By Doris Yu
January 14, 2015 — Jesuit Father John W. O’Malley and the Institute of Jesuit Sources (IJS) have been honored by the American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA). Both were recognized during the ACHA’s annual Presidential Luncheon on Jan. 3 in New York City.
Fr. O’Malley received the John Gilmary Shea Prize for his book “Trent: What Happened at the Council,” and the IJS received the Distinguished Service Award. Jesuit Father John Padberg, former director of the IJS, accepted the award on behalf of the Institute.
The American Catholic Historical Association, founded in 1919 to further scholarly research in the field of Catholic history, recognizes scholars for their published research by awarding three book prizes in the fields of Catholic history and biography and acknowledges the contributions of scholars, teachers and institutions through its annual awards.
Created in 2011, the ACHA’s Distinguished Service Award honors those who promote research and the study of the history of Catholicism. The IJS, founded in 1961, publishes English-language editions of the fundamental documents of the Society of Jesus and supports Jesuit scholarship on a wide range of topics, publishing the work of more than 50 authors. To date, the IJS has produced over 117 publications — including several in electronic media formats — and has become a resource on Jesuit and Ignatian history and spirituality for the English-speaking world. It has published works translated into English from Chinese, French, Italian, Latin, Spanish and Tamil. Long located in St. Louis, the IJS moved to Boston College in December 2014.
The John Gilmary Shea Prize is given to a book that has made the most original and distinguished contribution to knowledge of the history of the Catholic Church. “This is the highest honor that the Association presents annually,” said Father Bentley Anderson, SJ, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the ACHA. Fr. O’Malley’s book covers the history of the Council of Trent, which was held in Italy from 1545 to 1563.
“With a clarity and grace that make it a joy to read and a scholarly precision and richness that make it useful to experts, O’Malley’s ‘Trent’ provides the first one-volume overview in English and, in fact, the best in any language, of one of the most complicated and crucial events in Catholic religious history,” said the ACHA.
Although Fr. O’Malley also received the ACHA's 2012 Distinguished Scholar Award, the Shea prize is a more noteworthy award, according to Fr. Anderson, SJ. Jesuit Father Stephen Schloesser also received the Shea Prize in 2005 for "Jazz Age Catholicism: Mystic Modernism in Postwar Paris 1919-1939."
Click here to visit the American Catholic Historical Association website and learn more.