the church in the 21st century center
Thomas H. Groome
Dr. Thomas H. Groome has been a faculty member at Boston College since 1976. He completed seminary education at St. Patrick’s College in Carlow, Ireland, and earned a master’s degree in religious education from Fordham University and a doctorate in theology and education from Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University Teachers College.
Professor Groome has been honored for his work with the Emmaus Award from the National Association of Parish Religious Educators, Christian Culture Gold Medal Award from Assumption University (Canada) and by the Catholic Press Association.
His knowledge and expertise in religious education, theology and ministry make him a sought-after speaker in religious education circles and beyond. During the past 35 years, Dr. Groome has made more than 700 presentations to religious educators throughout North America, and served as a guest lecturer at several universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Emory, Chicago, Notre Dame and Georgetown, among others. He has lectured outside the US in Ireland, England, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Jamaica, Lithuania, Sweden, Peru, Ecuador, Germany, South Africa and the Netherlands.
Professor Groome is author of many scholarly and popular books, his most recent being, Catholic Spiritual Practices (Paraclete 2013), Will There Be Faith (HarperCollins, 2011), and What Makes us Catholic (HarperCollins 2002). He is also primary author of the Credo high school theology curriculum from Veritas, created with his doctoral students here at Boston College.
Karen Kelly Kiefer
Karen Kelly Kiefer joins the Church in the 21st Century Center as its Associate Director. A Boston College alumna, Karen later returned to the university to work in the Office of University Advancement for close to a decade under the leadership of J. Donald Monan, S.J., and served as an adjunct faculty member in the Communication Department. Her marketing communications background and deep commitment to faith and philanthropy inspired her to create the nonprofit organization, Spread the Bread. Karen credits Boston College Jesuits for their profound influence towards the formation of this lay bread vocation. Active in the Church and its future, Karen and her husband Sam are raising four young daughters.
Administrative & Operations Specialist
Jessica O'Herron comes to The Church in the 21st Century Center from a background in international development, having served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal and having worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a grants manager. Formerly a Fellow at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Jessica has also worked in community engagement, strengthening local awareness of global challenges. She is very excited to be a part of the C21 Center and to engage community members in faith. When not found in her office, Jessica can be found swimming at BCRec.