“An authentic faith … always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better than we found it … . If indeed ‘the just ordering of society and of the state is a central responsibility of politics,’ the Church, ‘cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.’”- Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, No. 183
The impact of faith on politics is examined in text, talks, discussion, and excursion not to debating topics but with the goal of promoting Catholic Social Teaching and the Gospel Message in the public sphere.
Faith and Politics Speakers
Jonathan J. Reyes, Phd
Dr. Jonathan Reyes is the Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In this role he oversees USCCB efforts in domestic and international affairs and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the bishops’ anti-poverty program.
He received a doctorate in European history from the University of Notre Dame in 2000, and a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of Michigan in 1990.
From 1998-2004, Reyes served on the staff of Christendom College, in Front Royal, Virginia, first as an assistant professor of history, and then as vice president of academic affairs.
In 2005, Dr. Reyes helped found the Augustine Institute of Denver, a graduate program devoted to Catholic theological studies and leadership training, and served as its first President. Dr. Reyes also served as Vice President for ministry and formation for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students.
In 2009, Dr. Reyes became the President/CEO of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Denver. Reyes, who was the director of social ministry for the Denver Archdiocese simultaneously with his Catholic Charities position, oversaw an organization that serves 45,000 persons annually and includes five homeless shelters, six child care centers and 22 affordable housing properties, among dozens of other charitable programs.
He served as a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, focusing on the links between faith and public life. He is married and has seven children.
Reyes shares with Light the World! about the roles of citizens, and shares from his vast experience on the importance of bringing Catholic Social teaching into the public sphere.
Joseph Capizzi, Phd
Dr. Joseph Capizzi is Associate Professor of Moral Theology at the Catholic University of America and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the School of Theology and Religious Studies . He teaches in the areas of social and political theology, with special interests in issues in peace and war, citizenship, political authority, and Augustinian theology. He has written, lectured, and published widely on just war theory, bioethics, the history of moral theology, and political liberalism. Most applicable to your lives, maybe, is that he worked with Dr. Abella to compile the “Catechism for Business” that you read from yesterday.
In 2002, he was appointed to The Cardinal’s Chair at The Intercultural Forum for Studies in Faith and Reason, The John Paul II Cultural Center, in Washington, D.C He has been a Senior Fellow at the Culture of Life Foundation and is currently a bioethics advisor to the Maryland State Stem Cell Commission, on which he has served since his appointment by Governor Ehrlich in 2006. He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia, his Masters in Theological Studies from Emory University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He lives in Maryland with his wife and six children.
Dr. Capizzi joins Dr. Reyes in a presentation on Catholic values in the political life of our nation. He shares, from a deep theological tradition, about how our Catholic faith has, and should have, affects on not only who we vote for but also how we engage with society.
Congressman Michael A. Ferguson
Congressman Mike Ferguson represented New Jersey in the U.S. House from 2001 to 2009. He served as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and as Vice Chairman of the Health Subcommittee.
In 2005, citing his family’s own experience in providing care to his mother as she fought cancer, Ferguson sponsored the Lifespan Respite Care Act, which authorized $289 million in grants to states to train volunteers and provide respite care services to sick and elderly family members or children with special needs. President George W. Bush signed Ferguson’s legislation into law December 21, 2006.
He founded Ferguson Strategies, a government consulting firm, and he served as a Senior Fellow of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest’s Odyssey Initiative for Biomedical Innovation and Human Health. Congressman Ferguson joined BakerHostetler in June 2016 where he acts as Senior Advisor and leader of the Federal Policy team.
He is from Ridgewood, NJ; graduated from Delbarton School, Morristown, N.J.; B.A., University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.; M.P.A., Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. He still resides in the greater DC area with his wife and kids.
Congressman Ferguson, and staff members from current New Jersey Congressmen, lead Light the World! in a behind the scenes tour of the US Capitol Building complete with anecdotes of his faith informing his own daily work.
My favorite day was the touring of the Capitol with Mr. Ferguson, former Congressman from New Jersey. It was particularly interesting because he knew the places he wanted to show us because he had been there and it was great for us to get into the VIP places of the Capitol building that not many people get to. –Martina, Participant 2016