About the Beirne Director

The Center for Catholic Studies was formally established in 2018 with the hiring of the inaugural Beirne Director, Alicia Cordoba Tait, D.M.A. The Beirne Director is an endowed position, held by a tenure-track or tenured professor.

Coming to St. Mary’s with a strong record of scholarly engagement and academic contributions to the Catholic intellectual tradition, especially in the interaction between the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and other academic disciplines, as Beirne Director, Tait leads the Center in developing campus cross-curricular conversations and programs, as well as scholarly activities and publications about the Catholic Intellectual Tradition.

In collaboration with faculty, staff and administrators, Tait promotes the study of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the greater community through external programming. This endowed position ensures that the Catholic intellectual tradition, in its study, curricular integration and co-curricular engagement, remains a priority to the mission at St. Mary’s.

  • A Message from the Director

    As a global society, we have just gone through a tremendously difficult year, with many sorrows, losses and injustices. But as people of faith, we can turn all negatives and turn them into opportunities for learning and growing. Our Marianist educational characteristic, “adaption and change,” has more meaning than ever in these times. As the founder of the Society of Mary, Blessed Chaminade noted during the time of the French Revolution, “As long as you are on earth you will have problems. Go with simplicity. Do not worry about the troublesome or disconcerting things you will experience. Do your duties. Try to please God and keep your peace.”

    As we now live in a post-pandemic world, we continue to live with the repercussions of COVID-19 in all aspects of our daily lives; and we still find ourselves negotiating racial tension and social injustices. However, we must remember to follow the ways of Jesus Christ, to increase in humility, charity and virtue. We must love one another. And we must live in solidarity with the marginalized.

    “Let us not be discouraged, for we can do everything with the help of the grace which will always be there if we are faithful.” “It is true we will never be tried beyond our strength. Courage, Courage!” (Blessed Adele de Batz de Trenquelleon, founder of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate)

    The Center for Catholic Studies is committed to continue to discuss the world as it is today by demonstrating the good of humanity that can come out of difficult, demanding times. Through the lens of our Catholic, Marianist mission and as a family of faith, we can demonstrate mutual respect and understanding.

    May you be blessed with God’s grace to seek, learn and act for social justice and the common good. I continue to pray that you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe.  

    Alicia Cordoba Tait, D.M.A.
    Inaugural Beirne Director, Center for Catholic Studies, St. Mary’s University

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