[CUA Office of Public Affairs]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Aug. 31, 2006


‘The Catholic Church in America: 2006’

Two-day Conference at Catholic University Will Explore Current State of the U.S. Church


WASHINGTON –  Lay and religious Catholic Church leaders, scholars, journalists and activists will gather at The Catholic University of America this fall for a Sept. 20-21, 2006, conference on the state of the Church in the United States, titled “The Catholic Church in America: 2006.”


Open to the public, the conference is sponsored by Catholic University’s Life Cycle Institute and will feature panels and presentations on modern Catholic identity, the Church’s public presence, parish life and trends among U.S. Catholics today. Catholics have been the largest religious denomination in the United States since the mid-19th century and current demographic trends point toward accelerating growth.


The conference will feature a keynote address from Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington, titled “Still Ever Ancient — Still Ever New?” Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., president of Catholic University, will give a breakfast talk on Catholic higher education in the United States.


Rep. Melissa Hart (R-Penn.) and Tim Roemer, former congressman and president of the Center for National Policy, will address a presentation of data from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life director Luis Lugo and senior fellow John C. Green regarding Catholic issues in public policy and governance.


Representatives of several prominent Catholic movements will speak about their organizations — including journalist/author Russell Shaw of Opus Dei, Mary Pat Fox, president of Voice of the Faithful, and Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete, national director of Communion and Liberation. 


The conference will close with an address by Washington Post Columnist E. J. Dionne, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.


“This conference will gather authorities from religious, academic and public life to speak about the current realities of the Church today, including the challenges and promises ahead,” says Professor Steve Schneck, director of the Life Cycle Institute and conference organizer. 


The conference, to be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will conclude with a reception. All sessions will be held in the Great Room of CUA’s Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.  The university, located at 620 Michigan Ave. N.E., is easily accessible via Metro’s Red Line at the Brookland/CUA stop (directions).   The event is free with advance registration before Sept. 16.  A fee of $50 will be required from registrants after Sept. 16.  Participants can view the agenda and register on-line at: http://lifecycle.cua.edu.


To view a Web stream of the conference, visit: http://digitalmedia.cua.edu/calendar/event_dsp.cfm?event=3325 (Sept. 20) and  

http://digitalmedia.cua.edu/calendar/event_dsp.cfm?event=3324 (Sept. 21).


Catholic University faculty who will join the panel discussions including Monsignor Kevin Irwin, dean of CUA’s School of Theology and Religious Studies and the Walter J. Schmitz Chair of Liturgical Studies, in addition to professors and Life Cycle Institute Fellows Dean Hoge, William D’Antonio, William Dinges, Rev. D. Paul Sullins, Leslie Woodcock Tentler and John K. White.

Other scheduled speakers include Alejandro Aguilera-Titus, associate director, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs; Frank Butler, president, FADICA, Inc.; Sister Simone Campbell, S.S.S., national coordinator of NETWORK; David DeLambo, associate director of planning for the Diocese of Cleveland; Rev. Robert Duggan, associate fellow, Life Cycle Institute; Mary Gautier, senior research associate with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University and Robert Royal, president of the Faith and Reason Institute.


Founded in 1974, the Life Cycle Institute provides a place of interdisciplinary study and support for 26 senior, full, associate and visiting fellows, in addition to graduate students and post-graduate scholars. The Institute has begun a multi-year transition toward becoming a national center for research concerning public policies central to Catholic social thought. Institute research will focus increasingly on economic justice, family and children’s welfare, values education, culture of life, health care, immigration, bioethics, racial equality and issues involving religion and society.


MEDIA: For more information or to make arrangements to attend or cover the conference,

             contact Chris Harrison or Katie Lee in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600 or

             by e-mail at harrisoc@cua.edu or leect@cua.edu.


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The Catholic University of America, located in the heart of Washington, D.C., is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church in America. Founded in 1887 and chartered by Congress, the university opened as a graduate research institution. Undergraduate programs were introduced in 1904. Today the private and coeducational campus has approximately 6,100 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in 12 schools including architecture and planning, arts and sciences, canon law, engineering, law, library and information science, music, nursing, philosophy, social service, theology and religious studies, and a college for adult learners.






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Revised: 9/19/2006

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The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.