WASHINGTON, DC - Hundreds of Catholics from across the country who work in ministries at parishes, dioceses, national organizations and college and university campuses will explore the implications of Pope Francis' teachings on ecology and mercy at the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, January 23-26, in Washington. The theme of the gathering, "Called to Live Mercy in Our Common Home," is meant to echo Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si' and the ongoing celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
The gathering, which seeks to equip leaders and rising leaders in the Church to bring the voice of faith into the public square, is organized by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and 16 other national organizations, including Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Charities USA, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Rural Life and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
"Our faith impels us to promote human dignity and to act in solidarity for those most in need, especially during this Jubilee Year of Mercy," said Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. "The Catholic Social Ministry Gathering is a unique opportunity for people to come together to pray and learn more about issues threatening human life and the dignity of our brothers and sisters here and around the world, issues that include environmental degradation, poverty, war and persecution. Participants will explore ways to address these vital concerns in our shared home."
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, USCCB president, will celebrate the opening Mass of the gathering on Saturday, January 23. Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of Burlington, Vermont, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Communications, will celebrate the closing Mass on Tuesday, January 26.
Bishop Nelson J. Perez, auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre, New York, will give the keynote address, January 23. On January 24, Sister Kathleen McManus, O.P., Ph.D., associate professor of theology at the University of Portland, will speak on The Global Suffering of Women as an Ethical Imperative for the Church, and Kathryn J. Edin, Ph.D., Bloomberg distinguished professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University, will present on her new book "$2 a Day: The Art of Living on Virtually Nothing in America." Meghan Clark, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology and religious studies at St. John's University, will speak on Encounters at the Margins of our Common Home, January 25.
David Brooks and Mark Shields of the PBS NewsHour will discuss the political landscape in Washington with Jonathan Reyes, Ph.D., executive director of USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, at a luncheon, January 24.
Registration and other information is available online.
Continue the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #csmg16.