In spite of the recent statement by novelist Anne Rice in which she expressed, "I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being "Christian" or to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to "belong" to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group.” Some of these “infamous” believers are gathering for a peace-building conference. Peace building and responsible social justice is and has been a consistent element in the Catholic tradition, and it continues to be so.
The theme of the conference is Peace Building for the 21st. Century. The event is offered by the Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors and this year is hosted by the Catholic Diocese of San Jose on the campus of Santa Clara University. Academics, directors and ministers in the field of Catholic Social Teaching from both the national and international community will come together to share their stories, experiences and ideas on various issues related to the field of peace building. Some of these are: Biblical foundations for justice, parish and faith-based community organizing, poverty reduction, engage-contemplation, and social-economic development.
Among the speakers is Mathilde Muhindo Mwamini, who has worked to empower women to fight against discrimination and sexual abuse in the Republic of Congo. Also speaking will be Joan Rosenhauer, director of Catholic Relief Services U.S. Operation, who also previously worked with The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The keynote presenter will be Dr. Scott Appleby, professor of history and director of the Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is a respected author with expertise on the role religions historically have played in the areas of both violence and peace building.
So as Anne Rice withdraws from Christianity, US Catholic gather to work for peace. This is not the first time such gatherings have occurred (see list below), and similar events will continue to occur both at the national and international levels. So if you missed this one, you can look forward to catching the next. Upcoming events in the LA area are: Right to Life Gathering (August 16); Annual Labor Day Mass (September 6); Archdiocesan Public Policy Luncheon on Immigration Reform (September 24); Pax Christi S. California Assembly and Conference (October 2), just to mention a few. Ms. Rice is invited.
Peace Building for the 21st. Century
August 1-4 2010
Santa Clara University, San Jose, California
2009: Economics and the Common Good (Newark, NJ)
2008: Racism: The Colorblind Ideology (Atlanta, GA)
2007: Climate Change and Environmental Justice (Milwaukee, WI)
2006: Poverty (Dayton, OH)
2005: Immigration Justice in a Global Economy (Los Angeles, CA)
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