Panel Presentations

Spiritan Panel Presentation

Thu. Sep. 29, 8:30am

Title: The Poor and the Earth are Crying Out: Protecting Our Common Home

John Kilcran, C.S.Sp.

(Justice Peace & the Integrity of Creation, Dublin, Ireland).

Jude Nnorom, C.S.Sp.

(Justice Peace & the Integrity of Creation, Rome, Italy).

Chika Oneyjiuwa, C.S.Sp.

(Africa Europe Faith & Justice Network, United Nations, Brussels, Belgium).

John KilcranLaudato Sì points to the "intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet" (paragraph 16) and analyses the structural links between ecological degradation and the poor referred to as "the crucified poor" (paragraph 241). John Kilcran will discuss asylum seeker torture survivors, presenting the work of a Spiritan project in Ireland, SPIRASI. Jude NnoramLiving within the complexities of environmental changes, "the poor and the earth are crying out," necessitating an "integral ecology" that analyses the complex interconnections between human action or inaction in protecting our common home (Laudato Sì, 137). Jude Nnorom will discuss solidarity and evangelization of the poor as the core of the Spiritan Missionary purpose. Chika OneyjiuwaThe Spiritan Congregation is a member of the Africa Europe Faith & Justice Network (AEFJN) that campaigns for the inclusion of the common good and ecological protection at the center table of international business engagements and economic policies. In this segment of the presentation, Chika Oneyjiuwa will highlight the involvement of AEFJN in this campaign in Brussels (EU).


Michael Blackhurst, PhD.

Research Development Manager,
University Center for Social and Urban Research 

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

Title: Exploring the Limits of Science and Engineering for Environmental Decision Making

Brady Porter, PhD.

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

Title: Navigating the Anthropocene with Jack Sparrow's Compass

While I underscore the importance of science and engineering for informing environmental sustainability, I also advocate for a more careful and broader consideration of the philosophy of science and an examination of the values, priorities, and professional cultures driving technical innovation. In turn, I emphasize the need to advance the code of conduct in promoting technological solutions to environmental problems, one that truly integrates non-technical disciplines into decision making and avoids the persistent temptation to exhaust the decision space with rational methods. The recommendations are aimed at raising the standard of proof needed to promote social investments in technical innovation and correcting for technical overconfidence.

The earth is facing its sixth mass extinction event through the squandering of resources by an exponentially growing human population. We are the ultimate ecosystem engineers, as habitat destruction, fragmentation and modification progress at an alarming pace to meet our growing energy demands. Globalization has introduced invasive pests, overharvesting of the oceans is economically subsidized, and we are living in our own polluted waste. Somehow, in a time when we are most detached from nature, we must rediscover respect for our home and our place in it as good stewards of the earth.


Michel A. Boudrias (Dept. of Environmental & Ocean Sciences), in coordination with Julia Cantzler (Dept. of Sociology), Simon Croom (Sustainable Supply Chain Institute), and Mark Woods (Dept of Philosophy).

University of San Diego, San Diego, CA.

Title: Climate Change Education and Social Justice: Interdisciplinary Approaches in Sustainability or How we can all Care for Our Common Home?

Three initiatives at the University of San Diego are taking an interdisciplinary approach to connect climate change education with social justice within the context of sustainability and informed-decision making about climate impacts. Climate Education Partners has been working with Key Influentials to enhance communication about climate change impacts outside traditional settings. Curricular efforts include lectures in Sustainable Supply Chain Management entirely dedicated to climate change science and a new model of comprehensive integration across disciplines with three courses on Sustainability each with a specific lens: Natural Science, Sociology and Philosophy. Finally "Care for Our Common Home" is one of the six major themes for our Vision 2024 Strategic Plan including messaging on campus for our visitors and our community, policies affecting how we do business, and creating and supporting curricular efforts at all levels to create a truly shared and lived vision of Laudato Si.