February 2, 2021

The Catholic Information Center is delighted to announce the establishment of its Panula Chair in Christian Culture, named in honor of former CIC Director Fr. Arne Panula (1946-2017). The inaugural holder of the chair will be Mary Eberstadt.

“The CIC blossomed into the intellectual and spiritual hub for Washington professionals that it is today under the leadership of Fr. Arne,” said Mitch Boersma, Chief Operating Officer. “So it is propitious that this next step for CIC of contributing to conversations at the intersection of faith and public life bears his name.”

Mr. Boersma continued, “Mary’s contribution to many of the most pressing issues of our time is matched only by her generosity of spirit. She is well-known for building up new forms of fellowship based on shared values and purpose. In that way she embodies the ethos infused into the CIC by Fr. Arne. I can think of no one more fitting to hold this inaugural chair. We are honored to have the opportunity to provide a home to support Mary’s efforts going forward.”

Of her new role, Mary Eberstadt said, “Fr. Arne Panula was a brilliant spiritual leader and scholar whose example continues to inspire souls around the world.  I’m deeply honored to accept a chair in his name. The CIC’s unique intellectual and religious mission in the nation’s capital and beyond has never been more important than it is today. I’m looking forward to the vital work ahead.”

“We are really happy to have Mary joining the CIC,” added CIC Director Fr. Charles Trullols. “She will enrich the discussion around many key cultural topics of our times from a Christian perspective.”