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Remembering Member Francine J. Cardman - d. 1/21/22

01/22/2022 7:38 AM | Anonymous

Today, the CTSA remembers longstanding member Francine J. Cardman.

May she rest in peace.

Francine's Profile at Boston College (View here)

Contribution to the CTSA convention in 1999:

"The Praxis of Ecclesiology: Learning from the Donatist Controversy" CTSA Proceedings 54 (1999): 25-37. 


  • 01/22/2022 8:09 AM | Anonymous
    An incredible teacher, in peace
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  • 01/22/2022 9:31 AM | Thomas J Massaro SJ
    Dr. Francine Cardman was the perfect colleague and friend--warm, caring, and whip-smart! She will be sorely missed for her personal qualities and long remembered for her professional contributions. May she rest in peace.
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  • 01/22/2022 9:43 AM | William George
    I have fond memories of Francine Cardman from one of my very first courses at Weston School of Theology in 1980. She brought her dog Sam (a beagle, I think) with her to class, who would lay quietly at her feet. She explained the first day of class that Sam had been with her in grad. school at Yale, earning his own degree in, of course, Dogma. Francine had a quiet lecture style, but when asked a question she would come alive, exposing her deep love of inquiry, history, and new insights. I will always be grateful for this experience as I'm sure so many other students and others have been.
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  • 01/22/2022 9:50 AM | Dr Edward Jeremy Miller
    I've known Francine since her arrival at Wesley Seminary (DC) from Yale. She was a Roman Catholic by this time, having been searching for her rightful home since her Quaker days at Swarthmore. I asked her, "What caused you to become RC, thinking it must have been her patristic studies?" "I entered an empty unlocked Catholic church, sanctuary light burning, and just sat there a long time. And I began to feel more and more at home." Her words reminded me of Paul Claudel's 1886 conversion experience entering Notre Dame on a rainy Paris night and listening to Vespers. Feeling at home became a theme of Francine's writings on hospitality, as a Christian virtue, as a place for women in a clerical church, and a place for single people in marriage-oriented Roman Catholicism. Her death is not so much an entry into a new home as entering upon an extension of her present home.
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  • 01/22/2022 1:09 PM | Mary Kate Holman
    Francine was a wonderful teacher and mentor, and she was also really fun to be around. She was so real, even with her students, embodying the paradoxes of hope and exasperation; of compassion and sarcasm. I remember a group of us at BC's STM in 2013 recruiting Francine to our trivia team, which we called the "Cardmaniacs." I don't think we won, but we had the most fun.

    Francine's feminist commitments and love of history were formative for many of us as we began to develop our approaches to theology in graduate school. I am sure these commitments will live on in many of us as we carry Francine's work forward.
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    • 01/22/2022 1:51 PM | Marcus Mescher
      Well said, Mary Kate. You captured Francine's spirit beautifully. I'm going to miss her so much.
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  • 01/22/2022 1:23 PM | Emily Reimer-Barry
    I am grateful for my memories of being a student in Francine's church history class at Weston in 2000, and especially for her pastoral feminist historiography. As I was wrestling myself with the unfolding news of clerical sexual abuse in the Boston Globe and the impact of 9/11, Francine modeled a creative fidelity to the church that was a real gift to me. It showed me that I didn't have to "leave" but I needed to ask myself how to become part of the struggle. And there was a space for women to be both faithful and critical at the same time. She is not the only person who modeled this for me, but she was one of the first in my journey at Weston. One more thing- she had a gift for helping students appreciate what they didn't know without humiliating us. Her answer would start with kindness, "I'm glad you said that, how interesting..." and then proceed to walk you through a detailed answer about how actually the opposite was true. And somehow, you felt awesome about yourself for asking the question in the first place even though it proved how little you knew. When I've tried this kind of patient and disarming pedagogy I realize how difficult it really is. May she rest in God's eternal peace.
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    • 01/22/2022 1:54 PM | Marcus Mescher
      Thanks for sharing this reflection, Emily. Francine's warm welcome when I started at Weston in 2007 quickly made me feel at home -- and I quickly discovered how much I had to learn from her. I'm grateful for all the ways she challenged and supported me during my graduate studies.
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  • 01/22/2022 6:09 PM | Edward V Vacek SJ
    I had the privilege to teach for about 30+ years with Francine at Weston and then at Boston college. During that time (almost 40 years ago), the witness, sometimes ferocity, and the teaching that Francine did with her life for feminist causes led me to acknowledge, take seriously, and then promote the equality and in some ways the superior gifts that women bring to the Church. The prospect of women's ordination and ministry took big steps through Francine's efforts. She can now pray as one of the saints for all the causes that were so important to her. Ed Vacek
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    • 01/22/2022 9:06 PM | Dr Mary Ann Hinsdale, IHM
      Ed, thank you for such a superb remembrance of Francine. I knew her when she was at WJCT, since I lived in the "neighborhood"--I was at Holy Cross, but lived close to Cambridge. I was a visiting scholar there. Then when Weston came to BC. You capture her exquisitely! I am sure she is not "resting in peace" but stirring up a commotion among the communion of saints!
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  • 01/23/2022 9:36 AM | Rev Brian O McDermott SJ
    For some 25+ years I was privileged to be a colleague with Francine on the WJST faculty. Among her many rich gifts I wish to raise up her remarkable ability to win the hearts and minds of most of the Jesuit scholastics who took her classes. They were on a spectrum about Church and world but, year after year, Francine won their admiration and respect, and they learned so much from her.
    This is but one aspect of her abundant life and career, but one that I remember warmly and gratefully.
    Rejoice in the arms of your God, dear Francine!!
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  • 01/24/2022 6:53 PM | David Kwon
    An amazing, caring, and thoughtful teacher and person. Her class Augustinian Ethics I took was one of the best. And I still recall that we, every student, at the end of the semester thanked her on behalf of all of us that she modeled such powerful and positive teaching and learning practices -- what an incredible formation experience. A true gift to her that has now become a true gift to her students and her entire university and other universities and seminaries. May she rest in peace.
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