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New Lecture Series: Corporal Works of Mercy

Explanation of corporal works of mercy
On the heels of Pope Francis' newest book, The Works of Mercy, we are hosting a lecture series this year focusing on the Corporal Works of Mercy. Found in the teachings of Jesus, the corporal works of mercy respond to the basic physical (corporal) needs of our human family. They give us a model for how we should treat all others—as if they were Christ in disguise. The traditional seven corporal works of mercy are

  • Feed the hungry.
  • Give drink to the thirsty.
  • Welcome the stranger (shelter the homeless).
  • Clothe the naked.
  • Visit the sick and imprisoned.
  • Bury the dead.
  • Give alms to the poor.
The series began in September with “Welcoming the Stranger: In a Throwaway Culture, ‘Turning Away’ People?” America magazine’s chief correspondent, Kevin Clarke, addressed the global refugee crisis and the sadly familiar response of indifference and responsibility-shifting. (Watch the video here.)

The second talk was in October, “Feeding the Hungry/Giving Drink to the Thirsty: The Challenges in Haiti and South Sudan.” Using these two countries as examples, Chris Herlinger spoke on global food policies and the root of hunger. Herlinger is the author of Food Fight: Struggling for Justice in a Hungry World. (Watch the video here.)

Next in the series is January 25, “Burying the Dead: Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines and the Catholic Church’s Response,” with speaker Fr. Amado Picardal, CSsR. A human rights and peace advocate, Fr. Picardal is a Filipino Catholic priest who serves as the spokesperson of both the Coalition Against Summary Execution and the Network Against Killings in the Philippines. He will be addressing the more than 10,000 murders carried out by police and death squads in Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s War on Drugs; suspected of being addicts and pushers, the majority of murder victims are among the nation’s poorest citizens.