Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, co-director of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture and the former editor of the liberal Catholic mag Commonweal, will be the speaker Thursday evening in New Rochelle at the latest meeting of the Upper Room.
The Upper Room is a group of liberal Catholics from the Sound Shore region who began getting together during the sex-abuse crisis of 2002, basically to support one another and talk about their church.
The meeting will be at 7:30 pm at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on Mill Road in New Rochelle.
The Upper Room was founded in part by Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly, the Ursuline and former president of the College of New Rochelle who died in March.
Another organizer, Beth Hofstetter, wrote to me that the Upper Room had regrouped and was going on.
“All on the committee were enthusiastic about continuing her legacy to us and to keeping the dialogue going,” she wrote.
Steinfels is always an interesting and provocative writer and speaker — whether you agree with her or not.
Her subject is a hot one: “Catholics and Political Engagement.”
I learned a little while ago about the death of Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly, the former longtime president of the College of New Rochelle and a very well-known and respected figure around here.
She was 79 and apparently had had a heart attack. I’m sure that many people in and around New Rochelle are heartbroken.
I talked to Sister Dorothy several times over the years and was always impressed by her smarts, good humor and graciousness. She was one of those people with unlimited energy.
She served as president of CNR for 25 years, retiring in 1997. She was currently serving as provincial of her order, the Ursuline Sisters of the Eastern Province.
Sister Dorothy was, what might be called, a progressive Catholic. She loved her faith, but wasn’t always thrilled with how it was…run.
And she spoke her mind about it.
The picture is from 2006, when she received the Yitzhak Rabin Peacemaker Award from the Coalition for Mutual Respect in New Rochelle.
On Wednesday, the Coalition for Mutual Respect will sponsor a “Liberation Freedom Seder Dinner” at Iona College. No doubt, Sister Dorothy will be missed.