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World Catholicism Week 2023

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​​​​Becoming a Church of the Poor: The Vincentian Charism and Reform 

The 2023 conference addressed how the Vincentian charism can contribute to the process of reform that Pope Francis has inaugurated: What is the Vincentian vision for making the Church more open to God and to the Poor? How does the Church need to reform and what kinds of internal and external resistance does it face? How is a reforming Church simultaneously a Church dedicated to the transformation of the world, addressing pressing concerns of economic, political, and environmental justice? Speakers gathered from the Philippines, Chile, Haiti, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, Nigeria, Argentina, the U.S., and Europe to discuss the following topics:

    • Historical perspectives on reform in the lives of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, and Vincentian communities worldwide 
    • The changing concept of "the poor" and the theme of marginality
    • The internal reform of the Church, including the roles of laity and women
    • Becoming an outward-facing Church dedicated to transforming the world

Keynote Speakers

Tomaž Mavrič, CM

  • Superior General, Congregation of the Mission & the Company of the Daughters of Charity
  • Ex-officio President, Executive Committee Vincentian Family (Rome, Italy)

Daniel F. Pilario, CM

  • Associate Professor of Theology, St. Vincent School of Theology, Adamson University
  • Director of Research, Adamson University (Quezon City, Philippines)

Quentin Wodon

  • Former Lead Economist & Poverty Specialist, World Bank
  • Director, UNESCO's International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Roundtable Speakers

  • Jorge Costadoat, SJ (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile--Santiago, Chile)
  • Dominique Iyolo, CM (Assistant General, Congregation of the Mission--Rome, Italy)
  • Theresa Eke, DC (Daughters of Charity International Leadership--Paris, France)
  • Carlos Schickendantz (Alberto Hurtado University--Santiago, Chile)
  • Matthieu Brejon de Lavergnée (DePaul University--Chicago, IL, USA, and Paris, France)
  • Guillermo (Memo) Campuzano, CM (DePaul University--Chicago, IL, USA)
  • Yasmine Cajuste (Famvin Homeless Alliance--Port-au-Prince, Haiti)
  • Renato Lima de Oliveira (International Society of St. Vincent de Paul--Brasilia, Brazil)
  • Franciscus Armada Riyanto, DM (Widya Sasana School of Philosophy & Theology--Malang, Indonesia)
  • Alison Forrestal (University of Galway--Galway, Ireland)
  • John E. Rybolt, CM (DePaul University--Chicago, IL, USA)
  • Raymond Sickinger (Providence College--Providence, RI, USA)

Thursday, April 13

Pre-Conference Session: Undergraduate Research Poster "Feedback Session"


Daniel F. Pilario, CM

Yasmine Cajuste

Theresa Eke, DC

Undergrad Research Posters & Videos

Nikki Allen

"The Daughter’s of Charity: Combating the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in East Africa"


Thalia Cruz

"How the Catholic Church is Helping Solve the Poverty Crisis in Latin America"


Sofia Feijoo

"The Work of Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines"

Daniel Lopez

"The Amazon’s Protector: Sister Dorothy Stang"


Eden Nisam

"Agnes Brazal’s Theology of Equality for Migrants and Women in the Church"


Michelle Nolasco

"Overcoming Injustice in Ecuador Through Nonviolence"


Janet Olivera

"La Virgen de Guadalupe and her Guadalupanos"


Rijad Puskar

"Oscar Romero and Land Reform in El Salvador"


Emily Santos

"Homelessness in Brazil & How the Institute of Global Homelessness is Handling it"


Serena Stern

"Dom Helder Camara’s Teachings of Nonviolence"


Jada Woodard

"The Catholic Church’s Influence in the Democratization of South Korea"


William T. Cavanaugh--CWCIT Director and Professor of Catholic Studies; DePaul University


Tomaž Mavrič

ROUNDTABLE: The Historical Vision of Reform in the Vincentian Charism 

  • Alison Forrestal--Ways of Knowing: The Laity in Early Vincentian Practices of Reform
  • John E. Rybolt, CM--Vincent de Paul: A Reformer? Two Cases—The Solon of Mme. Acarie and the Council of Conscience
  • Raymond Sickinger--To Become a Church of the Poor: Frédéric Ozanam's Lay Vision of Reform & Transformation

(Moderator: Margaret Marie Clifford, DC--Advanced Initiatives for Sponsored Works-Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise)

Friday, April 14

ROUNDTABLE: Marginality: The Evolution of the Concept of the Poor

  • Jorge Costadoat, SJ--The Poor as Theologians
  • Theresa Eke, DC--Beyond Charity: Evolution of the Mission of the Daughters of Charity in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Dominique Iyolo, CM--The Vincentian Charism: An Invitation to the Church's Bold Reform Today

(Moderator: Catherine Mary (Katie) Norris, DC--Provincial—Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise)

ROUNDTABLE: The Reform of the Church

  • Carlos Schickendantz--Church Reforms and Synodality
  • Matthieu Brejon de Lavergnée--Do We Invent the Saints We Need? Pope Francis, the Saints "Next Door," and Lay Vincentians
  • Guillermo Campuzano, CM--A New Way of Being Church: A New Way of the Vincentian Charism

(Moderator: Betty Ann McNeil, DC--Vincentian-Scholar-in-Residence and Adjunct Faculty—DePaul University)

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION--Repair My House: Empowering a Church of the Poor through the Eyes of St. Vincent

Daniel F. Pilario

(Moderator: Rachelle Kramer--Director, Catholic Campus Ministry—DePaul University)

Saturday, April 15

ROUNDTABLE: The Transformation of Society

  • Renato Lima de Oliveira--The Society of St. Vincent de Paul: 190 Years of Love, Empathy, and Hope for Those in Need
  • Yasmine Cajuste--The Encounter with Those Experiencing Poverty for the Transformation of Society
  • Franciscus Armada Riyanto, CM--The Formation of the Laity & Seminarians for an Outward-Facing Church: A Vincentian Contribution to the Reform of the Catholic Church in Indonesia

(Moderator: Francine Soliunas--Chief Mission Officer—Marillac St. Vincent Family Services, Chicago)

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION--Education, Integral Human Development, and Faith: Challenges and Opportunities

Quentin Wodon

(Moderator: Julie Cutter, DC--Councillor—Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise)