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World Catholicism Week 2021

Rise Up and Walk: Catholicism and Health Care across the Globe

The Catholic Church is perhaps the largest provider of health care in the world. From sophisticated Catholic hospital systems to small rural clinics, the Church continues the legacy of healing begun by Jesus. Today, however, the gap between technologically advanced medicine and the needs of the desperately poor continues to widen. This conference addressed some of the most pressing issues facing Catholic health care providers around the globe and brings together speakers from Uganda, India, Ecuador, South Korea, Kenya, the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, and Zambia. Panels discussed

  • Catholic health care services and strategies 
  • biblical and theological narratives of health and healing
  • the relationship between Western and non-Western traditions of medicine
  • healing trauma and invisible wounds
  • Catholic partnerships between the global South and global North

Keynote Speakers

Barbra Mann Wall, PhD, RN, FAAN

  • Thomas A. Saunders III Professor of Nursing, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
  • Author, Into Africa: A Transnational History of Catholic Missions & Social Change

David Cayley

  • Award-winning journalist & former host of CBC Radio One's "Ideas" (Toronto)
  • Author, Ideas on the Nature of Science

Roundtable Speakers

  • Susan Nedza, MD, MBA (Olancho Aid Foundation—Olancho, Honduras)
  • Soojung Kim (Catholic University of Korea—Seoul)
  • Samuel Orach, MD (Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau—Kampala)
  • Alexandre Martins (Marquette University—Milwaukee, WI, U.S.A.)
  • David Toole (Duke Global Health Institute—Durham, NC, U.S.A.)
  • Stan Chu Ilo (CWCIT, DePaul University—Chicago)
  • Sr. Maria Vasantha, MD (Leonard Hospital—Batlagundu, Tamu Nadu, India)
  • Bernhard Udelhoven, SMA (Faith & Encounter Centre Zambia—Lusaka)
  • Abraham Castañeda, MD, MPH (International Medical Consultant—Washington, DC)
  • Carolina Martinez, MD (Hospital San Carlos—Altamirano, Chiapas, Mexico)
  • Kochurani Abraham (Indian Christian Women's Movement for Kerala—Karnataka, India)
  • Elisee Rutagambwa, SJ (Hekima Institute of Peace Studies & International Relations—Nairobi)
  • Claudio de Oliveira Ribeiro (Federal University of Juiz de Fora—Juiz de Fora, Brazil)
  • Joan Mumaw, IHM (Fiends in Solidarity—Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)
  • Bruce Compton (Catholic Health Association of the United States—St. Louis, MO, U.S.A.)
  • David Gaus, MD (Andean Health & Development—Quito)

Friday, April 16

Pre-Conference Session: Undergraduate Research Poster “Feedback Session”

Kochurani Abraham
Sam Orach
Alexandre Martins

Undergrad Research Posters & Videos

Molly Chambers
"What the Church is Doing to Combat HIV/AIDS in South Africa"
(video) (poster)

Ryan Claudio
"The Push against Female Genital Mutilation in Africa: The Catholic Church and Community"
(video) (poster)

Dominic Cosentino
"The Catholic 'Choose to Care' Initiative in Southern Africa"
(video) (poster)

Ray Eccleston
"Ivan Illich and His Critiques of Modern Medicine"
(video) (poster)

Jonathan Galante
"Structural Violence: A Theological Critique of Healthcare Systems in the Work of Alexandre Martins"
(video) (poster)

Stephanie Gomez
"Finding the Balance between Christian Faith and Latin American Folk Healing"
(video) (poster)

Tyler Nebes
"The Ugandan Catholic Medical Bureau and the Catholic Church's Impact on Healthcare in Uganda"
(video) (poster)

Sara Niedzielski
"Ivan Illich's Critique of Western Medicine"
(video) (poster)

Olivia Nuñez
"Liberation Theology and Global Healthcare Equity"
(video) (poster)

Saturday, April 17

ROUNDTABLE: Healing Trauma and Invisible Wounds

  • Kochurani Abraham--Gendered Wounds that Clamor for Healing
  • Fr. Elisee Rutagambwa, SJ--Trauma Healing & Reconciliation in Post-Genocide Rwanda: A Complementary Approach
  • Claudio de Oliveira Ribeiro--The Pandemic in the Context of Necropolitics and Liberation Spiritualities

Moderator: Slavica Jakelić (Richard P. Baepler Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Christ College, Valparaiso University--Valparaiso, IN)

ROUNDTABLE: Catholic Health Care Services and Strategies

  • Susan Nedza, MD--Accompaniment as the Catholic Medical Mission Model: Responding to the Call to "Go Forth"
  • Samuel Orach, MD--Catholic Health Care in Africa: Does the Giant Matter?
  • Soojung Kim--The History and Mission of the Catholic Medical Center in Korea (via recorded video, due to time conflict)

Moderator: Sr. Teresa Kiragu, ASN (PhD candidate in moral theology, Catholic University of Eastern Africa--Nairobi)

ROUNDTABLE: Biblical and Theological Narratives of Health and Healing

  • Alexandre Martins--The Centrality of the Sick, Poor, and Oppressed in Jesus' Mission
  • David Toole--The Morgue in the Garden of Eden: What Are Hospitals For?
  • Fr. Stan Chu Ilo--Rise Up and Walk: From Narratives of Contamination to Redemptive Narratives of Healing and Hope

Moderator: William T. Cavanaugh (CWCIT director and professor of Catholic studies, DePaul University--Chicago)

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION—Medical Nemesis Remembered

David Cayley

(Moderator: Cormac Russell (Faculty member of DePaul University's Asset-Based Community Development Institute--Chicago; managing director of Nurture Development--Dublin)

Sunday, April 18

ROUNDTABLE: Western and Non-Western Traditions of Medicine

  • Sr. Maria Vasantha, MD--From a Rural and Christian Perspective in India
  • Fr. Bernhard Udelhoven--Perspectives from Zambia
  • Abraham Castaneda, MD and Carolina Martinez, MD--Challenges of a Rural Mission Hospital in Chiapas, Mexico: Quality Care for a Vulnerable, Indigenous Community

Moderator: William T. Cavanaugh (CWCIT director and professor of Catholic studies, DePaul University--Chicago)

ROUNDTABLE: Catholic Partnerships between the Global South and Global North

  • Bruce Compton--Social Justice and International Outreach: Dynamics of North-South Partnerships
  • Sr. Joan Mumaw--Solidarity with South Sudan: Paradigm of Promise in a Challenging Context
  • David Gaus, MD--Horizontality, Hegemony, and Health Care: Reflections on South-North Partnerships

(Moderator: Sr. Ruth Rosenbaum, TC, PhD (Executive director and co-founder, CREA--Hartford, CT)

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION—Catholic Sisters in Health Care: Conflict, Entanglements, and Crossovers in Medicine, Nursing, and Religion

Barbra Mann Wall, PhD, RN, FAAN

(Moderator: Sr. Mary Jo Stein, DC (Family nurse practitioner, Daughters of Charity--Baltimore, MD)