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Oscar Romero Lecture Series

Dr. Monique Gary and Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart - 2021


Dr. Monique Gary was recognized as a Leading Physician of the World and Top Breast Surgeon in Pennsylvania for 2017, 2018 and 2019, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the highest distinction awarded to surgeons in the nation. As a physician, researcher, advocate and expert on cancer and health care disparities, she is passionate about developing integrative, holistic and innovative approaches to cancer treatment, prevention and survivorship both in our region and throughout the world. 

Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart is the Director for Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs for the city of Philadelphia. She has been City Hall’s primary advisor on COVID-19 guidance and messaging for houses of worship, implementing multi-layered plans to build their capacity and resilience during this time of grief, loss, and difficulty. She is also an adjunct professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova, where she teaches a variety of courses, including "Do Black Lives Matter to God? A Theological Exploration of Race, Suffering, and Resistance" and "Agitating for Justice: Faith-Rooted Community Organizing." 

Carolyn DeWitt, Rock the Vote - 2020

Carolyn DeWitt is a national advocate for young people, a powerhouse for mobilizing youth to understand and use their political power. She is president and executive director of Rock the Vote, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to building the political power of young people. Just two weeks before Election Day 2020, she presented her lecture, "Does Voting Even Matter?"

Brother Octavio Duran, OFM - 2019

Brother Octavio Duran, OFM, a native of El Salvador, Central America, is a Franciscan friar from Holy Name Province who serves as director of media for the province’s office of development. Brother Octavio is known to the Catholic media through his many years as a photojournalist. During his years as a seminarian, he captured many of the iconic images of Archbishop Romero during the final two years of the Salvadoran archbishop’s life.

Jim Keady - 2017

Jim Keady, theologian, activist, educator, and elected official, is the founding director of Educating for Justice, Inc. Jim has spoken across the United States and at international venues to thousands of interested audience members. He has been sought out by members of the U.S. Congress, as well various university administrators, religious and union leaders and student groups to offer his personal and professional experience and critiques on the issues of sweatshops, globalization and social justice.

Sheila Armstrong and David Mosenkis of POWER - 2018

Sheila Armstrong and David Mosenkis, Community Organizers of POWER and the Campaign for Education Equity in PA
An Interfaith Movement, uses our belief in God’s goodness and compassion for the suffering to organize and empower people to live and work together so that God’s presence is known on every block, that people work together to transform the conditions of their neighborhood, and that life flourishes for all.

Hisham Moharram, PhD - 2016

The 2016 Oscar Romero Solidarity lecture, "Remembering Oscar Romero - A Muslim Perspective", was given by Hisham Moharram, Ph.D., founder of Good Tree Farm. His Muslim faith inspired the farm in New Egypt, NJ. It demonstrates how farming can be a catalyst of change for the common good. The event is sponsored by the Office of Mission & Ministry.

Fr. Michael Doyle - 2014

Fr. Michael Doyle is priest, poet, and prophet. He has been ministering for over forty years in Camden, NJ, one of the poorest and most violent cities in the nation. As pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, he founded a free medical clinic, established a program to renovate abandoned houses and assist low-income families, and helped to start a church-based community organizing effort. Fr. Doyle is also known for being part of the "Camden 28" peace action against the Vietnam War. He has been featured in many national and local news outlets including 60 Minutes and the Philadelphia Inquirer. In January 2014, another impressive piece about Fr. Doyle appeared on PBS's Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.

Mary Beth Appel - 2012

Mary Beth Appel, CFNP and Villanova alumna, is a Catholic Worker and co-founder of a Catholic Worker Free Health Clinic in Philadelphia. She will discuss solidarity and how it animates her social justice commitment to marginalized populations of our city. Two student leaders from our student groups will also discuss their work and the concept of solidarity.