2017 Ramonat Final Colloquium


Dorothy Day’s America

Over the course of the year, ten undergraduate Ramonat Scholars have researched and written twenty-five page papers based on primary sources. At this final research colloquium, students will briefly present their work and answer questions from the audience based on their research topics.

The Colloquium will take place in Piper Hall from 2-5:30 pm

2pm Welcome

Panel 1: Living Catholic Social Teaching (2:10-3:10pm)

Noah Beissel, “The Italian Apostle of Catholic Social Teaching: Mother Cabrini and late 19th century Italian-American Immigrants”

​Colleen Kenney “ ‘If Peace is to be Built’: Personalism and Spatial Identity in Catholic Worker Houses of Hospitality”

Amanda Malmstrom “Labor of Love: Women, Art, and the Catholic Worker Newspaper

Frieda Rule, “Farm with a View: The Passion, Piety, and Pandemonium of Rural Catholic Worker Life at Tivoli”

Panel 2: Catholic Social Teaching on Campus (3:20-4:00pm)

Carolina Luna, “A Theology of Open Doors: The Creation of New Ministry Leaders in 20th century Chicago by the Hispanic Institute of Mundelein College”

Matthew Day Petersen, “ ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers’: Vietnam War Resistance at Chicago’s Catholic Universities”

Elisabeth Hagemann, “ ‘A Gentle Whirlwind’: Carol Frances Jegen and the Mundelein Graduate Program of Religious Studies”

Panel 3: Catholic Social Teaching and State-Sanctioned Violence (4:10-4:50pm)

Jodie Casleton, “The Berrigan Phase: Symbolic Representation of Space in Anti-War Action”

Matthew Racchini, “No Dignity in Death: Sr. Helen Prejean’s Imprint on America’s Death Penalty Debate at the End of the 20th Century”

Emily Cook, “Finding Humanity Behind Bars: Feminist Prison Reformers in the 1970s”

Reception and Awarding of Ramonat Prize (5-5:30)


Finding the Joy of Writing


The past few months, our scholars have immersed themselves in their sources, with individual scholars visiting a Catholic House of Hospitality in New York, seeing an Opera of Dead Man Walking in D.C., and leading a student group to another Catholic Worker Farm!

And after a busy winter visiting archives from Miami to Connecticut, the scholars are finally deep into the writing process.

To get in the groove, and set distractions aside, we held a day-long writing bootcamp on campus. Beginning with a sunrise Ramonat-only yoga class, we cleared our minds and centered ourselves for a long day devoted to writing. We set and met goals, enjoyed lunch together, and left confident in our drafts.


Sunrise Yoga at Halas

Revolution of the Heart: A Symposium on Dorothy Day

In Partnership with the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, the Ramonat Seminar is pleased to announce the schedule for the Dorothy Day Symposium!

Revolution of the Heart: A Symposium on Dorothy Day

Thursday, February 16 – Friday, February 17

This event is free and open to the public.

Event Schedule

Thursday, February 16
McCormick Lounge, Coffey Hall

5:30: Welcome—Loyola President, Dr. Jo Ann Rooney

5:40: Plenary—Robert Ellsberg, “Dorothy Day: A Saint for Today”
Robert Ellsberg was a member of the Catholic Worker community in New York from 1975 to 1980, and served as the managing editor of The Catholic Worker newspaper from 1976 to 1978. He is now editor-in-chief of Orbis Books.
Friday, February 17
4th Floor, Klarchek Information Commons

9:00: Welcome—Dr. Mark Bosco, SJ

9:10-10:45: “Charting A Prophetic Vision: Dorothy Day and the 21st Century,” featuring Frank Sicius, Michael Schuck, Martin Tomszak, and Michael P. Murphy.

11:00-12:15: Keynote—Kate Hennessy, “The World Will Be Saved By Beauty: Dorothy Day’s Message of Hope”
Kate Hennessy is the granddaughter of Dorothy Day.

12:15-1:30: Catholic Worker Roundtable Soup Lunch, featuring David Mueller with an update on the Dorothy Day Cause for Canonization

1:30-3:00: “The Catholic Worker since Dorothy: Doing the Work in the Midwest” featuring Molly Greening, Frank Bergh, Michelle Byrne, and Rosalie Riegle

3:30-5:00: Play, Haunted by God, a production by Still Point Theater

5:00: Concluding Remarks

In addition to these public offerings, Robert Ellsberg will also meet in a private gathering with the Ramonat Scholars on February 15th.

“Holy Fools” for a Weekend

This weekend, the 2016-2017 Ramonat scholars lived like “holy fools” at the White Rose Catholic Worker Farm. With open hearts and helpful hands they contemplated a life of voluntary poverty, one committed to sustainable stewardship and local and global anti-violence.

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Check out our blogroll in the coming days to read the scholars’ reflections on their experiences and the philosophies of the Catholic Workers Movement.

“A Philosophy so Old that it Looks like New”


2016-2017 Class of Ramonat Scholars

A month into the Ramonat Seminar I am awed by our scholars’ enthusiasm and thoughtful contemplation of Dorothy Day’s life and philosophies. Ramonat scholars dove into Day’s autobiography The Long Loneliness, and introduced themselves to each other and the internet by relating Day’s Catholic social teachings to contemporary Catholic activism in Chicago and globally.  Readers of their blogs learned about the Poor Clares‘s cookies, the Sisters of Mercy who work for vulnerable immigrants in Chicago, and a variety of vital local fights for food justice, with traditional soup kitchens and also local access and sustainable food practices. Scholars saw how Chicago-based catholic activism is personal, spiritual, and political, like the Students for Worker Justice advocating for improved labor conditions for Loyola’s Aramark workers, and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, a group that a young Barack Obama worked alongside in his early career as a community organizer.


Scholars take a walking tour with Dr. Pacyga!

These themes of Catholic social teaching, local activism, and global networks persisted in our exploration of Dorothy Day’s Chicago. With a guest lecture by Dr. Elliott Gorn, a walking tour of the Back of the Yards by Chicago resident and scholar Dominic Pacyga, and a visit to iconic south side eatery Stanley’s, scholars imagined a 19th-century Chicago, examined the relationship between built space and social justice, and connected historical and ongoing segregation in Chicago.


Scholars eat at Stanley’s!

Through readings on the Catholic Worker Movement and Appalachian Bishops’ Pastoral letters, this week we begin to explore the necessary marriage of social and environmental justice. Scholars noted that the Church’s stance on climate change is rooted in notions of global stewardship and a concern for the poor that echoes the 19th century debate on Darwinism and eugenics. This weekend, we’ll see this marriage of economic and environmental justice in action, as we visit the White Rose Farm and experience Maurin and Day’s Land Movement as it has evolved into the 21st century. We will continue to immerse ourselves in the deep history of Catholic social teachings and evolving notions of social justice, a history filled with such radical ideas that “it looks like new”.