Plans are taking shape for the conference, "Our Future on a Shared Planet: Silicon Valley in Conversation with the Environmental Teachings of Pope Francis," to be held on November 3-4 on campus. We are honored to host Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, the president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who will open the conference.
Cardinal Turkson is widely considered one of the most influential voices in the church on the environment and a chief contributor of the encyclical, "Laudato Si'". Following the release of the encyclical, he has urged religious leaders, businesspeople, and politicians to take action on the implications of the encyclical and the negative impact of environmental decisions and policies on the poor. In a recent address, he advocated the need to "move forward in a process of change in defence of the Earth and of human dignity."
Santa Clara University is responding to Cardinal Turkson's urging by holding our conference in dialogue with Silicon Valley. We shall consider the environmental teaching of Pope Francis in light of the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley and the broader moral, political, and spiritual changes that are called for as we face the global environmental crisis. Environmental justice, not only related to sustainability and ecological preservation but also to the concern for the poor, remains a theme that resonates for our campus. The conference will guide us in dialogue on how Santa Clara University can link our work for social justice to our concern for the environment, recognizing that the poor have a real claim on our hearts and on our actions. In this place and time, Santa Clara University can be a resource for Silicon Valley to explore and reflect on the environmental questions that Pope Francis raises.
Members of the conference committee have been planning throughout the summer to arrange for an engaging slate of guest speakers and thought leaders. I wish to thank the committee members for planning a conference program that will invite interdisciplinary dialogue and reflection: David DeCosse (chair), John Farnsworth, Iris Stewart-Frey, Pat Haines, Lindsey Kalkbrenner, Theresa Ladrigan-Whelpley, Blair Libby '16, Ken Manaster, Tom Massaro S.J., Ed Maurer, Sean Reilly '16, Aven Satre-Meloy, Bill Sundstrom, Keith Warner, O.F.M.
On Wednesday, September 30, at 12:00 p.m. in the Mission Church, the University community will celebrate our annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, followed by a picnic lunch. At this special liturgy, Santa Clara will continue the centuries-old tradition among Catholic colleges and universities of calling upon the Holy Spirit to guide and bless us in our work throughout the academic year.
To enable the campus community to attend the Mass, classes will not meet between 11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. that day. Classes that usually meet from 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. will be cancelled. Classes scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. will begin at 1:15 p.m.
We welcome one and all to join in the celebration.
Coming up on my Calendar:
- September 7 - Labor Day
- September 9 - Staff Faire
- September 13 - Vintage Santa Clara
- September 15 - Convocation
- September 15 - Faculty Recognition Event
- September 16 - Student Orientation Session 7
- September 18 - Alumni Board Meeting
- September 19-20 - Welcome Weekend
- September 23-24 - Board of Fellows Trip, New Orleans, LA
- September 25 - Bost College Board of Trustees Meeting, Boston, MA
- September 29 - Bellarmine College Prep Board of Trustees Meeting
- September 30 - Mass of the Holy Spirit
- October 2 - JST Board of Directors Meeting
Convocation for the 2015-2016 academic year will be held on Tuesday, September 15, at 4:00 p.m. in Mayer Theatre. Please note the change in venue from past convocations. This is our first community event ushering in the new academic year before our students arrive on campus. I invite all faculty and staff to attend the annual program which gives me the opportunity to welcome new members to the University community, acknowledge achievements, and highlight past progress and future plans for the upcoming year.
On Friday, July 31, the University community will gather to celebrate the Feast of St. Ignatius with liturgy at 11:30 a.m. in the Mission Church followed by a picnic lunch on the St. Ignatius Lawn. This is a special tradition for Santa Clara and Jesuit institutions around the world when we honor the founder of the Society of Jesus and recall his unique spiritual gifts.
Ignatius left a legacy of spiritual practices that are grounded in our everyday lives and focused on actions that serve the greater glory of God. His was a mission of love, justice and a special concern for the poor, the sick and the hungry.
Please mark you calendars for Friday, July 31, to celebrate our Ignatian roots.