St. Mary’s University welcomes you to a free, annual lectures series featuring men and women who have shaped the Catholic Intellectual Tradition – a tradition at the heart of the educational enterprises at St. Mary’s.

Glenn MacTaggart (J.D. ’79, M.A. ’89), longtime attorney and counsel with Prichard Hawkins Young LLP, and his wife, Karla MacTaggart, gave a major gift to St. Mary’s to create the MacTaggart Catholic Intellectual Tradition Lecture Series Endowment. The gift allows for the recruitment of speakers from various faith traditions to speak to the University and San Antonio communities about such topics as Catholicism in a changing world, religion in a pluralistic society, and faith in areas such as art and science. The lecture series will be one of the cornerstones of a Center for Catholic Studies that St. Mary’s is in the process of establishing, which is a result of the University’s Defining Moment Comprehensive Campaign.

Join us at the upcoming presentations and conversations that follow. This years’ theme of the lecture series will be “A Church in Crises Moves to the Future.”

2019-2020 Lectures

Sex Abuse and the Future Church

Peter Steinfels photo

Peter Steinfels, Ph.D., Author, Journalist, Educator, Former Professor and Co-director of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture, Fordham University.

Peter F. Steinfels is an American journalist and educator best known for his writings on religious topics.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, and a lifelong Roman Catholic, Steinfels earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University and joined the staff of the journal Commonweal in 1964. He served as a visiting professor at Notre Dame in 1994–95 and then as visiting professor at Georgetown University from 1997 to 2001. From 1990 to 2010, he wrote a column called “Beliefs” for the religion section of The New York Times.

He has also been a professor at Fordham University and co-director of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture. Steinfels has written several books, including The Neoconservatives: The Men Who Are Changing America’s Politics) and A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America.

He has argued in favor of the ordination of women as priests and deacons, and has suggested that this could eventually lead to the creation of female cardinals. (Bio from

Rebuild My Church

Bishop McElroy speaking at event.

The Most Rev. Robert W. McElroy, Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego

The Most Rev. Robert W. McElroy is a Roman Catholic prelate and bishop. From 2010 through 2015 he was auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco before becoming the sixth Bishop of the San Diego Diocese.

In 1980, McElroy was ordained to the priesthood at St. Mary’s Cathedral for the San Francisco Archdiocese and served as secretary to Archbishop John Quinn, who would appoint him Vicar General of the San Francisco Archdiocese several years later.

McElroy has authored The Search for an American Public Theology: The Contribution of John Courtney Murray and Morality and American Foreign Policy: The Role of Ethics in International Affairs. He has written several articles for America magazine, the official publication of the Jesuits.

McElroy earned six degrees in 14 years, including a Doctor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University.

(Excerpted from

Heeding the Call

Carolyn Woo, Ph.D.

Carolyn Woo, Ph.D., Distinguished President’s Fellow for Global Development, Purdue University

Carolyn Y. Woo is the Distinguished President’s Fellow for Global Development at Purdue University. Since February 2018, Woo has assisted in various international collaborative efforts at Purdue University. Woo also served as President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States from 2012-2016. CRS was founded in 1943 by the Catholic bishops of the United States to serve survivors of World War II in Europe.

Since then, it has become one of the world’s largest and most respected international relief and development agencies, each year reaching more than 130 million people in nearly 100 countries. She arrived at CRS in January 2012 after a distinguished academic career. Prior, Woo served as dean of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business from 1997-2011.

Woo’s lecture from Wednesday, March 4, 2020, is now available to view on Kaltura.

Unless otherwise noted, all events will be held on the St. Mary’s campus in the University Center, in Conference Room A, on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Free and open to the public. For more information call 210-431-8094.

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