Research Spotlight - Grace Doerfler

Author: Kelly Girst

Grace Doerfler Studying Archives In Boston
Grace Doerfler Studying Archives In Boston

Grace Doerfler

Major: History
Research Location: Boston, MA

Grace's thesis investigates the roles of women, particularly women religious, in the history of Catholic clergy sex abuse. In Boston, she visited two archives, the seminary where priests were and are formed, the chancery where archdiocesan officials (mis)managed reports of abuse, and the convent where some of the women religious lived.

She says, "When I began research for this thesis, I thought that my own memories of the crisis and its ongoing impact on Catholicism had equipped me well for the project. But being in Boston challenged me to step into the lives of the individuals I’m researching in a completely new way, and I am grateful for how my time in the Archdiocese has deepened my perspective on my thesis subject."