By Erin Sexton (’13)

For the 2011-2012 academic year, Dr. Susan Stone was awarded the O’Connor Chair of Catholic Thought.  This chair is awarded to one Loras professor each year based upon a research project proposal related to Catholic studies. During the year, Dr. Stone traveled to places such as Marquette University, Newberry Library in Chicago, the University of Washington in Seattle, and the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul in search of biographical information about the earliest Native Americans to become Catholic priests and nuns.  She is very excited about the figures in her study and their influences.  A few such figures include Rev. James Chrysostum Bouchard, S.J., a priest of Delaware and Comanche origins, the Congregation of American Sisters, a group of Hunkpapa, a group of nuns established in the spirit of Kateri Tekakwitha, and Philip Rev. B. Gordon, an Ojibwe priest who worked in the Wisconsin region.  Dr. Stone is grateful for the opportunities the O’Connor Chair has allowed her, and is delighted not only to have answered many of her questions, but also to have discovered plenty of new ones.  She is going to continue working on this project, presenting at conferences and publishing information on these fascinating Native American Catholic Leaders.




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