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Former New York Times columnist speaks at Saint Xavier University

Part of 160th anniversary Catholic Colloquium Series

Chicago (Aug. 31, 2006) – Peter Steinfels, author and former New York Times religion editor, kicks off the 160th anniversary Catholic Colloquium introspective lecture series at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, in Saint Xavier University’s Butler Reception Room, 3700 W. 103rd St.., Chicago.

Titled “Ballots and Bishops: the New Landscape of Catholics in Politics,” Steinfels’ lecture is one in a five-part series that looks at what it means to “be in good standing” with the Catholic church and the challenges facing Catholic universities since the Second Vatican Council. Following the lecture, Steinfels will sign copies of his book, A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

A prominent Catholic writer, educator, speaker and senior religion correspondent for the New York Times from 1988 to 1997, Steinfels writes “Beliefs,” a biweekly column for the Times. He received his A.B. from Loyola University Chicago and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. His articles regularly appear in Nation, Dissent and New Republic. He has been a visiting professor of history at Georgetown University, and of American studies at the University of Notre Dame. He and his wife, Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, were recipients of the 2003 Notre Dame Laetare Medal for service to church and society.

Respondents for the lecture will be Kathleen Alaimo, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Xavier University, and Patrick Callahan, professor of political science at DePaul University in Chicago.

The Catholic Colloquium lecture series will explore the implications of current theological thinking about contemporary moral issues that have arisen since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). 

“Catholic universities seek to provide spaces for critical and civil discourse about religious, social, political, cultural and economic issues that affect human dignity and the common good,” said Michael O’Keeffe, professor of religious studies at Saint Xavier who helped organize the series.

“Catholic colleges and universities must be places where scholars, students and the broader community can engage the contested issues of our day, which welcome the voices of all, even as they introduce the Catholic tradition to the contentious debates of our time,” he said.

The series, which is funded by a grant from the Lilly Fellows Program and the Office for University Mission and Heritage, is one of many events to celebrate Saint Xavier University’s 160th anniversary. In 1846, the Sisters of Mercy opened the first academy in Chicago to provide a Catholic education for girls and young women. Today, Saint Xavier is a private, coeducational institution serving approximately 5,800 students with high-quality academic programs. It offers 36 undergraduate majors and 32 graduate program options in five schools. With campuses in Chicago and Orland Park, the University offers personalized education that emphasizes challenging undergraduate, graduate and professional programs of study.

The series also celebrates the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Mercy by Mother Catherine McAuley in Dublin in 1831.

For more information about the lecture series, please contact Kathy Mareska at (773) 298-3981 or mareska@sxu.edu.


Contact Kathy Mareska at (773) 298-3981 or mareska@sxu.edu

Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

Saint Xavier University Media Relations: 773-298-3325
3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago Ill. 60655 * 18230 Orland Parkway, Orland Park, Ill. 60467
online faculty expert guide: www.sxu.edu/relations/faculty_experts.asp