Notre Dame and Catholic Relief Services formalize "strategic relationship"



The University of Notre Dame and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) have signed a mutualmemorandum of understandingto formalize what it callsour strategic relationship as preeminent U.S. Catholic institutions striving to put in practice the principles of Catholic social teaching in order to contribute significantly to a more just and peaceful world.

The memorandum was signed Friday (Feb.15) by Notre Dames president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and CRS president Ken Hackett at a ceremony in Notre Dames Main Building.

Our partnership with CRS makes great sense to Notre Dames vision and future,Father Jenkins said.Together we can lift up the principles of human dignity and solidarity on this campus, across this nation and around the world.

Today is a special day,said Hackett.Because today two of our nations greatest Catholic institutions are committing themselves to collaboration on behalf of the poor.

While recognizing the autonomy of each organization, the agreement builds on several collaborative projects which Notre Dame has undertaken with CRS, the official international relief and development agency of the Catholic Church in the United States.It commits both Notre Dame and CRSto explore opportunities and engage resources (for example, staff, faculty, curriculum, materials, research and international experiences) for the advancement of partnership projects and goals.

Since 2001, CRS staff members from around the world have visited the Notre Dame campus for an annual summer Institute on Peacebuilding hosted by the Universitys Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and Notre Dames Mendoza College of Business has provided scholarships for CRS executives to attend its leadership training programs.In addition, Notre Dames Center for Social Concerns has placed 12 Notre Dame students in summer service internships in CRS projects since 2005.

Alluding to these and other instances of cooperation, the agreement asserts that Notre Dame and CRS willseek to further each others mission to advance Catholic values of global solidarity and international social justice through enhancing institutional and individual engagement in such work.

The agreement also calls for the appointment ofinstitutional liasonsfrom both Notre Dame and CRS to meet periodically to exchange information and assess the partnership of the two institutions.

_ Contact: William J. Purcell, associate director, Center for Social Concerns, at574-631-9473 or_ " " __

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