The Legacy of Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC

May 2, 2019
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, 28th Floor
155 North Wacker Drive,
Chicago, IL 60606
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William T. CavanaughDePaul University

Jennifer Mason McAwardUniversity of Notre Dame Law School

Fr. Bill Miscamble, CSCUniversity of Notre Dame

Kenneth WoodwardLumen Christi Institute

John M. BreenLoyola University Chicago School of Law

  • The Legacy of Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, CSC

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A reception and panel discussion on the occasion of the publication of American Priest: The Ambitious Life and Conflicted Legacy of Notre Dame's Father Ted Hesburgh by Fr. Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase by the Seminary Coop Bookstore.

According to the great University of Chicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins, Fr. Hesburgh’s record at Notre Dame in the 1950’s and 1960’s was “one of the most spectacular achievements in higher education in the last 25 years.”

Considered for many decades to be the most influential priest in America, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, played pivotal roles in higher education, the Catholic Church, and national and international affairs. In American Priest, historian and Notre Dame priest-professor Wilson D. Miscamble, CSC, tracks how Hesburgh transformed Catholic higher education in the postwar era and explores how he became a much-celebrated voice in America at large.

Understanding Hesburgh’s life and work illuminates the journey that the Catholic Church traversed over the second half of the twentieth century. Exploring and evaluating Hesburgh’s importance, then, contributes not only to the colorful history of Notre Dame but also to make sense of the American Catholic experience.


5:00pm   Registration
5:30pm   Welcome & Introduction
5:35pm   The Legacy of Fr. Ted Hesburgh, CSC
6:45pm   Open bar & Hors d'oeuvres Reception
7:30pm   End

William T. Cavanaugh is a Professor of Catholic Studies and Director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University. He holds an M.A. from Cambridge University and a PhD from Duke University. His major areas of research have to do with the Church’s encounter with social, political, and economic realities. Cavanaugh has published numerous books and articles, including Migrations of the Holy: Theologies of State and Church, The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict, and Field Hospital: the Church’s Engagement in Markets, Politics, and Conflict.

Jennifer Mason McAward is Director of the Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights and associate professor of law at Notre Dame Law School. Her teaching and research interests focus on civil rights, constitutional law, and habeas corpus. Her scholarship addresses the relationship between Congress and the federal courts with respect to protecting individual rights. Her current projects explore the power of Congress to enforce the Thirteenth Amendment. She joined the Notre Dame Law School faculty in 2005 and was named Distinguished Professor of the Year in 2007. She received her J.D. summa cum laude from New York University School of Law and clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor of the United States Supreme Court. 

Rev. Wilson "Bill" Miscamble, C.S.C., is a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross. He joined the permanent faculty of the History Department at Notre Dame in 1988. He received his doctoral degree in 1980, and then served for two years as North American analyst in the Office of National Assessments, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra, Australia. His primary research interests are American foreign policy since World War II and the role of Catholics in 20th century U.S. foreign relations and public life. His publications include George F. Kennan and the Making of American Foreign Policy, 1947-1950 (1992), which received the Harry S. Truman Book Award; From Roosevelt to Truman: Potsdam, Hiroshima and the Cold War (1997), which also received the Harry S. Truman Book Award in 2008; andThe Most Controversial Decision: Truman, the Atomic Bombs and the Defeat of Japan (2011).

A graduate of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Kenneth L. Woodward received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, where he studied literature with the legendary Frank O’Malley. He edited Newsweek’s Religion section from 1964 until his retirement in 2002, which gave him a unique vantage point on and personal acquaintance with the world’s religious leaders. He is the author of Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint and The Book of Miracles: The Meaning of the Miracle Stories in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. In 2006, the University of Notre Dame gave him its Rev. Robert F. Griffin Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in writing. His most recent publication is entitled Getting Religion: Faith, Culture, and Politics from the Age of Eisenhower to the Era of Obama.

John M. Breen is the Georgia Reithal Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. As an undergraduate, studied the "Great Books" while majoring in Notre Dame's Program of Liberal Studies; he graduated with highest honors. He then attended Harvard Law School where he was a member of the Board of Student Advisors, teaching research and writing to first year law students. Following graduation from law school, Professor Breen clerked for Judge Boyce F. Martin, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. At the completion of his clerkship he practiced law at Sidley & Austin in Chicago where he specialized in commercial litigation. Professor Breen was an associate visiting professor of law at the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University before joining the Loyola faculty. He has written extensively on Catholic legal education and is currently at work on a book on the history of Catholic law schools in the United States.