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Kathleen Cummings to speak at St. Paul's College.//Photo: University of Notre Dame


The 2021 Hanley Memorial Lecture Goes Virtual

Seeking Saints in the Modern World

February 2, 2021 — 

St. Paul’s College welcomes Dr. Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Director of The Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, to present the 2021 Hanley Memorial Lectures.

Canonization may be fundamentally about holiness, but it is never only about holiness. Using multiple causes introduced from the United States and Canada, this series of lectures examines how a study of canonization can reveal as much about the priorities and interests of the people promoting the candidates as it does about the prospective saints themselves.

The first lecture, which covers the 1880s through the 1930s, considers how saint-seeking in North America was framed by an emerging sense of national identity among American and Canadian Catholics. The second explores how Catholic women’s desire for more representation and leadership in their Church has and continues to shape saint-seeking. The third and final lecture focuses on the proliferation of new saints and blesseds during and after the papacy of St. John Paul II, and examines how our contemporary issues such as racial reconciliation and the clerical sex abuse crisis shape our perception of holiness today

The lectures are free and open to the public. The lectures will be broadcast as a Zoom webinar (All participants must pre-register online at: and via Facebook and YouTube Live.

Dr. Kathleen Sprows Cummings will be providing three lectures:

Lecture 1: North American Catholics and the Rise of the Nation Saint
February 23, 2021, 3:00pm CT

Lecture 2: Gender, Power, and Canonization
March 23, 2021, 3:00pm CT

Lecture 3: John Paul II and All the Saints
April 13, 2021, 3:00pm CT

To honour the memory of Fr. John C. Hanley, SJ., in 1980 his friends and colleagues from St. Paul’s College and the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba established the Hanley Memorial Lecture Series. The Hanley Lecture Series annually brings to Winnipeg a prominent theologian, scripture scholar or a leading authority on current religious issues. This has now become one of the most prestigious lecture series of its kind in Canada.

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