St. Mary's Academy hosts inaugural Women in Theology Lecture featuring Dr. Gina Hens-Piazza (Photo)
Dr. Gina Hens-Piazza, theology professor at Santa Clara University
Last summer Pope Francis called for the development of a profound theology of women in the Church and St. Mary's Academy has risen to that challenge. On April 1, Dr. Gina Hens-Piazza will give the St Mary's Academy inaugural lecture on Women in Theology. Her topic is "Ruth: Critic of Culture, Custom and Common Sense, the Foundation for Women's Spirituality." The public is invited to attend the lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the St. Mary's Academy Clark Family Auditorium.
"In 1859 when the Holy Names Sisters came to Oregon to open St. Mary's Academy, they carried with them a theology of women to share with their students. Through the years, this theology has continued to develop and grow through prayer, study and service. We are excited that Pope Francis has called for the official Church to develop a deeper theology of women. We hope to be a part of that conversation and are looking forward to Dr. Hens-Piazza visit as a starting point," said Patty Gorman, St. Mary's Academy Theology Department chair.
Dr. Hens-Piazza received her MA in Biblical Studies from Vanderbilt University and was a faculty member at St. Mary's from 1976-1979. She taught at University of Portland from 1979-1988. In 1992, she received her PhD from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She is a professor at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, and has been on the faculty of the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley since 1992.
Dr. Hens-Piazza is the author of five books and numerous articles that address topics of biblical justice, specifically in regards to women. She has lectured nationally and internationally and in 2002 was the recipient of the Catholic Press Association Award for her work on violence against women in Joshua and Judges. Her forthcoming manuscript, "Supporting Cast vs. Supporting Caste - How We Read the Bible Matters," illuminates the major importance of minor characters in the Bible and their counterparts in our own world.
"Without the gracious feminine Shekinah, the Divine Matrix, and Sophia, the Divine Wisdom, our theology remains limited. For the past fifty years theology has become women's work. And as we know, women's work is never done," said Dr. Hens-Piazza.
In recognition of her teaching and publication record, Dr. Hens-Piazza was honored in 2006 as the Graduate Theological Union Distinguished Faculty Lecturer and in June 2008 she became the fourth recipient of the National Sarlo Foundation Award for excellence in teaching.
In addition to the evening presentation Dr. Hens-Piazza will address the entire St. Mary's community during a morning assembly on April 1, 2014, and will also hold a seminar with a smaller group of students. The Theology Department will prepare the students for Dr. Hens-Piazza's talk and follow up with discussions during their classes.
For more information and to purchase tickets online, please visit this website: http://www.stmaryspdx.org/
St. Mary's Academy Awards celebrate alumnae achievements (Photo)
Academy Award Honorees (from left) Jennifer Mills-Perov, Brittney Ryan and Joan Cornely Miller
On Feb. 22, St. Mary's Academy will honor three accomplished alumnae at the 12th Annual St. Mary's Academy Awards. This year's ceremony recognizes Joan Cornely Miller, class of 1975, for overcoming adversity, Jennifer Mills-Perov, class of 1992, for achievement in technology and Brittney Ryan, class of 1973, for living out a dream.
These three women exemplify the spirit and mission of St. Mary's, according to Coralynn Arrigotti, the school's Director of Leadership Giving.
"This year's event highlights a few of the infinite ways a St. Mary's education prepares young women to make the world a better place. We are showcasing an alumna with a physics degree from MIT who found success and fulfillment in video game design at Disney and an author whose books provide fantasy and hope for children around the world. Our third honoree embodies a skill that we all need at one time or another in our lives: the ability to overcome adversity and continue sharing our gifts with the world," Arrigotti said.
The St. Mary's Academy Awards will take place in the rooftop commons at the school, 1615 S.W. Fifth Ave., Portland. A social hour with appetizers and libations begins at 4 p.m., followed by the ceremony with award presentations at 5 p.m. and a dessert reception and after-party at 6 p.m. Admission is $10 in advance ($20 at the door) and $5 for Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and current St. Mary's students.
For more information about the event, please visit http://www.stmaryspdx.org/academyawards.
To purchase tickets please visit the website or contact the Alumnae Advancement Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Miller's world dramatically changed in 1999 when a drunk driver crashed into her car, resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Doctors did not expect Joan to survive. However, after numerous surgeries and many years of rehabilitation she has beaten the odds. While she still suffers symptoms, she founded BIRRDsong, a survivor-led organization that helps TBI survivors. Through MADD and Victims Impact Panel, she is also a speaker and victims advocate.
Mills-Perov was one of only a few nationally selected students to assist scientists on the Hubble Space Telescope while attending MIT. After she graduated with a degree in physics she started her own consulting firm building web-based applications. Later she sold the company and earned her master's degree, pursuing her dream of working in technology and games. She currently works for Playdom, a division of the Disney Corporation, as the product lead for Disney Social Games, which can be played on Facebook or MySpace.
Ryan studied music and dramatic arts at the University of Portland. She has performed in musicals and has worked as a composer, producer and television commentator. However, she is best known as a storyteller and the New York Times bestselling author of "The Legend of Holly Claus," a magical Christmas fantasy book series about the daughter of Santa Claus, endorsed by Julie Andrews.
What: 12th Annual St. Mary's Academy Awards, honoring outstanding alumnae Joan Cornely Miller, Jennifer Mills-Perov and Brittney Ryan.
When: 4-7:30 p.m. on Feb. 22.
Where: St. Mary's Academy, Rooftop Commons, 1615 S.W. Fifth Ave., Portland.
Cost: $10 in advance ($20 at the door) and $5 for Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and current students.