The Catholic University of America

May 19, 2008

CUA Students Attend New York Symposium on Catholic Social Teaching

While many college students have returned home, two Catholic University rising seniors are starting their summer break attending a symposium in New York titled "Catholic College Students: Building a World of Hope and a Community for Peace."

Andrew Kalna, a civil engineering major from Stafford, Va., and Kristina Walter, a world politics major from Grensburg, Pa., left for New York City on May 18 for a symposium dedicated to Catholic social thought that runs through May 23. Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., university president, nominated both students to attend.

The symposium is sponsored by the Path to Peace Foundation and the Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations.

While in New York, Kilna, Walter and nearly 50 other Catholic college students from the United States and Canada will attend a series of tours and meetings led by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and president of the Path to Peace Foundation.

Both Kalna and Walter said they spoke with CUA students who attended the symposium last year and were excited by the idea of learning more about Catholic social teaching.

"I am so blessed to have this opportunity to learn about world issues, the Holy See's part in the world and what our Catholic faith calls us to do," Walter says.

This year's symposium is designed to expose students to the social and moral teachings of the Church and to encourage them to attempt to make the world a better place, according to the symposium's Web site.

"I was excited to attend after learning that the goal of this program was to foster and strengthen the relationship between the United Nations and the Holy See Mission of the Vatican in order to promote peace and the dignity of each person around the world," says Kalna who is visiting New York for the first time.

In addition to participating in discussions on Catholic social teaching, the students will get a chance to tour the United Nations, New York City and St. Patrick's Cathedral, as well as attend lectures by U.N. ambassadors.