Notre Dame to dedicate new center in Connemara, Ireland

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Kylemore Abbey Kylemore Abbey

The new Notre Dame Center at Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland, will be dedicated on Aug. 25 (Thursday) with a Mass in the abbey’s Gothic Chapel, an academic convocation and a blessing of the center’s headquarters in Kylemore’s Saint Joseph Hall.

Thomas G. Burish, the University of Notre Dame’s Charles and Jill Fischer Provost, will preside at the convocation, during which honorary doctoral degrees will be conferred on Sister Máire Hickey, abbess of the Benedictine Community at Kylemore, and Justice Peter Kelly, president of Ireland’s High Court.

Opened last May, the Notre Dame Center at Kylemore offers programs in a wide variety of academic disciplines blending the scholarly rigor of Notre Dame with the abbey’s traditional Benedictine spirituality. Housed in what was formerly a boarding school as well as the home of the Benedictine nuns, the center significantly expands Notre Dame’s network of five Global Gateways — located in Dublin, Beijing, Jerusalem, London and Rome — which provide academic and intellectual hubs where scholars, students and leaders from universities, government, business and community gather to discuss, discover and debate issues of topical and enduring relevance.

The Notre Dame Center at Kylemore Abbey, located in one of Ireland’s most beautiful and storied regions, will provide a rural complement to Notre Dame’s urban presence in O’Connell House, the historic home of Daniel O’Connell, the 19th-century Catholic political leader, on Merrion Square in Dublin.

In its first summer, the Notre Dame Center hosted a variety of academic programs, including an environmental law conference, a week of coursework for Notre Dame’s Dublin Summer Program, a week of coursework for the Irish Seminar, a two-week retreat for the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) from Dublin, a three-week creative writing seminar, the Ireland Inside Track program and a workshop for the International Network for Comparative Humanities program. Program participants included Notre Dame undergraduate and graduate students and faculty as well as faculty from universities throughout Ireland, and scholars from around the globe.

Contact: Lisa Caulfield, director, Notre Dame Center at Kylemore Abbey,