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Archdiocesan Justice Convocation set for Oct. 17

By Pilot Staff
Posted: 10/2/2009

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Parishes from the Archdiocese of Boston are invited to the upcoming Archdiocesan Justice Convocation on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Boston College High School. This year’s convocation, themed “In the Footsteps of Christ,” will explore Catholic social teaching, celebrate the social justice work already happening in the archdiocese, and provide opportunities for participants to discover more ways to connect faith with action.

“The theme signifies how we are all called to live the values of Jesus in the Gospel by following his example,” said Sister Terry Rickard, OP, Executive Director of RENEW International, a co-sponsor of the convocation. “Our communities and our world need Catholics to be the face, hands, and body of Christ in the world today.”

The convocation will feature prayer and opening remarks by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, followed by a keynote address by Father J. Bryan Hehir, Archdiocesan Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services. Sister Rickard will moderate the panel discussion that includes Tiziana Dearing, president Catholic Charities Boston, and Father David Couturier, director of the Office of Pastoral Planning for the archdiocese.

Translated transcripts of these plenary sessions will be available by request after the convocation.

Breakout workshops with experts in social justice from the archdiocese, RENEW International, Catholic Relief Services, and Catholic Charities will offer practical approaches and tools for bringing justice to fruition within a parish. Topics include justice in the workplace and ways to address social concerns through parishes and schools.

Attendees can also view the documentary entitled “Scenes from a Parish,” filmed on location at St. Patrick’s Parish in Lawrence. The film presents personal stories from one Catholic parish to depict the struggles to reconcile ideals of faith with the realities of a globalized United States. The film’s director will also be available for questions.

For parishes just launching social justice initiatives, this convocation will offer practical advice and the tools needed to establish a social justice committee at the parish level. Convocation organizers recommend that every parish send at least one or more representatives. Catholic School principals and teachers are also invited to learn ways to apply insights to their schools.

The registration fee of $5 per person includes participant materials. Space is limited, so participants are asked to register early. Please bring your own lunch; snacks and beverages will be available for purchase.

For more information about the convocation, please contact Mary Ann McLaughlin or Ann Cussen, Office for Worship and Spiritual Life by phone at 617-779-3640 or email

To register online, please visit