ACHA Newsletter: Winter 2019

ACHA President Kathleen Holscher

Greetings to members of the American Catholic Historical Association! This final newsletter of my turn as ACHA president comes as we submit the last grades of the semester and bustle to prepare Christmas and other holiday celebrations. My own family celebrates a feast of seven fishes of Christmas Eve, and my mother and I have lots of cooking ahead!

This newsletter will be a brief one; I especially want to remind our membership of three things.

First, our annual conference in New York City is just a couple of weeks away. Although registration formally closed last week, latecomers will still be able to register for the conference itself (although no longer for accompanying events) on the association website.

Conference highlights will include a tour of the archives of the Archdiocese of New York and a “clarification of thought” session at the Maryhouse Catholic Worker, both on Friday, January 3; our liturgy at the Church of Saint Francis Xavier, followed by the ACHA social at the nearby Old Town Bar, on Saturday, January 4; and the presidential roundtable in honor Jim Fisher, entitled “Port of Spiritual Authority: NYC and North Jersey as the Catholic Metropolis,” on Sunday, January 5, to be immediately followed by our business meeting. Further conferences details can be found at

Nearly 120 people have already registered for the conference—a nice increase from last year. I am looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Second, the ACHA has revived an annual fundraising appeal. With this year’s “Campaign for Young Scholars,” we hope to establish a permanent fund to assist graduate students and other young scholars, particularly when it comes to the costs of conference attendance. You can view my recent letter describing the appeal on the ACHA website. Donations can be made online or they may be mailed to: ACHA, Mount St. Mary’s University, 16300 Old Emmitsburg Rd., Emmitsburg, MD 21727. I hope you’ll consider the American Catholic Historical Association this holiday season.

Finally, a quick reminder about the 2020 spring ACHA conference, which will take place April 17 and 18 at the University of Scranton. The deadline for proposal submissions is quickly approaching on January 10, 2020. For further information and to submit your proposal, please visit the conference webpage.

It has been a great pleasure to serve as association president during 2019. I have learned much about the organization, and about the field of Catholic studies itself. I am grateful to have had this opportunity. I believe the American Catholic Historical Association is on stronger footing now than at any time in recent memory. I know too that I’m leaving things in good hands, both in those of our executive secretary-treasurer Charles Strauss, who will be continuing in that position, and in those our incoming president Jim Carroll and our incoming vice-president Brenna Moore.

I wish each of you and those you love a blessed and happy Christmas season.

Kathleen Holscher
ACHA President (2019)