Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Lecture Series

The Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies at VCU was established as a retirement gift by the congregation of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in 2003 for the Most Rev. Walter F. Sullivan who served as the 11th bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond for thirty years.

Both Catholic and non-Catholic donors contributed generously enough to yield  an endowment sufficient to support the appointment of a chair. In 2008, this gift was fully realized when R. Andrew Chesnut, Ph.D., was appointed as the first Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies.

Although the bishop died in 2012, his legacy continues through the Catholic Studies Chair. In addition to Catholic-focused coursework, the chair also provides unique and engaging lectures that take a global, multidisciplinary approach to Catholicism.



2018 Lecture Schedule

Tuesday, September 18, 4 to 6 p.m.
Cabell Library Lecture Hall, Room 303
The Importance of our Urban Catholic Schools 
Eugene Trani, Ph.D.., Wanda Wallin and Joseph Whitmore 
PDF of The Importance_of_Our_Catholic_Schools

Tuesday, October 2, 4 to 6 p.m.
Cabell Library Lecture Hall, Room 303, 901 Park Ave.
Heavenly Bodies: Bejeweled Skeletons from the Counter Reformation 
Paul Koudounaris, Ph.D.. 

Monday, October 8, 4 to 6 p.m.
407 Hibbs 
Demonic Deliverance: Exorcism in Africa and Latin America
Kate Kinsbury, Ph.D.., University of Alberta, Canada

 


Previous Lectures

2017

Sixth Annual Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies Symposium
September 18, 4 - 7:30 p.m. 
VCU Student Commonwealth Ballroom B 

Presentation Schedule:

Introductory Remarks
Montse Fuentes, Ph.D.., VCU

An Overview of Latin American and Latinx Christians
Andrew Chesnut, Ph.D.., VCU 

Indigenous Religiosity and Solidarity in the Struggles Against the State and Narcos
Lorena Ojeda-Davila, Ph.D.., Universidad Michoacana in Morelia, Mexico

Latin American Immigrant Parishioners in Richmond and Beyond
Father Shay Auerbach, Sacred Heart Church, Richmond

2016

Fifth Annual Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies Symposium
September 13, 1 - 5 p.m. 
VCU Student Commonwealth Ballroom B 

Presentation Schedule:

How Pope Francis is Creating a Culture of Encounter
John Borelli, Ph.D.., Georgetown University 

A Protestant Perspective
Robert Chesnut, Ph.D.., author 

A Jewish Perspective
David Weinfeld, Ph.D.., VCU

A Muslim Perspective 
Imam Ammar Amonette, Islamic Center of Virginia 



September 28, 4 - 6 p.m.
A Virgin in the Streets: Religion, Race and Revolution in Cuba
Jalane D. Schmidt, Ph.D.., University of Virginia

2015

September 2, 4 to 6 p.m. 
Pope Francis's Teaching on the Environment 
Reverend Monsignor Kevin W. Irwin The Catholic University of America

Fourth Annual Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies Symposium
September 16, 1 - 5 p.m. 
VCU Student Commons Theater, 907 Floyd Ave., First Floor.

Presentation Schedule:

Theology of the People: A Pope from Latin America Brings a New Perspective
Father Shay Auerbach, Sacred Heart Church, Richmond

Francis: How a Radical-Traditional Pope is Changing Church Life
Reverend Michael A. Renniger, Catholic Diocese of Richmond 

What Can Women Expect from Pope Francis
Marie J. Giblin, Ph.D.., Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital Ministry Outreach 

2014

March 19, 4 - 6 p.m.
Religion and the Internet
Reverend Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Senior Religion Editor for the Huffington Post

April 2, 4 - 6 p.m.
Biography of a Bishop
Phyllis Theroux, author 

Third Annual Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies Symposium
April 8, 1 - 5 p.m. 
VCU Student Commons Theater, 907 Floyd Ave., First Floor.

Presentation Schedule:

Poverty from a Global Perspective
Carolyn Woo, Ph.D.., Catholic Relief Services

The Politics of Poverty
Mark Wood, Ph.D.., VCU 

Poverty in Richmond
John V. Moeser, Ph.D.., Bonner Center for Civic Engagement 

2013

Second Annual Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies Symposium
Wednesday, March 13, 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM
VCU Student Commons Theater, 907 Floyd Ave., First Floor.

Presentation Schedule:

10:15 AM
The Phenomenon of Vatican Council II:
Where it came from, what happened at the Council, what has happened since

Anthony Padovano, Ph.D.., Author, Theologian, and Worldwide Lecturer

11:30 AM
Nourishing Today's Faith: Vatican II and the Roots of Catholic Social Teaching
Sr. Simone Campbell,SSS, Social Activist

1:30 PM
Can We Talk?: Principles for Dialogue in the Church flowing from Vatican II
Bill Huebsch, Educator and Publisher

2012

First Annual Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies Symposium
Wednesday, March 28, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM 
VCU Student Commons Theater, 907 Floyd Ave., First Floor.

Presentation Schedule:

Catholicism in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities 
Jose Casanova, Ph.D.., Georgetown University 

Can U.S. Catholics Help a Declining Superpower Take Its Place in the International Community?
R. Scott Appleby, Ph.D.., University of Notre Dame 

Charismatic Catholicism in Latin America: The Brazillian Case
Brenda Carranza, Ph.D.., Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas, Brazil

Asian Catholic Churches: a New Way of Being Church?
Peter C. Phan, Ph.D.., Georgetown University

Of Coffins and Churches: Ten Priorities for Catholicism in Africa in the 21st Century 
Emmanuel Katongole, Ph.D.., Duke Divinity School 

 

September 27, 7 p.m. 
Commons Theater
The Maryknoll Catholic Mission in Peru
Susan Fitzpatrick-Behrens, Ph.D.., California State University, Northridge 

October 4, 4 p.m. 
Commons Theater
Comparing Catholic an Protestant Strategies for the Central American Gang Problem
Robert Brenneman, Ph.D.., St. Michael's College, Vermont 

2011

September 15, 7 p.m. 
Commons Theater
Virgin of the Immaculate Conception
Thomas A. Tweed, Ph.D.., University of Texas at Austin

October 5, 7 p.m. 
Commonwealth Ballroom B
The Formation and Transformation of American Muslim Identity Post 9/11
Yvonne Hadaad, Ph.D.., Georgetown University 

October 12, 4 p.m. 
Richmond Salons
Music, Religion and the Haiti Earthquake
Elizabeth McAlister, Ph.D.., Wesleyan University 

An icon of Our Lady of Aparecida as seen against a blue sky with clouds.