LaCugna dies of cancer

by Michael O. Garvey

Catherine Mowry LaCugna, Nancy R. Dreux professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, died of cancer Saturday (May 3) at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center. LaCugna’s scholarship primarily concerned the practical implications of the doctrine of the Trinity for the life of the Church. She lectured widely in this country, Canada, Europe and Australia, and wrote numerous articles and reviews in academic and popular journals on spirituality, ethics, and feminist issues in Catholic theology and liturgy. She was the author of three books, “The Theological Methodology of Hans Küng,” “Freeing Theology: The Essentials of Theology in Feminist Perspective,” and “God For Us: The Trinity and Christian Life.” In 1992 “God For Us” received the First Place Award from the Catholic Press Association.p. A popular and generous teacher, LaCugna received two of the University’s most prestigious awards, the Frank O’Malley undergraduate teaching award in 1993 and the Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., Award for excellence in teaching in 1996.p. In a 1995 article in America magazine, LaCugna wrote, “One ‘finds’ God because one is already found by God…We are made to know and love God through love of others, love of self, love of all creatures. We discover the ever-present God in our own goodness, creativity, and capacity for self-transcendence. God desires nothing more than to be known and loved by us, to be in eternal communion with us—which is why we are indeed already found by the true, living God.”p. LaCugna taught systematic theology at Fordham University and Vassar College before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 1981. A native of Seattle, she was graduated from Seattle University in 1974 and received master’s and doctoral degrees in theology from Fordham in 1974 and 1979, respectively.p. Visitation will be tomorrow from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. in the Lady Chapel of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, where there will be a wake service at 7:30 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated in the Basilica Wednesday at 10 a.m., followed by burial in Cedar Grove Cemetery.

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