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Current Events

Winter 2019

2018-19 Spiritual Works of Mercy Lecture Series

Logo for Spiritual Works of Mercy series
After the wonderful response last year to our Corporal Works of Mercy series*, we are offering a follow-up lecture series this academic year on the Spiritual Works of Mercy. Though often worded differently, the spiritual works of mercy are
  • Share the faith (often worded as "instruct the ignorant").
  • Counsel the doubtful.
  • Admonish the sinner.
  • Comfort the afflicted.
  • Forgive offenses willingly.
  • Bear wrongs patiently.
  • Pray for the living and the dead.
Learn more about the spiritual works of mercy here. For a guide to prayerful reflection on the spiritual works of mercy, visit the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's website.

*To watch the videos of last year's Corporal Works of Mercy Lecture Series, please visit our "Past Events" page.

Schedule of All Lectures in this Series

September 27​ Sharing the Faith
Catholic Education: From and For Faith
Thomas Groome (bio)—Professor of theology & religious education, Boston College; author of What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts for Life
November 1 Forgiving Offenses Willingly
On the Ground in Eastern Africa: Creating Peace Amid Conflict & Religious Extremism
Fr. Patrick Devine, SMA (bio)—Founder & director, Shalom Centre for Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation in Eastern Africa
January 24 ​Comforting the Afflicted
Withcraft & Demons in a World of Plural Beliefs: A Cultural Approach for Helping the Afflicted—and the Accused
Fr. Bernhard Udelhoven, SMA (bio)—Coordinator of "Fingers of Thomas" ministry in Lusaka, Zambia, & longtime missionary
February 21 ​Praying for the Living and the Dead
Lazarus, Come Forth—War, Soul Death, and Homecoming​​
Robert Emmet Meagher (bio)—Professor of humanities, Hampshire College; author of Killing from the Inside Out: Moral Injury & Just War
​February 28 Bearing Wrongs Patiently
Challenges & Hopes: The Catholic Church in Contemporary China
Mary Mee-Yin Yuen—Professor, Holy Spirit Seminary College of Theology & Philosophy in Hong Kong
April 4​ Admonishing the Sinner
The Catholic Response to Mining Exploitation in El Salvador​
Andrés McKinley (bio)—Specialist on water & mining, Universidad Centroamericana in San Salvador, El Salvador
​April 11
Counseling the Doubtful
A Nun on the Rise of "Nones" in Latin America
Sr. Geraldina Céspedes—Professor of theology & philosophy, Universidad Rafael Landívar, Guatemala City

January 16

Child's hand grasping a chain-link fence
The Biblical Humanities
"Why Do You Stand Outside?" Hospitality and the Stranger (details)

Hosted by our friends at the DePaul Humanities Center and St. Vincent de Paul Parish, this event features a series of lectures and live musical performances exploring the religious, philosophical, artistic, and ethical-political conceptions of strangers, refugees, foreigners, immigrants, and neighbors—and what it means to offer sincere hospitality.

 January 24

Member of
Comforting the Afflicted
Witchcraft & Demons in a World of Plural Beliefs: Comforting the Afflicted—and Accused (details)

A missionary for 24 years in Zambia, Fr. Bernhard Udelhoven discusses the culturally-sensitive approach he takes in his pastoral ministry, particularly with a support group called the "Fingers of Thomas," which exists for those who have had occult experiences, feel afflicted by demons or witchcraft, identify with forms of Satanism, or stand accused of being witches or Satanists. Fr. Udelhoven's approach takes seriously people's fears without foregoing the struggle for justice for victims of moral panics, witch hunts, and the demonization of minority groups.

*Spiritual Works of Mercy Lecture Series

February 19

Sajith Silva, a CRS/Caritas worker in Srl Lanka assisting refugees
When Refugees Come Home Again (details​)

Hosted by our friends in DePaul's Mission & Ministry Office, this lunch presentation by Sajith Silva delves into the realities of life for refugees returning home to Sri Lanka after decades of civil war. Mr. Silva works with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) as its program coordinator for the Assistive Devices Project outside Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. He assists refugees who were disabled due to the civil war and are now back home from India, trying to reintegrate and rebuild their lives. 

February 21​​

Soldier in shadows, seated on the ground, against a wall, reflecting
Praying for the Living and the Dead*
"Lazarus, Come Forth"—War, Soul Death, and Homecoming (details)

Hearing that Lazarus was dead, Jesus wept and prayed. In an age of endless war, we too, in tears, must "pray always." It is one thing to go dark in death, and another to go dark in life. Among the casualites of war, as Robert Emmet Meagher (Hampshire College) explains, are those killed from the inside out: visibly unscathed, invisibly haunted. Any nation sending its daughters and sons into the valley of death must learn to call them back, body and soul, to the land of the living.

*Spiritual Works of Mercy Lecture Series

February 28

Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Dali, Yunnan, China
Bearing Wrongs Patiently*
Challenges and Hopes: The Catholic Church in Contemporary China​ (details)
Living under communism, Catholics in China, among other Christians, face the risk of persecution and violence. They’ve long been torn between an “underground” Church and a state-sanctioned one, and in February 2018, Beijing issued new regulations that aim to sinicize (adapt) religions to communism—e.g., banning online Bible sales. And as Dr. Mary Mee-Yin Yuen (Holy Spirit Seminary College, Hong Kong) tells us, despite a recent agreement between China and the Vatican, persecution continues. And yet Catholics in mainland China continue to nurture hope. 

*Spiritual Works of Mercy Lecture Series

March 14

President Donald Trump and Pope Francis
Populism in Today's Theology and Politics (details​)

Taking into account historical precedents, CWCIT visiting scholar, Emilce Cuda (Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina), examines the link between contemporary theology and politics from the perspective of the new style of democracy known as populism. She explores questions such as the following: Will secularism continue to be characteristic of Western politics? Who decides what is true in today’s world? What is considered sacred? Is “corruption” the new word for “profanation”?

Related Events in the Chicago Area

January 15–March 5 (Tuesday evenings)

Icon of Christ Pantocrator
Who Do You Say That I Am? Visions of Christ in the Christian Tradition
(non-credit course open to university students/faculty)

Gavin House
1220 E. 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

*Topics and speakers are as follows:
  • Language, Truth & Logos  | January 15  |  Fr. Paul Mankowski, SJ (Lumen Christi Institute)
  • The Gospel of Matthew  |  January 22   |   Fr. Don Senior, CP (Catholic Theological Union)
  • The Gospel of John  |  January 29   |   Fr. Andrew Liaugminas (Calvert House Catholic Center)
  • Letter to the Hebrews |  February 5   |   Cameron Ferguson (University of Chicago)
  • Irenaeus of Lyon |  February 12   |   Scott Moringiello (DePaul University)
  • Athanasius  |  February 19   |   Scott Moringiello (DePaul University)
  • Mary, Mother of God  |  February 26   |   Rachel Fulton Brown (University of Chicago)
  • Julian of Norwich  |   March 5   |   Bernard McGinn (University of Chicago)
Presented by the Lumen Christi Institute.