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Vincentian Chair for Social Justice

The Vincentian Chair of Social Justice was established in 1994 in response to the recommendation Pope John Paul II made to delegates of the Congregation of the Mission’s 37th General Assembly in Rome (1986): to search out more than ever with boldness, humility and skill the causes of poverty and encourage short and long-term solutions. University scholars and research fellows work with the Vincentians in their charism “to evangelize the poor” and encourage efforts to build a society based on Gospel values and the Vincentian tradition.

Twenty years ago, in the encyclical Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul II examined 100 years of CST in light of the rapid globalization of the 20th century. Twenty-five years ago, the US Catholic Bishops published Economic Justice for All. In that document, the Bishops directed society to shape economic life by answering three questions:

  • What does the economy do for people?
  • What does it do to people?
  • And how do people participate in it?

As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, these documents challenge us to live in solidarity and practice subsidiarity as we attempt to overcome the great inequities in wealth, income, consumption and access to resources throughout the world. The Vincentian Chair for Social Juststice conference examines the conditions and attitudes necessary for the common good—“the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals,
to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.” (Gaudium et Spes,S 26 S. 1.)

“Love for others, and especially for the poor, is made concrete by promoting justice”
– John Paul II, Centesimus Annus

Through the perspective of Catholic Social Thought and the Vincentian Tradition, participants will view the role and responsibility of governments, civil society and businesses, as well as individuals, to eradicate poverty and advance sustainable prosperity with intergenerational justice for all.

Previous Conferences

  • 2013: "Educational Justice: Opportunity, Inclusion and Social Equity for All"

  • 2011: Poverty Eradication and Intergenerational Justice: Stewardship, Solidarity and Subsidiarity
  • 2009: Extreme Wealth and Poverty and the Virtue of "Enough"

  • 2007: “The Just and Moral Society”

  • 2005: Hope: Foundation of a Civilization of Love and Justice