Symposium on Street Homelessness and Catholic Social Teaching in Rome, Italy

by | Dec 1, 2017 | News

Practitioners and theologians have come together in Rome, Italy to discuss global street homelessness in an event hosted by DePaul University’s IGH, Depaul International, Niagara University, St John’s University, and the University Durham’s Centre for Catholic Studies. The event combines the expertise of a host of sources and speakers, all from vastly different backgrounds–some religious, others not–with the aim of allowing on-the-ground experience of solving street homelessness to inform, and be informed by, the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.

Confronting the issue of street homelessness globally will require collaboration across sectors, societies, and beliefs. The Symposium’s participants come from a range of backgrounds and geographies, including India, Chile, Slovakia, Kenya, the Philippines, the UK, and the United States. These perspectives are vital, and will be intrinsic to any works that the Symposium produces.

Those sharing their experiences about what works to address street homelessness and why will include:

  • Dame Louise Casey, former Director General of the UK Government Troubled Families Programme and the Casey Review Team investigating social integration
  • Sr. Julie George, Director, Streevani charity working with women in Pune, India
  • Luis Ossa, Leader of the Solidarity ACtion Programme, Hogar de Cristo, Santiago, Chile
  • Sr. Mary Scullion, Executive Director of Project Home, Philadelphia, USA
  • Rosanne Haggerty, President and CEO, Community Solutions
  • Philip Mangano, President and CEO, American Roundtable to Abolish Homelessness
  • Toussaint Kafarhire Murhala S.J., Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations, Nairobi, Kenya

Those offering thoughts on what Catholicism and in particular Catholic Social Teaching brings to the global conversation on homelessness and human dignity will include:

  • Cardinal Peter Turkson, Head of the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
  • Profesor Emilce Cuda, Research Professor of Theology, Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina
  • Father James Keenan, S.J., Canisius Chair and Director, Jesuit Institute and Boston College
  • Rev. Dr. Richard Rwiza, Moral theologian, Hekima College, Catholic University of Eastern Africa
  • Dr. Anna Rowlands, ST Hilda Associate Professor of Catholic Social Thought and Practice, University of Durham, UK
  • Elias Opongo S.J., Director, Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations, Nairobi, Kenya

The Symposium hopes that by bringing together leading minds in philosophy, theology, and practice, progress can be made toward bridging the gap between thought and action in order to clearly determine what we already know works and how to implement it alongside highlighting areas where we do not yet have solutions and determine how to find them. These learnings will be used to inform Catholic Social Teaching on the issue of street homelessness moving forward, and determine “the solutions, solace and responsibility required to end the injustice of being without a home.”

The Symposium is being held in Rome, Italy and began November 29 and will end December 2. To follow the conversation and contribute your thoughts, follow #CSTHomeless, @ighomelessness or @depaulintl.



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