ICL-CSC Updates




Updates from the CSC…

  • JOY & HOPE is the theme for the Center for Social Concerns for the 2014-15 academic year. We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes, regarded as the most significant document of Catholic social teaching in the twentieth century. The bond between the Church and humanity will be reflected upon together as a community as we learn and act to advance social justice. The Center will host a yearlong series of events focusing on finding hope and celebrating joy in the signs of the times of today’s social issues.
  • To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes, the Center will host the Third Biennial Catholic Social Tradition Conference, Joy & Hope,March 22–24, 2015.
  • The Center for Social Concerns has welcomed four staff members:
     Rev. Kevin J. Sandberg, C.S.C., Ph.D. will serve as assistant director of the Center for Social Concerns
and director of graduate student initiatives and faith education.
    Daniel Graff, Ph.D. has been named Director of the Higgins Labor Studies Program upon Marty Wolfson’s retirement. Dan had served as the assistant director.
    Jessica McKay-Chapman, joins the Center and will work as the administrative assistant to Annie Cahill Kelly and Alisa Zornig Gura in community partnerships.
    Judy Benchaar, joins the CSC and will serve as the part-time administrative assistant for the Higgins Labor Studies Program while she pursues her master’s degree in French from Notre Dame.
  • The third annual Center for Social Concerns Community Engagement Faculty Institute was held May 28–30 and was designed to help faculty deepen their understanding of the theory and practice of academic community engagement. Twenty-six faculty and graduate students from 19 colleges, institutes, centers, and departments participated.
  • The University of Notre Dame was recently named by bestvalueschools.com as the top service-oriented university based on return on investment for those working in community service or the non-profit sector—specifically recognizing the work of the Center for Social Concerns.
  • The Annual Fr. Bernie Clark Lecture on Tuesday, September 9 at 7 PM
 will featureFr. Greg Boyle, S.J., the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries speaking on Joy & Hope in the Hood. DeBartolo Hall, Room 101.
  • Eleven rising juniors and seniors enrolled in the College of Business interned for eight to ten weeks this past summer at a range of organizations dedicated to making a positive social impact within a sustainable business structure through the Social Enterprise and Microfinance Internships.  Partner organizations included: Better Futures Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN), CleanTurn (Columbus, OH), Social Venture Partners Dallas (Dallas, TX), Accion (Chicago, IL), Soup of Success and Horizon Education Initiative (Elkhart, IN), SustainU (Morgantown, WV), HandCrafting Justice (Astoria, NY), Crossroads (Galax, VA), and Colorado Enterprise Fund (Denver, CO).  As a one-credit course in theology and a one-credit course in business, students engaged a diverse set of readings aimed at providing a theologically grounded vision of how business and social enterprise can be powerful tools for working towards the common good.
  • This year, 217 students participated in the Summer Service Learning Program, sponsored by 112 Notre Dame Alumni Clubs, the Andrews Scholarship Fund, and other special scholarship funds to work with 173 service organizations across the country. Fifty-three students spent their summers in the International Summer Service Learning Program in 17 countries at 26 sites locations.
  •  Through a partnership position with the colleges of science and engineering held by Alisa Zornig Gura, the Center for Social Concerns has become much more involved with their community engagement efforts in the areas of STEM. The Center worked with the Expanding Your Horizons STEM Conference for Girls to bring over 20 area women in STEM and more than 275 area 5-8th grade girls to Notre Dame to broaden participation of women in Science and Engineering. Alisa administered the Mathematics Research Experiences for Teachers program supporting the professional development of 9 area high school teachers and one ND graduate student instructor in summer 2014.
  • We assisted with the STEAMnd CBL course engaging students from a variety of disciplines in broadening participation of underrepresented 5th graders in science and engineering. Alisa worked with the Innovation, Imagination, Discovery, and Design (I2D2) event that brought 300 local 5th graders to campus to engage with first year Notre Dame Engineering students
  •  The Common Good Initiative sent 14 graduate students from around the University to Haiti to explore the relation of public health, the preferential option for the poor, and Catholic social teaching's principle of the common good in the context of Haiti’s abject poverty and the wake of the 2010 catastrophic earthquake. The program also sent four additional students on 8-week internships in Uganda, Argentina, Ireland, and West Virginia.
  • The Center is collaborating with 13 individual faculty members to develop community engagement activities to broaden the impact of National Science Foundation grant proposals.





Updates from the ICL…

  • The third annual Human Dignity Lecture will take place Wednesday October 8, 2014. Martin J. Horn, Distinguished Lecturer in Corrections at the John Jay College, City University of New York and Executive Director of the New York State Sentencing Commission will speak on Prison Reform: Problematic Necessity. Click here to view previous Human Dignity lectures.
  • In November and continuing  through the end of January 2015, the ICL will host a display of International Crèches at five locations on campus: The Eck Visitor, Center, The Morris Inn, McKenna Hall, the Main Building and the atrium of the Hesburgh Library.  The display will open officially November 19 with a lecture from Fr. Johann Roten, S.M., Director of Research and Special Projects at the International Marian Library, University of Dayton. The highlight of this event will be a pilgrimage, December 7, where visitors will visit each location, accompanied by choirs from the Notre Dame community, with the final destination being the Main Building, where Fr. Jenkins will offer a brief reflection.
  • In May, the Office of Human Dignity & Life Initiatives held the second annual Lessons for Life Symposium. The 2013-2014 University Life Fellows each gave 10-minute presentations on pedagogical materials relevant to different topics in the panoply of pro-life concerns and suitable for inclusion in the classroom, whether as a discrete unit or a single class period. The Life Fellows are multi-disciplinary faculty members who meet throughout the academic year to think collectively about effective pedagogical approaches to life issues, with an aim to incorporating them into their respective teaching disciplines. 
  • For four weeks this summer, Notre Dame Vision, now in its 14th year, served some 1,200 high school students. Some 800 campus and youth ministers attended concurrent conferences through Vision CYM. A key component of Vision are some 70 mentors in faith, undergraduates who receive extensive training before and during the summer conferences. Notre Dame Vision mentors in faith were featured in Duke Divinity’s online publication, Faith & Leadership. You can read the full article here
  • With a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation, and additional funds from Catholic Extension, the ICL organized and facilitated the first of two seminars designed to bridge the gap between science and religion. Science and Religion: Strangers, Rivals, or Partners in the Search for Truth?  was attended by some 70 high school teachers from around the country for a week long seminar. The hope for the seminar was that participants would learn how to incorporate material learned in the seminar into their regular classes in biology, physics, or religion.  Seminar faculty worked closely with those teachers who wished to create new elective courses that focused specifically on the relationship between science and religion.
  • June 16-19, the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy (NDCL) hosted its annual Liturgy Symposium: Liturgy as Healing. To see the full list of speakers and topics, click here. NDCL also hosted the second annual Summer Spirituality Series. Titled Celebrating Mary Today, the focus this year was Marian theology and spirituality and was guided by Sr. Danielle Peters, a post-doctoral fellow of the Institute for Church Life, whose focus is on Marian Scholarship.
  • June 27-29, Echo celebrated its 10 year anniversary with events and gatherings planned for the returning alumni and the many friends of Echo who have been instrumental in shaping the program into a nationally- acclaimed program, whose graduates are highly sought-after. In a story written by the Notre Dame Office of Communications, Echo is described by Fr. Paul Doyle, CSC - a long-time friend of the Echo program - as ‘giving Jesus a good name.”
  • July 26, Most Rev. Robert N. Lynch, bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, celebrated the Mass of Blessing and Missioning for the class of Echo 9. The graduates served for two years in the arch/dioceses of Galveston-Houston, Manchester and St. Petersburg, the new graduates. While several will remain in parish ministry, others will take up positions as high school theology teachers and campus ministers; one student will enter the seminary this fall. At a reception following the Mass, John Cavadini spoke to the student and their families; click here to read John’s remarks.
  • In July, Explorations in the Theology of Benedict XVI, published in 2012 and edited by John C. Cavadini, received the Bronze Award in the Religion category from the 2013 Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Award. The book was the result of a conference held at Notre Dame in 2012, God is Love: Explorations in the Theology of Benedict XVI. A special leather-bound copy of the book was presented to Pope Benedict in December 2012 by John Cavadini.
  • John Cavadini, along with Christian Smith, the William R. Kenan Professor of Sociology was co-author of a recently published book. Building Catholic Higher Education; Unofficial Reflections from the University of Notre Dame.