Honorary Degree: Doctor of Religious Studies
Conferred on Sister Mary Collins, OSB
Sister Mary Collins is one of the world's premier liturgical theologians. As a teacher, scholar, and editor, she has been a pioneer figure in the liturgical renewal in the United States since the Second Vatican Council. In her work, she has addressed critical questions in liturgical theology, language, practice, and spirituality. Sister Collins has modeled the interdisciplinary nature of liturgical studies through her engagement of critical theory, cultural anthropology, ritual studies, gender studies, history, and spirituality.
Sister Collins earned her doctoral degree in sacramental and liturgical studies from the Catholic University of America, where she would later serve as Professor of Religion from 1978 to 1998, and has served as Professor Emerita in the School of Theology and Religious Studies since 1999. She has also taught at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas and the University of Kansas in Lawrence. The author or editor of fourteen books, she is widely known as one of the preeminent liturgical scholars of our times. A leader in the Order of Saint Benedict, she served as Prioress of Mount Saint Scholastica in Atchison from 1999 to 2005.
As the Catholic Church celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, we are privileged to honor someone who has promoted the teachings of the Council, especially those who have labored in their ministry to promote the "full, active, and conscious participation" of the People of God at the liturgy, which is the source and summit of our Christian life.
She has received the Berakah Award from the North American Academy of Liturgy, the Michael Mathis Award from the Notre Dame Center for Pastoral Liturgy, and the Jubilate Deo Award from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians for her many contributions to worship life and liturgy. Because of her unwavering commitment to liturgical renewal and her instrumental role as a leader in the Catholic Church, Reverend President, I hereby recommend Sister Mary Collins of the Order of Saint Benedict for the Marquette University degree of Doctor of Religious Studies, honoris causa.