Catherine Mooney teaches church history and the history of Christian spirituality at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry.  She has a Master’s in Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from Harvard Divinity School, and an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in  medieval history from Yale University.  She has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA.  She is an  international lecturer in both scholarly and religious venues. She advances the study of saints in her roles as President of the Hagiography Society and as board member for the Jesuit-founded Bollandist Society. She serves also on the board for Monastic Matrix, a web resource centered on medieval women’s religious communities, and has served on boards for the Society for Medieval Feminist Studies and for the Franciscan Friars. She has received research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Harvard Divinity School, and the Franciscan Institute of St.  Bonaventure University, NY.

Mooney’s publications include Gendered Voices: Medieval  Saints and Their Interpreters (1999), a book  in which she and other scholars discuss the ways in which the portrayals of  medieval holy women were variously embellished, recast, or distorted by later  writers.  Her book Philippine Duchesne: A Woman  with the Poor (1990; 2007) chronicles the  life of a woman, canonized in 1988, who did pioneering work in education and  justice on the American frontier.  The book has been translated into Japanese, Korean, Bahasa Indonesia, and Spanish.  Mooney’s most recent book, Clare of Assisi and the  Thirteenth-Century Church: Religious Women, Rules, and Resistance (2016) won the Hagiography Society’s best book award in 2018.  It explores how Clare and her allies variously  negotiated and resisted a papal program bent on regimenting, enriching, and  enclosing religious women. Mooney has also published many essays about saints, spirituality, and social justice efforts.  Besides her scholarly work, Mooney engages in a variety of human rights activities.



December 8, 2021

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

...human creation, with all its ills, can somehow return to paradise, can become – must become – a place of harmony, love, and abundant life for all.

August 27, 2017

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

How, like Jesus, can we – even at great risk to ourselves -- stand up to today’s kings and Pharisees ready to oppress others? And how, like Jesus, can we let love and life-giving service be the hallmarks of our own exercise of authority?

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