Men and Women for Others

April 16, 2014

Recently, Catholic Extension and Boston College partnered to present a first of its kind event. "The Transformative Power of Faith: Responding to Pope Francis’s Call", was the topic of this year’s Dean’s Colloquium, sponsored by Fr. Mark Massa, SJ, Dean of the BC School of Theology and Ministry.

 Transformative Power of Faith Panel at Boston College
Panelists share how they transform the lives of people in some of America’s poorest communities.

This was an opportunity for some of Catholic Extension’s Lumen Christi award recipients and finalists to share their stories of faith and how they as leaders in their communities are shining Christ’s light and having an impact in their communities, beyond the church walls.

Catholic Extension’s panelists included Jose and Digna Lopez, a married couple from the diocese of Stockton, CA, who have literally touched the lives of thousands of people. José oversees migrant ministry and youth ministry, and Digna serves as head of Hispanic ministry. José and Digna multiply faith in the diocese by training others to be lay leaders. They train and support more than 15,000 people annually. Over 1,000 young people attend their annual youth conference. Panelists stop for a quick photo with Father Jack Wall and moderator, Mark Massa, SJ, Dean of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

 Transformative Power of Faith
Panelists stop for a quick photo with Father Jack Wall and moderator,
Mark Massa, SJ, Dean of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

Fr. John Hatcher, SJ came from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Fr. Hatcher spoke of empowering the lay people on the reservation to take on leadership roles, in order “to put the mission out of business.”

Also joining our panel was Sr. Susanne Dzidiec, one of three Felician sisters ministering in Kingstree, SC. Sr. Susanne and the other Sisters with whom she ministers have transformed this community that was once seen as hopeless, to one where the different denominations now work together to serve those who need food and support.

Why did this event happen? Catholic Extension has long believed that the good news that is happening in the mission dioceses should be shared; and the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry was eager to collaborate with us in order to bring this good news to people in Boston.

Father Jack Wall at The Boston College Panel
“Our faith put into action can transform our society and our whole world"
– Father Jack Wall, President of Catholic Extension

Said Father Jack Wall, President of Catholic Extension, about the event: “It is a rare and wonderful opportunity to bring these unsung heroes to tell their stories to this Colloquium. The challenges of their communities might seem insurmountable to some, but through the remarkable transformative power of faith, these panelists are changing lives, hearts and society.  They are living examples of Pope Francis’ call to bring the light of Christ to those on the margins.”  

Click here to view photos from this memorable event. 

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