Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, this week hosts the 26th General Assembly of the International Federation of Catholic Universities. The Assembly, which takes place from 23-27 July, will welcome over 200 university presidents, vice- presidents and international development officers to the College, as well as Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.
This year’s Assembly is on the theme Catholic Universities, Working in Solidarity as Responsible Agents from the Local to the Global’, and will seek to bring Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter of 2015, Laudato Si’ on care for our common home, into the very heart of this global network of third level institutions by addressing issues linked to the social responsibility of Catholic universities.
Speaking ahead of the Assembly, Reverend Professor Michael Mullaney, President of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, said, ‘It is a great honour that Saint Patrick’s College has been chosen to host this four day event. This is a major academic conference and will be reported on throughout the world.
‘Our deliberations will seek to explain how the cause of the human person is truly served if knowledge is joined to conscience. This unity of knowledge and conscience is what drives Catholic universities. Our shared task is to be responsible and ethical actors in addressing the contemporary challenges to human dignity, justice, environment, climate change, migration, economy and politics to create a more humane world and protecting our shared planet.’
He continued, ‘the complexities of globalisation and the global problems of poverty, the ecological crisis and climate change, require sophisticated analysis for ethical solutions. Catholic universities must play an increasing role in the development of these solutions and in equipping graduates to take their place in the promotion of the human dignity of every person and the common good of all.’
The Assembly will open tonight with Mass celebrated this afternoon in the College Chapel (built between 1875 and 1891) of Saint Patrick’s College. Cardinal Versaldi will preside at the Mass and Archbishop Eamon Martin will preach the homily.
Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare, has been forming men for the priesthood since 1795, becoming a Pontifical University in 1896. The College now comprises the seminary and the Pontifical University, which offers degrees in theology, philosophy, and theology and arts.
The Trustees of the College are the Governing Body of the College. The current Trustees are the four Archbishops of Ireland together with 13 other bishops. Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh, is the chairman of the Trustees of the College. For more information see www.maynoothcollege.ie.