On the heels of the beatification of Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, '23, in October 2014, the Center for Catholic Women's History recently invited Dr. Kathleen Sprows Cummings to talk about nation-saints, and the process of beatification in American Catholic history.
The Center for Catholic Women's History, located in the College of Saint Elizabeth Archives on the second floor of Mahoney Library, was established in 2001 to collect Catholic women's stories and record the ways those women hand on their faith. These stories are available to researchers as a source of studying Catholicism in the United States.
The Center for Catholic Women's History oral history project, Gifts from the Past, begun in 1998, has recorded close to 100 interviews. Some of the women who were interviewed have lived in New Jersey for many years and were influenced by the Sisters of Charity; others are recent immigrants whose Catholic roots were planted in countries such as Peru, Mexico, India, Kenya, Cuba, and Belize. Another phase of the project was devoted to oral history interviews with African-American Catholic women from Newark and Montclair. The most recent phase pursued the theme of Handing on the Charism by conducting oral history interviews among women who could speak of the way the Vincentian charism has influenced or transformed their lives.
The Center has been supported by grants from the New Jersey Historical Commission, the Vincentian Studies Institute, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth Ministry Grants Program, and the College itself.
Leadership for the Center is provided by Dr. Erin Biviano, Sister Kathleen Flanagan, Dr. Christine Giacalone, Dr. Johanna Glazewski, Sister Mary Ellen Gleason, Dr. Anne M. Langan, Debra Martin, Carole Rogers, Dr. Margaret Roman, and Dr. George Sirgiovanni.
The Heritage Award is a $1,000 research grant for students to use and to contribute to the Center. The goal of the Award is to encourage students to learn more about the lives and contributions of New Jersey Catholic women. Pictured above are this year's recipients of the Center's Heritage Award.