Notre Dame Logo

Center for Social Concerns


Home > About The Center > Letter from the Director

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear friends,

Welcome to the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) of the University of Notre Dame.

This past semester I had been teaching in Nairobi, Kenya when I received the formal invitation letter to become executive director of the Center for Social Concerns. It came on Holy Thursday while in neighboring Uganda, where I spent Holy Week visiting Holy Cross communities.

That afternoon I preached at a high school run by Holy Cross in Jinja called Holy Cross LakeView, where Lake Victoria spreads itself out in front of you as you look down a long slope. With 750 antsy teenagers—Catholics, other Christians, Muslims (it’s a boarding school)—I reflected on Jesus’ question after he’d washed the disciples’ feet: “Do you understand what I have done for you?” The question resonated with me. I think it’s hard for us to answer “yes” even now, 2,000 years later, for so much of what we do suggests we don’t understand very well.

I have come to believe, however, that we can honestly answer “we’re trying to understand.” And I think of the Center as a place and a community that taught me something of what Jesus was trying to impart that night, and that it has long done the same for many at Notre Dame and beyond.

I look forward in the years ahead to building on the strong legacy of skillful generosity in seeking to forge habits of mind and heart attuned to the world’s feet, a legacy built by so many—not least Fr. Don McNeill and Fr. Bill Lies—and also the rest of those at the Center, as well as our many supporters and benefactors. I rejoice to think of working together with you in the future.


Rev. Paul Kollman, C.S.C.

The Leo and Arlene Hawk Director of the Center for Social Concerns


I invite you to take a look at who we are and what we do! While we are in the process of updating our website, we hope to convey some of the energy and passion we have and share with so many others. Please join us in our Gospel mission that calls us "to service and action for a more just and humane world."



The site you are visiting is designed with web standards. This note was made visible to you because you are on a non-traditional device or are using an outdated browser. You may only view the content of this site. Please visit Notre Dame Web Central's browser upgrade page for a list of browsers that supports web standards.