Spiritualism, and Paranormal Investigators in the Age of Disruption.”

Crawford Gribben (Queen’s University Belfast) has published J. N. Darby and the Roots of Dispensationalism with Oxford University Press (2024). The book describes the work of John Nelson Darby, who in the late 1820s abandoned his career as a priest in the Church of Ireland to become one of the principal leaders of a small but rapidly growing religious movement that became known as the “Plymouth Brethren.”

Sergio M. González (Marquette University) has published Strangers No Longer: Latino Belonging and Faith in Twentieth-Century Wisconsin with University of Illinois Press.

Brian Heffernan (KU Leuven) shares that Vefie Poels’ Red Pope: A Biography of Cardinal Willem van Rossum, C.Ss.R. (1854–1932), translated by Heffernan into English from the original Dutch, has recently been published open access by Radboud University Press. Van Rossum was the prefect of Propaganda Fide from 1918 to 1932 and an important strategist behind the Holy See’s missionary policy at the time.

Paula M. Kane (University of Pittsburgh) delivered the 15th annual Pope Benedict XVI lecture at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, on the topic “Can Data Predict the Future of the American Catholic Church?” Video of the lecture, which was delivered on September 27, 2023, can be found at the Saint Vincent Archabbey YouTube channel.

Ulrich L. Lehner (University of Notre Dame) has published Inszenierte Keuschheit: Sexualdelikte in der Gesellschaft Jesu im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert (Staged Chastity: Sexual Offenses in the Society of Jesus in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries) with De Gruyter in 2024 as part of the publisher’s Frühe Neuzeit series. Lehner’s study, carried out with support from Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies, investigates sexual offenses that were committed in the early modern Jesuit order against school pupils, students, confessants, and other Jesuits. It reveals patterns of sexual violence that were only prosecuted by the heads of the order in extreme cases. The full text, released in early 2024, is available open access via

Margaret M. McGuinness (La Salle University emeritus) has published Katharine Drexel and the Sisters Who Shared Her Vision with Paulist Press. McGuinness received one of the Cushwa Center’s inaugural Mother Theodore Guerin Research Travel Grants in 2018 in support of research for the book.

Ernest Morrell, Nicole Stelle Garnett, and Richard W. Garnett (University of Notre Dame) edited The Case for Parental Choice: God, Family, and Educational Liberty, published by Notre Dame Press in March 2023 as part of its Catholic Schools and the Common Good series. The volume is a collection of the works of John E. Coons (University of California, Berkeley, emeritus).

Paul T. Murray (Siena College emeritus), has published “Jack Nelson: Fighting for Racial Justice in Louisiana” in the Fall 2023 issue of the U.S. Catholic Historian.

The Oxford History of British and Irish Catholicism, a collaboration of seven editors and more than 90 contributors, was published in October 2023. The series consists of five volumes: Endings and New Beginnings, 1530–1640, edited by James E. Kelly (Durham University) and John McCafferty (University College Dublin); Uncertainty and Change, 1641–1745, edited by John Morrill (University of Cambridge) and Liam Temple (Durham University); Relief, Revolution, and Revival, 1746–1829, edited by Liam Chambers (Mary Immaculate College); Building Identity, 1830–1913, edited by Carmen M. Mangion (Birkbeck, University of London) and Susan O’Brien (University of Cambridge); and Recapturing the Apostolate of the Laity, 1914–2021, edited by Alana Harris (King’s College London). Contributors include Colin Barr, Cormac Begadon, Matteo Binasco, Shaun Blanchard, Caroline Bowden, Stephen Bullivant, Hilary M. Carey, Liam Chambers, Judith Champ, Mícheál Mac Craith, Mary E. Daly, Peter Doyle, Katy Gibbons, Christopher P. Gillett, Jaime Goodrich, Alana Harris, Kate Jordan, James Kelly, Carmen M. Mangion, Ciarán McCabe, V. Alan McClelland, Jane McDermid, Bronagh Ann McShane, Julia Meszaros, Susannah Brietz Monta, James H. Murphy, Stephen G. Parker, Andrew Pierce, Oliver P. Rafferty, Deirdre Raftery, Salvador Ryan, Maurice Whitehead, John Wolffe, and Bennett Zon.

Deirdre Raftery’s new book, Irish Nuns and Education in the Anglophone World: a Transnational History, has been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Chapters examine recruitment to religious life in Ireland, the process of “questing for vocations,” journeying out of the country in the 19th and 20th centuries to make new foundations, and the process of expanding in several parts of the globe. The book draws on dozens of archival collections in the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Italy, France, Ireland, England, and Singapore. Raftery, who is full professor of the history of education at University College Dublin, carried out some of the research for the book with the support of a Hibernian Research Award from the Cushwa Center.

Daniela Rossini, a member of the Cushwa Center’s Rome Advisory Committee, published an essay, “The Activity and Influence of the American Red Cross in Italy during and after World War One, 1917–1919,” in a special issue of European Review of History on “Voluntary Organisations, the Red Cross, and the Features of Humanitarian Reconstruction in Western Europe after the World Wars, Part 1 – After World War 1.”

A book by Monsignor Thomas J. Shelley, who died in 2022 at age 85, has been published posthumously by Catholic University of America Press. John Tracy Ellis: An American Catholic Reformer traces the life and work of the priest and celebrated church historian whose landmark 1955 essay, “American Catholics and the Intellectual Life,” challenged U.S. Catholics and their schools to foster a more serious intellectual life in keeping with midcentury American Catholicism’s demographic and cultural ascendancy.

These announcements appear in the spring 2024 issue of the American Catholic Studies Newsletter.

Image: Artwork by Marcus Jimenez for Bad Catholics, Good Trouble.