College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Centers & Institutes > Center for World Catholicism & Intercultural Theology > World Catholicism Week > 2019 Speakers

2019 Speakers

NOTE: Speaker bios and photos will be posted as they become available.


Robert Emmet Meagher (Hampshire College—Amherst, MA, USA)

Robert Emmet Meagher, PhD
​Author, Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury & Just War
Professor of h​umanities, Hampshire College
(Amherst, MA, USA)

Robert Emmet Meagher holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame (summa cum laude) and the University of Chicago; he joined the Hampshire College faculty in 1972. Prior to that, he taught religious studies and theology at Indiana University and the University of Notre Dame. He has also held visiting chairs and professorships at numerous colleges and universities, including Trinity College Dublin and Yale University.

His publications include over a dozen books, as well as numerous translations and original plays. His most recent books are Herakles Gone Mad: Rethinking Heroism in an Age of Endless War; Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury and Just War; and War and Moral Injury: A Reader,​ co-edited with LTC Douglas Pryer, U.S. Army, retired.

He has offered workshops on the translation and contemporary production of ancient drama at colleges and universities here and abroad, and has himself directed productions at such venues as the Samuel Beckett Centre, Dublin and the Nandan Centre for the Performing Arts in Kolkota, India. In recent years, he has directed and participated in a range of events and programs concerned with healing the spiritual wounds of war in veterans, their families, and their communities.

Mauro Garofalo (Community of Sant'Egidio—Rome)

Mauro Garofalo (Community of Sant'Egidio, Rome)
​International Relations Officer and Conflict Resolutions Unit Officer
Community of Sant'Egidio 

Mauro Garofalo assumed the position of International Relations Officer for the Community of Sant’Egidio in 2006. And since 2008, he has also served as Conflict Resolutions Unit officer as well as provided significant guidance as a member of the fundraising team. He has helped to organize several conferences of note while a member of the Community of Sant’Egidio​​ and serves as its representative to many countries and international organizations. Additionally, he is involved in the secretariat for interreligious and ecumenical dialogues and manages the office that negotiates all of the memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for the Community of Sant’Egidio with governments, international organizations, and institutions.

Since 2008, Dr. Garofalo has assisted in a number of international rescue operations in Afghanistan and Senegal. He has also participated in and contributed to various peace actions in Africa (North and Sub-Saharan), the Middle East, and Far East Asia. He has participated in several emergency response efforts and cooperation development projects.

Dr. Garofalo has been quite active with the Community of Sant’Egidio since 1992, involved with various grassroots service initiatives. Besides this work, he also is an art historian and trained archaeologist, having followed several archaeological research sites and published articles on various related subjects.



MT Dávila (Merrimack College—North Andover, MA, U.S.A.)

María Teresa Dávila (Merrimack College—North Andover, MA)
Lecturer, Religious & Theological Studies
Merrimack College
(North Andover, MA, U.S.A.)

Before coming to Merrimack College, María Teresa (MT) Dávila served as associate professor of Christian ethics at Andover Newton Theological School (Andover, MA). She is an activist/scholar with a focus on race, racial justice, and theological ethics; Latino/a and mujerista ethics and public theology; Latino/a ethics and the ethics of the use of force; immigration; and the use of the social sciences in Christian ethics. Along with Agnes Brazal, she is the coeditor of Living With(out) Borders: Theological Ethics and Peoples on the Move (Orbis, 2016).

​Her main scholarly and activist concern is the question of Christian discipleship in the U.S. context from the perspective of the preferential option for the poor. On this front, MT integrates her scholarly production with homeless ministries, community organizing, and local advocacy efforts around issues of family homelessness, refugee welcome and care, and racial justice. MT is a Roman Catholic laywoman.

Rev. Fadi Daou (Adyan Foundation—Beirut)

Rev. Erico Hammes (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul—Porte Alegre, Brazil)

Rev. Erico Hammes (Pontifical Catholic University of Porto Alegre, Brazil)
​Professor of Systematic Theology
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
(Porto Alegre, Brazil)

Ordained a priest in 1979 in the Diocese of Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil, Erico João Hammes is also professor of systematic theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Porto Alegre, Brazil. He holds a PhD from the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome), where he wrote his dissertation on the Christology of Jon Sobrino. He also completed a post-doctorate in the Christology of peace at the University of Tübingen (Germany).

He was first introduced to the field of peace and nonviolence in the 1970s when, as a student, he took part in the Christian students’ movement which grappled with questions about Brazil’s military dictatorship. It became his academic focus, and since 2005, he has been working on the topic of peace Christology and peace theology and belongs to an interdisciplinary research group on peace and nonviolence at the university in Porto Alegre. From various perspectives such as those of social science, law and justice, human rights, education, philosophy and theology, the group supports activities that promote an end to the culture of violence in the Church, religious practices, and society.

Prof. Hammes' latest publications include the following:


Maria Clara Bingemer (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro—Brazil)

Maria Clara Bingemer (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janiero, Brazil)
Professor of Theology
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janiero

A noted Brazilian theologian, Maria Clara Bingemer holds her PhD from the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome) and is a full professor at Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). S​he focuses her research on  systematic theology and in particular, on contemporary mysticism, and Latin American and liberation theology. Dr. Bingemer is widely published in many languages.

Her English works include A Face for God: Reflections on Trinitarian Theology for Our Times (Convivium, 2014), Witnessing: Prophecy, Politics, and Wisdom (edited with Peter Casarella, Orbis, 2014), and Mary, Mother of God, Mother of the Poor (with Ivone Gebara, Wipf and Stock, 2004). More recently, she published Simone Weil: A Mystic with Passion and Compassion and The Mystery and the World: Passion for God in Times of Unbelief, both from Wipf and Stock, and Latin American Theology: Roots and Branches, from Orbis.

The former dean of the Center of Theology and Human Sciences at PUC-Rio, Bingemer held the first Duffy Lectures Chair at Boston College in spring 2015. She serves on the editorial boards of many theological journals, including Concilium.​

Rev. Daniel F. Pilario, CM (St. Vincent School of Theology—Quezon City, Philippines)

Rev. Daniel F. Pilario, CM (St. Vincent School of Theology—Quezon City, Philippines)
Dean and Professor
St. Vincent School of Theology (SVST), Adamson University
(Quezon City, Philippines)

In addition to serving as dean, Daniel Franklin Pilario, CM, is also a professor at Adamson University's St. Vincent School of Theology​ in Quezon City, Philippines. He holds both his STL and PhD from KU Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven), and his doctoral dissertation became Back to the Rough Grounds of Praxis(2005, Leuven University Press and Peeters), now used as a reference book for philosophy students. Much of his research covers fundamental theology, inculturation, theological anthropology and sociology, methods of theological research, and political-social theory. 

A founding member and former president of DaKaTeo (Catholic Theological Society of the Philippines), Pilario is also a vice president of Concilium as well as editor of other philosophical and theological journals. His articles appear in journals such as Questions Liturgiques, Bijdragen, Asian Christian Review, and Chakana, and he will soon be publishing a new book, Faith in Action: Catholic Social Teaching on the Ground, as part of the SVST Interdisciplinary Series. Additionally, as member of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), he regularly ministers in a parish in Payatas garbage dump/landfill site on the outskirts of Manila. ​

O. Ernesto Valiente (Boston College—Boston)

O. Ernesto Valiente (Boston College School of Theology & Ministry)
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
Boston College School of Theology & Ministry

A native of El Salvador, O. Ernesto (Neto) Valiente earned his doctorate in systematic theology at the University of Notre Dame before coming to the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, where he is currently associate professor of systematic theology.  His main areas of scholarly interest include political and liberation theology, and theologies of social reconciliation.  

He is the author of Liberation Through Reconciliation: The Christological Spirituality of Jon Sobrino (Fordham University Press, 2016) and has also recently co-edited The Grace of Medellín: History, Theology, and Legacy / Reflections on the Significance of Medellín for the Church in the United States (Convivium, 2018), which celebrates the event’s 50th anniversary. His work has appeared in journals such as Theological Studies, Irish Theological Quarterly, and Christus. He is also the former chair and the current vice chair of CRISPAZ (Christians for Peace in El Salvador). ​


Jasmin Nario-Galace (Miriam College and Pax Christi Pilipinas—Quezon City, Philippines)

Jasmin Nario-Galace (Miriam College & Pax Christi Pilipinas—Quezon City, Philippines)
Executive Director, Center for Peace Education, Miriam College
President, Pax Christi Pilipinas
(Quezon City, Philippines)​

Jasmin Nario-Galace, PhD, is executive director of the Center for Peace Education (CPE) and professor in the Department of International Studies at Miriam College (Quezon City, Philippines). Additionally, she currently leads the Peace Education Network, while also serving as president of Pax Christi Pilipinas, chair of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines’ Justice and Peace Education Committee, and vice president of the Philippine Council for Peace and Global Education.
Internationally, she serves actively in numerous organizations: as a board member of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders; as co-coordinator of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) Women’s Network and a member of IANSA’s International Advisory Council; as representative of the CPE in the Women Peacemakers Program-Asia, the Asia-Pacific Women’s Alliance on Peace and Security (APWAPS), and the Control Arms Coalition. She also co-represents the CPE in the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. In addition, she is a member of the Group of Experts of the Forum Arms Trade, the board for the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction, and the Facilitation Team of Pax Christi-Asia Pacific.

Her previous positions include coordinator of the CSO Group of the Preparatory Committee, which led the formulation of the UNSCR 1325 National Action Plan (NAP) in the Philippines​, and co-convener as well as national coordinator of the Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (WE Act 1325). This national network of women from peace, human rights, and women’s organizations helps to implement the NAP on Women, Peace, and Security. 

She is also the author or co-author of various publications on peace education, conflict resolution, arms control and women, and peace and security. She holds an MA in peace studies from the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, Indiana) and a PhD in educational psychology at the University of the Philippines.

Martha Inés Romero (Pax Christi International—Bogotá)

Sr. Teresia Wamũyũ Wachira, IBVM (St. Paul's University—Limuru, Kenya)

Sr. Teresia Wamuyu Wachira, IBVM (St. Paul's University, Nairobi)
Lecturer, Peace & Conflict Studies, St. Paul's University
Board Member, Pax Christi International
(Limuru, Kenya)

Teresia Wamũyũ Wachira is a Kenyan and a member of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM), commonly known as the Loreto Sisters. She is currently a senior lecturer in peace and conflict studies at St. Paul’s University in Nairobi, as well as a board member of Pax Christi International and member of the IBVM NGO Advisory Committee​​ in New York. Her areas of interest focus on the following: youth; women and peacebuilding; gender and development; community peacebuilding; sustainable development goals; indigenous peacebuilding approaches; gender and African approaches to nonviolence; creating cultures of peace, especially in educational institutions; and alternative rites of passage to counter female genital mutilation which is widely practiced in Kenya and other parts of Africa and the world.​

Teresia holds an MA in applied theology, peace, and justice studies from Middlesex University, UK, and a PhD in peace and conflict studies from the University of Bradford, UK, for which she explored the experiences of violence in schools in Kenya. She has also served as a teacher and principal in Loreto schools in Kenya, specializing in the education of young women and training them for peacemaking and reconciliation work. 

Teresia’s dream is for a world that women and men, young and old, call “home”…a world that is free of fear, violence, and inequality…a world where people shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks…where nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isaiah 2:4).


Michael L. Budde (DePaul Univeristy—Chicago)

Fr. Eliseo Mercado, OMI (Kusog Mindanao and Notre Dame University—Cotabato City, Philippines)

Fr. Elias Omondi Opongo, SJ (Hekima Institute of Peace Studies & International Relations—Nairobi)

Fr. Elias Omondi Opongo, SJ (Hekima Institute of Peace Studies & International Relations, Nairobi)
Director, Hekima Institute of Peace Studies & International Relations (HIPSIR)
Hekima University College

Elias Omondi Opongo, SJ, is director of the Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) at Hekima University College in Nairobi. A peace practitioner and conflict analyst, he holds a PhD in peace and conflict studies from the University of Bradford, UK, and an MA in international peace studies from the University of Notre Dame (South Bend, Indiana). He focuses his research on the areas of transitional justice and post-conflict reconstruction; state fragility and the militarization of conflicts; religious extremism and violence; and state building and community peacebuilding.

Opongo has published books, book chapters, and articles on conflict resolution, transitional justice, peacebuilding and Catholic social teaching. His most recent books are Leadership in Peacebuilding in Africa (2014); Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies in Africa (2016); and Pope Francis on Good Governance and Accountability in Africa​ (2018).


Rev. Francis Gonsalves, SJ (Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth Pontifical Institute—Pune, India)

Elizabeth Kanini Kimau (Horn of Africa Grassroots Peace Forum—Kenya)

Ana Raffai (Regional Address for Nonviolent Action—Zagreb)

Ana Raffai (Co-Founder, Regional Address for Nonviolent Action, Zagreb)
Board Member, Church & Peace​
Co-Founder, Regional Address for Nonviolent Action (RAND)

A native of Croatia, Ana Marija Raffai is a peace activist, Catholic theologian, and professor of French and German. In 1991, she graduated with a degree in theology with her work on the feminist theologian, Katharine Halkes. And in 1992, during the Balkan Wars, she and her husband, Otto, created an organization called the Regional Address for Nonviolent Action (RAND) in Croatia. Since 1996, she has worked as a coordinator, program leader, and educator for nonviolent action, actively committed to promoting nonviolence in education and civic action, focusing primarily on the interreligious peace work that links nonviolent action and interreligious coexistence. She serves on the boards of the Ecumenical Women's Initiative and the European ecumenical network, Church and Peace. ​

In 2005, together with a thousand women around the world, Raffai was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Together with her husband, Otto, she received the 2003 International Fellowship of Reconciliation as well as the 2012 Kruno Sukić Prize for the Promotion of Peacemaking, Nonviolence, and Human Rights. Then, from 2013 to 2017, she and Otto coauthored a monthly column on nonviolence in the Croatian magazine, Svjetlo riječi (Light of the Word), and since 2018, they have regularly collaborated on the column, “Revolution of Tenderness,“ on the web portal. Along with translations of French and German peace articles, their writing serves to popularize nonviolent action. ​

Currently, her most important projects involve nonviolent training sessions, MES Interreligious Educational Encounters organized by RAND, and the initiatives of RAND's Believers for Peace network which she coordinates and which holds regional interreligious conferences under the title, “By Building Peace, We Celebrate God.” She has published several theoretical and popular peace articles in Croatian, German, and French as well as several training manuals such as the "Volunteers in Peace Building“ (2004); "Tool on the Path to Nonviolence“ (2007); and "Interreligious Dialogue as a Way to Social Reconciliation“ (2010).