ABOUT

Catherine Mooney teaches  church history and the history of Christian spirituality at Boston College’s  School of Theology and Ministry.   She has a Master’s in Theological Studies  (M.T.S.) from Harvard Divinity School, and an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in  medieval history from Yale University.   She has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA,  the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Weston  Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA.   She is an international lecturer at both scholarly and religious venues.    She has served on boards for the  Society for Medieval Feminist Studies, Monastic Matrix, and the Franciscan Friars,  and has received research awards from the National Endowment for the  Humanities, Harvard Divinity School, and the Franciscan Institute of St.  Bonaventure University, NY.

Besides her scholarly work, Mooney  has engaged in a variety of human rights activities.  While living in rural Argentina during its  military dictatorship and “Dirty War” during which thousands of Argentines  were “disappeared” in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, she advocated for an  exploited indigenous group and continues involved in their struggle  today.  For twenty-seven years she has  been a board member on the Ignacio  Martin-Baro Fund for Mental Health and Human Rights, a fund named for one of the Jesuits assassinated in El  Salvador in 1989.  The Fund has distributed  well over a million dollars to grassroots-led groups around the world working  to counter the psychological harm that institutionalized violence inflicts on  vulnerable communities.

Mooney’s publications include  Gendered Voices: Medieval  Saints and Their Interpreters (1999), a book  in which she and other scholars discuss the ways in which the portrayals of  medieval holy women were variously embellished, recast, or distorted by later  writers.  Her book Philippine Duchesne: A Woman  with the Poor (1990; 2007) chronicles the  life of a woman, canonized in 1988, who did pioneering work in education and  justice on the American frontier.  Now translated  into Japanese, Korean, and Bahasa Indonesia, the book will soon appear in  Spanish.  Mooney’s most recent book, Clare of Assisi and the  Thirteenth-Century Church: Religious Women, Rules, and Resistance (2016), explores how Clare and her allies variously  negotiated and resisted a papal program bent on regimenting, enriching, and  enclosing religious women.  Mooney is  currently writing a book about how the historical Clare of Assisi’s image was  refashioned after her death to suit the differing agendas of popes,  Franciscans, and others.  Mooney has also  published many essays about saints, spirituality, and social justice efforts. 

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August 27, 2017

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

How, like Jesus, can we – even at great risk to ourselves -- stand up to today’s kings and Pharisees ready to oppress others? And how, like Jesus, can we let love and life-giving service be the hallmarks of our own exercise of authority?
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