News and announcements

Friends of Cushwa news and notes


The Academy of American Franciscan History will be publishing two new volumes as part of its United States Franciscan History Project: Many Tongues, One Faith: A History of Franciscan Parish Life in the United States by Father David Endres, and Voice of Empathy: A History of Franciscan Media in the United States, by Raymond Haberski, Jr. The books will be distributed through Catholic University of America Press. For more information, contact Jeffrey Burns (


Marie-France Carreel, R.S.C.J., and Carolyn Osiek R.S.C.J., have published in two volumes the complete writings of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, Philippine Duchesne, pionnière à la frontière américaine. Œuvres complètes (1769–1852) (Brepols, 2017). In 1818, Mother Rose Philippine Duchesne of the newly founded Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus left France to participate in the missionary expansion of the Catholic Church in the New World. The writings of St. Philippine—656 letters, five journals and a few shorter documents, all in French (except for one letter in English)—constitute a rich source of information about her missionary call and the sacrifices involved, the primitive life of the first years on the Missouri frontier, and the development of the Catholic Church and the Society of the Sacred Heart in North America over a 34-year period.


Luca Codignola, Cushwa’s senior fellow in Rome, has published several articles recently: “Ma che cosa è questo Atlantico? Un modernista di fronte alla storiografia delle buone intenzioni,” in EunomiaRivista semestrale di Storia e Politica Internazionali (5, no. 2, 2016); “Missionary Time and Space: The Atlantic World in the Early Modern Age,” in Religion, Space, and the Atlantic World (USC Press, 2017); “Material Culture Dimensions in Some North Atlantic Catholic and Trade Networks, 1785–1840,” in America ed Europa allo specchio. Studi per Francesca Cantù (Viella, 2017); and “La lettera ai genitori del livornese Filippo Filicchi sui giovani Stati Uniti, 1785,” in Itinerari del libro nella storia. Per Anna Giulia Cavagna (Pàtron editore, 2017).


Cambridge University Press has published Catholics in the Vatican II Era: Local Histories of a Global Event. This book is the result of “The Lived History of Vatican II,” a Cushwa Center research project undertaken from 2012 to 2014 and led by Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Timothy Matovina, and Robert Orsi, who together edited the new volume.


The documentary film Isaac Hecker and the Journey of Catholic America is now available for purchase. It tells the story of a controversial Catholic minister in 19th-century America. The documentary includes interviews with Kathleen Sprows Cummings and Jay P. Dolan of Notre Dame, Dave Dwyer, C.S.P., Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., and the late Cardinal Edward Egan.


Boston College will host Envisioning the Future of Catholic Religious Archives: A Working Conference, July 11–13, 2018 (finalized dates). The archives of religious communities in the United States are becoming endangered as communities come to completion. To address the need to preserve their invaluable records, this conference will bring focus to the issue and prepare a course of action. Contact Michael J. Burns ( for more information.


Michael Franczak (Boston College), recipient of a Hesburgh Research Travel Grant in 2016, has published an article with the journal Cold War History entitled, “Human Rights and Basic Needs: Jimmy Carter’s North-South Dialogue, 1977–81.” It discusses Father Hesburgh’s role at the Overseas Development Council and his actions as head of the U.S. delegation to the UN Conference on Science and Technology for Development. In March, Franczak will defend his dissertation, “American Foreign Policy in the North-South Dialogue, 1971–1982.”  


Restoring the Soul of the University: Unifying Christian Higher Education in a Fragmented Age (InterVarsity Press, 2017) by Perry Glanzer, Nathan Alleman, and Todd Ream has received Christianity Today’s 2018 Book of the Year Award of Merit in the Politics and Public Life category. Ream (Taylor University) is a past recipient of Hesburgh Research Travel Grant funding, which he used to study Father Hesburgh’s writings especially as they pertain to Catholic higher education.


Edward P. Hahnenberg (John Carroll University) has published his essay, “Theodore M. Hesburgh, Theologian: Revisiting Land O’Lakes Fifty Years Later,” in the December 2017 issue of Theological Studies. Hahnenberg received a 2016 Hesburgh Research Travel Grant from the Cushwa Center to support research for this article.


S. Karly Kehoe (Saint Mary’s University, Halifax) has published an article in the February 2018 issue of The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History entitled “Catholic Relief and the Political Awakening of Irish Catholics in Nova Scotia, 1780–1830.”


William Kurtz (University of Virginia) has received a 2018 Kenneth Karmiole Endowed Research Fellowship to perform research at the UCLA Library Special Collections. He will be conducting research there for a biography of Union General William S. Rosecrans.


Carmen Mangion (Birkbeck, University of London) published a chapter, “Syon Abbey’s ‘Second Summer’, 1900–1950,” in the volume Continuity and Change. Papers from the Birgitta Conference at Dartington 2015, published in fall 2017 and edited by Elin Andersson, Claes Gejrot, E. A. Jones and Mia Åkestam.


Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati will host a conference, Lay Movements as Structures of Grace, July 6–8, 2018. The conference aims to explore the legacy of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn (1882–1967). Visit for more information.


Molly Pyle (independent scholar) has completed an oral history commissioned by the Sisters of Bon Secours U.S.A., which focuses on the years 1981–2016. The order’s editorial committee is preparing the manuscript for submission to various publishers. In 2017, Pyle was selected to research and write the bicentennial history of the Diocese of Richmond (1820–2020), to be published in 2019 by Edition du Signe. Finally, her 2015 booklet, “Reflections,” detailing the lives of philanthropists Henry and Marion Knott, has been published online. It can be accessed at


Chosen (Custody of the Eyes), a feature-length documentary film directed by Abbie Reese, is now available for pre-order at Chosen follows a former blogger and painter as she joins an 800-year-old religious order and becomes Sister Amata. This coming-of-age-story explores Sister Amata’s interior life and captures scenes of ordinary life and spiritual practices at Corpus Christi Monastery in Rockford, Illinois, rarely witnessed by the outside world. The film may be booked for campus screenings and Reese, who is author of Dedicated to God: An Oral History of Cloistered Nuns (Oxford, 2014), is available for speaking engagements.


The University of Notre Dame Archives​ recently launched a research portal bringing together select photos and writings from the life and work of the late Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. Explore this new digital collection at


Barbra Mann Wall (University of Virginia) received the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Nursing.



Staff updates at the Cushwa Center



In September 2017, Peter Hlabse transitioned out of the Cushwa Center after accepting an exciting opportunity to serve as the student program manager for Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture. Pete joined the Cushwa Center in 2015 and from the beginning consistently went above and beyond in service to the center and its guests. In particular, he was indispensable in planning several high-profile events, including Colm Tóibín’s 2016 Cushwa Center Lecture and our recent commemoration of the Land O’Lakes Statement. Many of our collaborators over the past two years have been the beneficiaries of Pete’s professionalism, efficiency, and hospitality. Thank you and congratulations, Pete!


We are very happy to introduce MaDonna Noak, who joined the center in late fall 2017 as our new administrative coordinator. Prior to joining the center, MaDonna worked in the Department of Biology at Saint Mary’s College. She brings a wealth of administrative experience to her new role at Notre Dame and has hit the ground running in event planning, grants administration, and daily operations at Cushwa. Welcome, MaDonna!



Cushwa inaugurates Rome Advisory Committee


In November 2017, the Cushwa Center inaugurated its Rome Advisory Committee. Gathered from universities throughout Rome and Italy, the committee’s sixteen members will share their expertise and scholarship with the Cushwa Center, participate in its Rome events, and facilitate new initiatives involving their own institutions. Since 2014, the Cushwa Center has collaborated with Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway to host two international seminars, a major conference, frequent lectures and panels, and two research fellowships in Rome, Italy. The group convened for the first time on December 6, 2017, as Kathleen Sprows Cummings delivered the Rome Global Gateway’s winter lecture, “Frances Cabrini, Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway, and Rethinking American Catholic History.” Professor Luca Codignola, Cushwa’s senior fellow in Rome, chairs the committee. Member profiles are available at


In memoriam


Christopher Kauffman passed away on January 30 at age 81. He earned his Ph.D. at St. Louis University and taught at a number of institutions before joining the Catholic University of America in 1989 as the Catholic Daughters of the Americas Chair in American Catholic History, a position he held until he retired in 2008. Kauffman produced numerous monographs and multi-volume studies, including the Bicentennial History of the Catholic Church in America (1989) and the nine-volume American Catholic Identities: A Documentary Reader (1993–2003). He was perhaps best known as the long-serving editor of the U.S. Catholic Historian (1983–2013). His many contributions to the field of American Catholic history were celebrated at a 2005 Cushwa Center conference titled The Future of American Catholic History. “Chris remapped the study of Catholicism in the United States through the many themes he identified and examined in the quarterly issues of the U.S. Catholic Historian,” said former Cushwa director Timothy Matovina. “So many young scholars published our first essays in that journal after we met him and had our names scribbled down on that small sheet of paper he always kept stuffed in his shirt pocket. He was an extraordinary mentor in every way: he taught us how to teach, how to research, how to write, and above all how to bring a deep sense of community and humanity to academic life. May flights of angels rush to meet him.”


Mary Ellen Konieczny, the Henkels Family Associate Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame, passed away on February 24 due to complications from a sudden recurrence of cancer.  She received an undergraduate degree from Notre Dame and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and joined Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology in 2008. Konieczny served as a faculty fellow at the Cushwa Center for the 2011–2012 academic year, while she was completing her 2013 book, The Spirit’s Tether: Family, Work, and Religion among American Catholics. She commentated at the center’s fall 2014 Seminar in American Religion on Paula Kane’s Sister Thorn. At the time of her death, Konieczny was working on a second book, “Service before Self: Organization, Cultural Conflict, and Religion at the U.S. Air Force Academy,” as well as a major research project on Our Lady of Kibeho in Rwanda, in order to gain insight into religion’s role in post-genocide reconciliation and peacebuilding. Cushwa director Kathleen Sprows Cummings described her as “an inspiration” among Notre Dame faculty. “Along with her other colleagues and students I mourn the loss of all that she had ahead of her professionally,” Cummings said. “Her death is also devastating personally. I never had a friend quite like her, with whom I could, over the course of a single conversation, discuss scholarship and teaching, marriage and motherhood, faith and feminism, and even the latest in fashion. Her unique combination of generosity, curiosity, and energy was a gift to the entire Notre Dame community, and it will not be the same without her.”


Patricia McNeal passed away on Tuesday, March 6, in Vero Beach, Florida. McNeal, who earned her Ph.D. from Temple University in 1974, served for many years as professor of women’s studies at Indiana University South Bend, where she directed the women’s studies program. She received several teaching awards from the university, including the Herman Frederic Lieber Award in 1999. When she retired in 2008, women’s studies at IUSB inaugurated the Patricia McNeal Agent of Change Award to recognize undergraduates who exemplify “the activist and intellectual spirit of the discipline.” McNeal published numerous scholarly articles on pacifism, nonviolence, and the legacy of Dorothy Day, as well as two monographs: The American Catholic Peace Movement, 1928–1972 (1978) and Harder than War: Catholic Peacemaking in Twentieth-Century America (1992). Her husband, Jay P. Dolan, is professor emeritus of history at Notre Dame and the Cushwa Center’s founding director. “Pat was a champion of the underdog—of women who struggled to claim their rights and exercise leadership in the pursuit of social justice, and of women and men who swam against the current in insisting that peace and nonviolence are not only preferable to war, but also central to a Catholic way of life,” said Scott Appleby, who succeeded Dolan as director of the Cushwa Center in 1992. “Her research, teaching and service to the community will be missed; her love for and dedication to her family will never be forgotten.”