Kathleen Cummings

We had a surprise guest at the Cushwa Center last April. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, in town for the dedication of our Geddes Hall neighbor, the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, stopped by to update his address on our mailing list! Cardinal Dolan shared how formative Cushwa had been in his own doctoral studies in church history, and expressed his gratitude for the work we do to educate Americans about the Catholic past. He also had read my new book, A Saint of Our Own, and later interviewed me about it on his weekly radio show! When it came time to bless the newly-endowed de Nicola Center, the Cardinal made sure to sprinkle holy water on Cushwa’s offices for good measure!

As you page—or scroll—through this issue of the American Catholic Studies Newsletter, you will notice a few changes. I am grateful to Cushwa’s assistant director Shane Ulbrich and our designer Christina Duthie for imagining and implementing this more streamlined format. One significant change deserves explanation. Since 2013, when the Conference on the History of Women Religious moved its headquarters to Cushwa, we have been publishing that organization’s newsletter (formerly History of Women Religious News and Notes) as an insert within the American Catholic Studies Newsletter. I decided that segregating the content on the history of women religious was neither sustainable given our limited editorial staff nor justifiable given my conviction that, to paraphrase Harvard historian Ann Braude, the history of women religious is Catholic history. I know some of our readers will miss the differentiated section, but I assure them that the latest news and scholarship will be integrated fully into the newsletter as a whole. See, for example, Eileen Markey’s stunning article in this issue, which was originally delivered as a banquet address at the Conference on the History of Women Religious in June.

Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Kathleen Sprows Cummings is the William W. and Anna Jean Cushwa Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame. She is also a professor of American studies and history at Notre Dame.

This note appears in the fall 2019 issue of the American Catholic Studies Newsletter.