2nd Annual Communion Breakfast for Educators

News Story: January 1, 2010
Sponsored by Fairfield County CAPP and SHU’s Farrington School of Education

The Second Annual Communion Breakfast for Fairfield County Educators will take place at Sacred Heart University on Sunday, March 7th. The event will feature a special presentation on “Catholic Schools, Public Schools, and the Common Good” by Dr. Brian Stiltner, associate professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Sacred Heart University and director of the Center for Catholic Thought, Ethics, and Culture. The breakfast is open to all educators from K-12 and in higher education.

This special event, which is sponsored by Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice of Fairfield County and SHU’s Isabelle Farrington School of Education, will begin at 9 A.M. with the celebration of Mass in the University’s new Chapel of the Holy Spirit, by Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport.
As the ecclesiastical counselor for CAPP, Bishop Lori described this special event as a way for Catholic teachers and administrators to meet with each other and to explore common concerns and discuss strategies for excellence. “CAPP celebrates the Church’s historic pursuit of social justice – a theme that finds its place in many classrooms. Educators are pressed to relate the classroom experience to the lived experience of the people. Certainly, the pursuit of the ‘common good’ will help students engage the world in a positive and enriching way.”

According to Dr. Stiltner, “Education throughout the lifespan is a major resource that citizens need if our society is to flourish. Schools of all sorts—public, parochial and private--render a great service to the common good, due in no small part to the commitment of their teachers and staff.” His talk will survey the contributions that educators make to the common good in their daily work, and then reflect on how Catholic and public schools might each play a role in the ongoing challenge of improving education.

Dr. Stiltner’s teaching and research focus is on economic justice, religion and politics, the ethics of war and peace, and moral issues within Catholicism. He is founding director of the University’s Center for Catholic Thought, Ethics and Culture. He also directs the Catholic Social Thought Scholars Program, which engages Sacred Heart students in community service and the study of Church social teachings. Stiltner’s book, Religion and the Common Good (Rowman and Littlefield, 1999), defended the viability of a Catholic concept of the common good for a liberal, pluralist society. With David Clough of the University of Chester, England, he wrote Faith and Force: A Christian Debate about War (Georgetown University Press, 2007). The co-authors debate terrorism, the war in Iraq, and other issues from the vantage of just war theory and pacifism.

Sacred Heart University formally dedicated its new Chapel of the Holy Spirit in September 2009. Among the Chapel’s special features are original mosaics by the world-famous Jesuit artist, Father Marko Ivan Rupnik. Renowned as an artist, theologian, author and spiritual director, Father Rupnik was chosen by Pope John Paul II to design his personal chapel at the Vatican. Among his other international commissions are major works in Fatima and Lourdes. His work on Sacred Heart University’s Chapel attracted widespread attention and praise in publications from The New York Times to the influential Catholic weekly, America, which asserted that walking into the Chapel of the Nativity is like “stepping into a dazzling icon.”

Centesimus Annus was founded in 1993 to encourage business people, academics and other professionals to study and promote Catholic social teaching. It is named for Pope John Paul’s encyclical of the same name that marked the 100th anniversary o f the landmark papal document on social responsibility, Rerum Novarum. The Diocese of Bridgeport is one of three pioneering dioceses in the United States to establish a chapter.
The Isabelle Farrington School of Education is the largest independent educator of teachers and administrators in the state, and it annually recommends about 300 students for certification. A part of the University’s College of Education and Health Professions, the School sponsors a vigorous internship program for students who are completing their initial certification after they have completed their bachelor’s degree; it places more than 200 interns in schools each year.
The Communion Breakfast is open to the public. Tickets are $35 per person and $300 for a table of 10. Since seating is limited, early registration is encouraged. To register, contact Sheila Moseley at 203-396-8097 or at moseleys@sacredheart.edu.