ACHA Awards

Stained glass at Medak Church, Medak, Andhra Pradesh, IndiaStained glass at Medak Church, Medak, Andhra Pradesh, India

The American Catholic Historical Association awards the following prizes annually:

John Gilmary Shea Prize

John Gilmary Shea Prize is given annually to the author of a book, published during a preceding twelve-month period, which is judged by a committee of experts to have made the most original and distinguished contribution to knowledge of the history of the Catholic Church. Any author who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or Canada is eligible. The prize consists of $1500.

Books to be entered in the competition must have been published in the 2015 calendar year. Three copies, identified as entries, should be sent by June 15, 2016, one to each of the following members of the committee of judges:


Dr. Neal Pease
Dept. of History
Holton Hall, Room 314
P.O. Box 413
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI 53201

Professor Roy Domenico
Department of History
St. Thomas Hall
University of Scranton
800 Linden St.
Scranton, PA 18510-4699

Maureen C. Miller
Professor of History
University of California
Department of History
3229 Dwinelle Hall
Berkeley, CA  94720-2550


Shea Prize Winners, 2010-15

Year Awardee Work Publisher
2015 Maureen C. Miller Clothing the Clergy: Virtue and Power in Medieval Europe, c. 800-1200 Cornell University Press buy
2014 John W. O’Malley  Trent: What Happened at the Council Belknap Press buy
2013 Charles Keith Catholic Vietnam: A Church from Empire to Nation University of California Press buy
2012 John Connelly From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-1965 Harvard University Press buy
2011 Ulrich L. Lehner Enlightened Monks: The German Benedictines, 1740-1803 Oxford University Press buy
2010 Neal Pease Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter: The Catholic Church and Independent Poland 1914 – 1939 Ohio University Press buy


The Howard R. Marraro Prize

The Howard R. Marraro Prize is given annually to the author of a book that is judged by a committee of experts to be the most distinguished work dealing with Italian history or Italo-American history or relations that has been published in a preceding twelve-month period. It is named in memory of Howard A. Marraro (1879-1972), who was a professor in Columbia University and the author of more than a dozen books on Italian literature, history, and culture. In his last will Professor Marraro bequeathed to the Association a sum to be invested as a fund, the income from which would be awarded each year as a prize. The present amount of the prize is $1500.

Marraro made bequests to the American Historical Association, the American Catholic Historical Association, and the Society for Italian Historical Studies to allow each association to award a prize. The American Historical Association administers the competition for all three awards. See the list of past recipients. The general rules for submission are:

1. Each award will be given for the book or article deemed best by the committee, which treats Italian history in any epoch, Italian cultural history, or Italian-American relations. Entries must first have been published in English by a historian whose usual residence is North America.

2. Books or articles with an imprint of 2014 are eligible for the 2015 award.

3. Nominators must complete the online Data Collection Form for each book submitted.

4. One copy of each entry must be sent to each of the following committee members and clearly labeled “Marraro Prize Entry.” Electronic copies may be sent to committee members who have indicated they will accept them.

Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be honored at the January 2–5, 2015, AHA annual meeting in New York City.

For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator at, or call 202-544-2422.

Alison K. Frazier
Univ. of Texas, Austin
Dept. of History
128 Inner Campus Dr. B7000
Austin, TX 78712-1739

Borden W. Painter Jr.
110 Ledgewood Rd.
Hartford, CT 06107-3734

Dr. Valerie Ramseyer
Wellesley College
Department of History
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02445

Marraro Prize Winners, 2010-14

Year Awardee Work Publisher
2014 Daniel Stolzenberg Egyptian Oedipus: Athanasius Kircher and the Secrets of Antiquity The University of Chicago Press buy
2013 Areli Marina The Italian Piazza Transformed: Parma in the Communal Age The Pennsylvania State University Press buy
2012 E. Natalie Rothman Brokering Empire: Trans-Imperial Subjects Between Venice and Istanbul Cornell University Press buy
2011 Michael Ebner Ordinary Violence in Mussolini’s Italy Cambridge Univ. Press buy
2010 Stanislao Pugliese Bitter Spring: A Life of Ignazio Silone Farrar, Straus and Giroux buy

The Peter Guilday Prize

The Peter Guilday Prize is awarded for a manuscript, accepted by the editor of the Catholic Historical Review, that is the author’s first scholarly publication. Entries must be submitted as articles; those received in the editorial office by September 1 of any year will be considered for that year’s prize, the amount of which is $250. The winning article will be published in the following year. Any author who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or Canada is eligible.


The John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award

The John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award, which carries a purse of $1,500, memorializes the scholarship and teaching of Monsignor Ellis (1905-1992). Its purpose is to assist a graduate student working on some aspect of the history of the Catholic Church.

Eligibility: Those wishing to enter the competition for the award must be citizens or authorized residents (i.e., permanent residents or on student visas) of the United States or Canada, and must be enrolled in a doctoral program at a recognized institution of higher education.

Procedures: Applicants must submit copies of all application materials to the three award judges by September 30, 2015. Submissions may be e-mailed or sent via postal mail. Please ensure that all judges (whose contact information is listed below) receive a copy of your materials.

Application materials:

  • a statement from the chairman (or director of graduate studies) of the applicant’s department certifying that he or she has completed all the degree requirements for the doctorate except for the dissertation, and has received departmental approval to undertake work on a dissertation topic dealing with some aspect of the history of the Catholic Church;
  • a statement written by the applicant, not exceeding 1,000 words in length, describing the dissertation project and the way in which the award would be used to further its completion;
  • two sealed letters of recommendation from scholars familiar with the applicant’s work, one of whom must be his or her dissertation director.


Dr. Magda Teter
Dealy Hall 619
Fordham University
441 E. Fordham Rd.
Bronx, NY 10458

Dr. Mark A. Lewis, S.J.
Center for Catholic Thought & Culture, Arrupe 327
Rockhurst University
1100 Rockhurst Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64110

Dr. Charles Keith
Dept. of History
216 Old Horticulture Bldg.
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

For submission information, you may also contact us by postal mail: ACHA, Dealy Hall 637, Fordham University, 441 E. Fordham Rd., Bronx, NY 10458

by phone: 718-817-3830
by fax: 718-817-5690


The Msgr. Harry C. Koenig Award for Catholic Biography

The Harry C. Koenig Prize, offered every two years, recognizes outstanding biographies of members of the Catholic Church who have lived in any age or country. The prize is awarded in even-numbered years to the author of the book deemed by the prize committee to be the best such work published in the two previous calendar years. Entries must first have been published in English. The prize consists of $1500. The prize is presented in January at the Association’s annual meeting.

The 2016 competition

Books to be entered in the 2016 competition must have been published in the 2014 or 2015 calendar year.  Applicants should send copies of their work to the prize committee members listed below. The submission deadline is April 30, 2016.

Professor Ulrike Wiethaus, Ph.D.
Chair, 2016 Koenig Prize Committee
c/o Department of Religion & American Ethnic Studies
Wake Forest University
P.O. Box 7212
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7212

Professor Ulrich L. Lehner, Ph.D.
Department of Theology
Marquette Hall 327
Marquette University
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

Dr. R. A. Ventresca
Department of History
King’s University College at The University of Western Ontario
266 Epworth Avenue
London, Ontario
N6A 2M3

Koenig Prize Winners

Year Awardee Work Publisher
2014 (inaugural year) Robert Ventresca Soldier for Christ: The Life of Pius XII Belknap Press buy
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