In the Fall of 2019, the Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative launched the inaugural “Catena Lecture in Medicine, Faith, and Service.” We look forward to hosting a speaker that follows his example each year.
Dr. Catena is the only physician for a population of more than 750,000 in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, a conflict zone where humanitarian aid is restricted. At the Mother of Mercy Hospital, which he founded in 2007, he treats as many as 400 patients a day and is on call around the clock. Treating casualties of the region’s civil war, he performs more than 1,000 operations each year, often without running water or electricity.
In 2018, Catena received the Catholic Doctor of the Year Award from the Mission Doctors Association in Los Angeles. In 2017, Dr. Catena was awarded the $1.1 million Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, which honors unsung heroes working to preserve human life at great personal risk. He is the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from Brown University (2016) and Yerevan State Medical University (2017) and was named one of the 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2015.
You can watch the inaugural lecture from Dr. Catena, “Gratitude in Action: One Doctor. One Hospital. One Million Patients.” from November, 19th, 2019 here:
About the Catena Lecture
Duke Divinity School has received a $300,000 gift to endow the Thomas Gerard Catena lecture series, which will be administered by the Theology, Medicine, and Culture (TMC) initiative of Duke Divinity School, in partnership with the Duke Global Health Institute and the School of Medicine (via the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine).
In future years, in tribute to Catena, the lectureship will invite speakers whose work displays innovative scholarship, service and institution-building at the intersection of theology, medicine and culture.