Brescia University will welcome Dr. Rainer Gehrig to campus Monday, September 24th at 7:00 PM in the Taylor Lecture Hall of the Science Building. Dr. Gehrig will present “Caritas Theology in Action.”
Dr. Gehrig’s lecture will focus on the teachings of Benedict and Francis, specifically related to how the Church and individuals should respond to the global changes impacting life today, and how the call of Jesus “to love” translated into a Caritas theology (Caritas-Latin for love) that can provide meaning, hope, and an alternate way to the destructive inclinations of today’s society.
“When people ask me what makes a University ‘Catholic’ I tell them that we take the words of Jesus very seriously, specifically his command to love,” says Father Larry Hostetter, President of Brescia University. “In the Gospel of John 12:15, Jesus says: ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ From the Gospel of Matthew we know that this command is second only to the greatest of commandments, which is to Love God with all of our Heart, soul, and mind. The implication for Catholic higher education is obvious: we must make sure that this fundamental Christian value is nurtured and strengthened in the lives of our students.”
Fr. Hostetter goes on to reflect that the world is changing at a rapid pace. “Social, political and economic changes have drastically affected how we relate to each other and create communities. These changes have widened the gap between the rich and the poor with power increasingly concentrated in fewer hands. Climate change and shifting population demographics further enhance the disparity between the abundance of the few and the paucity of the many. As a result political and ethnic differences are intensified and unity is threatened. The Christian churches are not immune to these pressures. Both Popes Benedict XVI and Francis have sought to guide the Catholic Church during these turbulent times with a call to return to the core of Jesus’ Gospel message to “love one another” as he has loved us.”
Dr. Rainer Gehrig serves as Assistant Professor and Researcher in the Department of Human and Religious Sciences at Catholic University San Anthony Murcia in Spain, where he earned his PhD in Social Development in 2017. The title of his doctoral dissertation is Identity and Caritas Organizations: Socio-cultural Analysis of Caritas in Spain. He is the director of the Master Program on Social Development at Catholic University, and his current research projects focus on social service delivery and volunteer faith-based organizations, organizational ethnography, as well as identity and mission in faith-based organizations.
Dr. Gehrig’s visit is funded by a grant from the Forum on Theological Exploration. FTE is a leadership incubator that inspires young people to make a difference in the world through Christian communities.
For more information, please contact Fr. Larry Hostetter at 270-686-4236 or [email protected]