News and Updates: December 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Twenty-Somethings and the Church? Lost? A Fordham Conference

Twenty-Somethings and the Church - LOST?
Friday, 28 January 2011 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Saturday, 29 January 2011 | 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Pope Auditorium | Lincoln Center Campus
Have Young Catholics Lost Their Way?
Has the Church Lost Twenty-Somethings?
Has Our Culture Lost its Soul?

Twenty-somethings raised as Catholics are swelling the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated, yet many hold traditional beliefs about God and express spiritual yearnings and the desire to serve. This forum and conference will examine their fraught and often tenuous relationship with the Catholic Church.
Participants will explore the data, issues and dilemmas, as experienced in the cultural, economic and religious contexts of twenty-somethings—from sexuality to spirituality.

The speakers include leading experts and practitioners: James Davidson, Robert Putnam, Melissa Cidade, David Campbell, Carmen Cervantes, Donna Freitas, Colleen Carroll Campbell, Tom Beaudoin, Rachel Bundang, Bill McGarvey, Marilyn Santos, Tami Schmitz, James Martin, S.J., Rev. Robert Beloin, and twenty-somethings themselves.

All are welcome to attend the Friday forum, the Saturday conference, or both.
For complete conference agenda, times, topics and speakers, visit

To register online, click here.
To RSVP: (718) 817-4457;

Amongst the speakers will be our own, Dr. Thomas Beaudoin:

Tom Beaudoin is an associate professor of theology in the Graduate School of Religion at Fordham University. His research explores the relationship between secular and spiritual practices, and he directs the rock and theology project for Liturgical Press, which has ten theologians researching the religious significance of popular music. He is interested in how 20-somethings put together their spiritual world through their musical habits.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Alumni Updates - December 2010 GSRRE

I am scheduled to teach at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine from Feb-Apr, 2011. Rev. Ivan Kaszczak, Ph.D.

Meghan Miller, MA 2001: I graduated from GSRRE in 2001 with a MA in Religious Education and a concentration in Pastoral Counseling. Since 2001, I have been working as a counselor with formerly homeless people at Pathways to Housing. In August 2009 I received my PhD in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University. Recently, I began a blog on death and dying which can be found at

Zeni Fox, Ph.D.: This year my edited volume, "Lay Ecclesial Ministry: Pathways Toward the Future" was published, Sheed and Ward/Rowman & Littlefield. I plan to attend the Lessons and CArols celebration in Fordham Chapel, as part of my Advent celebration.

GSRRE Ph.D. Alumna gives Plenary Session in Moscow


DZINTRA ILISKO, Ph.D.’02, Associate Professor and Director of the Institute of Sustainable Education at Daugavpils University, presented a plenary session at the international conference “Education for Sustainable Development and Globalization: Implementation of UNESCO Strategy for the Second Half of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development” held in Moscow, December 7-8, 2010.
The conference focused on exploring the achievements attained from the first half of the UN Decade, and on identifying future perspectives and initiatives. Dr. Ilisko described the process employed by the Institute of Sustainable Education in reorienting teacher education towards the aim of sustainable development. In 2010 the Institute was once again recognized by UNESCO as one of the few bright examples of successful and creative implementation of the aims of the UN Decade in higher education.
The conference took place in cooperation with the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A New Model For Pastoral Leadership - Dr. Robert Brancatelli on Entrepreneurial Discipleship

Dr. Robert Brancatelli, GSRRE Visiting Professor in Religious Education, has just completed a series of three lectures on Entrepreneurial Discipleship at Fordham campuses. In the Spring semester, he will offer a class on the same subject, once at the Rose Hill Campus, once at St. Francis Church on 31st Street. Both courses will be offered in an intensive weekend format.

Here is a brief clip from the lecture, the full lecture can be read by clicking here.

Now, I would like to ask you first of all to suspend disbelief before entering into a discussion about the possibilities for church and the marketplace. By that I mean that we in the church are accustomed to regard business as a dirty word. We often think of business as about making money, the bottom line, profit, and greed, which, as Ivan Boesky famously quipped, is “healthy.” In fact, I think the Gordon Gekko-Michael Douglas character says that “greed is good!”

We in the church often view business and money making as antithetical to Gospel values, to the message of salvation, and to our commitment to social and economic justice; that is, to the poor and dispossessed. Business and enterprise often exploit workers, pollute the environment, and are out to monopolize every market on the planet. In those cases where business does good—Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg establishing charitable foundations and pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into school systems—it is out of a sense of noblesse oblige or, worse, spin control. Even when business is seen in a neutral or favorable light, it still does something to one’s psyche and soul, or so the thinking goes.

To be fair, maybe these are exaggerations and we have a more nuanced, sophisticated understanding of business today—although I have personally heard people say all of those things. But the reality is that even though those accusations may be true in certain cases in certain situations at certain times, they do not hold true every time everywhere for everyone. For many people, whether they are small business owners or work for larger companies, business and enterprise give them a chance to follow their dreams, even to discover who and what they are. Especially with entrepreneurs, there is a desire to make a dream or an idea become reality.