DePaul University College of LAS > Centers & Institutes > Center for World Catholicism & Intercultural Theology > News and Events > Current Events > The Church & Indigenous Peoples in the Americas

​November 4-5, 2016
The Church & Indigenous Peoples in the Americas

Women in Chiapas, Mexico, in the annual march commemorating the 45 indigenous victims of the 1997 Acteal massacre January 25, 2016—Annual march of the Pueblo Creyente organization in Chiapas, Mexico, commemorating the 5th anniversary of the death of Bishop Samuel Ruiz. Women carry crosses in memory of the Indigenous victims of the 1997 Act​eal massacre (Photo by Rachel Warden / KAIROS Canada)

This conference brings together scholars and pastoral voices from Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, and the Indigenous peoples of the Mapuche, Chiquitano, Tzeltal Mayan, Oglala Sioux, Mi'kmaw, and Anishinaabe to discuss the relationship between the Catholic Church and native peoples across the Americas, identifying both wounds and opportunities for reconciliation and hope. The two-day event is organized by Catholic Theological Union (CTU) and DePaul University's Center for World Catholicism & Intercultural Theology (CWCIT).

Download the conference flyer here

Registration (*Updated 10/31/2016*)

The conference is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.

**Update—Monday, 10/31/2016**

  • Registration remains open for all Saturday sessions, though please note that limited seats remain.
  • Registration is CLOSED for all Friday sessions, except "Focus on Canada" at 9:15am—as of 12 noon, very few seats remain.
  • NOTE: We are setting up a wait list which will be available online later this afternoon. In the interim, to request a spot on the wait list, please e-mail with the following info:
    • Your name
    • The Friday session(s) you're interested in

Location & Schedule

Friday, November 4—DePaul University
DePaul Student Center, Room 314B
2250 N. Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
Saturday, November 5—Catholic Theological Union
Catholic Theological Union
Assembly Hall, Room 210
5416 S. Cornell Ave.
Chicago, IL 60615


Hotel & Transportation/Parking Info

Hotel Information

Click here to download a list of hotels in the Lincoln Park, downtown, and Hyde Park areas of Chicago.

Parking at DePaul

Street parking (both free & metered) is often available on campus, but there are also 2 parking garages available for visitors*:

~ Sheffield Parking Garage (2331 N. Sheffield Ave.)
~ Clifton Parking Deck (2330 N. Clifton Ave.)

*For a discounted rate, please ask for validation at the event's information table. Discounted rates are as follows:

Entrance before 4:00pm = $9.25
Entrance after 4:00pm = $7.25

Parking at CTU

Free parking for CTU events is available in the CTU garage adjacent to the Academic and Conference Center at 5416 S. Cornell Avenue.

For more information on directions to CTU, please click here.

Conference Format

Our speakers come from six different countries—Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, the U.S., and Canada—and the Indigenous peoples of the Mapuche, Chiquitano, Tzeltal Mayan, Oglala Sioux, Mi'kmaw, and Anishinaabe. From each country (with the exception of Brazil), we will hear the particular local perspectives of both an Indigenous speaker and a non-Indigenous who is working in solidarity with native peoples.

They will discuss the progress and challenges in the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the Church, the possibility of reconciliation, and what that means in their own local context. They will also discuss processes of pastoral transformation in their local communities in light of a new awareness of the Indigenous reality. 

Each pair will have about an hour to share experiences and some time for Q&A. There will also be periods of general discussion.

Purpose of the Conference

The conference will be an occasion for Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and pastoral leaders to share experiences and learn from one another. From a more long-term perspective, it is also an opportunity to build a network of solidarity for mutual support and learning, going forward, and to produce a theological reflection on this topic that can be shared beyond this gathering.

All are welcome to attend; it is a wonderful learning opportunity for anyone interested in these issues. It will be of particular benefit to seminarians and theology students, many of whom are men and women who are members of international missionary organizations.


Michel Andraos (Catholic Theological Union—Chicago, IL, USA)

Michel Andraos (Catholic Theological Union—Chicago, IL, USA)
Michel Andraos
Associate Professor of Intercultural Theology & Ministry
Catholic Theological Union (CTU)
(Chicago, IL, USA)

A native of Lebanon, Michel has been teaching at Catholic Theological Union since 2000 and spends his time between Chicago and Montreal, where he lives with his family. His areas of research and teaching include religion, violence and peace, theologies of interreligious dialogue, and intercultural theology. The focus of his current research is on the reconciliation of the Church with the indigenous peoples of the Americas, and the developments among the Christian communities of the Levant since the European colonial period.

Michel wrote his doctoral dissertation on the theology and pastoral work of Bishop Samuel Ruiz and the diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, and has published several articles on this topic.  He is in the process of writing a book with Jorge Santiago on the theology and pastoral vision of Bishop Ruiz.

Jaime Bascuñán (Catholic University of Temuco—Chile)

Jaime Bascuñán, Catholic University of Temuco (Chile)
Assistant Professor
Institute of Theological Studies, Catholic University of Temuco
(Temuco, Chile)
Jaime Bascuñán holds a doctorate of ministry from Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Chicago. His work focuses on spiritual and ministry formation within the Latino cultural context and, for a time, he worked in ministry formation in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Since 2011, he has been teaching theology and ministry at the Catholic University of Temuco (Universidad Católica de Temuco), in the southern Araucanía Region of his native Chile. For the last two years, he has coordinated a project of intercultural-interreligious dialogue, bringing together the Christian experience and Mapuche spirituality.*
*The Mapuche are the indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina, including parts of present-day Patagonia. For some insight into their spirituality, see "The Mapuche Universe: Equilibrium and Harmony," written by Armando Marileo Lefío, known among the Mapuche people of Lake Budi, Chile, as the ngenpin, or ancestral spiritual authority.

Marie Battiste (University of Saskatchewan—Saskatoon, SK, Canada)

Marie Battiste (University of Saskatchewan—Canada)
Marie Battiste
Professor of Educational Foundations
University of Saskatchewan
(Saskatoon, SK, Canada)

Dr. Marie Battiste is a Mi'kmaw educator, a member of the Potlotek First Nations, Nova Scotia, and full professor in the Department of Educational Foundations at the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, SK, Canada). With graduate degrees from Harvard and Stanford, she is a senior Indigenous scholar in Canada, among the first to have graduated with a doctorate degree and whose work in Indigenous knowledge and decolonizing pedagogies has opened new areas of research and inquiry. She has received four honorary degrees (St. Mary’s, Thompson Rivers, University of Maine at Farmington, University of Ottawa) and is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Canadian organization of over 2,000 Canadian scholars, artists, and scientists, peer-elected as the best in their field.

She has also received the Distinguished Academic Award​ from the Canadian Association of University Teachers; the Distinguished Researcher Award at the University of Saskatchewan; and an Indspire Award for her contributions in education. She is an international speaker and widely published author, and her books include the following: Living Treaties: Narrating Mi’kmaw Treaty Relations (CBU Press, 2016); Decolonizing Education: Nourishing the Learning Spirit (Purich Press, 2013); Protecting Indigenous Knowledge & Heritage: A Global Challenge (Purich Press, 2000), co-authored with James Youngblood Henderson; Reclaiming Indigenous Voice & Vision (UBC Press, 2000); and First Nations Education in Canada: The Circle Unfolds (UBC Press, 1995).


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

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

A noted Brazilian theologian, Maria Clara Bingemer is a full professor at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). She focuses her research on systematic theology and in particular on Latin American and liberation theology.

She is widely published in many languages. Her English works include Latin American Theology: Roots and Branches (Orbis, 2016); The Mystery and the World (Wipf & Stock, 2016); Simone Weil: Mystic of Passion and Compassion (Wipf and Stock, 2015); 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).

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 and, in spring 2016, was the Brazilian Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Democracy and Human Development at the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. She has also served as a research fellow at DePaul’s Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology. She serves on the editorial boards of many theological journals, including Concilium.

Eleanor Doidge, LoB (Catholic Theological Union—Chicago, IL, USA)

Eleanor Doidge, LoB (Catholic Theological Union)
Associate Professor
(retired)  of Intercultural Ministry
Catholic Theological Union (CTU)
(Chicago, IL, USA)

Prior to joining CTU's faculty in 1983, Eleanor Doidge served in ecumenical youth ministry and inner-city ministry in Pittsburgh, PA. She also worked for 4 years in ecumenical inner-city ministries in Gary, IN. As a member of the Intercultural Studies and Ministry Department at CTU, she has co-led more than 100 traveling seminars to the Lakota communities of the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations in South Dakota with her colleague, Dr. Claude Marie Barbour. Over 1,500 students of theology and ministry—members of local congregations and individuals training for mission from various denominations—have encountered and learned from our Lakota teachers during these seminars.

Eleanor is a member of the Ladies of Bethany, a Dutch congregation founded to promote ecumenism and work among the unchurched. She has an MA from CTU and a DMin from Chicago Theological Seminary. She is co-editor of The Healing Circle: Essays in Cross-Cultural Mission and has authored and co-authored several articles on intercultural ministry and spirituality. Since her retirement, she serves as adjunct professor at CTU and does spiritual direction.

Stephen P. Judd, MM (Maryknoll Mission Society—Peru & Bolivia)

Rev. Dr. Stephen P. Judd, MM
Rev. Dr. Stephen P. Judd, MM
Past Director, Andean Pastoral Institute (Puno, Pero)
Past Director, Maryknoll Mission Center & Language Institute (Cochabamba, Bolivia)

Born in the copper mining town of Butte, Montana, Rev. Dr. Judd received a BA in Spanish language studies from the University of Montana (1967) and an MA in Latin American literature from the University of New Mexico (1972). After serving four years in the U.S. Air Force, he entered the Maryknoll Mission Society, spending most of his mission life since that time in southern Peru (1975-2002) and Bolivia (2002-present). He served in a number of pastoral ministries among the Aymara and Quechua indigenous people of those areas. This work included a stint as director of the Andean Pastoral Institute (IPA) in Cuzco, Peru, from 1987-91; director of the campus ministry project at the National University of the Altiplano in Puno, Peru (1997-2002); and two tenures as director of the Maryknoll Mission Center and Language Institute in Cochabamba, Bolivia (2002-07 and 2013-15). In 1987, he received a PhD in the sociology of religion from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA; his doctoral dissertation was entitled, The Emergent Andean Church: Inculturation and Liberation in Southern Peru, 1968-1986. Over the years, he has held a number of leadership positions in the Maryknoll Society and also a term as president of the Latin American Christopher Leadership Institute (2009-15).

During his various mission commitments in Peru and Bolivia, he lived and worked closely among Andean indigenous communities, engaged in research and publishing in local Latin American and U.S.–based scholarly journals and teaching and lecturing at institutes and universities throughout the Americas. During the 1990s, he coordinated several workshops and conferences on indigenous theology and pastoral practice in Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile. Presently, he is in retired Senior Mission Status with residence in Los Altos, CA. He is involved in several consultative and freelance missionary activities with an abiding interest in themes and issues related to Latin American Church and society. In late 2015, he published a book of memoirs of his years in Peru, De apacheta en apacheta: testimonio de fe en el sur andino peruano (Editorial Verbo Divino–Cochabamba, Bolivia).

Pedro Gutiérrez Jiménez (Institute for Intercultural Studies & Research—Chiapas, Mexico)

Pedro Gutiérrez Jiménez (Institute for Intercultural Studies & Research, Chiapas, Mexico)
Coordinator, Indigenous Theology
Institute for Intercultural Studies & Research

(San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico)

From Chiapas, Mexico, and of Mayan-Tzeltal heritage, Pedro Gutíerrez Jiménez serves on the teaching staff at the Institute for Intercultural Studies and Research (INESIN) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. His work there encompasses a variety of responsibilities: 

  • Foster and support projects and programs related to indigenous theology in the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
  • Training parish representatives in these projects and programs.
  • Leading human and spiritual growth workshops for local church volunteers and staff.
  • Promote the strengthening of ecological spirituality. 

Before joining the staff of INESIN, from 1988 to 2004, he served as a member of the pastoral staff at the parish of San Miguel Arcángel in the Diocese of San Cristóbal de las Casas. His first 6 years were as a seminarian; he didn’t remain in the seminary but did remain working in the diocese as a lay missionary for the next 6 years. During this time with the diocese, he served in the following roles: 

  • Member of the diocesan Committee for Indigenous Pastoral Ministry and Inculturation of the Gospel 
  • Member of the diocesan committee organizing annual meetings/retreats for permanent deacons 
  • Advisor to the Mexico Bishops’ Commission for Indigenous Pastoral Ministry
  • Advisor to CONAI, the National Intermediation Commission of Mexico, during the peace talks between the Zapatista National Liberation Army and the Mexican government 
  • General coordinator and primary promoter of Mayan theology programs and projects in Mexico
  • Member of the Mesoamerican Commission for Indian/Indigenous Theology 

Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie, OMI (Diocese of Keewatin-The Pas—MB, Canada)

Most Rev. Sylvain Lavoie, OMI
Most Rev. Sylvain Lavoie, OMI
Author of Drumming from Within
Archbishop Emeritus, Archdiocese of Keewatin-The Pas (The Pas, MB, Canada)

Archbishop Emeritus Sylvain Lavoie is a missionary Oblate who has spent over 30 years ministering among the indigenous peoples of north and central Saskatchewan, Canada. For a period of three years, he was director of a team that offered sessions on faith renewal, leadership, and community development throughout the Archdiocese of Keewatin-The Pas in northern Manitoba (MB) and Saskatchewan (SK), Canada. He then ministered in the diocese of Prince Albert, SK, as part of a First Nations ministry team and later as a member of an Oblate Cree* language learning community. In March of 2006, he became archbishop of the Archdiocese of Keewatin-The Pas and is now archbishop emeritus of that archdiocese.
He is author of Drumming From Within: Tales of Hope & Faith from Canada's North, a book of stories on faith and hope from the Canadian north; Together We Heal, a 12-step approach to the healing of sexual abuse; and Walk A New Path on addictions awareness. In his new role as chaplain and spiritual director at Star of the North Retreat Center in St. Albert, Alberta (AB), his ministry includes lecturing and giving workshops and retreats on indigenous ministry, biblical spirituality, addictions awareness, the 12-step program, forgiveness, and healing.
*The Cree are the Indigenous American people of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

Jorge Santiago (DESMI, Social & Economic Development for Indigenous Mexicans—Chiapas, Mexico)

Jorge Santiago (DESMI, Social & Economic Development for Indigenous Mexicans—Chiapas, Mexico)
Board Member & Past Director, DESMI–Social & Economic Development for Indigenous Mexicans
Founding Member, CORECO–Commission for Unity and Community Reconciliation
(San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico)

Born in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, Jorge Santiago has spent his life working to improve the lives of this region’s Indigenous people, both at the pastoral-Church level and the socioeconomic, political level. With a degree in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a personal commitment to his local church, Santiago has contributed to his home diocese of San Cristóbal since 1970, serving numerous roles. His diocesan work includes support of the permanent diaconate; participation in the Theological Commission; and, since 1991, an active role in El Pueblo Creyente (People of Faith), a lay-led Indigenous organization promoting social justice through the prophetic action of the Church.

In the socioeconomic and political arenas, Santiago has also served in a variety of roles, including working with the National Indigenous Pastoral Center (part of the National Indigenous Commission of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference) from 1972-74 and from 1994-98, working with CONAI, the National Intermediation Commission. However, he is perhaps best known for his decades of work (1974-2008) in Chiapas as part of the community-based nonprofit DESMI (Social & Economic Development for Indigenous Mexicans). At DESMI, Santiago was instrumental in organizing and carrying out eight annual meetings (2001-2008) on economic solidarity, a practice that promotes autonomy, agroecology, fair trade, and communal well-being (as opposed to individual gain) for Indigenous communities. He is also coauthor of a book on the topic: Si Uno Come que Coman Todos: Economía Solidaria.

Santiago now serves DESMI as a member of its board of directors, and he is currently involved with other local and international organizations as well. For example, he is a founding member of CORECO, the Commission for Unity and Community Reconciliation, in Chiapas; a member of the governing board for the Fr​ay Bartolomé de Las Casas (Frayba) Center for Human Rights in Chiapas; and a founding member of the Global University for Sustainability, established at the World Social Forum in 2015.

Over the years, Jorge Santiago has also participated in a variety of seminars and meetings throughout Mexico and Central America, as well as Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, the U.S., Canada, Spain, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Finland, and Senegal. He has given numerous radio, video, and written interviews on the reality facing the indigenous of Chiapas. And his own two interviews with Bishop Samuel Ruiz, the longtime champion of southern Mexico’s poor and native peoples, were both published. His 1996 interview was published in Italian, Spanish, and English (Seeking Freedom: Bishop Samuel Ruiz in Conversation with Jorge S. Santiago on Time and History, Prophecy, Faith and Politics, and Peace, translated by Michel Andraos). His 1999 interview was just published this past March in Spanish: La Pasión de Servir al Pueblo (“A Passion to Serve the People”).

Rosa Isolde Reuque Paillalef (Mapuche Pastoral Ministry, Diocese of San José—Temuco, Chile)

Isolde Reuque Paillalef (Office of Mapuche Pastoral Ministry, Diocese of San José—Temuco, Chile)
Author, When a Flower Is Reborn: The Life & Times of a Mapuche Feminist
Executive Secretary, Office of Mapuche Pastoral Ministry, Diocese of San José
(Temuco, Chile)

A Mapuche feminist and political and human rights activist, Rosa Isolde Reuque Paillalef has been a leader within the Mapuche indigenous rights movement in Chile for the past 30 years. She was a leading activist during the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990). As a woman, a Catholic, and a member of Chile’s Christian Democrat Party (Partido Demócrata Cristiano), she made a unique contribution to the male-dominated, leftist Mapuche movement. After Chile’s 1990 transition to democratic rule, Reuque collaborated with the government in the creation of CONADI, the National Indigenous Development Corporation Corporación Nacional de Desarrollo Indígena) and the passage of the 1993 Indigenous Law.

Reuque’s professional career began in 1974 with teacher training in the rural public elementary schools of Molco and Los Galpones in Pitrufquén, southern Chile, where she then taught until 1979. During this time, she also served the Catholic Church as a human rights worker in the Apostolic Vicariate of Araucanía. In 1978, Reuque also stepped into the position, which she held for five years, of secretary general for the Mapuche Cultural Centers of Chile, a Mapuche rights movement established under the auspices of the Catholic Church in Temuco and Villarrica (also in southern Chile).

Over the next 12 years, in various ways, Reuque served as as leader of the Mapuche indigenous rights movement, meeting with and learning from different Indigenous peoples throughout South, Central, and North America. During this period, she founded the first Mapuche women’s organization (1990) and also led studies (1996) on Azumchefi, one of four versions of the Mapuche written alphabet.

In 2000, she was named by the Chilean president as national advisor to CONADI, and she served six years in this role, and then, from 2006-2007, was the CONADI deputy director for Chile’s southern region. In October of 2007, Reuque visited the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI as a member of Chile’s official government delegation to Europe. The following year, she served the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the labor attaché for the Chilean Consulate General in La Paz, Bolivia.

In 2007, Reuque also began working with the Office of Mapuche Pastoral Ministry in the Diocese of San José de Temuco. In 2014, she became executive secretary of this office, where she continues her work and ministry today. In 2002, Duke University Press published her book, When a Flower is Reborn: The Life and Times of a Mapuche Feminist, edited and translated by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Florencia E. Mallon.

Eva Solomon, CSJ (Building Bridges Project—Winnipeg, MB, Canada)

Eva Solomon, CSJ
Director, Building Bridges Project
(Winnipeg, MB, Canada)

An Anishinaabe and a member of Henvey Inlet First Nation, Ontario, Sr. Eva Solomon, CSJ, holds a DMin in cross-cultural ministry and has been a Roman Catholic Sister of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie for 55 years. She is director of the "Building Bridges Project” for Canada's Assembly of Western Catholic Bishops’ Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and has a strong commitment to the development of a truly Indigenous Catholic Church. Sr. Eva has worked for many years with her own people and many other Indigenous peoples of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, and is dedicated to helping all people to recognize their own dignity, beauty, and goodness and thus to live out of the sacred power the Creator has given us.

In her traditional way, Sr. Eva is a Sacred Pipe carrier and Sweat Lodge leader and conducts various other ceremonies. In her work, she focuses on interculturation of faith—the bringing together of Catholic faith and Aboriginal traditional ways. Her vision of Aboriginal Church incorporates her dream for a religious community of First Nation people. She seeks to heighten awareness and understanding of interculturation of faith and assists Aboriginal peoples to recognize and take more ownership and responsibility for the faith life of their communities.

She has worked with various Christian denominations across Canada as they look at the question of interculturation of faith and has experience in teaching all levels of education. Sr. Eva received the Christian Culture Gold Medal Award from Assumption University in Windsor, ON, for her work among Aboriginal people and in reconciling Anishinaabe spiritual traditions and Christianity. Past winners of this award include Dorothy Day and Jean Vanier.

More about Sr. Eva Solomon
"Catholic elders ponder a more indigenous church" (Prairie Messenger Catholic Journal, November 2014)
"Sr. Eva Solomon on aboriginal people and Church" (The B.C. Catholic, October 2010)
"Nun bridges Christianity, aboriginals" (Winnipeg Free Press, April 2009)​

Robert Schreiter, CPPS (Catholic Theological Union—Chicago, IL, USA)

Robert Schreiter, CPPS (Catholic Theological Union, Chicago)
Vatican Council II Professor of Theology

Catholic Theological Union (CTU)
(Chicago, IL, USA)

Robert Schreiter is a priest and member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. He has published 17 books in the areas of inculturation, world mission, and reconciliation. Among them are Constructing Local Theologies; The New Catholicity: Theology between the Global and the Local; Reconciliation: Mission and Ministry in a Changing Social Order; and The Ministry of Reconciliation: Spirituality and Strategies. Schreiter has chapters in a further 120 books, and more than 150 articles in academic and church journals, and his publications have appeared in 21 languages.

He is past president of both the American Society of Missiology and of the Catholic Theological Society of America. In addition to holding guest professorships at universities in Germany and the Netherlands, he has lectured in over 50 countries around the world. For 12 years, Schreiter served as a theological consultant to Caritas Internationalis for its programs in reconciliation and peacebuilding, and he continues to work with organizations and groups around the world in peacebuilding.

He lectures in academic and church circles on inculturation, intercultural communication, reconciliation, religious life, and world mission.

Roberto Tomichá, OFMConv (Latin American Institute of Missiology—La Paz, Bolivia)

Roberto Tomichá, OFMConv (Latin American Institute of Missiology—La Paz, Bolivia)
Roberto Tomichá, OFMConv
Director, Latin American Institute of Missiology
Catholic University of Bolivia–Cochabamba
(Cochabamba, Bolivia)

Born into an indigenous Chiquitano family in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, Fr. Tomichá is a priest of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, commonly known as the Conventual Franciscan order. He holds a doctorate in missiology and has also undertaken the study of history, ethnology, and classical languages. Since 2003, he has served as director of the Latin American Institute of Missiology within the Catholic University of Bolivia in Cochabamba. In this role, he directs the master’s program in missiology, graduate thesis work, research projects, and academic publications. Since 2002, he has also been a visiting professor with the Theology Department at the Pontifical University of St. Bonaventure in Rome. And since 2006, he has served as an advisor to the Conference of Latin American Bishops (CELAM) on issues related to missions and indigenous theology.

He has published books and articles in a variety of specialized journals in Latin America and Europe and has participated in numerous international conference and simposia in his field. At the 2007 Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM), he served as an expert advisor. In addition, he was a member of ETAP, the Theological Reflection Team which advises the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Men and Women Religious (CLAR), and chair of ETAP from 2006 to 2009. He also encouraged the creation of CLAR’s Commission on Indigenous Religious Congregations.

Roger Schroeder, SVD (Catholic Theological Union—Chicago, IL, USA)

Roger Schroeder, SVD (Catholic Theological Union—Chicago, IL, USA)
Roger Schroeder, SVD
Professor of Intercultural Studies & Ministry
Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Chair of Mission & Culture
Catholic Theological Union (CTU)
(Chicago, IL, USA)

Roger Schroeder earned a doctorate in missiology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1990. Since then, he has been teaching at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he is professor of Intercultural Studies and Ministry and the Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Chair of Mission and Culture. He co-authored, with Stephen Bevans, Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission for Today (Orbis, 2004) and Prophetic Dialogue: Reflections on Christian Mission Today (Orbis, 2011).

As a member of the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD), he worked in Papua New Guinea for six years in the 70s and 80s. From his understanding of traditional Melanesian culture, he published Initiation & Religion: A Case Study from the Wosera of Papua New Guinea (Fribourg, Switzerland: University Press, 1992). Since 1991, he has been developing relationships with the Lakota of the Pine Ridge and Rose Bud reservations of South Dakota.

Francis White Lance (Pine Ridge Native American Reservation, SD, USA)

Francis White Lance (Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, USA)
Sundance leader and Anglican Catholic priest
Author of Why the Black Hills are Sacred
(Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, SD, USA)

Born in Rapid City, South Dakota, Francis White Lance is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe* and lives on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he holds a BA in Western philosophy from the University of Dubuque (Iowa), an MA in theological studies from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary at Northwestern University (now Bexley-Seabury in Chicago), and an honorary doctorate from Winona State University (Minnesota). He has continued his education working toward his South Dakota teacher's certification and advanced studies in educational administration.
Currently a counselor at the Little Wound Middle School in Kyle, SD, Francis is also an associate instructor at the Oglala Lakota College in Kyle, teaching courses on Lakota thought and philosophy, social systems, language, history, and culture. He also lectures at schools and universities across the country and collaborates with Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in preparing hundreds of its students—and others—for intercultural mission and ministry. This collaboration includes lecturing to students at the Pine Ridge reservation over the past 30 years in  dozens of traveling seminars sponsored by CTU.

Francis is also an ordained priest in the Anglican Catholic Church in America. And within the Lakota community, he is a spiritual leader, Sundance leader, and Yuwipi man and is invited to travel across the U.S. to perform "ceremony" for those in need. The author of two published books that provide guidance and counsel on the Lakota way of life, Francis is also a descendant of the legendary Oglala Sioux chief, Tasunke Witko (Crazy Horse), and his two grandfathers, Daniel White Lance and Dewey Beard, are recognized as warriors who fought at Wounded Knee in December of 1890. His two books are titled Why the Black Hills are Sacred and Tasunke Witko Woihanble: The Vision of Crazy Horse.


​Please contact the Center for World Catholicism & Intercultural Theology (CWCIT) at DePaul University: