2021 Catholic Social Tradition Conference Recordings

Award Presentation & Racial Justice – Engaging the Structure of Oppression

Justice in the World calls us to consider the ways in which injustice manifests itself in violence toward those who experience life on the margins, expressed in structures that perpetuate systems of oppression. We must not only understand these injustices, but discern ways of ‘building up’ a ‘more just and more loving world.’ The history of racism in the United States goes well beyond the prejudiced actions of individuals. Instead, racism is embedded in our society and people of faith will need courage and creativity in the work of justice. This panel will highlight historic and modern systemic expressions of racial injustice and advocate for ways of faithfully engaging the structures of oppression with a gospel shaped vision. 


Adam Gustine, D.Min., Interim Director of Social Concerns Seminars


The Most Reverend Mark J. Seitz, D.D., Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso

Rev. Bryan Massingale, S.T.D., Professor, James and Nancy Buckman Chair in Applied Christian Ethics, Department of Theology, Fordham University  

Shannen Dee Williams, Ph.D., Albert Lepage Assistant Professor of History, Villanova University

Creating a Global Vision of Justice

The panel addresses the major injustices that have to be addressed in our world. It seeks to identify “wounds of the times” on a global level and presents justice as a remedy to these wounds. One question that the panel plans to discuss is the kind of justice that we need – it cannot be “justice without charity” or “cold justice,” it cannot be “justice without grace” or “human-made justice.” But there has to be commitment to our own efforts and to contributive justice, understood in the broadest possible terms. What does “contributive justice” mean for a global vision of justice?


Clemens Sedmak, Ph.D., Catholic Social Tradition Advisor; Director and Professor of Social Ethics, Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs


Sr. Helen Alford, O.P., Vice Dean, Social Sciences, Angelicum

Stan Chu Ilo, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Catholic Studies, DePaul University, Visiting Professor, Tangaza University College’s Institute of Social Ministry and Mission, and Founder of the Canadian Samaritans for Africa

Christina Astorga, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Theology Department, University of Portland

Prof. Mathias Nebel, Profesor/investigador de Ética Social y DSI, Director académico Instituto Promotor del Bien Común, Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP), Departamento de Ciencias Políticas

Tebaldo Vinciguerra, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

Hearing the Gospel and Spreading Good News 

A raging global pandemic. Ongoing police brutality against people of color. Children intentionally removed from their families at the border. Threats against America’s democracy. In this session, we shine a light on vibrant and diverse communities who offer living proof that even amid such darkness the Gospel remains εὐαγγέλιον (euaggelion) or good news. Panelists include community leaders, non-profit founders, and students whose daily witness to the Gospel may not make headlines for their contributions to “a more just and loving world” (para 3). These speakers embody what the Bishops in Justice in the World described as the “awareness of the Church’s vocation to be present in the heart of the world by proclaiming the Good News to the poor, freedom to the oppressed, and joy to the afflicted” (para 5). In this session, the CST conference aspires to be a celebration of truly good news and the power of the Gospel in our own time. 


Ben Wilson, M.Div., Director of Summer Service Learning Program


Emily Archambault, Camp Coordinator, Camp Sharing Meadows 

Kathy Bego, former Holy Cross Associate, mother of five, and active community volunteer in Grand Rapids

Brad Grabs, M.Ed., Founder and Executive Director, The Learning Club 

E. Nicole Watts, Founder and CEO, Hopeprint

Justice in the World of Work: Global, National, Local Perspectives

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed not only how reliant we all are on the labor of essential workers, but also how unprotected and underpaid many millions of those essential workers are. At the same time, the concentration of nonwhite and female workers in those undervalued occupations highlights the persistence of racialized and gendered labor markets more than fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act outlawed workplace discrimination. That contradiction — indispensable work performed by underappreciated workers — has created an opening for new conversations and policies to promote more just and inclusive workplaces. Tapping the expertise of labor experts from a variety of perspectives, this session will offer an update on what workers are facing as well as what avenues might point us toward an economy more dedicated to the common good as we envision a post-pandemic economy.


Daniel Graff, Ph.D., Director, Higgins Labor Program; Faculty Joint Appointment, History


Kevin Cassidy, Director, ILO Office for the United States, International Labour Organization

Thea M. Lee, President, Economic Policy Institute

Karen Kent, President, Unite Here, Local 1 (Chicago)

Starting Justice at Home

In Justitia in mundo, the world’s Catholic bishops emphasized that their credibility in raising concerns about justice depended upon the institutional church’s own practice of justice: “If the Church is to give a testimony of justice, she recognizes that, whoever she is, who wishes to speak to men of justice, she herself must be just in the eyes of the same men.”

The global sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church has sharpened the call for justice within the institutional church, and this panel will explore its significance for the church’s mission to preach the Gospel, attending in particular to transformation of ecclesial structures and the role of the laity.


Margaret Pfeil, Ph.D., Faculty Joint Appointment, Theology


Kevin Hayes, President of the Catholics for Change in our Church Board and Founding Principal, Hayes Design Group Architects

Anne Barrett Doyle, Co-director, BishopAccountability

Catherine Hilkert, O.P., Ph.D., Professor of Systematic Theology, Theology Department, University of Notre Dame

Justice for the Earth

“… the precious treasures of air and water–without which there cannot be life–and the small delicate biosphere of the whole complex of life on earth, are not infinite, but on the contrary must be saved and preserved as a unique patrimony belonging to all human beings.” (Justitia in mundo 8). 

The coronavirus, rampant wildfires, record hurricanes, plunging biodiversity…the concurrent disasters of our warming world place the climate crisis at the forefront of global concern. And the crisis knows no borders– we are all part of the natural world and share a collective responsibility for healing and protecting our common home. Still, those disproportionately affected by the pandemic–people of color, the poor, and those living in frontline communities– bare the inordinate burden of climate change and are caught perpetually in the cycle of disaster recovery. Enacting economic and racial justice, then, requires justice for the earth.The disruption of COVID-19 provides the opportunity to reflect on the way our daily lives and policies fuel the climate crisis. Inspired by the Gospel and echoing the Bishops’ call to simplicity in Justitia in mundo, how can we best advocate for the earth, from questioning our personal consumption habits and workplace norms to fostering domestic policy and international cooperation?


Kelli Reagan, Research Associate, Catholic Social Teaching


Fr. Emmanual Katongole, Ph.D., Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame and Bethany Land Institute

Rabbi Yonatan Neril, Founder and Executive Director, Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development

Uri Shanas, Ph.D.,CEO and Founder, TIME (This Is My Earth)

Margaret Pfeil, Ph.D., Associate Teaching Professor of Moral Theology and Christian Ethics, Department of Theology, and Joint Appointment, Center for Social Concerns, University of Notre Dame