September 24, 2009
Rev. Drew Christiansen, H.E. Mr. Oscar de
Rojas Highlight Event on October 17, 2009 in Queens
Vincentian Chair of Social Justice Sixth Biennial Poverty
Conference takes place on October 17 at St. John’s Queens campus.
The conference titled, “Extreme Wealth and Poverty and the ‘Virtue
of Enough,’” will utilize lectures, workshops and panel discussions
that will include International Ambassadors and St. John’s faculty
during the day-long program format from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Highlights include opening presentations by two experts in the
field of social justice and development– Rev. Drew Christiansen,
S.J., Editor-in-Chief of America, and H.E. Mr. Oscar de
Rojas, former Director, United Nations Financing for
“We are thrilled to have such accomplished speakers as keynote’s to
share their wisdom and insight at this year’s Conference,” said Sr.
Margaret John Kelly, D.C., Executive Director for the Vincentian
Center for Church and Society at St. John’s University. “It is
fitting that this event coincides with the celebration of the 350th
anniversary of the deaths of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de
Marillac – who worked with all classes to assure “enough” for poor
and marginalized persons.”
In this current financial crisis, many are asking, “How much is
enough?” “Is there enough for all?” The conference examines the
global financial crisis from an ethical and economic perspective
and accepts the challenge of Pope Benedict in “Caritas in Veritate”
to shape a new vision for the future. Living with “enough”
will be possible and necessary in the “new “globalization.
Continuing the mission of Saints Vincent and Louise, the afternoon
workshops showcase efforts to address systemic poverty, and analyze
models of social transformation and integral development through
the paradigm of Catholic Social Thought. In a unique closing to the
day’s activities, Elizabeth and Joseph Mahowald, stars of Broadway,
National and International Theater, will perform a live Social
Justice Concert to “Engage the Imagination” – with appropriate
Broadway music and lyrics that draw hearts and minds to the common
Rev. Drew Christiansen will speak to "the cultural forces that
have brought us to this current ethical crisis and the challenge of
the Christian virtue of 'enough'". Editor-in-Chief of the
national Jesuit weekly America since 2005, Fr. Christiansen is a
recognized authority on Catholic Social Ethics and has been an
important part of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
efforts to educate Catholics and promote peace and environmental
Mr. de Rojas will lecture on "Poverty and Wealth and The Hope of
Just and Integral Development in a Globalizing World." He recently
retired after serving for 10 years as the first Director of the
Financing for Development Secretariat in the United Nations
Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
“Quote from de Rojas”
Before joining the U.N., Mr. de Rojas served for 27 years in the
Venezuelan Foreign Service, attaining the rank of Ambassador.
He held senior-level posts in his country’s diplomatic missions at
the U.N. headquarters in N.Y., Geneva and Paris, as well as in the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself in Caracas.
Following the keynote presentations, a panel of UN Ambassadors will
discuss perspectives on “Global Awareness, The Financial Crisis,
MDG’s and People Who Are Poor.” Afternoon workshops will
allow participants to engage in dialogue with experts in the field
of Credit, the Environment, Measuring Poverty, Literacy, Migration
and Mental Health in these stressful times.
Registration is required for the Biennial Poverty Conference.
Early registration discounts expire on October 1, 2009. Details can
be obtained by visiting the Vincentian Center for Church and
Society web site at http://vincenter.org or calling
Media interested in attending the Biennial Poverty Conference can
contact Dominic Scianna, Assistant V.P. for Media Relations by
calling (718) 990-6185 or e-mail inquiries to email@example.com.