2016 Awards

Carol K. Coburn, Distinguished Historian Award

Carol Coburn with her Distinguished Historian Award
Carol Coburn with her Distinguished Historian Award

Whereas Spirited Lives: How Nuns Shaped Catholic Culture and American Life, 1836-1920, co-authored by Carol K. Coburn and Martha Smith, C.S.J., serves as a model for researching and writing the history of women religious; and

Whereas she has published numerous articles and essays on the history of women religious; and

Whereas she has served as a consultant for three independent film projects, including Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change (2007); and

Whereas she served as a consultant for the Smithsonian exhibit, Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America (2009); and

Whereas she is Director of the C.S.J. Heritage Center at Avila University, which is designed as a lasting tribute and a living legacy to the Sisters of St. Joseph, founders of the University; and

Whereas she was instrumental in creating the archives of the Conference on the History of Women Religious; and

Whereas her contributions to the Conference on the History of Women Religious in various capacities since its inception have fostered its growth as a service to the scholarly community worldwide; therefore

Be it resolved that the Conference on the History of Women Religious here assembled confers on Dr. Carol K. Coburn the Distinguished Historian Award. Given the twenty-eighth day of June in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, at the conference, “Whither Women Religious: Analyzing the Past, Studying the Present, Imagining the Future,” gathered at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California.

Margaret M. McGuinness, Distinguished Book Award

Maggie McGuinness with her Distinguished Book Award for "Called to Serve: A History of Nuns in America"
Margaret M. McGuinness with her Distinguished Book Award for “Called to Serve: A History of Nuns in America”

Whereas, in an era when women religious are no longer an ubiquitous presence in Catholic hospitals or schools, Called to Serve: A History of Nuns in America (New York University Press, 2013) is a timely, scholarly reminder of the far-reaching contributions of women religious to both the Catholic and national community; and

Whereas Called to Serve reminds us that long before the days of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society and the founding of the Head Start program in the mid-1960s, Catholic sisters had established “head start” programs in parish schools through the nation for generations of children from immigrant, working class, and other marginalized groups, whose circumstances and backgrounds limited them from “head starts” elsewhere; and

Whereas Called to Serve provides insightful consideration of sisters from the U.S. from earliest times to present challenges, and deserves a place on everyone’s shelf as a quick reference for U.S. history and as an entrée into the domestic and international activities of U.S.-based communities; and

Whereas Called to Serve discusses the controversial issues of the period covered, with thoughtful treatment of sisters’ involvement in the civil rights movement, the impact of Vatican II, and questions of social justice; and

Whereas Called to Serve is a highly readable text that pleases and informs the general reader while also serving as an introductory scholarly text, balancing the treatment of broad themes with the details and illustrations of key episodes; therefore

Be it resolved that the Conference on the History of Women Religious here assembled confers on Margaret M. McGuinness the Distinguished Book Award. Given the twenty-eighth of June in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, at the conference, “Whither Women Religious: Analyzing the Past, Studying the Present, Imagining the Future,” gathered at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California.

Karen Kennelly, C.S.J., Lifetime Achievement Award

Whereas Karen Kennelly, C.S.J., promoted research on Catholic female religious orders at a time when little scholarly attention was given to the subject; and

Whereas she was a member of the original group who organized the Conference on the History of Women Religious to promote the study of women religious throughout the world; and

Whereas she served as the longtime editor of the newsletter, History of Women Religious: News and Notes, a major networking tool which featured conference news, research in progress, publications, book reviews, and announcements; and

Whereas she moreover carried the main weight of all administrative work on behalf of the organization for over twenty-five years; and

Whereas she has written several significant publications relating to the history of women religious and laywomen in the Catholic Church, including American Catholic Women: A Historical Exploration and The Religious Formation Conference 1954-2004; and

Whereas she was involved in the Smithsonian exhibit, Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America, which traveled throughout the United States; therefore

Be it resolved that the Conference on the History of Women Religious here assembled confers on Karen Kennelly, C.S.J., the Lifetime Achievement Award. Given the twenty-eighth of June in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, at the conference, “Whither Women Religious: Analyzing the Past, Studying the Present, Imagining the Future,” gathered at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California.