Bishops from war-torn regions to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Arts and Letters


Catholic bishops from war-torn regions around the world who are deeply involved in peacebuilding will speak April 13, 15 and 16 at the University of Notre Dame. Several of the bishops have been directly involved as mediators between warring parties, including governments and rebel groups.

Sponsors for the presentations April 15 and 16 include Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Center for Social Concerns, Center for Civil and Human Rights, Africa Faith and Justice Network and African Student Association. All presentations are free and open to the public. Streaming video will be available at

On April 15 (Tuesday), Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja (Nigeria), Bishop Joachim Ntahondereye of Muyinga (Burundi), and Monsignor Matthew Odong of the Gulu Archdiocese (Uganda) will address “Catholic Peacebuilding in Africa” at 7:45p.m. in the auditorium of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.

On April 16 (Wednesday), Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga of Tunja will speak on “Colombia: The Church as Peacebuilder” at noon in the Hesburgh Center auditorium. One of the leading mediators between the Colombian government and the FARC, Colombia’s oldest and largest guerilla group, Castro played a key role in the release of soldiers kidnapped in 1996.

The bishops will be on campus with hundreds of other peacebuilders – clergy and laity, scholars and peacebuilding practitioners from 30 countries – as part of the Conference on the Future of Catholic Peacebuilding, sponsored by the Catholic Peacebuilding Network and 17 other organizations. A full list of speakers is available at .

On April 13 (Sunday), the conference’s opening session, “Peace as the Church’s Vocation: The Role of Bishops,” will include the bishops listed above as well as Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, S.J., of Cagayan de Oro on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines and Archbishop Evariste Ngoyagoye, president of the Burundi Episcopal Conference. Moderated by Bishop John Ricard of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee (Fla.) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the session will begin at 7:30p.m. in McKenna Hall. Streaming video of this and other plenary sessions will be available at mms://

More information on the conference and speakers is available at

Contact: Joan Fallon, communications director, KrocInstitute for International Peace Studies, 574-631-8819, .

Originally published by Joan Fallon at on April 03, 2008.