Carmen M. Nanko-Fernández, a self-described Hurban@́ (Hispanic and urban) theologian, is professor of Hispanic theology and ministry and the director of the Hispanic Theology and Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Her scholarship focuses on Latin@́ theologies, Catholic social teaching, interreligious, ecumenical and intercultural relations, im/migration, sport and theology, and the intersections between faith and popular culture with particular attention to béisbol/baseball. Nanko-Fernández has presented in a variety of academic and pastoral venues, including a conference at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Her publications include the book Theologizing en Espanglish (Orbis) and she is currently completing ¿El Santo? Baseball and the Canonization of Roberto Clemente, which is under contract with the Sport and Religion series of Mercer University Press. A past president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS), she received their Virgilio Elizondo Award for “distinguished achievement in theology” in 2012.

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Real presence in a time of ongoing pandemic

Theology en la Plaza: Minimizing the anxieties of Catholics around their return to churches while inadequately addressing the prophylactic need for masks in congregational environments where vaccination statuses remain unknown is beyond irresponsible.


Pope Francis and his 'secular encyclical' on sport

Theology en la Plaza: With a fan's enthusiasm, Pope Francis has produced what might be understood as a "canon within a canon" when it comes to sports and his ongoing development of a theology of encounter.


The dead and the living deserve better than rushed reconciliation

Theology en la Plaza: In a pandemic, social friendship begins with wearing masks. In a political transition, healing requires admission of loss. We owe a sacred obligation to the dead and the living.


'It is what it is.' The Assumption says no!

Theology en la Plaza: Following World War II, the Assumption affirmed the goodness of the body and offered an alternative vision for a shared destiny. On this 70th anniversary, amid our own troubled times, is it worth considering what the Assumption may have to offer, or is it an esoteric antique, a day of obligation?