Biennial Catholic social tradition conference marks 50th anniversary of Justice in the World

Author: JP Shortall

Justice In The World
Justice In The World

The University of Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns will hold its sixth biennial Catholic social tradition conference March 25-27. The conference will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Justice in the World, a document that has served as the foundation for the Church’s social justice teaching since it was produced by the World Synod of Bishops in 1971. The conference will focus in particular on the document's approach to racism, ecclesial and political structures, work, internationalization and the environment. 

This year’s conference will feature a series of six Zoom webinar panels that will be free and open to the public. It will also include presentation of the Rev. Don McNeill, C.S.C., and Sr. Judith Anne Beattie, C.S.C., Award for Social Concerns, a juried exhibit of student art, and a Holy Saturday virtual retreat focused on questions related to the environment and poverty.

“For the last 50 years, the Church’s social justice teaching has been guided by Justice in the World, especially the idea that ‘action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world’ are constitutive of the Gospel,” said Bill Purcell, acting executive director of the center and conference organizer. “As always, the conference will aim to help us both understand and practice Catholic social tradition.”

Each panel will feature three to five short presentations followed by a moderated question-and-answer period. Panel topics include Racial Justice: Engaging the Structure of Oppression; Creating a Global Vision of Justice; Hearing the Gospel and Spreading Good News; Justice in the World of Work: Global, National, Local Perspectives; Starting Justice at Home; and Justice for the Earth.

For the full conference schedule, panelist information and Zoom link and password, go to

The conference is co-sponsored by the National Center for the Laity.

Contact: Bill Purcell, Center for Social Concerns, 574-631-9473,