Catholic Social Tradition Conference

OPTION FOR THE POOR: Engaging the Social Tradition

2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference 

March 21–23, 2019 | University of Notre Dame

This biennial conference sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame will explore how Catholic social tradition can engage academics and practitioners in the challenges of the most marginalized and vulnerable people in societies today, as well as how the development and impact of the Latin American theological concept of Option for the Poor has been globally embraced to build a more just and humane world. If the moral test of a society is how it treats vulnerable people, the signs of the times suggest there is significant room for improvement in communities around the world. By assembling experts in Catholic social ethics, the conference seeks to identify social issues with practical responses adequate to address the difficulty of resulting injustices.

Keynote Speakers | Bios

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, S.D.B. 
Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar 


Lisa Sowle Cahill, Ph.D. 
Boston College


Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P. 
University of Notre Dame


Charles Clark, Ph.D.

St. John’s University

Daniel Graff, Ph.D.
University of Notre Dame


Early Bird Registration Fee: $225 (ends January 31, 2019)
Registration fee as of February 1, 2019: $250  


No conference registration fee is charged for University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, and Holy Cross College faculty, staff, and students, but we ask that you please register. There is a $25 meal fee if you opt in for the meals and/or dessert reception. 


Pre-Conference Workshop

Restorative Justice on Catholic Campuses: An Exploration of Applications
Thursday, March 21, 12:30–4:00 p.m.

This workshop is designed to introduce participants to the philosophy and practice of restorative justice. Organized by the Restorative Justice Network of Catholic Campuses (RJNCC), the presenters will describe restorative justice's alignment with Catholic social tradition and how various campuses are engaging with restorative justice. If you have an interest in restorative justice, this session will introduce you to the lead coordinators of the RJNCC. The network encourages Catholic campuses to articulate and cultivate restorative principles and to assist each other in strengthening interest, commitment, and implementation of restorative practices on their campuses.

The opt-in for Pre-conference Workshop is part of the CST Conference registration form.


University Cosponsors

UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME: Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion; Catholic Social Tradition Minor; Center for Civil and Human Rights; Center for the Study of Religion and Society; Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing; Cushwa Center for American Catholicism; Department of Theology; Higgins Labor Program; Institute for Latino Studies; Keough School of Global Affairs; Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies; Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor; The Law School's Program on Church, State, & Society
SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE: Center for Spirituality
Organizational Cosponsors
Catholic Charities USA; Catholic Mobilizing Network; National Center for the Laity
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Upcoming Events

November 2018

Lecture by Willam Galston
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 12:30pm
Higgins Alumni Network Lecture
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

December 2018

Information Session: Spring 2019 Social Concerns Seminars
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 4:00pm
Pizza, Pop, & Politics
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Information Session: Spring 2019 Social Concerns Seminars
Thursday, December 6, 2018 - 4:00pm

January 2019

Information Session: Spring 2019 Social Concerns Seminars
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 4:00pm

March 2019

Pre-Conference Workshop: Restorative Justice on Catholic Campuses
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 12:30pm to 4:00pm
2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Friday, March 22, 2019 - 7:30am to 9:30pm
2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 8:00am to 4:30pm

April 2019

Been & Seen Series
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

June 2019

Community Engagement Faculty Institute
Tuesday, June 4, 2019 (All day) to Thursday, June 6, 2019 (All day)