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Friday, 15 September 2006

St. Jerome's Centre 2006 Lecture Series

Pssst. Want to know about Social Justice

Every year on campus there is a plethora of activities to partake of, some just for entertainment, some for learning and some for physical activity. This year is no different. Each of the four church colleges has different areas of expertise, both in the classroom and out. This year, The St. Jerome’s Center for Catholic Experience is hosting an exceptional range of speakers on the issues of Social Justice.

Yet that is not the only change taking place this year. The Center also has a new Director. Dr. Megan Shore is leading the charge in tackling these issues. Shore in a recent press release stated: “What is our best kept secret? No, it is not the Da Vinci code. It is our Catholic social teaching!” She cited a history of social justice teachings, going back to Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of Labour). The church has a long distinguished history of Catholic Social Teaching or CSTthat address such issues as international development, racism, human rights abuses, sexism, poverty, global ecological issues and weapons of mass destruction.

The ‘Justice’ series this year will look at many of those issues through a contemporary Catholic lens. This series will comprise 8 lectures, and even a book launch. The lectures on CST will be from speakers near and far, from St. Jerome’s own David Seljak, former Director of the Centre, speaking on Ethnic Diversity and Christian Unity to Archbishop Weisgerber of Saskatoon speaking on Bridging the Gap: Reaching Beyond Our Social Difference.

Each of the nine speakers is an expert in their field bring years of experience and practical work to their lecture. These lectures are co-sponsored by many organizations and groups in our community and further abroad. CBC Radio One will be here in January to record Dr. Adele Reinhartz lecture on Jesus of Hollywood to air later as part of the CBC’s Ideas program.

Another sponsored lecture is The John Sweeney Lectures in Current Issues in Healthcare a lecture b Katherine Rouleau, MD speaking on HIV/AIDS from a Canadian Catholic Perspective Rouleau has served as advisor to Malawi and is a staff physician and researcher at St. Michael’s Hospital at the University of Toronto. This lecture is sponsored annually by St. Mary’s General Hospital in Waterloo.

The first lecture is Globalization and Catholic Social Thought: Present Crisis, Future Hope by William F. Ryan S.J., PhD Friday September 22nd at 730pm in Sigfried Hall. Ryan will be speaking on how globalization affects economics, politics, ecology, culture and how CST interacts with this complicated issues especially as we move forward into the 21st century.

On a personal note, having attended many of these lectures over the past few yearsthey are worth the time and effort to attend. They are informative, encouraging and often challenging to one’s world views and preconceived notions about Catholicism.

So come across the creek from main campus and check out a lecture or two. Come and see where Dr. Shore is guiding the SJU Centre this year and into the future. The Complete listing of the lectures is available at www.sju.ca/centre/lectures.html .

(First Published in Imprint 2006-09-15 as ‘New activities to inspire and inform: St. Jerome’s commences lectures on racism, human rights, sexism, poverty, global ecological issues and weaponry.’)

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