The Social Action Summer Institute will be held July 29 to Aug. 1 at Bellarmine University. So far, about 150 people have registered to hear a variety of speakers and attend workshops during the four-day event.
David Dutschke, director of parish and community engagement at Catholic Charities of Louisville, said the gathering is open “to anyone who wants to delve more deeply into the church’s rich social doctrine.”
“We’ve encouraged the parishes to look at it as a potential staff event,” he said. “This is a marvelous opportunity for us locally to be exposed to both local and national figures.”
The program will begin July 29 with an afternoon Mass in the Bellarmine University Chapel. The celebrants will be Bishop of Owensboro William F. Medley and Bishop of Lexington Ronald W. Gainer.
The keynote speaker, David Beckmann of Bread for the World, will discuss the topic, “Finding the Will to End Hunger.”
Other speakers during the program include Tricia Hoyt from the Diocese of Phoenix, who will discuss “Biblical Justice and Theological Foundations of Catholic Social Teaching” and Father John Rausch of the Catholic Committee of Appalachia, who will discuss “Small Changes Ripple Out and Bring Hope.”
In addition, Jack Jezreel of JustFaith Ministries will speak on “Gathering and Sending,” and Marissa Castellanos of Catholic Charities of Louisville will discuss “Human Trafficking: A Call to Action.”
The conference will offer two tracks. One will focus on the foundations of Catholic social teaching and will be geared toward those who are newer to Catholic social action. Track two will focus on “addressing poverty today.”
Other speakers for these tracks will be representatives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) office of Justice, Peace and Human Development; Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services.
The conference also will include hands-on learning experiences with three local groups that receive funds from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development — CLOUT, Jobs with Justice and Centro Latino in Shelbyville, Ky. CLOUT, which stands for Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together, will present a demonstration to participants on how to build relationships with business leaders.
The conference is sponsored nationally by several large Catholic organizations, including Catholic Charities USA, the United States bishops’ conference, Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. It is organized by the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors.
For more information about the institute, visit catholicroundtable.org or call 202-635-2757, ext. 133.
By Marnie McAllister, Record Assistant Editor