Religious Formation Conference

The Religious Formation Conference (RFC) is a national Roman Catholic organization serving religious institutes of women and men with programs and services for those in the ministry of initial and lifelong formation, and general congregational membership.

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Mary Johnson, SNDdeN to Receive Mary Emil Penet, IHM Award

Mary Johnson, SNDdeN

The Conference is pleased to announce that Mary Johnson, SNDdeN, PhD will receive the Mary Emil Penet, IHM award at the 2021 Congress November 4-7 in Chicago and online. The Penet award recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to formation ministry. It honors one who demonstrates a substantial commitment to and investment of energy and insight into the formative journey of religious sisters and brothers.

Sister Mary Johnson is a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur and Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C. At Trinity, she is also co-director of the Billiart Center for Social Justice. Previously she was on the faculty of Emmanuel College in Boston. Last year, she held the Lo Schiavo Chair in Catholic Social Thought at the University of San Francisco.

She speaks nationally and internationally on religious life, Catholicism and Catholic Social Teaching. Currently she is working with a team of scholars on a metaanalysis of vocation data from five nations. Along with numerous articles and book chapters, she has co-authored three books: Young Adult Catholics: Religion in a Culture of Choice (University of Notre Dame Press, 2001), New Generations of Catholic Sisters: The Challenge of Diversity (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Migration for Mission: International Catholic Sisters in the United States (Oxford University Press, 2019). She is co-editor of Solidarity Toward the Common Good: Women Engaging the Catholic Social Tradition, forthcoming in March, 2022 from Paulist Press. Sister Mary is a member of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative.

Barbara Barry, SNDdeN, a member of Sister Mary's community leadership team, applauded the selection, noting:

In fidelity to St. Julie Billiart's urging to "have hearts as wide as the world" Sister Mary Johnson is an educator and sociologist who invites us to extend our horizons and embrace the world as God intends, full of grace, diversity of gifts and wisdom, and deep love. Through her daily ministries, her research and her writings, she lives hope for the future of the church, religious congregations and young people who believe they can make a difference. We are proud of the myriad ways Sister Mary lives the Notre Dame charism, "making known God's goodness."


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