I am delighted to serve as the 91st President of the American Catholic Historical Association after the conclusion of our meeting in Boston. Thanks to the work of Jim O’Toole of Boston College and many others, we had a serious of superb panels that included scholars from all over the world and gatherings to study and discuss Catholic history past and present. Highlights of the conference included the Graduate Student Networking session, something that will become a regular part of future meetings; the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who gave the benediction at our banquet; the presentation of the first Presidential Graduate Fellowships and awards for Distinguished Teaching, Lifetime Scholarship and Service to Catholic Studies; the presidential speech of Rev. Steven Avella; the mass celebrated by Fr. Cyprian Davis; and a lively social hour.
I have been privileged to work with Rev. Avella over the past year and want to thank him for his work in fundraising for the new awards and fellowships, his tireless activity for the ACHA, and his friendship and support. I look forward to working with my Vice President, Professor Thomas X. Noble of Notre Dame, Secretary/Treasurer Fr. Paul Robichaud and the women and men of the Executive Committee to continue this work. We have now created a website committee who will work with our webmaster to solicit blogs, articles, and facilitate discussion, making the site more user-friendly and interactive, a place where all scholars of Catholicism can go to find the latest discussions and information about research and meetings. I will also focus my presidency on continuing to attract graduate students and young scholars to the association. I hope to see many of you at our Spring Conference in Toronto as well as at our January 2012 Chicago meeting. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve.
Larissa Juliet Taylor