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Conference to examine Pope Benedict's first encyclical

Author: Arts and Letters


Two keynote addresses and student presentations will highlight a two-day student conference on the papal encyclical “Deus Caritas Est” (“God is Love”) on Friday and Saturday (April 27 and 28) at the University of Notre Dame.

Sponsored by the Office of the President, the conference will culminate an examination by faculty and students on how the encyclical — the first by Pope Benedict XVI — can help inform Notre Dame’s mission, curriculum and intellectual life.

The conference will take place in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies and is open to faculty, staff, students and members of the public.

Keynote speakers are the Very Rev. Philip Anderson, O.S.B., of the Our Lady of the Annunciation of Clear Creek Monastery in northeastern Oklahoma, and Mary Brosnahan, director of the Coalition for the Homeless in New York City.

Their varied professions reflect the two distinct parts of the encyclical. “The Unity of Love in Creation and Salvation in History” is a theoretical and philosophical reflection on the role of love in Christianity. “Caritas: The Practice of Love by the Church as a `Community of Love’” provides practical reflections on the importance of charitable works.

Brosnahan will speak at 6:30p.m. Friday after opening comments by Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

A 1983 graduate of Notre Dame, Brosnahan was the 2002 recipient of the Alumni Association’s Dr. Thomas A. Dooley Award. Since taking the helm of the Coalition for the Homeless in 1990, she has been influential in increasing the organization’s budget, adding staff and serving several thousand New Yorkers every day through foodprograms, a summer camp for homeless children, rental assistance and job readiness training.

Father Anderson, who will speak at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, is prior of Clear Creek, a traditional working monastery affiliated with the Benedictine community of Fontgombault, France. Although its practices reflect old ways, and old ways of worship such as the Latin Mass, the 1,000-acre facility opened in 1999. Its growing campus was designed, in part, by Thomas Gordon Smith, professor of architecture at Notre Dame.

Contact: Micki Kidder, , 631-6526

Originally published by Gail Hinchion Mancini at on April 23, 2007.