CHICAGO – Doctoral student
Edward Gray of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been selected as recipient of the
2016 DePaul University Vincentian Studies Institute grant, which funds research
projects that further scholarship on the Vincentian tradition, past and
Gray, a doctoral candidate
studying at Purdue University, was awarded a grant to pursue his research on
the interconnection of religion and politics and how noble families, namely
that of Louise de Marillac, helped to influence the centralization of the
“What really interested me
was the religion and politics question, which is so different from how it’s
viewed now. Back then there was no separation of the two,” said Gray. “I find
history terribly interesting. It’s something I’ve always been fascinated by --
going back into time.
Researching the Marillac family
This July, Gray will begin a year-long
study in Paris, France, of documents from the Archives Nationales, the archives
of the Daughters of Charity and the Bibliothèque Nationale to learn more about
members of the Marillac family and the roles they played in advancing the
Catholic reformation. Gray also plans to pursue research about Louise de
Marillac’s role in founding the Daughters of Charity and her work with Vincent
“My research will contribute
knowledge to the field to show the increasing influence the titled families had
and show how important women were to this process,” added Gray.
“Not enough is known about
Louise and not enough is known about the Marillac family. With St. Vincent de
Paul, we tend to think about the Gondi family, who became his patrons and
helped finance his work with the poor. The Marillacs were just as important a
Catholic noble family,” says the Rev. Edward R. Udovic, C.M., senior executive
for university mission at DePaul University in Chicago. “What Ed is going to do
is look at the key figures in the Marillac family, including Louise, to assess
their roles in the French spiritual renewal.”
“There has been some recent
scholarship that provides some great documentary sources, especially on the life
of Louise’s uncle, Michel de Marillac. Ed’s research promises to break new
ground on Marillac family research,” Udovic said.
Supporting Vincentian scholarship
The Vincentian Studies
Institute is the premier international organization promoting Vincentian studies.
Founded in 1979, the institute is sponsored by DePaul University as a part of
the university’s Office of Mission and Values. The Institute’s mission is to
promote a living interest in the heritage of the Vincentian Family founded by St.
Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) and St. Louise de Marillac (1591-1660).
“We have a long history of publishing
Vincentian scholarship and we want to encourage a new generation of Vincentian
scholars,” said Udovic.
“There are many scholars out
there who might be interested in writing about a Vincentian topic but lack the
support to do so. In particular we’re interested in supporting doctoral
students,” Udovic said.
“What stuck out to me most
about the Vincentian Studies Institute is that it is so focused on the issues
that are central to my research,” said Gray. “It puts me in contact and
conversation with scholars who aren’t studying the Marillac family per se, but
are studying the same issues and puts me with an institutional backing that
will allow my project to flourish.”
At DePaul University, there
are two types of grant programs, the Vincentian Endowment Fund for members of the
DePaul University community, and the Vincentian Studies Institute for external researchers from around the
“Over the years we’ve been
very successful at funding doctoral research and post-doctoral research for
this rising generation of Vincentian scholars, with the hope that with this
financial support they will do their dissertation, write their article or write
their book, and have a commitment, moving forward, for that Vincentian research
to be their research agenda throughout their career.”
Visit DePaul’s website to learn
more about the Vincentian
Endowment Fund and the Vincentian
Studies Institute grant programs.