Alumni Blog

American Catholicism, Xenophobia and Immigration

Posted by Caitlin Joyce, ’11, ‘18 on January 31, 2018 at 2:01 PM PST

The Catholic Heritage Lectures began eight years ago as a platform to discuss topics relevant to Catholics and society at large. Now the lecture series is housed under Seattle University’s Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture, with the series focusing on a different theme each year.  This year’s Catholic Heritage Lectures’ theme is “That We May Be One: Racial Justice and the Catholic Church.”

Following the fall lecture, which explored the racial divide within the Catholic Church, the winter quarter lecture brings together diverse panelists who will examine “American Catholicism, Xenophobia and Immigration.” The topic opens up conversation about xenophobia and the history of Catholic immigration to the United States. The panelists will explore both the Catholic Church’s rich theological and spiritual teaching to welcome the stranger, as well as its complicity as institution and community in xenophobia. We sat down with Dr. Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos, director of the Institute of Catholic Thought and Culture, to get a deeper look at this year’s topic and its relevance to the Catholic community.

“We plan the lecture themselves at last a year in advance and try to get a sense of salient social issues that are surfacing both on campus and in our country. With the rise in discourse around the Black Lives Matter Movement, immigration, and troubling attitudes towards Islam, it just seemed important for us to engage the issue of racial justice in the Catholic Church,” Catherine said. “The Church has had something to say about this issue so we want to see what that is, while acknowledging that the Catholic Church has much work to do. There’s just so much to address with this topic. For example, how xenophobia exists in the church, and how Catholics have been victims of xenophobia and the important role the Catholic Church has played in fighting for the rights of immigrants; these topics are very close to the heart of Pope Francis.”

The panelists for this winter’s lecture include:

Dr. Laurie Cassidy, PhD, is a theologian and spiritual director who explores how Christian mysticism can be a resource for personal and social transformation, and what it means to be a Catholic of Irish descent exploring issues of whiteness.

Dr. Arturo Chavez, PhD, is the president of the Mexican American Catholic College in San Antonio Texas, and is nationally recognized for his efforts to combat racism and poverty.

Dr. Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos will frame and facilitate the evening.

When asked what she hoped people would take away from the lecture, Catherine said, “The understanding that whoever we are, unless we are indigenous to this land or descendants of enslaved people brought here against their will, we share something in common with new immigrants ­– stories of migration. The fear of the stranger, the one who is different, is part of the history of this country since its colonization. We can’t assume we know who the newly arrived immigrant is based on the color of their skin. The evening will be an opportunity for people to understand the complexities of this country’s immigration narratives and learn about the resources within the Catholic tradition that remind us the call ‘to welcome the strangers because we were once strangers on this land.’”

You can learn more about the winter lecture here. This lecture is free and open to everyone in the community, even if you have not attended previous ICTC lectures in the series.

American Catholicism, Xenophobia and Immigration
Thursday, February 22, 2018
7 p.m.
Pigott Auditorium

Saying Farewell after 27 Years

Posted by The Seattle University Alumni Association on January 31, 2018 at 2:01 PM PST

At the end of this academic year, Seattle University Choir Director Joy Sherman will retire after 27 years of service to the university. It should come as no surprise that after 27 years, Joy, more affectionately known as Doc, has had a lasting impact on alumni and students alike.

Megan (O'Connor) Cycyota, ’07, an alumna of Seattle University’s choir program had this to say, “As someone who has spent a lot of time around music growing up, Doc provided a fresh inspiration for me when I joined the Seattle University Choirs.  She challenged us to be our best selves (musically and otherwise) and loved us through some of the more difficult times of our college years.  Learning from her and singing with her choirs was one of the most joyful experiences of my time at Seattle University!”

Micaela Pearson, '12, shared, “I participated in choir for all four years of my undergrad experience, and now I’m back as an alum for the last couple of months, so needless to say, Doc and her choirs have been a defining part of my Seattle University experience.  The mission of the Seattle University Choirs under Doc’s direction - tucked carefully into every student’s binder prepared with music and other essential class items - is to bring love into the world through choral music. This starts in rehearsals through the rapport between students and Doc, and is cultivated through necessary values of discipline, humor, care, and everlasting dedication and blossoms into fullness at our concerts. Doc leaves the Seattle University community with a legacy of music born of intense passion, vibrant curiosity and unwavering focus on excellence.”

Seattle University alumni and students will have the chance to say farewell to Joy and honor her contributions with a retirement celebration and concert during Reunion Weekend. Tickets for Reunion Weekend and the celebration are available here.

Saturday, May 5, 2018
Seattle University Choir Reunion
2 p.m.
Campion Ballroom

Choir Rehearsal

3:30 p.m.

Choir Concert
8 p.m.
St. Joseph’s Parish

To learn more about Joy Sherman and her tenure at Seattle University, read the Spectator’s reflection on her final year