ACHA Newsletter: Spring 2018

American Catholic Historical Association Quarterly Newsletter
Volume I: Issue 2 (Spring 2018)

I hope you are all well and pushing forward toward the end of the semester. Here in the northeast spring can finally be seen with the tulips out and the trees in full bloom. It is a wonderful time to observe the magnificence of God’s creative hand at work in our world.  The coming of spring and the end of the semester and academic year places our view on the approaching summer months.  Hopefully, the summer will afford all of us a break from the rigors of the classroom and allow time for research and writing efforts that further our common vocation to advance the study of Catholic history throughout the Common Era.

This Spring Edition of our newly inaugurated quarterly Newsletter is sent to provide all our members with updates on events concerning our Association.  First, I wanted to give you a brief update and summary of the spring conference held April 12-14 at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  Succinctly put, the conference was terrific. Owen Phelan and Charles Strauss did a tremendous job of organizing the conference in every conceivable way. From the Thursday night reception on the veranda of Bradley Hall, the main administrative building, to the final session on Saturday afternoon, things went very smoothly. All of the sessions that I attended were filled with interesting papers, numerous questions and discussion, and good attendance. The plenary session, held on Friday evening at the Seminary, followed by a reception hosted by the rector was one of the highlights. The talk by Professor Catherine O’Donnell of Arizona State University on Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was extremely interesting. All seemed to have a great time at the reception held immediately thereafter. The session given as a tribute to Christopher Kauffman, our recently departed colleague, friend, and mentor, was a highlight for many, including myself. Mrs. Kauffman and their two daughters, Jane and Katie, attended. At the luncheon on Saturday afternoon, Father Michael Roach, an Instructor of Church History at Mount St. Mary’s, provided an overview to the history of the University. Every person I spoke with in our Association was raving about the hospitality and general environment of all at Mount St. Mary’s, stating that all-in all, this was one of the best conferences ever, especially for a spring conference. In addition, we were blessed with unbelievably beautiful weather, with temperatures in the high 70s or low 80s each day.

Associated with the spring conference as well was the awarding of two travel grants for participation in the conference. We received eight applications for these grants.  After review of all materials a small sub-committee of the Executive Council awarded the grants to Elisabeth Davis and William Korinko, both of whom presented papers at the conference.

Moving from the spring conference success I can report that things are looking very bright for our centennial celebration this coming January in Chicago.  Our program committee, headed by Jim Carroll, and our Vice President, Katie Holscher, have been working with various colleagues to make Chicago a special event.  The Committee has received over 60 panels, round tables and individual paper proposals.  We are planning round table discussions based around the four words: American, Catholic, Historical, and Association.  Additionally, Joe White, who has contributed mightily to the scholarly literature over the years through his many books, has accepted an invitation to give a plenary session to celebrate the centenary of our Association. He plans to speak about his ongoing research associated with our founder, Fr. Peter Guilday. Even though it is a long way off, I highly encourage members to begin to make plans to attend.  It will certainly be a grand event, especially as we remember 100 years of service to the Church and academic community.

I hope the semester ends well for you.  Please know of my gratitude for your service and dedication to the ACHA.  As a collective body we have much to offer the Church and the academic community.

God Bless,

Rick Gribble, CSC
ACHA President 2018