2024 Paluch Lecture

February 15, 2024

Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: The University of St. Mary of the Lake

What remains of Vatican II? 
Catholic “crisis” and the meaning of Catholic tradition

Join us on February 15, 2024 for the annual USML Paluch Lecture with Dr. Massimo Faggioli, professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University (Philadelphia).

The lecture will frame the controversies about Vatican II in light of the massive changes in our sense of history or, in technical terms, our “regime of historicity” of “presentism”. Our sense of the past has become weaker and this has effects on our ability to “see” the tradition – in ways that are different for both traditionalists and for those who have “monumentalized” Vatican II. This framing helps not just to relativize these controversies, but also to keep a strong sense of the Catholic tradition – important for our intellectual and theological work, spiritual discernment, pastoral care. This is essential to navigate our polycrises (abuse, racism, gender etc.) and not be paralyzed by the challenges ahead.

About Dr. Massimo Faggioli

Dr. Massimo Faggioli, a married lay Roman Catholic, is full professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University (Philadelphia). He worked in the “John XXIII Foundation for Religious Studies” in Bologna between 1996 and 2008.

He was founding co-chair of the study group “Vatican II Studies” for the American Academy of Religion between 2012 and 2017. He has a column in La Croix International, and is contributing writer for Commonweal magazine and for the Italian magazine Il Regno. He is member of the steering committee for the project “Vatican II: Legacy and Mandate” for a multi-volume, intercontinental commentary of Vatican II. He is co-editor with Bryan Froehle of the new series “Studies in Global Catholicism” for Brill Publishers (first volume 2023).

His books and articles have been published in more than ten languages. His latest books are Catholicism and Citizenship: Political Cultures of the Church in the Twenty-First Century (Liturgical Press2017), The Liminal Papacy of Pope Francis. Moving Toward Global Catholicity (Orbis Books, 2020), and Joe Biden and Catholicism in the United States(Bayard 2021). With Catherine Clifford he is the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Vatican II (Oxford University Press, 2023) and he is under contract with Oxford University Press for a book on the history of the Roman Curia.

He lives in the Philadelphia area with his wife and their two children.

Massimo Faggioli, professor of historical theology at Villanova University in Philadelphia, is seen on the Catholic college’s campus March 11, 2021. (CNS photo/Chaz Muth)

The Annual Paluch Lecture

The Paluch Lecture stands as an illustrious annual event within the Catholic intellectual landscape, epitomizing the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, and a profound understanding of theology. Named in honor of Margaret and Chester Paluch, devout patrons of theological scholarship, this lecture series has become a hallmark gathering for scholars, theologians, and the faithful alike.

At its core, the Paluch Lecture is a celebration of theological inquiry, designed to explore the vast and intricate realms of Catholic theology. Each year, the series brings a distinguished scholar, theologian, and expert to share their insights, research, and reflections on the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of theology. 

The Paluch Lecture serves as a forum for dialogue, intellectual exchange, and the exploration of the profound intersections between faith and reason. Attendees can deepen their understanding of the Catholic intellectual tradition. The annual Paluch Lecture not only contributes to the academic and theological community but also serves as a beacon of intellectual curiosity, promoting a holistic understanding of the Catholic faith in the context of the broader human experience.

See photos from last year’s lecture


The lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is required.


Dr. Massimo Faggioli, professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University (Philadelphia), will deliver this year’s 2024 Paluch Lecture:

  • Date: February 15, 2024
  • Time: 7:00pm – 8:00pm
  • USML/Mundelein Seminary, 1000 East Maple Ave, Mundelein, IL 60060
  • Mundelein Hall – Dining Hall

History of the USML Paluch Lecture

In 1990, the Chester and Margaret Paluch Chair of Theology was established through a generous donation to foster theological studies at Mundelein Seminary. The first recipient of this honor from 1990-1993 was Rev. Eugene LaVerdiere, S.S.S. Past recipients have included; Dr. Edward Kantowicz, Dr. Ewert Cousins, Rev. Edward Oakes, S.J., Rev. Joseph Henchey, CSS, Sr. Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., Dr. David Fagerberg, Dr. Reinhard Huetter and Msgr. Paul McPartlan.

The central focus of the annual lecture, named for Margaret and Chester Paluch, is theology, but its range is broad and interdisciplinary, embracing different aspects of the study of religion and theology from various academic perspectives.