The William H. Shannon Chair in Catholic Studies presents...


Reclaiming Our Common Humanity


Calling for mercy and tenderness, Pope Francis continually reminds us of our common humanity. In a recent TED Talk, he envisioned a future that is well within our grasp.

"How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion. How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us. How wonderful would it be if solidarity . . . became, instead, the default attitude in political, economic, and scientific choices, as well as in the relationships among individuals, peoples, and countries."

Equality, inclusion, care for each other, solidarity—these principles grow out of the recognition of and respect for the dignity of all persons, which is the cornerstone of Catholic social teaching.

Our four distinguished speakers will demonstrate how Catholic theology is enriched by knowledge gleaned from their individual fields of expertise—art, astronomy, ethics, and political science. They join Pope Francis in imagining a world in which we might recognize and realize a sense of our common humanity in just and compassionate action.

This year marks the centenary of Father William H. Shannon's birth in 1917. The 2017–2018 Shannon Chair Lecture Series gratefully celebrates his legacy of wisdom and witness to faith, justice, and peace.

Please join us in welcoming to the Shannon Chair podium our distinguished speakers: Bishop Robert W. McElroy, Lisa Fullam, Guy Consolmagno, S.J., and Maureen O'Connell.

Our Distinguished Speakers