Dr. Carrie Gress— Alumni Profile | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • CGress

    Dr. Carrie Gress

    Class of 2001

    Majors: Philosophy

    Dr. Carrie Gress MA ’01 was once convinced that she couldn’t write. But then she composed her doctoral dissertation over the span of several years, during which time she and her husband welcomed three children. “After 300,000 words, countless footnotes, five languages, and three kids, I realized that writing books was entirely manageable with children,” says Gress, who holds a doctorate in philosophy from The Catholic University of America.

    But before she was an author or a mother, Gress was a Franciscan student wondering how to live out her faith and deepen her devotion. In 2001, she came to Franciscan from her native Oregon “largely because I wanted to know what it was like to live, pray, and study with Catholics my own age,” says Gress.

    Father Dan Pattee, TOR, Gress’ spiritual director while she was a student, advised her to spend an hour every day in eucharistic adoration. Gress credits that daily hour, along with Franciscan’s community life, with helping her to learn to turn to God constantly.

    “The relationships that grew at Franciscan gave me clear eyes about our faith, especially the reality of human brokenness and struggle. Our poverties don't have the last word, but this awareness inoculated me against expecting Christians to be perfect,” says Gress.

    Gress formerly served as the Rome Bureau Chief of Zenit’s English Edition and worked for the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Now the mother of four young children whom she homeschools, Gress spends much of her time writing and teaching philosophy. Her third book, Ultimate Makeover: The Transforming Power of Motherhood, proposes practical, prayerful remedies to many of the difficulties of motherhood, though Gress has authored books on a variety of topics ranging from Marian devotion to St. John Paul II’s childhood.

    “Franciscan was really the foundation for what has followed, professionally, socially, and spiritually,” Gress acknowledges. “My time at Franciscan transformed me intellectually and spiritually in ways that have opened doors, healed wounds, and built relationships that continue to play out every day of my life.”

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