Disability and the Face of Mercy: Notre Dame Collaborates with Pontifical Council to Host Conference

Author: Kenneth Hallenius

Seven Works Of Mercy Small

The Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture and the Jacques Maritain Center at Notre Dame, in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, are hosting a two-day colloquium on disability and mercy to take place in Rome, June 5–6, 2016. The colloquium will bring together theologians, scholars, historians, persons with disabilities, families, and intentional Christian communities for shared discussion about disability and the ways in which mercy, properly understood, requires friendship, communion, and a shared life with those who have disabilities.

"This conference is part of Notre Dame's contribution to the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy called by Pope Francis," said Center for Ethics and Culture director Carter Snead. "We are excited to bring together this diverse group of scholars, physicians, families, and lay associations to explore the particular challenges and blessings that disabilities present in the context of our shared pilgrimage. By hosting this conversation in collaboration with the Vatican, we look forward to experiencing together the mystery of God's abundant mercy in the context of the Jubilee Year."

"With this colloquium we hope to respond to Pope Francis' call for a greater reflection upon and expression of mercy as arising from mutual friendship," explained John O'Callaghan, director of the Jacques Maritain Center. "The pope has reminded us that just as there is no friendship from a distance, there is no mercy from a distance. At the heart of our concern is how we can better develop a culture of friendship with one another, including persons with disabilities, that allows us to see in one another the face of mercy, the image of God."

Participants in the colloquium include Prof. Lorenza Violini, Elizabeth Lev, Dr. Mary O'Callaghan, the Rev. McLean Cummings, Prof. Lisa Schiltz, and many others. It will also feature discussion with representatives from the L'Arche, Sant'Egidio, and Communion & Liberation communities. Following the colloquium, participants will take part in the official events of the Jubilee for the Sick and Persons with Disabilities (June 10–12).

Dr. Mary O'Callaghan gives a preview of her colloquium presentation here:

The Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture is the leading center for scholarly reflection within the Catholic moral and intellectual tradition. The Center is committed to sharing the richness of this tradition through teaching, research, and dialogue, at the highest level and across a range of disciplines. For more information about this colloquium or about the Center for Ethics and Culture, contact communications specialist Ken Hallenius at 574-631-3192 or khallenius@nd.edu.