Teaching Life and Human Dignity Symposium

In Evangelium Vitae, St. John Paul II says promoting a culture of life involves the “patient and fearless work of education aimed at encouraging one and all to bear each other's burdens” (§88). He encourages teachers and catechists to courageously and constantly propose the truth about the human person and to form young people within a vision of human dignity that values the lives of all people, especially the most vulnerable. The Teaching Life and Human Dignity Symposium at the McGrath Institute for Church Life is a four-day digital gathering from June 27- July 1 of leaders in Catholic education and diocesan ministry to develop a deeper understanding of human dignity in the Catholic intellectual tradition and to engage in professional formation that builds pedagogical expertise and promotes the effective integration of life and human dignity issues across the academic subject areas. 

Our goal is simple: to support Catholic leaders in their mission to educate the minds and hearts of students and youth in a deeper awareness of the inviolable dignity of every human being and in the cultivation of virtues and practices that accompany this awareness. 

For more information or if you are interested in attending please contact life@nd.edu.

Featured Speakers

Camosy Head Shot

Charlie Camosy, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University, where he has taught since finishing his PhD in theology at Notre Dame in 2008. His articles have appeared in the American Journal of Bioethics, the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, the Journal of the Catholic Health Association, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and America magazine. He is also the author of four books. Too Expensive to Treat? (Eerdmans) was a 2011 award-winner with the Catholic Media Association, Peter Singer and Christian Ethics (Cambridge) was named a 2012 “best book” with ABC Religion and Ethics, and For Love of Animals (Franciscan) was featured in the New York Times. His most recent book, Beyond the Abortion Wars (Eerdmans), was also a 2015 award-winner with the Catholic Media Association. His newest book is Resisting Throwaway Culture. Camosy received the Robert Bryne award from the Fordham Respect Life Club and the Jerome Award from the Catholic Library Association. He is the founder of the Catholic Conversation Project and advises the ethics committee of the Children's Hospital of New York.


John Cavadini Small Square

John C. Cavadini, Ph.D. is a Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, having served as Chair from 1997-2010. Since 2000 he has served as the Director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame. He received a B.A. in 1975 from Wesleyan University; an M.A. in 1979 from Marquette University; M.A., 1981, M.Phil., 1983 and his Ph.D. in 1988 from Yale University. A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 1990, Cavadini specializes in patristic and early medieval theology, the theology of Augustine, and the history of biblical and patristic exegesis. The author of several theological books, he also writes essays, articles, and reviews in popular journals and is frequently called upon by Church leaders, ministers and teachers to talk on these subjects.Recent publications include Pope Francis and the Event of Encounter, which he edited with Donald Wallenfang; Mary on the Eve of the Second Vatican Council, edited with Danielle M. Peters, and the essay, “The Kingdom of Irony: Augustine, Sin, and Dante’s Inferno” in Dante, Mercy, and the Beauty of the Human Person.

In 2009, he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to a five-year term on the International Theological Commission. The commission, whose membership is personally reviewed and appointed by the pope, consists of some 30 theologians from around the world who advise the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cavadini has served as a consultant to the USCCB Committee on Doctrine since 2006 and was also named by Pope Benedict to the Order of the Knights of St. Gregory the Great.


Kd 2021

Kathleen Domingo serves as Senior Director of the Office of Life, Justice and Peace, and Director of Government Relations for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles where she leads diocesan efforts to educate and advocate on a range of social issues including abortion, immigration, homelessness and poverty, adoption and foster care, elderly and end of life services, human trafficking, and care for creation. In her current role, she directs OneLife LA, a large-scale annual event held in downtown Los Angeles celebrating the beauty and dignity of every human life. She is also the creator of Respect Life Week, an interdisciplinary service-learning program for students grades K-12 that immerses them in the understanding of the dignity of every person and encourages students to be positive, local leaders. She also serves the greater Los Angeles community as Chair of the Board of Human Life Action and a participant in Los Angeles city and county task forces for human trafficking, homeless outreach, elder care-giving, and foster care. She is also a Commissioner with the LA County Human Relations Commission and was a member of the California Complete Count Committee for Census 2020. In addition to work in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, she is a national speaker, writer, and organizer, writing on the intersection of Catholic social doctrine, contemporary social issues, and public life. 

Kathleen holds a BS from the University of San Francisco and a Masters degree in Theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and Family in Washington, D.C.. Kathleen and her husband Rocky, along with their two sons Joseph and Owen, are members of St. Philip Parish in Pasadena, CA.

Clare Kilbane Sq

Clare Kilbane, Ph.D.  is a Professor of the Practice at the University of Notre Dame and serves as the McGrath Institute for Church Life's Senior Learning Designer.  Prior to joining the Institute team in 2018, she was a Professor of Education at Otterbein University, teaching courses on instruction, assessment, and technology integration for pre-service and in-service teachers.  She is the author of Teaching Models: Designing Instruction for 21st Century Learners (2013, Allyn & Bacon/ Pearson), and The 4C's: Understanding 21st Century Skills in the Light of Faith (National Catholic Educational Association, 2018) as well as numerous other books, multimedia, and articles.  A frequent collaborator with Catholic schools, Clare has extensive experience supporting teacher professional development and educational change initiatives.



Sam Rocha, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of several books including A Primer for Philosophy and Education, which won the 2015 American Educational Studies Association Critics Choice Book Award and, most recently, The Syllabus as Curriculum, which won the 2020 American Educational Research Association book award for Division B in Curriculum Studies. Rocha has also released several albums of music and written in Catholic media outlets such as Church Life Journal, America, Commonweal, and Our Sunday Visitor. In July 2021, he will launch a podcast, Folk Phenomenology



Todd Walatka, Ph.D. is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Theology, where he also serves as the Assistant Chair for Graduate Studies and Director of the Master of Divinity Program. His current academic research centers on the theology of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the reception of Vatican II in Catholic thought and practice. For the past ten years, he has led the pedagogical formation of doctoral students in the Department of Theology and also teaches an introductory pedagogy course for high school teachers each summer. In 2018, he was awarded the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.