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NBCC Spotlight Article

Fr. Cyprian Davis, OSB, Named Professor Emeritus

Father Cyprian DavisFr. Cyprian Davis, OSB, has been named professor emeritus of Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, St. Meinrad, IN. He is the first faculty member to receive this recognition in the Seminary and School of Theology.

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He was honored by students, staff and faculty at a school banquet on September 27. He currently teaches Church history at Saint Meinrad.

Fr. Cyprian is a national leader in historical studies of the African American Catholic Church in the United States. The author of numerous articles and books on the history and spirituality of African American Catholics, he wrote The History of Black Catholics in the United States for which he received the John Gilmary Shea Award from the American Catholic Historical Association.

Other books include The Church: A Living Heritage; Stamped with the Image of God: African Americans as God's Image in Black, which he co-edited with Jamie Phelps, OP; Henriette Delille: Servant of Slaves, Witness to the Poor; and a book of historical essays about Saint Meinrad, To Prefer Nothing to Christ.

Fr. Cyprian joined the Benedictine community at Saint Meinrad Archabbey in 1951 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1956. He began teaching in 1957, later taking time off to earn a licentiate in 1963 and a doctorate in 1977, both in historical sciences from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.

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He has received honorary degrees from the University of Notre Dame in 2001, the Catholic Theological Union in 2002, St. Vincent's College, Latrobe, PA, in 2003, and The Catholic University of America in 2006.

In 2002, he was awarded the Johannes Quasten Medal for excellence in scholarship and leadership in religious studies from The Catholic University of America. In 2004, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Saint Meinrad Alumni Association. He also received the Marianist Award from the University of Dayton in 2007 and the Acacia Award in 2010 from the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Fr. Cyprian is the archivist for the Archabbey, the Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation and the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, of which he was a founding member in 1968.

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