Fr. Cyprian Davis, OSB, has been
named professor emeritus of Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, St.
Meinrad, IN. He is the first faculty member to receive this recognition in the
Seminary and School of Theology.
He was honored by students, staff and faculty at a
school banquet on September 27. He currently teaches Church history at Saint
Fr. Cyprian is a national leader in historical
studies of the African American Catholic Church in the United States. The author
of numerous articles and books on the history and spirituality of African
American Catholics, he wrote The History of Black Catholics in the United States
for which he received the John Gilmary Shea Award from the American Catholic
Other books include The Church: A Living Heritage;
Stamped with the Image of God: African Americans as God's Image in Black, which
he co-edited with Jamie Phelps, OP; Henriette Delille: Servant of Slaves,
Witness to the Poor; and a book of historical essays about Saint Meinrad, To
Prefer Nothing to Christ.
Fr. Cyprian joined the Benedictine community at
Saint Meinrad Archabbey in 1951 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1956.
He began teaching in 1957, later taking time off to earn a licentiate in
1963 and a doctorate in 1977, both in historical sciences from the Catholic
University of Louvain in Belgium.
He has received honorary degrees from the
University of Notre Dame in 2001, the Catholic Theological Union in 2002,
St. Vincent's College, Latrobe, PA, in 2003, and The Catholic University of
America in 2006.
In 2002, he was awarded the Johannes Quasten
Medal for excellence in scholarship and leadership in religious studies from
The Catholic University of America. In 2004, he received the Distinguished
Alumnus Award from the Saint Meinrad Alumni Association. He also received
the Marianist Award from the University of Dayton in 2007 and the Acacia
Award in 2010 from the Archdiocese of Louisville.
Fr. Cyprian is the archivist for the Archabbey,
the Swiss-American Benedictine Congregation and the National Black Catholic
Clergy Caucus, of which he was a founding member in 1968.