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Happenings in the Bernardin Center

August 2011

Catholic Common Ground Initiative Hosted the Murnion Lecture at CTU

In June the Catholic Common Ground Initiative (CCGI) hosted its annual Murnion Lecture, named in honor of the late Monsignor Philip Murnion, founder and former Director of the National Pastoral Life Center. This year’s lecture, “Communion Across Generations,” was given by Sister Patricia Wittberg, S.C., professor at Indiana University and noted sociologist. From a Catholic perspective, she described how each generation in the Church has a “culture” and focused much of her talk on today’s young adult culture – Millennials and Generation X – their characteristics and values. She stressed the importance of understanding and being sensitive to the young adult culture in order to build up communion in the Church.

As a part of the annual Murnion Lecture, the 2011 Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Award was presented to Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at Harvard University and the Secretary for Health Care and Social Services for the Archdiocese of Boston. This annual award is given to a Catholic whose life and service reflect the values and mission of the Initiative.

In his remarks, Father Hehir spoke of Cardinal Bernardin, the man for which the award was named, “The Cardinal was worried about polarization in the life of the Church and he sought to create a center around which the Church could gather. A realist, if there ever was one, Cardinal Bernardin had no illusions that that meant everyone would do the same thing, sing the same song, walk the same road. But he did believe that you could walk more than one road and stay within the capacious framework of the Catholic vision of life.”

For more information about Catholic Common Ground Initiative, visit their website at www.catholiccommonground.org.

Catholics on Call Welcomes DePaul University as a New Co-Sponsor

In late June 2011, Catholics on Call, CTU’s national vocational discovery program for young adults, announced its newest co-sponsor, DePaul University. As a co-sponsor, DePaul University, the largest Catholic university in the United States with more than 25,000 students, will support Catholics on Call in its efforts to reach out to young adults who are considering a life of service to the Church as a lay ecclesial minister, religious sister or brother, or priest. Co-sponsors assist by providing financial support as well as other resources to increase the outreach of the program. A select number of universities and other institutions have been invited to be co-sponsors of Catholics on Call to share in the direction of its vital mission and help secure the program’s future. Catholic Theological Union president, Fr. Donald Senior, C.P., noted that “DePaul University and Catholic Theological Union have enjoyed a close friendship since CTU began in 1968. This is one more collaborative effort between the two Catholic institutions intended to serve the wider Church.” For more information about Catholics on Call and their upcoming programs, visit www.catholicsoncall.org.

Peacebuilders Initiative Launches New Website

The Peacebuilders Initiative, a program of the Bernardin Center that prepares youth for active leadership roles in peacemaking and reconciliation, launched their new and improved website, www.peacebuildersinitiative.org, in the late spring. This new website is designed to provide up-to-date information and resources to all those who are involved with the program or who are interested in learning more about high school peacemakers. Additionally, the site will provide ongoing information on how to get involved with their annual fundraising event, Peace Groove, which will be held this November 4, 2011 at the Chicago Cultural Center.