Mary on the Eve of the Second Vatican Council

Sunday, October 6 - Tuesday, October 8, 2013


McKenna Hall, University of Notre Dame



The Church is now celebrating a “Year of Faith,” fifty years after the Second Vatican Council.

In the decades prior to Vatican II, many creative theologians turned their attention to reflect on the Theotokos, Mary the Mother of God, and her relationship to Christ and to the Church. Some of their theology was incorporated into the documents of Vatican II, and some was left behind, but none of it is well remembered now. This creative outpouring has been largely unexamined, leaving, as it were, so many gems of Marian scholarship littering the mid-twentieth century landscape, waiting to be picked up again and, in some way, reincorporated into the treasury of the Church’s reflection on Mary.

These theologians hoped to help us rediscover how Mary is to be located theologically, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, at the ¨nexus mysteriorum—the intimate connection among the mysteries of Christian Faith,” unto renewal in the Church. It is our hope that this conference will, in a way, pick up where they left off.

During the conference we will turn our attention to the Mariological reflection of these seminal thinkers. Perhaps by picking up the strands of their thought, we can begin to re-weave them into a tapestry of Marian scholarship and devotion that will speak to a new time and place, our own, in the twenty-first century.

Our hope is to help the People of God to understand better and to embrace Mary as Mother of the Church and Star of Evangelization for this Year of Faith today, and beyond. 


Presenters and Topics


Sr. Ann Astell, Ph.D.  |  Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

Peter Casarella, Ph.D.  |  Associate Professor, Systematic Theology, University of Notre Dame

John C. Cavadini, Ph.D. |  McGrath-Cavadini Director, Institute for Church Life; Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

Larry Cunningham, Ph.D.  |  John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology (Emeritus), University of Notre Dame

Rev. Brian Daley, S.J.  |  Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

Peter J. Fritz, Ph.D.  |  Assistant Professor of Theology, Holy Cross College (MA)

Rev. Kevin Grove, C.S.C. |  Cambridge University

Rev. Msgr. Michael Heintz, Ph.D.  |  Rector, St. Matthew Cathedral, South Bend; Director, Master of Divinity Program, University of Notre Dame

Matthew Levering, Ph.D. |  Perry Family Foundation Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

Francesca Murphy, Ph.D.  |  Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

Rev. James H. Phalan, C.S.C.  |  Director, Family Rosary International, Holy Cross Family Ministries

Rev. Johann Roten, S.M.  |  Director, Research and Special Projects, Marian Library, University of Dayton

Rev. Neil Roy, S.T.L., Ph.D.Montfort Fellow, Saint Benedict Center, Still River, MA

Christopher Ruddy, Ph.D.  |  Associate Professor of Theology, Catholic University of America

Rev. Thomas Thompson, S.M.  |  Director, Marian Library; University of Dayton

As you plan your conference travel, please note:

  • Conference check-in will be on Sunday, October 6, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • The first session will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 6, 2013.
  • The conference will conclude late in the day on Tuesday, October 8, 2013.


Conference events will be held on the University of Notre Dame campus at the Notre Dame Conference Center | 115 McKenna Hall  |  Notre Dame, IN 46556.


Most conference events will be held in the Notre Dame Conference Center - McKenna Hall on the University of Notre Dame campus. The campus is about a ten minute ride from the South Bend Regional Airport, and taxis are generally waiting outside the airport to transport passengers.

South Bend is accessible by air, the South Shore train from Chicago, and buses from both O'Hare and Midway airports in Chicago.

A campus map is available at: .  Public parking is available near McKenna in either the Visitors' Lot or at the Notre Dame Bookstore.


Participants are responsible for booking their own lodging for the conference.

A block of rooms has been reserved for conference at the Morris Inn which is immediately across the street from the Notre Dame Conference Center, at a discounted rate.  Please make sure to let the booking agent know that you should get the conference discount when reserving your room.

Other local hotels near the University include (but are not limited to):