Terry Witherell

What are you doing on Monday, March 31? Would you like to be inspired and hear stories of faith, and how that faith is transforming entire communities?

Then join us at Boston College, for “The Transformative Power of Faith: Responding to Pope Francis’ Call”.
If you’re not near BC next Monday, then you can follow along live on Twitter with hashtag #TPFDiscuss!

Catholic Extension is very excited to be part of the Third Annual “Dean’s Colloquium on Religion and Public Culture”, co-sponsored by Boston College and hosted by Mark Massa, Dean of the School of Theology and Ministry. This is Catholic Extension’s first opportunity to share with a wider audience the inspiring stories of some of our Lumen Christi award recipients; who, as some of the American church’s finest leaders, share “Christ’s light” to the world.

Our panelists include Sister Mary Susanne Dziedzic, who is a Felician Sister serving in Kingstree, South Carolina. Sister Susanne and two other Felician Sisters arrived in Kingstree, a rural, impoverished town, over 20 years ago. Since then they have established an after-school tutoring program for neighborhood children, a food pantry, clothing closet, hot meal program, cooking classes, home repair program, legal advocacy, and medical services. What’s even more amazing is that they have been able to bring all the churches in the area to work together, creating an army of volunteers from 11 different denominations.
Sister Susanne and her fellow Felician Sisters received Catholic Exension’s 2012 Lumen Christi award.
She will be joined at BC by one of the young people whose lives they impacted: a young man from Kingstree who has now gone on to finish college and has a professional job.

Jose and Digna Lopez were the recipients of the 2013 Lumen Christi award. Both immigrants from Mexico, Jose and Digna serve a diocese that is home to migrant workers and a growing, youthful Latino population. They train and support more than 15,000 people annually. They also are deeply involved in programs that give young people alternatives to lives of drugs and violence. This past weekend they held their annual Youth and Young Adult Congress, Pastoral Juvenil, in which over 1,200 young people participate.
They will be joined by a young woman who herself was mentored by Jose and Digna, when she arrived in this country at the age of 12; she herself is now a leader in the church.

St. Francis Mission, on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, is a Jesuit ministry. Fr. John Hatcher, SJ, has served the 20,000 Lakota (Sioux) people there for over 10 years. Father Hatcher has revitalized six parishes, urging people to more fully participate in parish life and bring the gift of their culture to the universal Church. Father Hatcher also has launched two recovery centers that have helped more than 300 families maintain sobriety; he has instituted religious education programs that serve more than 400 children each week; and he has developed Lakota leaders who successfully manage the Mission’s programs: two recovery center, four religious education centers, a suicide hot line, a dental clinic, a radio station and a museum.
Fr. Hatcher will be joined by a young woman from the reservation, who will speak about the church’s emphasis on honoring both the Catholic tradition as well as the Lakota tradition.

With all of these inspirational speakers, how can you not participate?
We hope to see you in person! If you can't attend- follow #TPFDiscuss on Twitter to join the conversation!