Kathleen Cummings

Kathleen Cummings

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Associate Professor of American Studies
Director, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism

Office: 403 Geddes Hall
Phone: 574-631-8749
Email: cummings.23@nd.edu
Twitter: @KSprowsCummings

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Areas of Expertise

History of women and American religion, U.S. Catholicism

Cummings is the William W. and Anna Jean Cushwa Director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism. She is also an associate professor of American studies and history. Cummings published her first book, “New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era,” in 2009 with the University of North Carolina Press. She co-edited (with R. Scott Appleby) “Catholics and the American Century: Recasting Narratives of U.S. History” (Cornell University Press, 2012). Cummings’ current book project, “Citizen Saints: Catholics and Canonization in America,” was supported by an NEH Fellowship during the academic year 2010-11 and will be published in 2017 with the University of North Carolina Press. Cummings presently oversees the History of Women Religious, an academic organization devoted to the historical study of Catholic sisters in the United States. Cummings often serves as a media commentator on contemporary events in the Church. She appeared on NBC’s live coverage of the conclave in March 2013, the canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXII in April 2014, and the papal visit to the United States in September 2015.


Cummings discusses the selection of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope

Cummings reacts to the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and shares her thoughts on what might lead the Papal Conclave as they select his successor.


Faculty experts comment on Pope’s visit to the United States
Waiting for Pope Francis
Notre Dame faculty experts react to resignation of Pope Benedict XVI
American sisters aren’t ‘radical feminists’
Assessing the assessment of Catholic female religious
A Catholic historian’s predictions on the Vatican investigation of American religious women


Kathleen Sprows Cummings elected vice president/president-elect of ACHA
Father Jenkins, faculty to offer public commentary during Pope Francis’ American visit
Notre Dame to receive Father Badin’s Bible
2013-2014 Notre Dame Forum on Women in Leadership announces spring events
2013 Saturday Scholar Series to kick off football weekends
Screening and discussion of ‘Band of Sisters’ to be held Feb. 21
Discussion to celebrate 40th anniversary of coeducation at Notre Dame
Kathleen Sprows Cummings appointed director of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center
Notre Dame students and alumni take part in canonization events in Rome
Notre Dame to sponsor exhibition on women religious
Five professors earn NEH awards; ND leads nation for past 11 years
New book examines gender and American Catholicism


The Washington Post — Pope Francis has decreed that women can take part in the foot-washing ritual today, Maundy Thursday
The New York Times — Mother Teresa’s Canonization Is a Recognition of Holiness, Not Perfection
Today — Vatican: Pope Francis was not singling out Donald Trump with ‘wall’ remarks
NBC News — Pope Questions Trump’s Christianity — and Trump Fires Back
CNBC — The Donald vs. the Pope
America — US Sisters’ Numbers Decline But Diversity Rises
National Catholic Reporter — The inevitable question for women: To stay or go?
NPR — The Synod Could Be The Defining Moment Of Francis’ Papacy
The Washington Post — Meeting with Kim Davis has pope-watchers asking, what did Francis mean?
The Washington Post — Pope Francis-Kim Davis meeting sets off new round of: What does Francis really think?
The Wall Street Journal — Philadelphia Illustrates Catholic Church’s Dueling Dynamics in America
Today — Pope Francis’ translator and ‘wingman,’ Monsignor Mark Miles, gains fans of his own
Boston Globe — Pope has chance to reclaim ‘moral authority’ in visit
Voice of America — Will Francis Alter Roles, Rules Affecting Catholic Women?
Orlando Sentinel — Pope’s goal in U.S.: ‘Meet people’
Associated Press —Pope to Canonize 18th-Century Missionary; Not Everyone Happy
CBS News — Pope’s trip comes as U.S. churches fight to survive
CNBC — Pope as pastor or business basher?
The Washington Post — Poll: Americans widely admire Pope Francis, but his church less so
Today — Obama, Raul Castro speak ahead of Pope’s visit to US and Cuba
National Catholic Register — Pope Giving Shelter to Christian Refugee Family in Vatican
The Washington Post — For conservatives, sowing confusion: Francis is a global sensation, but to certain traditional Catholics, his message rings hollow
Chicago Tribune — Chicago archbishop uses Pope Francis visit to highlight agenda
Global Sisters Report — Pope Francis picks three sisters to audit family synod
TIME — Pope Francis and the New Roman Empire
Crux — Pope Francis’ address to US bishops could be consequential
Chicago Tribune — Pope Francis’ annulment reforms may draw divorced Catholics back to the faith
Los Angeles Times — Canonization ceremony by pope will be a first for U.S., and it’s a controversial one
CNN — Pope Francis, women are waiting
Here & Now — Pope Francis Fast-Tracks Marriage Annulments
Catholic News Agency — Is the Pope’s challenge to America having an anti-Francis effect?
The New York Times — Catholicism Undervalues Women
Religion News Service — Pope Francis has conservatives talking schism. But a split is easier said than done
The New York Times — Spiritual and Secular Mix in Case for Sainthood
Chicago Tribune — George sets example for other bishops
MarketWatch — Two popes proclaimed saints
MSNBC — Is the Vatican sending mixed messages?
The Wall Street Journal — Two popes proclaimed saints
WGN Radio — Canonization: A guide
The New York Times — Sainthood for 2 Predecessors Allows Pope to Straddle Divide
NBC Nightly News — Pope Francis Canonization of Two Popes Promises to be Epic
Today — ‘The people’s Pope’ not afraid of clowning around
NBC Nightly News — Pope Francis’ ‘remarkable’ new vision for Catholic Church
NBC Nightly News — Married priests in Catholic Church’s future?
The Washington Post — Pope Francis, keeping it real simple
CNN — ‘Recovering Catholics’ reveal spiritual journeys
CNN Belief Blog — Nuns’ fight with Vatican highlights Catholicism’s global struggle
NBC — Pope Francis I
CNN — Can pope bridge gap between America and Rome?
NBC — U.S. Cardinals in Rome told to stop talking to the media
Boston Globe — What American nuns built
Florida Times-Union — Kicking the habit? Some say nuns’ traditional clothing may be making a comeback