New director appointed to lead Center for Social Concerns

by Dennis Brown

Rev. William M. Lies, C.S.C., has been appointed executive director of the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame, effective July 1. He succeeds Rev. Donald P. McNeill, C.S.C., who helped found the center in 1983.p. A guest scholar in Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Father Lies (pronounced “Lease”) is completing his doctorate in political science from the University of Pittsburgh. In studying comparative politics with an emphasis on Latin America, he has focused on the growth of evangelical Protestantism in Latin America and its impact on the Catholic Church’s relationship to the state.p. A native of Little Falls, Minn., Father Lies earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. He spent a year in Chicago as a Dominican Apostolic Volunteer, then served for two years on the student affairs staff at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.p. Father Lies entered the Congregation of Holy Cross, Notre Dame’s founding religious community, in 1987. He earned his master of divinity degree from Notre Dame in 1993 and was ordained a year later at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus.p. Father Lies studied and worked in Chile from 1990-92 and again from 1999-2000. He also has served Latino communities in the United States in various capacities ? as a deacon and associate pastor at St. Clement’s parish in Hayward, Calif., from 1993-96, and as pastor of the Latino Catholic Community of Pittsburgh from 1996-99.p. The Center for Social Concerns grew out of two previous initiatives at Notre Dame, the Center for Experiential Learning and the Office of Volunteer Services. It is one of the most comprehensive service and experiential learning centers in higher education, with a wide array of courses, publications and conferences inspired by Gospel values and Catholic social teachings.

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