I am the Associate Professor of Religion and Society at the Franciscan School of Theology. I am also a Research Fellow at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University. Especially drawn to young adult ministry, I am a member of the Alliance for Campus Ministry, an advisory group to the USCCB’s Secretariat on Catholic Education. My previous appointments include Research Fellow at the Center for Church Management at Villanova University as well as the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame. My writings on American Catholic life appear in both Catholic and academic publications, including Catholic Activism Today: Individual Transformation and the Struggle for Social Justice (NYU Press 2020), as well as my edited collection, Young Adult American Catholics: Explaining Vocation in Their Own Words (Paulist Press 2018).
After an intense, beautiful, challenging, amazing experience of fostering a mama dog and her litter, I share my reflections on the experience in “Catholic Tales: Insights from Fostering a Pit Bull and Her 10 Puppies” in the National Catholic Reporter. It focuses on the themes of surrender, happiness, and discernment. “Catholic Tales” comes complete with photos and you have to check out the 23-second video that is linked in the article… the ten puppies charge me and lick like crazy. Let me know if you want to adopt Zod; we still have him!
Happy to pass you some summer reading with my new article that just came out in The Way of St. Francis, “Franciscan Lessons from Mom: Poverty.” The hopes is that this is the first article in a series that more deeply explores the intersection of women and the Franciscan tradition. It was truly an honor to be asked to author the seminal piece.
Excited to share that my article in The Way of St. Francis, “Entering Lent from a Hermitage,” received a Catholic Media Award! It was awarded second place in the “Best Essay – Religious Order Magazines” category. The comments left by the awards committee are below:
Just a really smooth personable writer, with a very, very timely column. Great concepts – QuaranTeens and Blursday, being in Covid quarantine as a spiritual hermitage. Graceful writer, who really turns nice phrases with ease.
What a time! It was hope-filled, hard work, inspiring, exhausting, and so much more. I met so many great people and I think we all walked away seeing things differently than when we arrived. As Fr. Frank Cancro said in his homily, “The journey was part of the gift.” I’ll link to any pages that come up later that have resources (including my talk) from the gathering. But for now I’ll share the photo of my working group; Fr. Frank was also our facilitator and–because he is a minister for circuses–he gifted us with these noses. A good way to celebrate together to conclude our steadfast work. Don’t forget, the proceedings report is just below.
I’m excited to share the report on Journeying Together with you! Journeying Together is a multi-year effort to better understand the experiences of race and ethnicity among youth and young adults in the Catholic Church and society more broadly. I was on the editorial team and, wow, it’s been a really amazing gift to be a part of these efforts. This report will be the working document for the 350 youth, young adults and their ministers who will gather in Chicago this June; I’m very honored to be on the opening plenary there, too.
Here’s to one more step in creating a more just, inclusive and beautiful Church and world.
Thank you to the Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture (CCTC) at the University of San Diego for recognizing me and several others as Laudato Si’ Fellows. I’m looking forward to the award reception this evening as well as to meeting the other fellows who are involved in important climate change work. Thank you, CCTC, for encouraging work in this critical issue!
Happy to announce that I’ll be more easily accessible to journalists across the country. The Women’s Media Center has an excellent resource, cleverly named SheSource, that helps connect journalists with female experts in a variety of fields. You can view my SheSource page here.
As you might know, I gave a keynote address (shared with Cardinal Blaise Cupich) this summer at a Catholic climate change conference co-sponsored by Creighton University and the Catholic Climate Covenant. That address, “Responding to the Invitation: Fostering a Bolder Response to Laudato Si’,” has just been published in the Journal of Moral Theology. This was a great conference that generated a lot of needed momentum on responding to climate change. Please share the address with those looking to understand some of the obstacles to Catholic engagement in the climate change issue as well as some ways we might foment a more robust Catholic engagement here.
I’m happy to share with you Dr. Jane Curry’s positive review of my latest book in Reading Religion, a book review publication for the American Academy of Religion. Curry currently teaches at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale and has much to say on the ways the findings caused her to reflect on her own teaching; she goes on to also discuss the insights the book offers to ministers and Church leaders. She ends her review by noting some of the major themes in the book:
“[T]he book inspires approaches that help people challenge structured inequalities, motivates readers to explore the implications of Christian individualism contextually, and emphasizes the power of hope, community, and compassion within this journey.”
Important themes for understanding Catholic engagement as well as human life more broadly. I hope you enjoy the read!