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Lively Conversations: Meeting Our Mother and Each Other at U.S. Shrines to the Virgin Mary

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023 • 7:30-9 a.m.
F.K. Bemis International Center | Hendrickson Dining Room
St. Norbert College

Watch the recording.

Karen Park, Ph.D.
Karen E. Park received her B.A. in English from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., and her M.A. and Ph.D in the history of Christianity from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. Dr. Park’s research interests include American Catholic history, sacred space and the Virgin Mary. She is currently working on a book project about American shrines to the Virgin Mary and their historical and social importance.

About the Lecture
The United States is home to hundreds of shrines to the Virgin Mary, from large suburban complexes, to tiny urban backyard lots. These sites are places where immigrants from places as far flung as Mexico and Vietnam, Haiti and Poland, come to meet their mother in a land far from home, and also to define themselves as both Americans and Catholics. As communities change and adapt over time, relationships to Mary change as well. She is a figure who is both endlessly dynamic and steadfast. One way to think about shrines to Mary is as places where lively and complex conversations take place–conversations about faith and identity, power and gender, hope and fear. In this lecture, Karen E. Park, professor of Theology and Religious studies, discusses the metaphor of “conversation” as a way to understand shrines to Mary across the US, using examples from her edited volume, American Patroness: Marian Shrines and the Making of US Catholicism.

Pilgrim Lectures are free and open to the public; but as a breakfast lecture, it does require advanced registration.

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