A thought-provoking series for people seeking a learning community dedicated to exploring life's meaning and purpose. The series engages the religious, sociopolitical, and scientific issues of our time to identify the best of human values and stimulate thoughtful, creative responses for the enrichment of all peoples and stewardship of our earth.

Fanning the Flame of Hope (2022-23)

"We must fan the flame of hope that has been given us, and help everyone to gain new strength and certainty by looking to the future with an open spirit, a trusting heart, and a far-sighted vision ... This will indeed be the case if we are capable of recovering a sense of universal fraternity and refuse to turn a blind eye to the tragedy of rampant poverty that prevents millions of men, women, young people, and children from living in a manner worthy of our human dignity." — Pope Francis, in a 2022 letter as the Roman Catholic Church begins preparations for 2025 Jubilee year

To fan the flame of hope is to act boldly – to unleash the transformative power of community that drives societal changes so that every person and creature can live in a manner worthy of their dignity.

Such bold action requires the vital efforts of each one of us. When we fan the flame of hope, we ignite our passion to confront the sources of rampant poverty and the violence they generate. This hope stirs us to act, reviving our flagging spirits when emboldened extremist movements, climate devastation and the impact of the pandemic overwhelm us. Moreover, to fan the flame of hope bears witness to our capacity to engage fear, doubt, and disorientation with confidence, conviction, and grace.

Pope Francis urges us to recognize powerful moments of "effective solidarity" fueled by the flame of hope. Recall the effective solidarity of scientists from around the globe sharing knowledge to develop the COVID-19 vaccine, and persons of all backgrounds taking to the streets to declare that Black Lives Matter. Think of young people from around the world calling for climate action, and diverse religious communities advocating for families seeking asylum.

Effective solidarity is never easy, but it is one of humanity's highest spiritual callings: to lean into the values and aspirations that compel us to embrace our neighbor without distinction and to care for our earth faithfully. Hope expressed in effective solidarity is the fruit of lives seeking equity and justice for all. It is sustained by contemplative action and animated by empathetic understanding. In this spirit, Francis challenges us "to be ever more fully a sign and instrument of unity in harmonious diversity ... to foster a renewed awareness of the demands of the universal call to responsible participation."

We are privileged to bring to our campus distinguished presenters who possess the courage and vitality of hope. With gratitude for sharing their wisdom with us, let us welcome Paul Wadell, Kim R. Harris, and Christopher Pramuk. 

Schedule 

Paul Wadell, Ph.D.

Living Vocationally — Embracing An Itinerary of Hope
Open to all
Thursday, November 10, 2021 · 7 p.m.
Forum, Otto Shults Community Center 

NetVUE—Just the Right Gift at Just the Right Time
Staff and faculty seminar 
Friday, November 11, 2022 · 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. with refreshments
Forum, Otto Shults Community Center 

Making a Living or Making a Life? —Exploring the Benefits of Living Vocationally
Student retreat
Saturday, November 12, 2022 · 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. with breakfast and lunch
Linehan Chapel, Golisano Academic Center 

Kim R. Harris, Ph.D.

Songs, Faith, and Freedom
Open to all
Sunday, February 12, 2023 · 3 p.m.
Forum, Otto Shults Community Center

Welcome Table: A Mass of Spirituals
Open to all
Sunday, February 12, 2023 · 7 p.m.
Linehan Chapel, Golisano Academic Center 

Christopher Pramuk, Ph.D.

The Birthing of Hope in a Darkening Time: Reimagining Together What is Possible
Open to all
Sunday, April 16, 2023 · 3 p.m.
Forum, Otto Shults Community Center

The Arts, Empathy, and Imagination: Where Hopefulness Springs Forth
Student retreat
Saturday, April 15, 20232, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., with breakfast and lunch
Linehan Chapel, Golisano Academic Center

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