MEDIA ADVISORY: Catholic Social Ministry Gathering Calls on Catholic Leaders to Heal a World Broken by Conflict, Division, and Inequality
2023 Conference to be held in Washington, D.C.: January 28-31
WASHINGTON –The annual Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (CSMG), organized by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and 20 collaborating organizations, attracts nearly 500 participants from around the country. The conference seeks to equip current and emerging leaders in Catholic social ministry and advocacy to cultivate God’s justice as they engage in their communities and around the world.
The theme of this year’s gathering is “Blessed are the Peacemakers” (Mt 5:9). The first in-person gathering in two years, CSMG participants will explore the Catholic Church’s call to respond to pressing domestic and global challenges by thinking creatively and boldly to create opportunities for healing and renewed encounter. The issues to be discussed include those that impact both families as well as the wider communities: climate change, racial justice, gun violence, violence in Ukraine, peacebuilding, migration, hunger, restorative justice, and poverty. Participants will conclude the final day of the gathering with visits to Capitol Hill where they will visit the offices of their elected officials. The program at CSMG 2023 will include offerings for Hispanic/Latino leaders who play an important role in forming disciples on mission in their communities.
When: January 28-31, 2023
Where: Hyatt Regency Washington, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington D.C., 20001
Program and Speaker highlights include:
- Archbishop William E. Lori, archbishop of Baltimore, will speak about the Walking with Moms in Need initiative as well as local work to address racism and support immigrants as part of a panel discussion. In November 2022, Archbishop Lori was elected as vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). He is the former chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine, the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, and the immediate past-chairman for the Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
- Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, archbishop of San Antonio, will speak in a plenary discussion about working with Catholic Campaign for Human Development funded COPS/Metro to respond to the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Archbishop García-Siller is the former chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.
- Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, will discuss how we can articulate the Church’s voice in building peace and responding with love to sisters and brothers who are displaced, migrating, and in need of welcome in a new home as part of a plenary discussion. Bishop Dorsonville is the immediate past-chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration and currently serves as a member of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, the Committee on Migration, the Committee on Religious Liberty, and the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism.
- Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN, moderator of the leadership team for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur U.S. East-West Province, will give a keynote address reflecting on what it means to be a peacemaker in today's world and paint a picture of what it means to build peace in the vision of Pope Francis, inspired by our long Catholic tradition. Previously, Sr. Chappell was the first African American Executive Director of Pax Christi, USA.
- Sr. Donna Markham OP, Ph.D., president & CEO of Catholic Charities USA, will speak to how the programs of Catholic Charities USA respond to the pressing needs of our sisters and brothers who are displaced and in need of a new home in the aftermath of conflict and division. Before serving in this capacity, she chaired CCUSA’s Board of Directors and was a member of the board for eight years.
- Sr. Norma Pimentel, M.J., executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, will share about the Church’s support for women and children through our accompaniment of migrants and refugees at the southern border. Sr. Pimentel oversees the charitable arm of the Diocese of Brownsville, providing oversight of different ministries and services in the Rio Grande Valley through emergency assistance, homelessness prevention, clinical counseling, pregnancy care, food programs, and humanitarian relief to immigrants.
- Ms. Ogechi Akalegbere, director of youth and young adult ministry at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Washington, will share insights about her work on racial equity, our faith call to do justice, and community organizing to empower low-income and immigrant families to have access to resources so their children can thrive. Ms. Akalegbere was the recipient the 2021 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
- Mr. Sean Callahan, president & CEO of Catholic Relief Services, will share about how the humanitarian relief work of CRS helps to build peace and respond with love to our sisters and brothers who are displaced, migrating, and in need of welcome. Mr. Callahan is a 35-year veteran of Catholic Relief Services who has held a wide variety of leadership positions within the organization and has also served on the governing structures of Caritas Internationalis.
Joining the USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development in organizing the 2023 Gathering are numerous other USCCB departments and national Catholic organizations, including Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Health Association, and others.
Most workshops and presentations at the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering are open to media coverage. Journalists are invited to download a credential application form and submit it by email for review and approval.
Live updates will be shared throughout CSMG on Twitter at @USCCBLive and #CSMG23. More information is available online: www.catholicsocialministrygathering.org.