William C. Sennett Institute for Mercy and Catholic Studies

1 /  
  • Group celebration of the William C Sennett Institute
  • Group lunch of the William C Sennett Institute
  • Group photo of the William C Sennett Institute

The work of the Institute for Mercy & Catholic Studies includes an innovative effort to enhance both the mission and Catholic identity of Mercyhurst University.

To this end, it will highlight the breadth and depth of the Catholic intellectual tradition, as well as the five critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas:

Caring for the poor, especially women and children
Caring for immigrants
Caring for the earth/creation
Promoting nonviolence
Combating racism

The Center will also collaborate with the Diocese of Erie to provide educational opportunities that can vitalize faith/reason through public scholarship and hospitable dialogue.

Sennett Institute Public Events and Lectures

    Father Gregory Boyle, SJ
    Sept. 23, 2021

    Cecilia Gonzalez-Andrieu, Ph.D.
    Sept. 25, 2019

    Kate Hennessy
    Oct. 9, 2018

    Dr. Gregory Baker
    Oct. 4, 2017

    Richard Rodriguez
    Sept. 29, 2016


    Panelists: Daniel P. Horan, OFM; Sister Anne Curtis, RSM; Brother Anthony Weber, OCSO; Sister Charlotte Zalot, OSB
    Sept. 24, 2015

    "Is Economic Solidarity Bad Economics?
    Reflections on Pope Francis and Catholic Social Thought"

    Christine Firer Hinze, Ph.D.
    Oct. 1, 2014

    Tom Roberts, author of the biography "Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith"
    April 30, 2014

    Dr. Lisa Sowle Cahill

    Dr. Ilia Delio

    John Allen, National Catholic Reporter

    Dr. Terrence Tilley, Fordham University

Institute History

The Institute for Mercy and Catholic Studies owes its birth to the generosity of two Erie Catholics and college trustees: William C. Sennett and the late Charles A. Dailey, Jr.

Dr. Mary Hembrow Snyder, Professor of Religious Studies, was the first person to serve as Director of the Institute of Mercy & Catholic Studies. A member of the faculty of Mercyhurst University from 1986 to 2020, Dr. Snyder has a doctorate in theology from St. Michael's College, University of Toronto, and has authored/edited four books, the most recent being Joan Chittister: Essential Writings, edited with Mary Lou Kownacki and published by Orbis Books in July 2014.