Mercy, Always, in Everything, Mercy

The William H. Shannon Chair in Catholic Studies presents:

Emmanuel Katongole

Reconciling Tenderness:

On Learning Mercy from God

April 7, 2016, 7 p.m.
Forum, Otto A. Shults Community Center

Planting Tenderness:
Laudato Si and the Bethany Land Institute in Uganda
April 8, 2016, 1:30 p.m.
Linehan Chapel, Golisano Academic Center


“A Rwandan proverb says, ‘To go fast, walk alone. To go far, walk together.’

When we learn how to slow down to make room for walking

together across divides, we become more Christian.”


Theologian, author, and lecturer Emmanuel Katongole is Associate Professor of Theology and Peace Studies and a member of the faculty of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Born in Uganda, Katongole was ordained a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Mampala and earned a doctoral degree at the Catholic University of Louvain. After teaching at universities in Uganda and South Africa, he served for more than a decade as professor of theology and world Christianity at Duke Divinity School, where he co-founded and co-directed the school's Center for Reconciliation.


The titles of his most recent books—Stories from Bethany: On the Faces of the Church in Africa (2012); The Sacrifice of Africa: A Political Theology for Africa (2010); Mirror to the Church: Resurrecting Faith After Genocide in Rwanda, co-authored with Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove (2009); and Reconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing, co-authored with Chris Rice (2008)—as well as the topics of his many scholarly and popular articles, reflect a wide range of research interests that include the Christian social imagination; politics and violence in Africa; Christian approaches to justice, peace, and reconciliation; and Catholicism in the global South.

William H. Shannon Chair in Catholic Studies

Mercy, Always, in Everything, Mercy

“Mercy, always, in everything, mercy,” Thomas Merton wrote in his journal, Turning Toward the World. This prayer of the Trappist monk, mystic, and prophet — whose centenary we celebrate in 2015 — expresses faith in the God who is Mercy and who calls all to be “signs and sacraments of mercy.” Pope Francis is certainly such a sign, embodying mercy in his words, his actions, and his very person. Fittingly, Pope Francis has proclaimed a year-long Jubilee of Mercy to begin in December 2015. The William H. Shannon Chair in Catholic Studies joins in the celebration with this year’s lecture series.


We have invited our speakers to reflect on mercy in the context of their work, writings, and lives. Each, in his or her own way, has much to teach us about mercy: what it is, how urgently it is needed in our Church and world, and how we might become a people of mercy, creating what Pope Francis calls “an oasis of mercy,” what Thomas Merton terms a “climate of mercy,” and what Elaine Prevallet, S.L., names “pockets of hope.” Speaking from a place of faith and attentive to the “signs of the times,” our lecturers do not shy away from difficult questions and issues; rather, they confront the problems and challenges before us with integrity, courage, and mercy, inviting us to do the same.


Please join us in welcoming to the Shannon Chair podium our distinguished speakers: John Dear, Tina Beattie, Timothy Radcliffe, O.P., and Emmanuel Katongole.