VILLANOVA, Pa. – In a world where an estimated 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty, trying to help all those in need can seem like an overwhelming task. Villanova University’s Office for Mission and Ministry, with the Journal of Catholic Social Thought, brings together experts from across country to explore Catholic Social Teaching’s approach to global poverty in its annual conference, March 21-22. The conference is free and open to the public, although registration is required.
“We hope this conference informs the Villanova community and the public about one of the most serious moral problems of our time which is global poverty,” said Dr. Barbara Wall, Vice President for Villanova’s Office for Mission and Ministry. “We are reminded from the framework of Catholic Social Teaching that the Gospel impels us to explore ways to use resources in more just ways to alleviate the plight of the poor.”
Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday, March 22, at 4 p.m., in The Villanova Room of the Connelly Center. Other noted speakers include Jeff Madrick, Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute; Maria Terese Davila, Boston College; Daniel Groody, C.S.C., University of Notre Dame; Stephen O'Connell, Swarthmore College; as well as speakers from Catholic Relief Services. For the full program schedule, click here.
Villanova University has a long history of commitment to combating poverty and its causes. Students are encouraged to explore the problem from a variety of perspectives and are active in the fight against poverty in and outside of the classroom. Campus volunteer groups include Bread for the World, a Christian organization that encourages students to engage in advocacy through legislative letter-writing, email and phone campaigns; and Catholic Relief Services Ambassadors, which works to educate and empower the campus community to support causes such as fair trade and food security.
Villanova faculty experts on poverty include:
· Dr. Suzanne Toton (Theology) – World poverty and hunger, peace building and development.
· Dr. Ron Hill (Business) – The globalization and poverty, corporate social responsibility.
· Dr. Robert DeFina (Sociology) – Poverty and crime, poverty and working families.
To register for the Catholic Social Teaching and Global Poverty Conference and find out more about the event, click here.