Fr. John Charles Hanley, SJ

Fr. John Charles Hanley, SJ (August 29, 1910 - October 30, 1970) was born in Winnipeg in 1910. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1933, and taught in Jesuit schools across the country including Campion College (Regina), Loyola College (Montréal), St. Paul's High School, and St. Paul's College. He fostered in his students an interest in poetry, drama, music, public speaking and – above all – theology.

Three of his greatest interests were the works of William Shakespeare, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Teilhard de Chardin—however, theology was his principal concern. Perhaps his most enduring contribution to the study of theology was his role in establishing the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba.

2021 Hanley Memorial Lecture Series

Seeking Saints in the Modern World

Dr. Kathleen Sprows Cummings, Director of Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame

St. Paul’s College welcomed Dr. Kathleen Sprows Cummings to present the 2020 Hanley Memorial Lectures.

Canonization may be fundamentally about holiness, but it is never only about holiness. Using multiple causes introduced from the United States and Canada, this series of lectures examines how a study of canonization can reveal as much about the priorities and interests of the people promoting the candidates it does about the prospective saints themselves.

The first lecture, which covers the 1880s through the 1930s, considers how saint-seeking in North America was framed by U.S. and Canadian Catholics’ emerging sense of national identity. The second examines how Catholic women’s desire for more representation in their Church shaped canonization leading up to and following the Second Vatican Council. The final lecture focuses on the proliferation of new saints and blesseds during canonization during the papacy of St. John Paul II, examining what it signifies not only for U.S. and Canadian Catholics, but for the global church.

The 2021 Hanley Memorial Lecture Series began on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 with Lecture One in a Three part series. Dr. Kathleen Sprows Cummings presented on the topic "Seeking Saints in the Modern World: North American Catholics and the Rise of the Nation Saint"


Lecture 2: Gender, Power, and Canonization

Lecture 3: John Paul II and All the Saints

More about Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Kathleen Sprows Cummings is Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Notre Dame, where she also directs the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism. Cummings holds a concurrent appointment in Gender Studies and the Department of Theology, is also an affiliated faculty member in Italian Studies and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. Cummings’ most recent book, A Saint of Our Own: How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American, was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2019.

Cummings’ first book, New Women of the Old Faith: Gender and American Catholicism in the Progressive Era, was also published by North Carolina Press in 2009. She co-edited with R. Scott Appleby, Catholics and the American Century: Recasting Narratives of U.S. History (Cornell University Press, 2012) and co-edited, with Timothy Matovina and Robert Orsi, Catholics in the Vatican II Era: Local Histories of a Global Event, published in 2017 with Cambridge University Press. She is the editor of Roman Sources for the Study of American Catholicism, 1763-1939, a guide to 59 archival repositories in Rome at the Holy See, which was published by the University of Notre Dame Press in 2018. Cummings served as the president of the American Catholic Historical Association in 2017.

Cummings teaches classes on the history of women, Catholicism, sanctity and American religion at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to directing the Cushwa Center, the leading center for the study of Catholicism in the United States, Cummings presently oversees the Conference on the History of Women Religious, an academic organization devoted to the historical study of Catholic sisters. 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 XXIII in April 2014, and the papal visit to the United States in September 2015. She is frequently quoted in the New York Times and other media outlets on Catholic subjects.

For more information on her appearances see:

Previous lectures

To watch the previous lectures and to learn more about our previous Hanley lecturers, please select from the list below.

  • 2017 Fr. Michael Patella, OSB, SSB (Saint John's University, Collegeville, MN) Towards a Catholic Interpretation of Scripture

  • 2015 The Most Rev. J. Michael Miller, CSB (Archbishop of Vancouver) The Future of the Universal Church & the Place of the Local Churches in that Future

  • 2014 Catherine E. Clifford (Saint Paul University) Pope Francis & Deepening Catholic Ecumenical Commitment: Learning from Recognizing Other Christian Churches

  • 2012/13 Gerard Mannion, PhD (University of San Diego, CA) A Teaching Church that Learns: The Art of Magisterium

  • 2011 Francis X. Clooney, SJ (Harvard Divinity School) A God Real Enough to be Absent

  • 2010 Lisa Sowle Cahill, PhD (University of Chicago Divinity School) Catholic Bioethics & Social Justice

  • 2009 Fr. Michael Paul Gallagher, SJ Our Religious Imagination

  • 2008 Roger S. Gottlieb, PhD (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) Religious Environmentalism, Ecological Democracy, & the Problem of Evil

  • 2007 A. Rashied Omar, PhD (Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame) Islam & the Challenge of Peace

  • 2006 Sandra Schneiders, IHM (Jesuit School of Theology, Berkley) The Bible as the Word of God

  • 2005 Achiel Peelman, omi (St. Paul University) The Traditional Spirituality of Canada’s First Nations peoples & Christianity: A Commitment to Dialogue

  • 2004 Joseph Komonchak (Catholic University of America) Vatican II & Beyond: Thinking about the Church

  • 2003 Elizabeth Johnson, csj (Fordham University) Exploration into God

  • 2002 Mary Boys, snjm (Union Theological Seminary) Questions that Touch on the Heart of our Faith: Judaism as a New Catechism for Christians

  • 2001 Walter J. Burghardt, SJ Georgetown University) Justice 2001: A Fresh Perspective

  • 2000 Eamon Duffy, PhD (Divinity College, Cambridge University, England) Catholicism & its Pasts

  • 1999 Luke Timothy Johnson (Candler School of Theology, Emory University) Jesus Then & Now: A Consideration of History & Faith

  • 1998 Thomas Groome (Boston College) Educating For Life: From the Depth Structures of Catholic Spirituality, Drawing A Vision for Every Teacher & Paren

  • 1997 Daniel Callahan (The Hastings Center & Sidney Callahan, Mercy College) Ethics, Pluralism, & Modern Medicine

  • 1996 John Finnis (Oxford University & Notre Dame University) Public Reasons: Re-reading Aquinas on Some Strategic Questions in Ethics & Politics

  • 1995/96 J. Bryan Hehir (Harvard University) The Social Character of Catholic Faith, Teaching, & Policy

  • 1994 Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza (Harvard University) Toward a Discipleship of Equals

  • 1993 Robert Alter (University of California, Berkeley) The Literary Study of the Bible

  • 1992 Jon Sobrino, SJ (Central American University, El Salvador) Jesus Christ Liberator: A Christology of Liberation

  • 1991 Michael J. Buckley, SJ (Notre Dame University) Catholicism & the Rise of Modern Atheism

  • 1990 Walter Principe, csb (Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Toronto) History & the Teaching Church

  • 1989 Joan A. Chittister, OSB (Mount St. Benedict Priory) Christian Response to the Winds of Change

  • 1988 James M. Gustafson (Emory University) Varieties of Moral Discourse

  • 1987 Petro B. Bilaniuk (University of Toronto) Preparing for the Millenium or a Bimillenium of Christianity in Ukraine

  • 1986 Avery Dulles, SJ (Catholic University of America) The Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome in 1985

  • 1985 Raymond E. Brown, SS (Union Theological Seminary) What Modern Biblical Research Means for Catholic Life & Doctrine

  • 1984 Richard A. McCormick, SJ (Georgetown University) Continuing Problems in Bioethics: An Overview

  • 1983 John Noonan (University of California, Berkeley) Moral Directives from the Church: How should they affect civil society?

  • 1982 Francis G. Morrisey, OMI (Saint Paul University) A Shift from a Church of the Clergy to a Church of the Faithful

  • 1981 Johannes B. Metz (University of Munster) Religion & Politics

  • 1980 Brian Tierney (Cornell University) Religion & Western Constitutional Thought