Saint Xavier University Catholic Colloquium Lecture Series

Catholic Colloquium Lecture Series

Catholic Colloquium Past Speakers

Most Catholic Colloquium lectures (2006-present) are available in DVD format from the Robert and Mary Rita Murphy Stump Library at Saint Xavier University. Titles may be viewed at the Library website. DVDs may be borrowed for a week or viewed at the library.

Past Speakers 2016

November 10: John F. Deane

John F. DeaneIn "Name and Nature Who Do You Say That I Am?" John F. Deane offered an overview of poetry in response to the person of Christ. Poets that were included in that talk were David Gascoyne, Denise Levertov, Adelia Prado, R.S. Thomas, George Herbert, Gerald Manley Hopkins and poems written by John F. Deane.

March 31: Archbishop Blase Cupich

Blase CupichFor centuries, Catholic education has enjoyed the challenges of forming minds and developing whole persons. Catholic higher education has thus associated knowledge with wisdom, and the search for truth with the pursuit of the good. Saint Xavier University's mission is to educate men and women to think critically and serve compassionately in support of the common good and dignity of life.

In "Higher Education as Partner in the Church's Mission" Archbishop Blase Cupich discussed the relationship between Catholic higher education and the Church, and their shared mission. The audience was invited to consider how the goals of Catholic higher education harmonize with the mission of the Church, and to reflect upon the direction of Catholic higher education in the twenty-first century.

Past Speakers 2015

October 15: Kerry Weber

Kerry WeberIn our fast-paced world, it is easy to place mercy in the front of our minds, but at the bottom of the "to-do" list. In "Mercy in the City" Kerry Weber discussed the active presence of mercy and compassion in everyday life, and offered wisdom on how to consciously live the corporal works of mercy even while juggling life's many responsibilities.

Weber's message was refreshing, positive and practical!

April 15: Jack Jezreel

Jack JezreelIn "The Call to Compassion: Pope Francis and the Twenty-First Century Disciple" Jack Jezreel lead us to examine our role as Christian disciples in the twenty-first century, and the urge of Pope Francis to live out our faith in the modern world. This presentation combined Scripture, Catholic Social Teaching, theology and story to help us discover the link between faith and mission.

March 19: Mary Christine Athans, B.V.M., Ph.D.

Christine Athans"In Quest of the Jewish Mary" presented Mary through the lens of historical research, Jewish-Christian dialogue, and feminist theology. Sr. Athans described how Mary has been depicted doctrinally and devotionally, and explored how Mary continues to serve as a focus of Christian spirituality and inter-faith dialogue.

Past Speakers 2014

September 16: Sr. Helen Marie Burns, R.S.M., Ph.D.

Helen Marie Burns"Education Requires Ingenuity: The Heritage of Catholic Higher Education" explored how the ingenuity of women religious (sisters) has furthered and continues to shape Catholic education generally, and the education of women more specifically. Such ingenuity, she maintained, remains important -- especially within institutions of Catholic higher education like Saint Xavier.

February 19: Br. Guy Consolmango, S.J., Ph.D.

Guy Consolmagno"Faith and the Scientist" explored Vatican astronomer and planetary scientist Br. Consolmagno's conviction that a believer can be a scientist and scientists can be believers. His thesis: As both religion and science explore the universe, seeking to understand and interpret natural phenomena, they offer not oppositional but complementary approaches to reality.

March 19: Sr. Janet Ruffing, R.S.M., Ph.D.

Janet Ruffing"Faith and Women: Why Women Mystics Still Matter" drew on Sr. Ruffing's research about St. Catherine of Siena and other medieval women mystics, and in the light of their experience, considered the many roles that lay women and women religious play in the Church -- past and present.

April 8: Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Ph.D., S.T.

Francis Cardinal George"Vatican II and Its Consequences, Intended and Otherwise" offered Cardinal George's reflections on how the Council's decisions have shaped Catholic life over the past half century in ways foreseen and unforeseen by the Council Fathers during their deliberations.

Past Speakers 2013

September 11: John Allen Jr.

John Allen Jr.In "Faith and the 'Francis Effect': What a New Pope Means for the Catholic Future," well-known Vatican observer and commentator John Allen Jr. reflected on the papacy six months after the election of Pope Francis. He also posed the question: What do the beginning months suggest about the future of the Church, globally and in the U.S.?

February 28: Edward Hahnenberg, Ph.D.

Edward HahnenbergIn "Vatican II: True Compass for the New Millennium," theologian Prof. Hahnenberg outlined significant and enduring aspects of the Second Vatican Council that prompted Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI to call it the "true compass" for the future.

Past Speakers 2012

November 27: Mary Fishman

Mary FishmanIn "Band of Sisters," her just released documentary, filmmaker Fishman traced the lives and efforts of several women religious whose response to the Second Vatican Council led them to connect the call of the Gospel with work for justice in such areas as civil rights, peace-making, the women's movement and human rights.

November 15: Bren Ortega Murphy, Ph.D.

Bren MurphyIn "A Question of Habit," her documentary film, Ortega Murphy, Ph.D. captured a variety popular, cultural images of women religious and commented on some of the factors behind those images' belittlement and objectification of nuns that contrast sharply with sisters' real lives, ministries and contributions to church and society.

November 6: Avis Clendenen, D.Min., Ph.D., and Jan Bickel, D.M.A.

Avis ClendenenJan BickelIn "Experiencing Hildegard of Bingen: Medieval Nun, Doctor of the Church, Wisdom Figure for Our Times," Avis Clendenen, Ph.D., and Jan Bickel, Ph.D., used narrative, visuals and music to celebrate Saint Hildegard, a medieval abbess, mystic, musician, theologian, healer, ecologist and church reformer whom the Vatican had just declared a Doctor of the Church, the fourth woman to be so designated.

October 10: Roger Cardinal Mahony

Roger Cardinal MahonyIn "I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me," Cardinal Mahony assessed current and proposed U.S. immigration policy in the light of Catholic social teaching and outlined the U.S. bishops' proposals for comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform.

September 19: Sr. Rosemary Connelly, R.S.M.

Rosemary ConnellyIn "Misericordia: The Right to a Life Worth Living," Sr. Rosemary spoke of the inherent dignity of each person and the importance of helping each individual to realize his or her maximum potential, whatever developmental disabilities may be present.

Past Speakers 2011

December 1: Sr. Mary Sullivan, R.S.M., Ph.D.

Mary SullivanIn "Mercifulness Today: Catherine McAuley's Vision," McAuley scholar and biographer Sr. Sullivan highlighted the importance and purposes of education, especially of women, as reflected in the thought and practice of the founder of the Sisters of Mercy and the congregation she launched.

November 2: Daniel Sulmasy, O.F.M., Ph.D., M.D.

Daniel SulmasyIn "Beyond Death Panels: Ethical Issues in Care at the End of Life" physician and medical ethicist Dr. Sulmasy discussed the moral principles involved in decisions about continuing or ending medical interventions as a person approaches death. Co-sponsored by SXU's School of Nursing.

September 7-8: Thomas Cordaro and Rev. Robert Barry, O.P.,

Thomas CordaroRobert BarryIn "The Ethics of War: Two Perspectives," Mr. Cordaro and Fr. Barry examined questions of violence, suffering, use of force, justice and peacemaking in the context of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Past Speakers 2010

December 1: Sr. Mary Waskowiak, R.S.M.

Mary WaskowiakIn "Sister Says: 'Be Adult Catholics,'" Sr. Waskowiak brought the perspective of mercy to the task of adult Catholics dealing with a host of contemporary and challenging issues in the Catholic Church and in society.

November 10: Rev. Edward Foley, O.F.M., Cap.

Edward FoleyIn "Can a University Be a Sacrament? Catholic Magic or Catholic Mysticism?," Rev. Foley explored how a Catholic university fosters an adult faith and spirituality in its students.

October 19: Msgr. Ken Velo

Ken VeloIn "Where the Light Shines: Catholics in Chicago," Msgr. Velo shared inspiring stories of local Catholic and contemporary Catholicism, stories that exhibit and encourage abiding faith, encouraging hope, and neighborly love.

Past Speakers 2009

November 17: Patrick McCormick

Patrick McCormickIn "Bone of My Bone and Flesh of My Flesh: Uncovering the Beauty of the Stranger," Dr. McCormick, Professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University in Washington, considered the challenges of cultural and religious diversity and the importance of recognizing others as "bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh."

October 8: Mary Catherine Hilkert, O.P.

Mary Catherine HilkertIn "The Human Vocation and the Catholic University: Revisiting Gaudium et spes," Dr. Hilkert, Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, discussed the interrelatedness of all creation, the dignity and rights of women around the world, and the call to solidarity with the poor and marginalized.

September 24: Bishop Robert Morneau

Bishop Robert MorneauIn "Hungers of the Human Heart: A Catholic Poetic Perspective," Bishop Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop of Green Bay, poet, and popular speaker on spirituality addressed the human longings for intimacy, meaning and commitment.

April 7: Terry Rynne

Rynne's discussion, titled "War and Peace: Public Policy, Human Dignity, and the Common Good," examined how key principles of Catholic social teaching applied to matters of war, peace and justice could foster America's identity and reputation as a peaceable country.

March 11: Sr. Deirdre Mullan, R.S.M.

Diedre MullanMullan's lecture, titled "The Vision Still has its Time: The UN, Catholic Social Teaching and Global Citizenship," focused on the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000. The goals were designed to focus the world community's efforts on achieving significant improvements in people's lives by 2015. These included better health care and education and eliminating extreme hunger and poverty. Co-sponsored with the SXU Honors Program.

Past Speakers from 2008-2006


  • Lawrence Cunningham: "The Catholicity of the Catholic University: A Second Look"
  • Rev. Otis Moss III: "Faith, Social Justice, and the Next U.S. President"
  • Terry Mason: "Health Care Policy and the Next U.S. President"


  • Shawn Copeland: "Appreciating Difference: The Catholic University in the Formation of Persons"
  • Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.: "Paradigms of Interpretation: Catholic Universities and Catholic Moral Life"
  • Sr. Mary Ann Hinsdale, I.H.M.: "Catholic Universities: Prophets or Profits?"
  • Sr. Elizabeth Linehan, R.S.M.: "Should Mercy Season Justice? A Reflection on Public Policy"
  • Rev. Robert Barron: "The Catholic Intellectual Tradition and Spiritual Transformation"
  • Sr. Mary Aquin O'Neill, R.S.M.: "Mercy: The Fifth Cardinal Virtue"


  • Peter Steinfels: "Ballots and Bishops: The New Landscape of Catholic Politics"
  • Rev. Bryan Hehir: "The New Nuclear Age: Political and Moral Dimensions"