Purpose of the Conference

The theme for World Catholicism Week 2011 is the unity and diversity of Catholic faith throughout the globe. Chicago is a global city, and the students at DePaul University represent over 100 countries. The three events for this week demonstrate that the vitality of the Church is only strengthened by its diversity.
Catholic cultural diversity is the fruit of a spirituality of communion. The spirituality of communion forges a new sense of community in the light of God’s gift to the Church of a Trinitarian communion. This gift is sustained as truly a gift from God in the celebration of the liturgy but also needs to be just as truly present in the Church’s entire mode of being and its public witness. This spirituality “means, finally, to know how to ‘make room’ for our brothers and sisters, bearing ‘each other's burdens’ (Gal 6:2) and, in the words of Pope John Paul II, resisting the selfish temptations that constantly beset us and provoke competition, careerism, distrust and jealousy.” Pope John Paul II maintained, echoing the wise path of simplicity of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, that a spirituality of communion already exists: “it is the plan found in the Gospel and in the living Tradition…it has its centre in Christ himself.” Facing Christ, we realize that mere tolerance is sometimes not enough. A spirituality of communion means listening to one another and recognizing the absolute goodness of the other as gift.
This week aims to celebrate the spirituality of communion, to explore its potential for personal and social transformation, and to recognize, through a purification of memory, where the Catholic Church has fallen far short of its own ideals. As such, the entire week will be dedicated to the courageous figure of Fr. Augustus Tolton (1854-1897). Fr. Tolton was the first publically recognized African American priest in the United States. Even though he was a freed slave and an ordained priest, Fr. Tolton still had to flee his original diocese in southern Illinois and move to Chicago on account of racism. Throughout World Catholicism Week 2011, we will remember Fr. Tolton’s saintly witness and urban ministry in the city of Chicago.

If you are interested in attending this conference, register today. Space is limited!
For more information, contact us by phone at (773) 325-4158 or by e-mail at

Watch the general and plenary sessions live! (Please note: You will need a video player on your computer in order to view the video.)

Chiara Lubich Monday, April 11
Catholic Spirituality: A Global Communion
Speaker: Maria Voce, President of Focolare

Thomas Norris, author of The Trinity: Life of God, Hope for Humanity
David Schindler, author of Heart of the World, Center of the Church
Communion of Saints by Michael O'Neill McGrath Tuesday & Wednesday, April 12-13
The Discourse of Catholicity

John Allen, author of The Future Church
Michael Budde, author of The Borders of Baptism: Identities, Allegiances, and the Church
Peter Casarella, Director, Center for World Catholicism & Intercultural Theology, DePaul University
Walter Euler, Professor, Fundamental Theology & Ecumenical Theology, University of Trier (Germany)
Emmanuel Katongole, author of The Sacrifice of Africa
Anselm Min, author of Solidarity of Others in a Divided World
Margarita Mooney, author of Faith Makes Us Live: Surviving & Thriving in the Haitian Diaspora
Robert Schreiter, author of The New Catholicity and Constructing Local Theologies
Photo by John Powers Photo by John Powers Thursday, April 13
Urban Studies in the Mirror of World Catholicism
Graham Ward, author of Cities of God