Author of "Say, You're One of Them" - Fr. Uwem Akpan, S.J.

Uwem Akpan

Uwen Akpan is a Jesuit priest from Nigeria and the author of “Say You’re One of Them”, a collection of stories set in war-torn Africa as seen through the eyes of children. Through his stories, Akpan takes readers inside Nigeria, Benin, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia, revealing in beautiful prose the harsh consequences for children of life inn Africa. The New York Times writes “He fuses a knowledge of African poverty and strife with a conspicuously literary approach to storytelling, filtering tales of horror through the eyes of the young.”

Greek Orthodox Church in America, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios

archbishop Demetrios

Since his enthronement in 1999, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios has labored together with Hierarchs, clergy, and laity of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in an intense effort to strengthen conditions of unity and peace and to advance the administrative and ecclesiastical stability of the work of the church in America. His Archpastoral message has been one that has called for faith, unity, love, genuine relationships, and an ever-increasing commitment to God and his service in the name of Christ.

American Culture and Becoming an Activist, Loung Ung

loung ung

Loung Ung was ten years old when she was able to escape the “Killing Fields” of Cambodia and relocated to the United States. Today she is a world-renown Cambodian American human rights activist and a featured speaker on Cambodia, child soldiers, women and war, domestic violence, and land mines. She is also the author of two critically acclaimed books that recount the horrors of her family and national tragedy under the Khmer Rouge.

Black Catholics in the American Catholic Church, Sr. Jamie T. Phelps, O.P., Ph.D.

Jamie Phelps

Sr. Jamie T. Phelps, O.P., Ph.D., a Roman Catholic sister who has been a member of the Adrian Dominican Congregation since 1959, is Director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS), Xavier University, and Professor of Systemic Theology. Dr Phelps is the editor of Black and Catholic: The Challenge and Gift of Black Folk, now in its second edition. In addition, she has published more than 50 theological articles on issues of the mission of the Church, evangelization, enculturation, Christology, and spirituality. Her seminal work establishes Phelps as a major contributor to the development of Black Catholic Theology.

Co-founder of the Central Asian Institute, Greg Mortenson

Greg Mortenson

In 1993 after an attempt to climb K2, Greg Mortenson drifted into an impoverished Pakistan village. Weak and exhausted, he was moved by the compassion of the small town’s residents as they helped him recover. He promised that he would return to build them a school. After 15 years of tireless work and fundraising, the Central Asia Institute, a non-profit he co-founded has set up over 60 schools in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and it continues the mission to promote and support community based education, especially for girls and young women.

The Call to Discernment in Troubled Times, Rev. Dean Brackley, S.J.

Dean Brackley

Fr. Brackley’s many years of experience in El Salvador have led him to realize how the needs of poor countries coincide with the needs of the “middle-class tribe” that he comes from and that largely populate our Jesuit campuses. The concerns and needs of the poor can and should break our hearts and call out to us, so that we will be “ruined for life.” Education for solidarity in our schools should lead us to heed the call to love and service a “noble vocation.” Fr. Brackley discusses the value of St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the wisdom of liberation theology as resources for learning to discern what our place might be in the struggle for a better world.

Latina Women's Religious Experience, Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez

Jeanette Rodriguez

Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez is one of the leading Latina Feminist theologians in North America. Her experience as a Latina means that she has learned the skills of intellectual negotiation between cultures, languages and identities, and she brings them into her work at Seattle University where she is a professor and Chair of the department of Theology and Religious Studies. She leads us through a discussion of the formation of cultural identity and the phenomenon of mestizaje or the blending of culture, race and even religion.

The Humanism of Ignatian Spirituality, Dr. Ronald Modras

Ronald Modras

Dr. Modras has been involved in ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue for over thirty years. For many years he served on the Advisory Committee to the National Council of Catholic Bishops╒ Secretariat for Catholic-Jewish relations. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and seven books, the most recent being Ignatian Humanism, A Dynamic Spirituality for the 21st Century. He has taught at Saint Louis University since 1979.

Homeboy Industries, Rev. Greg Boyle, S.J.

Greg Boyle

In 1988, in response to escalating gang activity in the Los Angeles area Rev. Boyle founded Jobs For a Future Homeboy Industries, an employment referral center and economic program for at risk and gang-involved youth, where he now serves as Executive Director. He is a current member of the State Commission on Juvenile Justice, Crime and Delinquency Prevention, and he serves on the National Youth Gang Center Advisory Board.

Listening to the Voices of HIV/AIDS, Rev. James Keenan, S.J.

James Keenan

Why and how is there such ignorance among people in general and Catholics in particular about the world-wide problem of HIV/AIDS? Fr. Keenan explores the parallels between the medieval epidemic of syphilis and today's global pandemic. We need to overcome the constant tendency to argue that these diseases are someone else╒s problems. We can also learn from the lay confraternaties that grew up to help syphilis victims about how we as a community ought to be responding to the victims of HIV/AIDS. Listening to the victims and learning from them is indispensible to effective care, and should be part of the total education effort of our Jesuit and Catholic institutions.

Partners in Health, Dr. Paul Farmer

Paul Farmer

Dr. Farmer is a medical anthropologist and physician who has dedicated his life to treating some of the world's poorest populations, in the process helping to raise the standard of health care in underdeveloped areas of the world. He is a founding director of PARTNERS IN HEALTH, an international charity organization that provides direct care services and undertakes research and advocacy on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty.

Here Come the Evangelical Catholics, Dr. William Portier

William Portier

An author of numerous books and articles, Dr. Portier received the 2005 Best Article Award from the College Theology Society for his "Here Come the Evangelical Catholics." He holds the Mary Ann Spearin Chair of Theology at the University of Dayton. He specializes in Nineteenth Century American Catholic History and US-Vatican relations.