de Nicola Center’s winter conference to discuss our obligations to one another

Author: Kenneth Hallenius

de Nicola Center’s Winter Conference

The de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame will present a virtual conference Jan. 12-14, “We Belong to Each Other,” featuring livestreamed presentations by Archbishop José H. Gomez, poet Dana Gioia, historian Elizabeth Lev, philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, author Yuval Levin, public health expert Monique Chireau Wubbenhorst and many others.

The virtual conference was planned in the spirit of the de Nicola Center’s annual Fall Conference, now in its 21st year. “While we were disappointed not to be able to welcome guests in person for this year’s conference, we are delighted to offer this opportunity to gather virtually and continue grappling with these important questions surrounding truth, beauty, human dignity and the common good,” said O. Carter Snead, director of the de Nicola Center. “What does it mean to say, in the words of Mother Teresa, that ‘we belong to each other’? Our fantastic lineup of speakers will help us to understand better our shared obligations toward the common good.”

The de Nicola Center’s annual conference is the most important academic forum for fruitful discourse and exchange among the world’s leading Catholic thinkers and those from other traditions, and is the largest annual interdisciplinary event at Notre Dame. Past speakers include Nobel Laureate James Heckman, John Finnis, Mary Ann Glendon, Rémi Brague, Charles Taylor, Michael Sandel and Jean Bethke Elshtain.

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will present “‘Welcome the Stranger’: What We Owe to the Migrant,” during the 8 p.m. keynote on Tuesday (Jan. 12). Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, Permanent Senior Distinguished Research Fellow at the de Nicola Center, will present a talk titled “What We Owe to the Dead, Alas!” in an afternoon keynote session at 2 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 13).

Wednesday's 8 p.m. keynote session will be a conversation about Catholic higher education with Sarah Mustillo, dean of the Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters; Thomas Hibbs, president of the University of Dallas; and G. Marcus Cole, dean of the Notre Dame Law School. The concluding keynote session at 8 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 14) will be a reading and conversation with Dana Gioia, the 2015-17 poet laureate of California and former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Other panelists at this year’s virtual Winter Conference will address topics as varied as poverty, health care, literature, family life, hospitality, education and bioethics. All of the conference’s 15 sessions will be available for livestreaming at, and will be posted for viewing on demand after the conclusion of the conference on the center’s YouTube channel at Follow the conversation on social media with the hashtag #WinCon21. The full schedule is available at

The de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture is committed to sharing the richness of the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition through teaching, research and dialogue, at the highest level and across a range of disciplines. For more information, contact communications specialist Ken Hallenius at

Originally published by Kenneth Hallenius at on Jan. 11.