November 20, 2022 Essay: “Blessed Are the Peacemakers”: Lectures at St. Ignatius 2023

Nov 14, 2022

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). What Jesus calls good, and whom Jesus calls blessed, is striking because his values seem to be upside down from our own. Many affirm this blessing with their lips, but in tumultuous times, we have tended toward the pragmatism of the fight.

Take Jesus’ words seriously. If a peacemaker is to be called a child of God, we should want to be one. To be one, however, will take some work. The beauty of this compound word is that it mashes up the word peace with the word for doing or practicing. It is active.

The Lectures at St. Ignatius for 2023 will bring five peacemakers to our parish to educate, inspire, and challenge us. It is my distinct pleasure to announce the upcoming lecture series program.


January 30: Father Greg Boyle, S.J.

“When the Wave Knows It’s the Ocean: Apostolic Wholeness and the Kinship of God”

Fr. Greg will explore the marks of authentic discipleship: flourishing, joy, and fearlessness.

Father Boyle is the founder and director of Homeboy Industries, the world’s largest gang intervention and rehabilitation program. His latest book is Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship.

February 27: Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv.

“Peacebuilding as Cornerstone of Pope Francis’ Vision for the Church”

Pope Francis brings both Ignatian and Franciscan sources to his vision for the church, strengthening it as a force for peace and reconciliation in the world.

Bishop John Stowe is a Conventual Franciscan Friar and the third bishop of the Diocese of Lexington since 2015. He is currently the Bishop-President of Pax Christi USA.

March 27: Professor Kim Daniels

“A Better Kind of Politics: Advancing the Common Good in Challenging Times”

Faced with a public life dominated by hostility and division, U.S. Catholics can advance the common good and peacemaking efforts by looking to Pope Francis and Catholic social thought. This will be the annual Laetare Lecture.

Kim Daniels is the co-director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life and an adjunct professor in Georgetown’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Kim is a member of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and a consultor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty.

April 24: Ms. Frida Berrigan

“How To Go ‘All In’ For Peace: No More Velleities!”

Peacemaking is sidelined, disparaged, and mocked as naive. Or worse, it is worshiped as a saintly ideal. Even so, in a war-steeped nation, we must be “All In” as peacemakers. How?

Frida Berrigan is a community activist and urban gardener living in New London, CT, with her husband, three kids, and four chickens. She is the author of It Runs In The Family: On Being Raised By Radicals and Growing Into Rebellious Motherhood. The book recounts her upbringing at Jonah House, the Christian resistance community founded by her parents Phil Berrigan and Liz McAlister.

May 22: Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI

“Quiet Prophecy – Another Kind of Protest for Social and Religious Transformation”

Scripture tells us that, as he grew, John the Baptist “grew strong in spirit.” What if you are the type of person who is “accommodating in spirit”? What if you are not the type of person who can openly protest things and openly challenge others? What are your prophetic gifts? How can your quiet gifts challenge the world and the church to be more just, loving, and faith-filled? Is there another kind of “protest” that is powerfully prophetic?

Father Rolheiser is President Emeritus of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, and a Professor of Spirituality there. He is a community-builder, lecturer, and writer. His books are popular throughout the English-speaking world and have now been translated into many languages. His weekly column is carried by more than 80 newspapers worldwide.

— Fr. Michael Hilbert, S.J., Associate Pastor