Conversations That Matter: The Eucharist and Catholic Social Teaching

The Eucharist and Catholic Social Teaching

Episode #2 – Webinar discussion on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 3 - 4 p.m.

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In 2022, the USCCB announced plans for the Eucharistic Revival, which will culminate in a pilgrimage later this summer when Catholics from around the country will gather in Indianapolis for a Eucharistic Congress. In light of the upcoming Congress, the effects or fruits of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist call for deeper discussion. In the words of Pope Benedict, “A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented” (Deus Caritas Est, §14), and the Catechism of the Catholic Church states “the Eucharist commits us to the poor” (CCC, n. 1397). Our speakers will explore this intrinsic connection between the Eucharist and Catholic Social Teaching, especially as it concerns the poor. Join us as we ask how, why, and in what ways does the Eucharist commit us to the poor.


Michael Baxter1

Michael J. Baxter, Ph.D., is a Visiting Associate Professor at the McGrath Institute for Church Life. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. in Theology and Ethics from Duke University. He has taught at Regis University in Denver, DePaul University, the University of Dayton, and the University of Notre Dame, and his articles have appeared in Modern Theology, Communio, Pro Ecclesia, and Nova et Vetera. He is completing a book of essays called “Blowing the Dynamite of the Church”: Radicalism Against Americanism in Catholic Social Ethics, to be published by Cascade Press.

Featured Panelists

Renée Darline Roden

Renée Darline Roden holds degrees in theology from the University of Notre Dame and in journalism from Columbia University. She has taught theatre for nearly two decades, to preschool thespians, high school students, college students and seminarians. She is a Catholic Worker and a freelance journalist currently based in Chicago. Her writing has appeared in The Nation, The Associated Press, Notre Dame Magazine, U.S. Catholic, Christianity Today, Sojourners, America, and The Washington Post.



Rubén García, director of Annunciation House

Rubén García is director of Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas. He founded it with four others in 1978 under the dual inspiration of Mother Theresa of Calcutta and Dorothy Day. Seeking to serve the poor in the spirit of the Gospel, the group was led to practice the works of mercy on behalf of migrants and refugees crossing the border, mainly from Mexico and Central America. In the decades since, Annunciation House has developed into an apostolate that serves people on both sides of the border—more than 500,000 from forty countries, by a recent count—and participates in advocacy and education around immigration issues. Led by Mr. García, the volunteers of Annunciation House practice voluntary poverty and accompany people facing threats of incarceration, deportation, and separation from family, even as they themselves face legal attempts to shut down their work, most recently by the Attorney General of Texas. With the full support of Bishop Seitz of El Paso, Mr. García calmly but stoutly replied in a press release that the work of Annunciation House is grounded in the Gospel mandate to welcome the stranger (Cf. Matthew 25:31-46).


Benjamin Peters, Ph.D.

Benjamin Peters Ph.D. is a professor of religious studies at the University of St. Joseph in Connecticut. He is the author of Called to be Saints: John Hugo, the Catholic Worker, and a Theology of Radical Christianity, and is currently writing a book on the life and work of Gordon Zahn. Prior to graduate school, Peters helped start the St. Peter Claver Catholic Worker in South Bend. He and his wife Liza are the parents of four children, all of whom attend Catholic schools.




Episode #1 – Webinar discussion on Tuesday, February 13, 2024 | 3 - 4 p.m.

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Featured Panelists


William T. Cavanaugh, Ph.D., is Professor of Catholic Studies and Director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology at DePaul University. His degrees are from the universities of Notre Dame, Cambridge, and Duke. He is editor of eight books and author of nine more, including, most recently, The Uses of Idolatry (Oxford University Press, 2024). He has given invited lectures on six continents, and his work has been published in seventeen languages.




Emmanuel Katongole 2

Emmanuel Katongole, Ph.D., earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Catholic University of Louvain, undergraduate degrees in philosophy and in theology (Urbaniana, Rome) and a diploma in theology and religious studies from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Katongole, a Catholic priest ordained by the Archdiocese of Kampala, is a professor in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies with a joint appointment in Theology & Peace Studies. He previously served as associate professor of theology and world Christianity at Duke University, where he was the founding co-director of the Duke Divinity School’s Center for Reconciliation. He is the author of 10 books, most recently Who are My People? Love, Violence and Christianity in SubSaharan Africa (Notre Dame Press, 2022).



Jennifer Newsome Martin

Jennifer Newsome Martin, Ph.D., is a Catholic systematic theologian with expertise in the thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar. Her first book, Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Critical Appropriation of Russian Religious Thought, was one of ten winners internationally of the 2017 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise. She serves on the editorial boards of Religion & Literature, Theological Studies, Communio: International Theological Review, and the University of Notre Dame Press and has been a leader of the Hans Urs von Balthasar Consultation of the Catholic Theological Society of America. Holding a joint appointment in the Program of Liberal Studies and the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, she will begin in July 2024 as the Director of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture.