The newly established Center for Catholic Studies at St. Mary’s University seeks to enable faculty and students to explore social policy issues and examine the Catholic Church in society and culture, particularly as it relates to the Southwest region of the nation and its growing Hispanic population in the Church and other Christian religions.
Following the 2,000-year path of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, the Center will approach knowledge through the lens of Catholicism. Its programs and outreach will share opportunities for critical reflection and dialogue on issues concerning the Church and, in particular, the local Hispanic community, representing the variety of different modes of thought as found throughout the University.
Under the direction of the inaugural Beirne Director, the Center for Catholic Studies leads in developing campus cross-curricular conversations and programs, as well as scholarly activities and publications. It is a resource and a place for discourse and dialogue to further integrate the Catholic Intellectual Tradition throughout the institution.
The Center works in concert with various groups and departments across the University, particularly with the recently endowed Chairs in Human Dignity and Catholic Philosophy, to support existing programs that integrate the Marianist heritage of the University campus-wide.
Read more about the gift that endowed the Center’s Beirne Director position.
About the Beirne Director
The Center for Catholic Studies was formally established with the hiring of inaugural Beirne Director Alicia Cordoba Tait, D.M.A., who joined St. Mary’s in 2018. Tait was previously at Benedictine University as the Director of the Center for Mission and Identity.
A Message from the Director
It is an honor to serve as the inaugural Beirne Director of the Center for Catholic Studies at St. Mary’s University. I have felt very welcomed into the community. As I continue to meet the community and talk about ideas for the Center, I am energized and excited about the potential the Center has to build on the compassionate, caring environment here and obvious love of the Church I have already seen so vibrant throughout campus.
I look forward to continued conversations as we, as a community, plan, create, and inspire the good works of the Center to fulfill the Catholic Marianist mission of the institution in forming a community in faith, one that believes in excellence, and provides students with an education that promotes professionalism, integrated learning and leadership for the common good.
May God bless you.
Alicia Cordoba Tait, D.M.A.
Inaugural Beirne Director, Center for Catholic Studies, St. Mary’s University
Faculty and the Center
As part of University’s commitment to integrating Catholic Intellectual Tradition into all academic arenas, the Center for Catholic Studies works closely with the University’s related endowed Chairs.
Glenn Hughes, Ph.D., Chair in Catholic Philosophy
Hughes, a Philosophy Professor, became the first holder of the St. Mary’s University Chair in Catholic Philosophy in 2015. His principal work has been to establish a program that promotes interdisciplinary learning among faculty, though small seminars, workshops, and retreats, guided by the breadth and openness of the Catholic philosophical tradition. Currently, four faculty seminars and an end-of-semester retreat take place each semester, bringing faculty together from across all schools and disciplines, to learn from each other and to further the realization of an integrated community of educators.
James Greenaway, Ph.D., Charles H. Miller, M.D., Chair in Human Dignity
The first St. Mary’s University Chair in Human Dignity, Greenaway seeks to enhance the Catholic dimension and identity of St. Mary’s University by promoting the study and understanding of the Catholicism and Marianist spirituality. His responsibilities include promoting the interdisciplinary richness of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, particularly regarding universal human dignity and its application to medical ethics. Additional responsibilities are to effectively communicate the insights of research to parish groups of various educational backgrounds, as well as establish a permanent program of lectures, seminars or workshops examining issues of human dignity affecting the Catholic Church, with an emphasis on issues of medical ethics.
The Center’s Programming
Integral to the Center for Catholic Studies is a focus on programming and opportunities to engage, study, and discuss with the University and external communities that focus on the key elements of Catholic Intellectual Tradition:
- Compatibility of faith and reason
- Collective wisdom through history
- Inclusivity and diversity of peoples, cultures and religions
- Importance of the communal nature of humanity
- Integrative scholarship
Mission-Related Programs and Resources Links
- Conference on Justice and Social Concerns/Lin Great Speakers Series
- Escobedo Saint John’s Bible Lecture Series
- The MacTaggart Catholic Intellectual Tradition Lecture Series
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- Archdiocese of San Antonio
- North American Center for Marianist Studies
- The Society of Mary (Marianists)
- American Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU)
- Association of Marianist Universities (AMU)
- International Marian Research Institute at The University of Dayton
News and stories
- University receives $1M gift for Peer Ministry
- Theologian to discuss biblical images of the Holy Spirit
- History’s role in faith and law will enrich Red Mass
- Biologist to discuss coexistence of faith and science
- St. Mary’s advances Marianist mission through interdisciplinary approach
- Eminent physician and alum to address Fall Graduates