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Immigration Policy and Catholic Teaching
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Immigration and Catholic TeachingThe Center for Catholic Studies and the Micah Institute for Business and Economics’ Fall 2011 Lecture, entitled And You Welcomed Me: Catholic Teaching, Immigrants and US Immigration Policy, will be presented October 27 at 5:30 p.m. in the Helen Lerner Amphitheatre in McNulty Hall at Seton Hall University. All are welcome to attend, and the event is free of charge.

The lecture and discussion will be presented by Donald Kerwin, Executive Director of the Center for Migration Studies, and Jill Gershutz-Bell, Senior Legislative Specialist for Washington, D.C.’s Catholic Relief Services, who co-authored And You Welcomed Me: Migration and Catholic Social Teaching (Lexington Press, 2009), as well as Fr. Jack Martin of the Haiti Solidarity Network of the Northeast.

About the Lecture

“When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were once aliens in the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)

In the Jewish Scriptures, the people are called repeatedly to remember their own history and, accordingly, to respect the migrants and displaced persons among them. Similarly, the New Testament teaches Christians to welcome strangers, not only because they were once strangers, but because Christ identifies with newcomers and others on the margins. Finally, Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate writes: “Every migrant is a human person who, as such, possesses fundamental, inalienable rights that must be respected by everyone and in every circumstance.” This talk by Donald Kerwin and the panel discussion will seek to situate the contemporary debate on public policy on immigration in relation to these religious convictions.

Donald Kerwin is the Executive Director of the Center for Migration Studies, an educational institute of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles, Scalabrinians, to study migration policy issues and to safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees and newcomers. Previously, Mr. Kerwin served as Vice-President for Programs at the Migration Policy Institute, where he remains a non-resident senior fellow. Mr. Kerwin serves as an associate fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center as well as on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration,. He previously served on the Council on Foreign Relations’ Immigration Task Force. He, along with Jill Gerschutz, is co-author of And You Welcomed Me: Migration and Catholic Social Teaching (Lexington Press, 2009).

Jill Marie Gerschutz-Bell is a Senior Legislative Specialist in Catholic Relief Services’ Washington, DC office. She also serves as fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, wherein she contributed to and co-edited And You Welcomed Me: Migration and Catholic Social Teaching. She holds an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University and a B.A. in political science and Spanish from the University of Dayton.

Rev. John Martin, associate pastor of St. Mary’s parish in Elizabeth, NJ, has for many years worked on the rights of immigrants within New Jersey. In addition to working in various city parishes in the Archdiocese of Newark, he also worked for several years with the Maryknoll missionaries in El Salvador and Honduras. He also founded and directed the Haiti Solidarity Network of the Northeast.

About the Micah Institute for Business and Economics
Seton Hall University’s Micah Institute for Business and Economics operates under the auspices of the Center for Catholic Studies. Its mission is to introduce faculty, students and the business community to the Catholic perspective on business and economic life. It seeks to present the multiple ways in which these two interactive and vital engines impact the lives of all individuals personally, communally and professionally.

Through its programs and projects, namely the Micah Business Leadership Project, the Woodstock Business Conference/Seton Hall Chapter and the website resource Catholic Social Teaching Topics, the Micah Institute offers a comprehensive understanding of Catholic social teaching, economic justice and the world of work. It addresses key social issues, explores economic justice and educates business persons, particularly the next generation, on how to build a more just and equitable society. Also, the Micah Seminars for Stillman School of Business Students, offer semester-long seminars in the principles of Catholic social teaching and values-driven servant leadership for undergraduate and graduate students as part of Seton Hall’s business school Leadership Studies curriculum. For more information »

About the Center for Catholic Studies
Founded at Seton Hall University in 1997, the Center for Catholic Studies is dedicated to fostering a dialogue between the Catholic intellectual tradition and all areas of study and contemporary culture. Focusing on the central role of the faculty, the Center regularly sponsors faculty development programs, including seminars, workshops and retreats. It sponsors an undergraduate degree program in Catholic Studies, with major, minor and certificate programs, as well as foreign study opportunities. The Center, which includes the Bernard J. Lonergan Institute, the Micah Institute for Business and Economics and the G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture, offers opportunities for study and research, as well as ongoing programs on faith and culture topics for the general public all over the world. The Center publishes the prestigious Chesterton Review, as well as The Lonergan Review and Arcadia, a student journal. For more information » 

View Flyer for the lecture »

For more information please contact:
Sarah Adlis
(973) 275-2175


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