Called & Co-Responsible: Exploring Co-Responsibility for the Mission of the Church

March 4-6, 2020 at the University of Notre Dame


"Co-responsibility demands a change in mindset especially concerning the role of lay people in the Church. They should not be regarded as “collaborators” of the clergy, but, rather, as people who are really “co-responsible” for the Church’s being and acting."

Pope Benedict XVI

Called & Co-Responsible is an academic and pastoral conference dedicated to exploring what the idea “co-responsibility” for the “Church’s being and acting” might mean, both for the laity and for the ordained. This conference will try at least to glimpse the full potential of the idea of co-responsibility and its fruitfulness for the life of the Church going forward. This involves asking what is the “change in mindset” that Benedict mentions?  

We do not imagine that “co-responsibility” is a matter of a zero-sum game of power sharing. The common priesthood of the baptized and the ministerial priesthood of bishops and priests are “ordered to one another,” and “the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood” (CCC #1547). Exploring co-responsibility would be exploring the potential of this ordering of the two sharings in the priesthood of Christ. 

Our hope is that the Church herself might become a culture of formation to a co-responsibility which appropriately recognizes both the sanctifying, teaching and governing mission intrinsically associated with Holy Orders as well as the responsibility of the laity to “go forth” and reach the various peripheries, less accessible to the clergy, Pope Francis has mentioned.

Registration Information


Registration is now open and will close February 24, 2020. Registration includes all conference materials, breaks, and follow-up digital resources.

  • General Registration: $125 
  • Registration for UND/SMC/HCC Faculty, Staff, and Students: Free
  • Diocesan or parish groups of 6 or more: free lunch and dinner on Wednesday and Thursday included with each registration. Please contact Susan Coyne at

The conference opens Wednesday March 4 at 8:00am and runs through Friday March 6 at 11:30am. A detailed schedule will be available closer to the conference date.


Featured Speakers

Katherine Angulo

Program Director, Thriving in Ministry Initiative, McGrath Institute for Church Life

Betsy Bohlen

Chief Operating Officer, Archdiocese of Chicago

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano

Diocese of Bridgeport

John Cavadini

Professor of Theology and McGrath-Cavadini Director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life

Archbishop Rino Fisichella

President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization

Msgr. Michael Heintz

Associate Professor of Theology and Spiritual Director at Mount St Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg; Academic Director, Bishop John M. D’Arcy Program in Priestly Renewal

Colleen Moore

Director of Formation and Program Director of Echo, McGrath Institute for Church Life

Kerry Alys Robinson

Founding executive director and global ambassador of Leadership Roundtable

Bishop Bill Wack, C.S.C.

Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee

Invited Panelists

Andrés Arango, the Bishop’s Delegate for Hispanic Ministry and Director of Evangelization in the Diocese of Camden and a representative of CHARIS

Erin Barisano, Superintendent of Schools, Diocese of Orange

Henry Cappello, Founder and President, Caritas in Veritate

Katie Diller Gleason, Director of Campus Ministry, Michigan State University

Kevin Hayes, Acting Chair of CCOC, Catholics for Change in our Church

Margie Pfeil, Professor of Moral Theology/Christian Ethics, University of Notre Dame

Carlo Lancellotti, Professor of Mathematics at the City University of New York (College of Staten Island)

Clemens Sedmak, Professor of Social Ethics, Concurrent Professor, Center for Social Concerns, University of Notre Dame

Elizabeth Sullivan, Executive Director, The Institute for Catholic Liberal Education

Fr. Michael Sweeney, O.P., Cofounder and Executive Director of the Lay Mission Project

Michel Therrien, President of the Institute for Pastoral Leadership and Director of Evangelization for the Diocese of Pittsburgh

Sisters of Life, are a contemplative/active Roman Catholic community of women religious, who profess the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and a fourth vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life.

Conference Details


Lunch and dinner on Wednesday and Thursday of the conference are available for purchase through the registration link. A list of other on-campus dining options is available hereEddy Street Commons, immediately south of campus, offers a number of additional dining options within easy walking distance of the conference venue.


A block of rooms has been reserved for conference participants for the nights of March 3, 4 and 5. Please reference Called & Co-Responsible when making your reservation.

  • Morris Inn (on campus): $99+ tax. A limited number of rooms is available the night of March 6; to secure the conference rate, please reserve your room by February 3, 2020.
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton (Eddy St. Commons): $149+ tax. To secure the conference rate, please reserve your room by February 3, 2020.

Additional lodging may be available at the following locations: 


The University of Notre Dame is a 15-minute drive from South Bend International Airport; taxis and Ubers are common, and easy to hire. The university is approximately a two-hour drive from major airports in Chicago, including O'Hare and Midway. The South Shore Line commuter train runs from downtown Chicago to the South Bend airport, while shuttle buses run from both Chicago airports directly to Notre Dame's campus. If you need assistance with travel arrangements, please feel free to contact Anthony Travel, the university's official travel partner. (Please note that Notre Dame is on Eastern Standard Time, while Chicago is on Central Standard Time.)


Morris Inn guests will have valet parking at the Morris Inn for a fee.  For further parking information, please visit the Notre Dame Guest Parking website

Opportunities for Mass