Curran Center for American Catholic Studies

Duane library

The Curran Center is located on the 2nd floor of Duane Library.

The Francis and Ann Curran Center for American Catholic Studies advances knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of American Catholicism within the academy and the church, and with the broader religious community and general public.

Our threefold mission is to:

  • Educate rising generations of religiously-informed citizens
  • Foster ecumenical, inter-religious, and interdisciplinary engagement with Catholic thought and practice
  • Promote informed and compassionate analysis of the critical religious and social issues of our time.


tree of lifeThursday April 27 -

Saturday April 29, 2017

Fordham University
Lincoln Center



Our Founders, Our Story

John and Connie Curran

In 2001, university president Rev. Joseph O'Hare, SJ, approached Rev. Mark Massa, SJ, about forming a center for the study of American Catholicism. In the following months, Fr. Massa set to work developing Fr. O'Hare's vision, in hopes of establishing a nationally-recognized hub for the study of American Catholic history, identity, and practice.

In 2004, John and Connie Curran expressed to Fr. Massa their interest in endowing the center, and the Francis and Ann Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, named in honor of John's parents, was born. Dedicated to advancing the Jesuit Catholic educational mission of the university, the Curran Center is a hub for many different types of events and programs, including public lectures, faculty seminars, major scholarly conferences, and an undergraduate concentration that, in the words of our students, shapes the way Fordham students "see and engage the world."

A Look Ahead: Upcoming Event

Grammars in conflict: the Option for the Poor and the Cultural Languages of the U.S.

Mt davila flyer final

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 | 6 p.m.
12th Floor Lounge, Corrigan Conference Center 
Fordham University Rose Hill

Presented by MT Davila

  • Associate Professor of Christain Ethics at Andover Newtown 

Essential to the task of Christian social ethics is communicating and relating values to the particular contexts in which the faithful engage with each other and the larger world. This daunting task is made all the more difficult when the grammar that undergirds cultural norms and meaning making provide little to no referent for values in Christian social ethics. Looking specifically at the concept of the preferential option for the poor and the U.S. context, Dávila explores how the concept of grammars in conflict might help Christians better engage central elements of their tradition, and provide avenues for greater collaboration in the U.S.' multi-cultural and multi-religious public landscape.

About the Presenter

MT Dávila, associate professor of Christian ethics at Andover Newton Theological School, lectures and writes on Latino/a ethics, the option for the poor, public theology, racism, immigration, and the ethics of the use of force. Her book, Living the Option for the Poor: Interrupting the Culture Wars is forthcoming from Westminster John Knox press (2018). She is a Roman Catholic laywoman. 

A Look Back: Past Event Highlight

The Long Loneliness in Baltimore: Stories of Viva House and a Half Century of Life with The Catholic Worker

February 7, 2017 | 6 p.m.Long loneliness
Tognino Hall, Duane Library
Fordham University Rose Hill

Presented by Brendan Walsh and Willa Bickham

  • Founders of Viva House, a Catholic Worker House of Hospitality in Baltimore

Brendan Walsh, a former seminarian, and Willa Bickham, a former member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, established Viva House, a Catholic Worker House of Hospitality in Baltimore, 47 years ago and have run it continuously ever since, devoting their lives to the hallowed and holy enterprise of bearing witness. Their book, The Long Loneliness in Baltimore, offers a view of the city few people have seen, including many who have lived there. In addition to providing a historical overview, the book presents poignant vignettes, moments of revelation that illuminate the life of the neighborhood and the plight of the poor—not just the poor of Baltimore, but those across our country who struggle to survive in the merciless environment of the modern American city. Brendan’s unflinching narrative and Willa’s delicately rendered illustrations of daily life give a face and a name to the anonymous poor and depict the challenges they face. Their stories attest to the lives, the courage and the wisdom encountered in ordinary people.


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