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.

The prize is presented each January at the Association’s annual meeting. Books to be entered in the competition must have been published in the 2014 calendar year.

Shea Prize Winners, 2000-13

Year Awardee Work Publisher
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
2009 John Van Engen Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life: Devotio Moderna and the World of the Later Middle Ages University of Pennsylvania Press buy
2008 Charles R. Gallagher, S.J. Vatican Secret Diplomacy: Joseph P. Hurley and Pope Pius XII Yale University Press buy
2007 Liam M. Brockey Journey to the East: The Jesuit Mission to China, 1579-1724 Belknap Press of Harvard University Press buy
2006 J. Michael Hayden and Malcolm R. Greenshields 600 Years of Reform: Bishops and the French Church, 1190-1789 McGill-Queen’s University Press buy
2005 Stephen Schloesser, S.J. Jazz Age Catholicism: Mystic Modernism in Postwar Paris, 1919-1933 The University of Toronto Press buy
2004 Michael B. Gross The War Against Catholicism: Liberalism and the Anti-Catholic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Germany University of Michigan Press buy
2003 Jay P. Corrin Catholic Intellectuals and the Challenge of Democracy University of Notre Dame Press buy
2002 David Burr The Spiritual Franciscans: From Protest to Persecution in the Century After Saint Francis The Pennsylvania State University Press buy
2001 Katherine L. Jansen The Making of the Magdalen: Preaching and Popular Devotion in the Later Middle Ages Princeton University Press buy
2000 Brad S. Gregory Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe Harvard 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 2013 are eligible for the 2014 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 announced 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

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. The 2012 award was given to Matthew Cressler of Northwestern University for “To Be Black and Catholic: African American Catholics in Chicago from Postwar Migrations to Black Power.”

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 the following materials: three copies of 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; three copies of 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.

Either an electronic or hard copy (paper) submission of the application packet must be sent by September 30, 2014, to the committee members listed below:

This year the judges are:

Dr. Magda Teter
Wesleyan University
Allbritton 203
Middletown, CT 06459 

Professor Mary E. Sommar
Department of History, Millersville University
P.O. Box 1002
1 South George St.
Millersville, PA 17551

Dr. Amy Koehlinger
302B Milam Hall
School of History, Philosophy and Religion
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331

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. Books to be entered in the 2014 competition must have been published in the 2012 or 2013 calendar year.

CalendarACHA events and deadlines
Sept. 2-16
ACHA elections
Online balloting
Sept. 3-
Oct. 4
Distinguished Scholarship, Teaching and Service nominations accepted
Sept. 6-
Oct. 15
Applications for Presidential Travel Grants accepted
Sept. 20-
Nov. 20
Registration period for 2015 Annual Conference
New York
Oct. 20-
Jan. 30
Call for Papers: Spring Meeting 2015
Jan. 2-5
Jan. 15-
Apr. 15
Call for papers: 2016 Annual Meeting
March 27-29
2015 Spring Meeting
University of Notre Dame