“Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters”

In 2014, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) commissioned me to lead a national study of Asian and Pacific Island (API) American Catholics. Together with sociologists Jerry Park and Stephen Cherry, we conducted a national, mixed-methods study (survey, focus groups, interviews, field observation, and secondary data analysis) resulting in multiple reports/presentations to the USCCB. This week, the US Catholic Bishops voted to approve the pastoral letter that was written in consideration of this social science data on lived API experiences. It was an honor to present our work during the USCCB Spring Assembly, and to see this pastoral letter formally approved.

I am grateful to all those whose leadership made this possible, including Sister Myrna (Assistant Director of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity) and Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Salt Lake City (Chairman of the bishops’ Subcommittee for Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs), with whom I am pictured below.


Though Many, One: Overcoming Polarization Through Catholic Social Thought

The Catholic Church is among the largest and most diverse institutions in the USA. Progress toward overcoming polarization in the Church is progress toward overcoming polarization in the nation.

Georgetown University’s Institute for Catholic Social Thought and Public Thought recently brought together an impressive gathering of leaders across various sectors of the Church to dialogue, build upon common values, and forge relationships that might heal polarization. I was honored to be involved in the steering committee for this gathering, and to moderate a panel presenting data on polarization in the Church and nation. The three-day convening built meaningfully upon an earlier University of Notre Dame conference resulting in a book I co-edited, Polarization in the US Catholic Church.

Check out additional coverage on Twitter using the hashtag #thoughmanyone.


Me with Fr. James Martin, SJ, fellow conference attendee.

My Panel Presentation at the 10th Anniversary of the Centre for Catholic Studies @ Durham University (Durham, UK)

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University, an extraordinary initiative of the Department of Theology and Religion and founder/director Prof. Paul Murray. Highlights of the week were many, among them: provoking keynote addresses and panels; dinner inside the Durham Castle; a lively evening of dancing and singing; and the first Catholic Mass in the Durham Cathedral since the Reformation.

My keynote panel with Alana Harris and Anna Rowlands on social scientific approaches to Catholicism sparked great discussion. Grateful for the invitation to speak.


The Sociology of Parishes

Born of The American Parish Project (which I co-lead with Gary Adler and Brian Starks), a forum I edited on the sociology of parishes appears in the latest issue of American Catholic Studies. It features exceptional essays by sociologists James Cavendish, the late Mary Ellen Konieczny, and Carol Ann MacGregor.

This same issue also features a review symposium of my latest book, Parish and Place: Making Room for Diversity in the American Catholic Church. I am grateful for critically engaging essays from Tia Pratt, William Clark, SJ, and John Francis Burke.

Subscribe to American Catholic Studies by joining the American Catholic Historical Society, or access online issues via Project Muse.


Forthcoming -> American Parishes (an edited volume)

My coedited volume with Gary Adler and Brian Starks – American Parishes: Remaking Local Catholicism – will soon join the Fordham University Press series on Catholic Practice in North America! Expected release date is Spring 2019. The book features a discussion of sociological approaches to parish studies alongside chapters by an all-star list of contributors: Nancy Ammerman, Kathleen Garces-Foley, Mark Gray, Tia Pratt, John Coleman, Brett Hoover, Courtney Irby, and Mary Jo Bane. Ready your bookshelves!!