Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will give the keynote address at a conference on the mission of Catholic colleges and universities in higher education Sept. 19 (Friday) at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
The two-day conference, entitled “The Idea of a Catholic College: Charism, Curricula, and Community,” will include speakers from Boston University, St. Mary’s College of California, the University of Portland, Gonzaga University, St. Edward’s University and the University of Scranton. In addition to members of the King’s College faculty, administration, and board of directors, the event will bring together more than 100 faculty members and administrators from Catholic institutions of higher education nationwide. Its proceedings will be published in the Journal of Catholic Higher Education.
At King’s College, Father Jenkins will be speaking on a topic familiar and dear to him. Earlier this year, addressing an academic convocation held in Rome to dedicate the University’s new Notre Dame Rome Center, he alluded to St. Pope John Paul II’s 1990 apostolic letter on the mission of Catholic universities, “Ex Corde Ecclesiae” (“Born from the Heart of the Church”).
“Perhaps,” Father Jenkins said, “the deeper reason why universities were ‘born from the heart of the Church’—why they arose in the thoroughly Catholic culture of faith in Europe in the Middle Ages—was the shared conviction that God made humans in his image and likeness and gave us minds that could understand the world, and people believed that sustained, cooperative inquiry by dedicated scholars would be fruitful. These beliefs gave rise to the creation of universities, institutions dedicated to inquiry into and teaching of the highest truths about the world.”
Notre Dame was proud to participate in that tradition, Father Jenkins said, “and strives to be a living institutional witness to the harmony of faith and reason. Yet it will only be such a witness if its physicists and philosophers, its economists and engineers, and all its scholars engage in inquiries and make discoveries that are at the very highest level. If our scholarly work is inferior to our secular peers, we will fail to witness to our confidence in the intelligibility of God’s world, and to our commitment to using the gifts God has given us to understanding it.”
The keynote address by Father Jenkins will also be this year’s Moreau Lecture, an annual event sponsored by the Congregation of Holy Cross at King’s, which brings renowned theologians and philosophers to the King’s campus to address issues of social justice, ethics and Catholic identity. Father Jenkins is the 36th speaker in the history of the Moreau Lectures Series, which is named in honor of Blessed Father Basil Anthony Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
Contact: John McAndrew, (570) 208-5958