Former sociology professor at Quincy University to discuss Sunday how Franciscan friars shaped Catholicism

Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County

QUINCY — Brother Joseph Zimmerman, professor emeritus of sociology at Quincy University (1970-2003), will present a program on his book “Cura Animarum” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, in the Senior and Family Resource Center, 639 York.

The book details how Franciscan friars from Germany, the Sacred Heart Province of the Order of Friars Minor in North America, shaped Catholicism in the United States from 1858 to 2023. The book also discusses the response to cultural trends during that time period.

A native of Decatur, Zimmerman attended St. Joseph Seminary in Westmont for high school and the first two years of college. He spent a year at the Franciscan novitiate in Teutopolis and studied philosophy for three years at Our Lady of Angels Seminary in Cleveland. He was ordained in 1962 by Bishop Henry Ambrose Pinger, OFM, at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Teutopolis. Zimmerman earned a doctorate in sociology from Harvard University.

At Quincy University, he was chair of the division of history and social science and president of the faculty senate. Zimmerman has been involved with racial justice at the diocesan level and in the Quincy area for several years and now is serving in supply ministry and lives at Holy Cross Friary in Quincy.

The program is free and open to the public.

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