Catholicity as Gift and Task: 50th Anniversary of Communio Conference

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Catholicity as Gift and Task: 50th Anniversary of Communio Conference

September 30, 2022 - October 2, 2022

Institute faculty members will present at the conference “Catholicity as Gift and Task: The 50th Anniversary of Communio: International Catholic Review.”  The conference is hosted by St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Rochester, NY.

Dr. Nicholas J. Healy, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Culture, will speak on “Joseph Ratzinger on the Unity of the Roman Rite and the Unity of the Church.”

Dr. Margaret Harper McCarthy, Associate Professor of Theological Anthropology, will present “Putting Predestination in its Place.”

Keynote speakers for the conference include Jean Duchesne, Jean-Luc Marion, Tracey Rowland, and Rev. Jacques Servais, S.J.

Several John Paul II Institute graduates will also present at the conference:

  • Lisa Lickona (M.T.S. ’93, S.T.L. ’98): “Love Acknowledged: The Ressourcement of Spirituality Through a Friendship with the Saints”
  • Mark Banga (M.T.S. ’18, current Ph.D. Candidate): “Joseph Ratzinger’s Communio Liturgical Theology: Illuminating the Issue of Communion for the Divorced and Remarried”
  • Daniel Drain (M.T.S. ’16, current Ph.D. Candidate): “For What May We Hope? Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Church’s Ecclesial Task”
  • Matthew Kuhner (M.T.S. ’13): “Papal Resignation as Theological Event? On Benedict XVI, the Petrine Ministry, and the Nature of Ecclesial Office”
  • Erik van Versendaal (Ph.D. ’19): “Formed in and for Communion: Philosophy and the Salvation of the World”


Virtual registration is available here.


Below is the conference description from St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry:

“Only by assuming a non-polemic role of tranquility in the center will it be possible to assume genuine responsibility for the whole.”
– The Mission of Communio

In the mission statement for Communio: International Catholic Review, Hans Urs von Balthasar set forth a vision that he and the other founders hoped would inform a print journal and give shape to a theological movement born from the heart of the Church. For Balthasar, Communio set out to “fight at all costs against the deadly polarization brought on by the fervor displayed by traditionalists and modernists alike” and “to perceive of the Church as a central communion, a community that originated from communion with Christ, who presented himself as a gift to the Church; as a communion that will enable us to share our hearts, thoughts, and blessings.”

Given the persistent relevance of this mission, the upcoming anniversary seems an appropriate moment to consider the theological and cultural engagement of a journal that is now realized in 14 language-editions around the world.

The purpose of the conference is three-fold:

  1. To understand and appreciate the contribution of Communio to the Church over the past fifty years
  2. To continue and further the trajectories of theological and cultural engagement present in the pages of Communio
  3. To ponder the same questions posed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in 1992 after Communio’s first twenty years: “Have we been courageous enough? … Have we really spoken the Word of faith intelligibly and reached the hearts of a hungering world?”


September 30, 2022
October 2, 2022
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