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Rev. J. Bryan Hehir speaks at SXU Nov. 6

Part of 160th Anniversary Catholic Colloquium Series

Chicago (Oct. 10, 2006) – The Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, Th.D., will speak as part of the 160th Anniversary Catholic Colloquium lecture series at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, in Saint Xavier University’s Butler Reception Room, 3700 W. 103rd St., Chicago.

Hehir’s lecture, titled "The New Nuclear Age: Political and Moral Dimensions," is the second in a five-part series that looks at what it means to “be in good standing” as a Catholic university and the challenges facing Catholic universities since the Second Vatican Council. 

The lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Hehir is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is also the secretary for social services and the president of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Boston. He served on the faculty of Georgetown University from 1984-1992 and the Harvard Divinity School from 1993-2001. His research and writing focus on ethics and foreign policy and the role of religion in world politics and in American society. His writings include The Moral Measurement of War: A Tradition of Continuity and Change; Catholicism and Democracy; and Social Values and Public Policy: A Contribution from a Religious Tradition.

Perhaps the best-known example of Hehir's influence in bringing ethical considerations to bear on strategic foreign policy concerns is the 1983 pastoral letter on war and peace issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). As secretary of the USCCB's Department of Social Development and World Peace, Hehir led the bishops in writing the letter, titled “The Challenge of Peace—God’s Promise and Our Response.” Amid the escalating U.S.-U.S.S.R. arms race, this pastoral letter went beyond the tradition of giving guidance on such issues as war and military service to make an unprecedented statement on nuclear weapons policies.

The Catholic Colloquium lecture series explores the implications of current theological thinking about contemporary moral issues that have arisen since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).
“Catholic universities seek to provide spaces for critical and civil discourse about religious, social, political, cultural and economic issues that affect human dignity and the common good,” said Michael O’Keeffe, professor of religious studies at Saint Xavier who helped organize the series.

“Catholic colleges and universities must be places where scholars, students and the broader community can engage the contested issues of our day, which welcome the voices of all, even as they introduce the Catholic tradition to the contentious debates of our time,” he said.

The series, which is funded by a grant from the Lilly Fellows Program and the Office for University Mission and Heritage, is one of many events to celebrate Saint Xavier University’s 160th anniversary. In 1846, the Sisters of Mercy, founders of Saint Xavier University, opened the first academy in Chicago to provide a Catholic education for girls and young women. Today, Saint Xavier is a private, coeducational institution serving more than 5,700 students with high-quality academic programs. It offers 35 undergraduate majors and 40 graduate program options in five schools. With campuses in Chicago and Orland Park, the University offers personalized education that emphasizes challenging undergraduate, graduate and professional programs of study.

The series also celebrates the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Mercy by Mother Catherine McAuley in Dublin in 1831.

For more information about the lecture series, please contact Kathy Mareska at (773) 298-3981 or mareska@sxu.edu.


Contact Kathy Mareska at (773) 298-3981 or mareska@sxu.edu

773-298-3325 or snowhumiston@sxu.edu

Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

Saint Xavier University Media Relations: 773-298-3325
3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago Ill. 60655 * 18230 Orland Parkway, Orland Park, Ill. 60467
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