Mary Rice Hasson Named Visiting Fellow for Franciscan University’s Veritas Center

March 5, 2024

STEUBENVILLE, OH—The Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville recently named Catholic writer and speaker Mary Rice Hasson, JD, as a visiting fellow.

A graduate of Notre Dame Law School, Hasson has become one of the country’s most prominent and authoritative speakers on women’s issues, education, gender ideology, parental rights, and sexual ethics. She represented the Vatican at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women on three occasions and has testified on parents’ rights and transgender issues before the United States Senate, several state legislatures, and the New South Wales parliament in Australia.

“We are happy to have Mary Hasson join us as our Visiting Veritas Fellow,” said Dr. Anne Hendershott, sociology professor at Franciscan University and director of the Veritas Center. “Our students really enjoyed meeting her and hearing her presentation on the challenges families face from the transgender movement when she participated in our Transgender Moment Conference a few years ago. She truly is a leading Catholic voice on the ways in which our Church needs to help families and individuals respond to this issue.”

Hasson said she’s “honored and delighted” to be a visiting fellow.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity not only to engage with faithful, intellectually curious students but also to contribute to the center’s serious exploration—in light of faith and the natural law—of compelling cultural issues,” Hasson said.

“It’s no secret that our culture has lost sight of what it means to be a human person, to be a man or a woman. The consequences are immense. How should Catholics respond, politically and spiritually? These are the conversations the Veritas Center seeks to engage,” Hasson said. “I look forward with great enthusiasm to working with the center’s scholars in the year ahead.”

Hasson serves as the Kate O’Beirne Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. She co-founded and directs the Person and Identity Project, an organization that promotes the dignity of the human person, and she is the director of the Catholic Women’s Forum. She has co-authored several books on education, and her writings have appeared in prominent publications such as The Wall Street Journal, National Catholic Register, and Newsweek, among others.

“Mary is a profoundly gifted leader and a truly visionary thinker—as well as a wife and a mother of seven beautiful children,” said Dr. Deborah Savage, a professor of theology at Franciscan who has collaborated with Hasson as a member of the Catholic Women’s Forum. “She has established an international network of faithful professional women—many of them established experts in their own disciplines—who are all engaged at various levels in the battle to recover a culture of life.”

“Mary’s work has been absolutely central in raising the public profiles of Catholic women in virtually every field, making it possible for our voices to be heard in our efforts to defend the true, the good, the beautiful. It is wonderful that Mary will join us as a fellow at the Veritas Center as Franciscan University seeks to realize its mission to rebuild the Church—something that cannot be accomplished without the moral authority of women,” said Savage.

The mission of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life is to bring faithful Catholic scholarly reflection to bear on the most pressing ethical questions in contemporary culture—questions of marriage and sexuality, war and peace, life and death, as well as economic and social justice. Through research, writing, and academic conferences, the Veritas Center seeks to combat what Pope Benedict XVI described as “the dictatorship of relativism,” promoting the natural moral law, illuminated by the light of faith, to defend both human freedom and dignity in the public square.

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