The Catholic University of America

April 10, 2015

Panel to Discuss the "Founding Padres"

How did three missionary priests help shape the United States and what is their legacy today? The Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies will explore this question as part of a panel discussion this month at The Catholic University of America.

The discussion, “The Founding Padres,” will take place in Caldwell Hall Auditorium, 620 Michigan Ave., N.E., on April 22 from 3 to 5 p.m.

As Pope Francis prepares to canonize Blessed Junípero Serra during his visit to Washington in September, a panel of historians and others will consider how the Spanish Franciscan and two of his peers — Jesuits Eusebio Kino and Jacques Marquette — helped shape what was to become the United States. All three priests have been honored with statues in the U.S. Capitol, placed by the states of California, Arizona, and Michigan respectively.

The discussion will consider the intersection of Serra’s canonization with Pope Francis’s visit to Congress, as well as Serra, Kino and Marquette’s contributions to U.S. history and the growth of the Catholic Church.

The panel of presenters will include:
• Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas, bishop of Tucson, a proponent of the cause of sainthood for Eusebio Kino
• Steven Hackel, professor of history at University of California-Riverside and author of Junípero Serra: California’s Founding Father
• Tracy Neal Leavelle, associate professor of history and associate dean for humanities and fine arts at Creighton University and author of The Catholic Calumet: Colonial Conversions in French and Indian North America
• Rev. Gerald Fogarty, S.J., William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia
• Rev. Joe Nangle, O.F.M., associate pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Arlington, Va., who served as a missionary in Latin America for 15 years

The discussion panel is free and open to the public. For more information or to R.s.v.p., go to, e-mail, or call (202) 319-5999.

The Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America is a community of scholars and researchers engaged in the analysis of public policy issues related to Catholic social thought. The work of the Institute serves and speaks to the university, the Church, the country, and the disciplines of its fellows.




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