Lent 2018 Message from Pope Francis

“By devoting more time to prayer, we enable our hearts to root out our secret lies and forms of self-deception, and then to find the consolation God offers. He is our Father and he wants us to live life well.”

The 2018 Lenten season has officially begun. Spend some time reading the message of Pope Francis on Lent 2018 in order to focus your heart and mind on what this liturgical season means for each one of us.
His message can be found on the Vatican website.

University of St. Thomas Professor Presents to Vatican

At the annual International Study Seminar on “Women and Work” earlier this month organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, a law professor at the University of St. Thomas had the honor of presenting her work.

Elizabeth Schiltz, law professor, Thomas J. Abood Research Scholar, and Co-Director of the Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy, presented her essay “Motherhood: Benefit or Burden to Business?” to an audience of 100 experts on “issues such as gender stereotypes and reality, penalization of motherhood, and pay inequity, among others.”

In her essay, Shiltz makes an adept argument for having more mothers in the workforce. She notes:

  1. Businesses want women workers, and most women workers want to be mothers.
  2. Businesses benefit long term from the care-giving work of mothers, and should thus shoulder some of its cost.
  3. Accommodating motherhood is not, in fact, as much of a burden on businesses as is commonly though.
  4. Mothers offer some unique and valuable skills to the workplace.

For all of these reasons, Schiltz posits that creating a world order where women and mothers can more easily access and enjoy the workforce would be beneficial to all. Lucky for University of St. Thomas, Schiltz has made this an area of focus at the Murphy Institute!

How does your campus advocate for working mothers? Let us know! 

Vatican to Host Youth Symposium on Human Trafficking

It is well known that one of Pope Francis’ areas of of passionate interest is ending human trafficking and sex trafficking. According to National Catholic Reporter, he has declared human trafficking to be “a crime against humanity” and “an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ.” This cry against the crime that is human trafficking has been echoed by young people across the globe and is evidenced in the upcoming Youth Symposium.

On November 7-8, the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences will host the “Real Love Chases Away Fear, Greed and Slavery” Youth Symposium. The Academy has issued an invitation for young people all over the world to participate in raising awareness on the issue of human trafficking and global slavery. It is a continuation of last November’s workshop on Young People Against Prostitution and Human Trafficking and seeks to “create a handbook to be distributed among young people throughout the world, explaining the different forms of modern slavery and how youth can play a significant role in the global efforts to end it”.

Additional Recommended Resources on CST-based Economic Justice

Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. “CCHD: Catholic Higher Education Success Stories.” Includes economic justice initiatives. Available here.

Pope Francis. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Available here.

Faith In Public Life. “In This Together: Catholic Teaching and a Moral Economy” . Available here. Additional information here.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1986. Available here.

USCCB Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development. “#Synod14 also talked family economics.” To Go Forth. Available here.


The Faith in Public Life document, In This Together, USCCB economic justice site, and the Spring Hill College theology library provide additional lists of resources on economic justice.  Check out their lists for  more great resources!