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On January 6, 2017, Kathleen Sprows Cummings began her term as president of the American Catholic Historical Association. She follows in the footsteps of several Notre Dame faculty, including Thomas F. X. Noble, who served as ACHA vice president in 2011 and president in 2012, Thomas Kselman (president, 2005), Sabine MacCormick (vice president, 2007), Philip Gleason (president, 1978), Astrik L. Gabriel (president, 1973), and Vincent P. DeSantis (president, 1964). Jay P. Dolan, founding director of the Cushwa Center, served as ACHA president in 1995.


Friends of Cushwa News and Notes


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Rare Books and Special Collections at the Hesburgh Libraries is hosting “Preserving the Steadfastness of Your Faith”: Catholics in the Early American Republic (through August 11). The exhibit features printed texts from 1783 through the early 1840s. Highlights include the earliest American Catholic bibles, published by Mathew Carey; editions of Thomas à Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ used and produced in the United States; polemical pamphlets with sexual and political subtexts that flew back and forth across the Atlantic; no-holds-barred dueling sectarian newspapers; books and pamphlets created in reaction to mob violence against the Ursuline convent school near Boston; and official reports mapping the Church’s growth and growing pains. The exhibit is curated by Rachel Bohlmann and Jean McManus. Contact Rachel at to schedule group and class tours.

The fall 2016 issue of Gathered Fragments, the journal of the Catholic Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania (CHSWPA), was recently published. Visit for more information on the Society and their publications, including an index of journal contents from 1986 to the present.

William Cossen, a 2013 travel grant recipient, defended his dissertation, “The Protestant Image in the Catholic Mind: Interreligious Encounters in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era,” in October 2016, and graduated with his Ph.D. in history from The Pennsylvania State University in December. His article, “Catholic Gatekeepers: The Church and Immigration Reform in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era,” appeared in the summer 2016 issue of U.S. Catholic Historian. Cossen is a member of the faculty of The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology.

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Sette Città has published Holy See’s Archives as Sources for American History, edited by Kathleen Sprows Cummings and Matteo Sanfilippo. The volume consists of proceedings from the Cushwa Center’s Rome Seminar convened in June 2014. Contributors include Colin Barr, Matteo Binasco, Luca Codignola, Daniele Fiorentino, John T. McGreevy, Florian Michel, and Giovanni Pizzorusso.

Mary Dunn, who provided commentary at the fall 2016 Seminar in American Religion, has an article, “What Really Happened: Radical Empiricism and the Historian of Religion,” in the December 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion.

David Endres, dean of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati and editor of U.S. Catholic Historian, has edited the compilation Remapping the History of Catholicism in the United States: Essays from the U.S. Catholic Historian (CUA, 2017). Contributors include Kristine Ashton Gunnell, Amanda Bresie, Joseph Chinnici, Matthew Cressler, Anne Klejment, Timothy Matovina, and Jeanne Petit.

Massimo Faggioli, professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University since August 2016, became a contributing editor at Commonweal in September. His article, “Vatican II: Bibliographical Survey 2013–2016,” was published in Cristianesimo nella Storia 37, no. 3 (2016).

Hidetaka Hirota, visiting assistant professor of history at the City College of New York, has published Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States and the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy with Oxford University Press. Hirota received a Hibernian Research Award in 2010 to conduct research at the Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa for his dissertation and this book.

Paula Kane, the featured author at the fall 2014 Seminar in American Religion, shared news of two book chapters: “Disenchanted America: Accounting for the Lack of Extraordinary Mystical Phenomena in Catholic America,” in Tine Van Osselaer, Henk de Smaele, and Kaat Wils, eds., Sign or Symptom? Exceptional Corporeal Phenomena in Religion and Medicine in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Leuven, 2017); and “St. Homobonus Leads the CEOs: Doing Good versus Doing Really Well,” in Amanda Porterfield et al., eds. The Business Turn in Religion (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Theresa Keeley, assistant professor of history at the University of Louisville and 2011 travel grant recipient, contributed an article, “Reagan’s Real Catholics vs. Tip O’Neill’s Maryknoll Nuns: Gender, Intra-Catholic Conflict, and the Contras,” to the June 2016 issue of Diplomatic History.

Suzanne Krebsbach’s paper, “Charleston’s Jim Crow Catholic: James Spencer and the Colored Catholic Congress,” based on research conducted at the Notre Dame archives with a 2014 travel grant, was accepted for U.S. Catholic Historian’s forthcoming special issue on social justice and the Church.

Monica Mercado, a 2010 travel grant recipient, completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Bryn Mawr College in June 2016 and has been appointed assistant professor of history at Colgate University. She is also affiliated with the university’s Women’s Studies and Museum Studies programs.

Paul Murray’s article, “‘We Belong in the Wider World’: The Young Christian Students and the Civil Rights Movement,” appears in the winter 2017 issue of U.S. Catholic Historian. The article is based on oral history interviews and archival research in the College Young Christian Students collection at the University of Notre Dame Archives. Murray was the recipient of a travel grant in 2013.

Michael Skaggs (University of Notre Dame) defended his dissertation, “Reform in the Queen City: Religion and Race in Cincinnati in the Era of Vatican II,” in December. Kathleen Sprows Cummings served as his advisor.

Thomas Tweed’s presidential address to the American Academy of Religion, “Valuing the Study of Religion: Improving Difficult Dialogues within and beyond the AAR’s ‘Big Tent,’” was published in the June 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. He also contributed the chapter “Religious Identity and Emigration from Latin America” to The Cambridge History of Religions in Latin America (Cambridge, 2016). In November, Tweed gave a lecture titled “Making Space for Catholicism in the University: The Case of U.S. Religious History” at the University of Illinois, Chicago, sponsored by the Catholic Studies Program, the Department of History, and the Institute for the Humanities.

Peter Williams latest book, Religion, Art, and Money: Episcopalians and American Culture from the Civil War to the Great Depression, was published by UNC Press in May 2016.

Kenneth Woodward’s Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama was published by Random House in September 2016. Woodward visited Notre Dame on September 15 and 16 for a lecture and two book signings.